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HOW COMMON IS PASTORAL INDISCRETION?

In recent months, the news media have reported a number of cases of clergy indiscretion, stories that have raised the question: Just how common is such indiscretion?

Before addressing this topic of temptation in ministry, LEADERSHIP commissioned a poll to determine the scope of the problem. The research department of Christianity Today, Inc., mailed nearly one thousand surveys to pastors, and 30 percent responded.

According to the results of this survey, sexual temptation among pastors is a problem-70 percent of the respondents expressed the belief that pastors are particularly vulnerable.

In the words of one respondent: "This is, by far, the greatest problem I deal with."

The Struggle

The survey probed the frequency of behavior that pastors themselves feel is inappropriate.

Since you've been in local church ministry, have you ever done anything with someone (not your spouse) that you feel was sexually inappropriate? The responses: 23 percent yes; 77 percent no. The "inappropriate" behavior ...

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