Nashville Pastor Scott Sauls Resigns After Apologizing for Harsh Leadership

Sauls spent a decade leading Christ Presbyterian Church and had been on leave since May.

Scott Sauls, an influential pastor and author, has resigned from the Nashville megachurch he had led for the past decade.

Members of Christ Presbyterian Church (CPC) voted to accept Sauls’s resignation during a congregational meeting on Sunday night.

Sauls had been on an indefinite leave of absence since May after apologizing for an unhealthy leadership style. A group of church leaders known as the session had asked the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) congregation to accept Sauls’s resignation.

In addressing the congregation, Sauls apologized to those he had hurt and said that he and his family would continue to serve Jesus.

“We had hoped to continue forward and help with CPC,” Sauls told the congregation during the meeting, according to The Tennessean, which first reported the news of Sauls’s resignation. “But we now believe the most merciful thing to do is step aside so the church can seek new leadership and we can seek the Lord’s will for whatever comes next as well.”

The church declined to comment on news of Sauls’s resignation.

Sauls’s tenure at the church began with great promise and was marked by growth. A protege of the late Tim Keller, Sauls promoted a Christianity marked by kindness and grace, rather than culture war politics, in books like A Gentle Answer: Our “Secret Weapon” in an Age of Us Against Them, Befriend, and Irresistible Faith.

Sauls admitted earlier this year that he had been harsh with church staff and used the power of the pulpit as a weapon against those who disagreed with him.

“I verbalized insensitive and verbal criticism of others’ work,” he said in an apology to the congregation earlier this year. “I’ve …

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