You work every day of your life with families as a minister. Ministry is your calling. Your entire livelihood or an important portion of your livelihood comes to you from a local church. You love God, your spouse, your children, and the flock to which God has assigned you as a shepherd. You take your ministry seriously. You have made a private and public commitment to be a minister in accord with the biblical exhortations of 1Peter 5:1-4. You hunger and thirst after righteousness and seek to lead the membership of the local church you serve to do the same. Thus far, God has blessed your faithfulness and your time in ministry to the local church you serve has been fruitful and the body has developed a strong trust in you as a biblical leader to the flock.
Then, one Wednesday night something happens. You are standing in the courtyard between the children’s activity building and the worship center talking to the Minister of Music and the Associate Pastor about plans for VBS that has been scheduled for July. It is a windy March evening and the subject of VBS is important because your children’s ministry division has grown far beyond what you had expected for such a small town. The church has grown to be the largest church in three counties and has developed a reputation as a strong Bible teaching and preaching church. Although you did not seek to be popular, you have become well known as a Christian leader. You have influence.
So, there you are talking to two of your fellow ministry leaders. The Children’s Minister and an AWANA worker come out the door of the children’s activity building with a ten (10) year old child between them. The AWANA worker is holding the child’s hand. She has been weeping and it is evident the child has shed many tears also and just recently. The Children’s Minister has a concerned look on his face. He looks you in the eye and tells you that this child, who is now standing before you, has shared with the AWANA worker of experiencing sexual misconduct from a leading member of the church, the major financial contributor in the body, a leading member of the community, and an employer of many of the people living in the town. What do you do now?
If a member of the local church you serve was accused by a 10 year old child of any form of sexual misconduct upon their person, would you immediately notify the legal, governmental authorities or would you first seek to handle it internally of your own accord? What would you do?
Editor’s Note: the topic is “what would you do?” It is not “what do you think about what others have done?”