The effects of multiple rejection, betrayal, and disrespect shatter even the most trusting pastor’s sense of trust. Boundaries become significantly–even severely–reset.
The only absolutely positive way to control being hurt more is to withdraw. Pastors may run into the castle, pull up the drawbridge, and isolate themselves to avoid further pain. Unfortunately, the pastor’s pain will endure as long as the pastor remains in the castle.
Sooner or later the pastor will rediscover God’s plan for relationships. Even in this self-imposed isolation the Christian leader will recognize that “it is not good to be alone” (Genesis 2:18) Developing new relationships and healing existing ones can seem to be an insurmountable challenge. For some, this may be the greatest and most difficult risk for recovery. Yet, recovery cannot and does not occur until existing relationships are renewed and new relationships initiated on a foundation of absolute trust.