The latest edition of HopeSpeak, a periodical by The Hope of Survivors (a international support network for victims of church sexual abuse), published an article by me on how to deal with leadership sins – including sexual abuse – in the church. It’s titled Leadership Abuses: Private and Public Sins.
I’ve just learned that another international magazine also wants to re-publish it.
Lately, Marianne and I have become involved in more and more church abuse cases – including local private cases and also very public national scandals.
Sometimes our involvement is very confidential, while other times it involves publicly confronting the abuser and warning others under the dictates of 1 Tim. 5:19-21 where there has been no repentance.
Often, we provide private pastoral counseling to the victims or the abusers (where they have been truly repentant). When needed, we also provide legal support (in fact, we are now preparing a case against some individuals who have been attempting to coverup a history of abuse by a national author and leader, through a concerted campaign of lies, threats and intimidation to silence his victims and those who might bear witness against him).
All of it, though, has been through Nathan’s Voice, a ministry I helped created with some local churches here in Virginia to deal with this scourge in the Body of Christ.
Anyway, I originally wrote this article several years ago, after I reluctantly agreed to help address – as both an attorney and a local church leader – a pattern of overt abuse by a pastor in a church I regrettably once attended. That was my first involvement in such a case, and it was a real eye opener.
The article still reflects lots that Marianne and I have learned in the intervening years as we’ve been asked to help other victims, in other churches, who have been abused by predatory and exploitive leaders.
Anyway, check it out – Leadership Abuses: Private and Public Sins.
~ Jim Wright