Three sex scandals are in the news this week; unfortunately, that’s about normal by a Tuesday. One deals with a candidate for president, one deals with a young musician, and the other deals with a college football program. I’m thankful that none of the three deals with a church . . . but, then again, it’s only Tuesday.
I don’t know all of the facts in the cases (maybe no one does), so my goal is not to comment on those incidents. They do serve, though, as a reminder that church leaders and churches themselves need to make sure that these kinds of things don’t occur in our ministries or in our churches. They can be absolutely devastating.
Here are the things we do to make sure that these things don’t destroy our church staff and that they don’t destroy FSBCA. I hope that you do similar things:
- First, I admit that as a human being, I am susceptible to sexual immorality and scandal. I am not super-human. I could make the same mistakes that others have made. I need God’s help and I need a plan to be who God wants me to be in this area.
- Secondly, I have built walls into my life that keep me from situations that could cause problems or that could hurt my reputation. I don’t meet with women alone, unless it is in the church office and there are others nearby. I don’t visit women in their homes or in restaurants. I don’t travel by myself (or even drive) with women. I don’t allow myself to be the only adult alone with teens. I’ve put safeguards on my computers. I don’t go to movies or read magazines that promote sexual promiscuity.
- I do actively pursue a healthy relationship with my wife. I value her. I date her. I compliment her. I hope I never take her for granted. A healthy marriage relationship sets the tone for a healthy sex life.
- I regularly teach and preach sexual purity to our church as a whole, and I especially emphasize it to our staff and leadership groups. None of us is immune; we need reminders, teaching, and helps to remain sexually pure.
- We have specific guidelines in our church that we insist that all workers follow. All workers with children and teens must be screened before they are approved. All ministries that include minors must have at least two adults present at all times. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a coaching situation, a teaching situation, or a counseling situation. Two adults provide accountability and (in case of a false accusation) a witness.
- All workers are reminded regularly that we will report any illegal incident with the proper authorities beginning with our local police department. We don’t handle things internally. If something happens, we will report it and let the police handle the investigation and the legal system handle the consequences.
- And I regularly pray, whenever I hear one of these stories, that these scandals won’t harm my personal ministry or the work of FSBCA. I want to be what God wants me to be, and I don’t want to be the source of another horror story. I don’t want there to be any questions about me or about our church.
That’s what I’m doing and what FSBCA is doing. What are you doing?