Sharon is still recovering from the wounds of this experience. I'm trying to find my footing again too. Healing from the discovery that a man I viewed as trustworthy–my pastor–actually proved to be treacherous is nothing compared to Sharon and the women at my church who suffered true abuse at the hands of a sexual predator. And yet, knowing it was happening right under my nose, and it could very easily have happened to me, has made me a lot less willing to extend a blank check of trust to any pastor.
Do you have a hard time identifying and naming inappropriate behavior when you sense it? How do you handle awkward moments that, left unchecked, can become an open door to abuse? Sharon was brave to tell me her story. If you've experienced sexual misconduct at your church, I hope you'll find the courage to speak up too.
Marian Liautaud is managing editor of GiftedforLeadership.com and editor of Church Management Resources at Christianity Today.
For more information on this topic, see the GiftedforLeadership.com downloadable resource, Sexual Misconduct in the Church.