I am compelled to write again of the issue of sexual abuse in the church. Let’s review some examples. I omitted names of perpetrators so you will think about your vulnerabilities more than some past story and name.
AMISH. The former Bishop of the Pequea Township (Pennsylvania) Amish church was charged with failure to report sexual abuse to authorities. When he served as Bishop, a member of their congregation confessed to the Bishop that he had sexually abused 3 girls in their community. The Bishop instructed him to confess to the girls’ fathers. Amish leaders told their community who found out about it to let it go, and that it had been handled.
Now the Bishop and the abuser are being charged.
NON-DENOMINATIONAL. The pastor of the Encounter Church in Concord North Carolina was arrested on charges of alleged abuse. Though recently arrested, the alleged abuse had been on 2 underage girls 15 years before when he was the Youth Pastor at the Refuge Church in the same area. His bond was $1,000,000.00 then increased to $2,000,000.00 when 2 more victims came forward.
LUTHERAN. The senior pastor of Immanuel Lutheran Church and School in Marshfield Wisconsin was arrested on allegations unrelated to his church or school, but that he had used his position as a substitute teacher in the public school system as well as the social media sight “Grindr” to meet young men for sexual activity.
MORMON. A Mormon Bishop in Bisbee Arizona heard the confession of a church member that the member was sexually abusing his own 5-year-old daughter. The Bishop handled it internally and put the man in counseling along with his wife.
The abuse continued, then started fresh with their next child soon after her birth. The man and his wife were arrested. Their children have been taken and two LDS Bishops are facing lawsuits.
Think About it…
This is a moral pandemic far more dangerous than Covid. Don’t say it wouldn’t happen to your church.
Many want a list of registered sex offenders in their area as soon as they start a security program. That isn’t where the problem is. Make certain children in your church are important to leadership.
Do background checks but make certain no child could become a victim by ensuring safe practices throughout. Better background investigation firms (like Protect my Ministry at https://www.protectmyministry.com/) also have training to keep your children safe.