When charges of sexual misconduct are brought against a pastor, the denomination has to act—either to clear a name or clear the pulpit. And in either case, it wants to prevent further damage and begin the healing process. A New Zealand pastor on such an investigating committee jotted his reactions during the experience. Although names and details have been altered, this true story offers insight into pastoral temptation, sin, and guilt—and their effect on a church.
Sunday, March 3. Just before tonight's service, Ian [the author's senior pastor] called me into his office. He had been asked to help resolve allegations that a fellow pastor in our denomination was involved in an immoral relationship with a woman in his congregation. When he asked if I could travel with him tomorrow, I was surprised.
But when Ian told me the pastor's name, my spirit plummeted. Not Tom!
I could hardly concentrate tonight while assisting in the service. I was thinking of Tom's service, wondering what ...1