Bad Situations

Discussion in 'Pastoral Ministries' started by USN2Pulpit, Aug 30, 2003.

  1. USN2Pulpit

    USN2Pulpit
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    Pastors, have you ever been out doing pastoral visitation and found yourself in a situation you promised yourself you'd never get into? This afternoon, I went out to visit a prospect (man/wife/kids) and was invited in, only to find out that the husband was at work.

    In this situation, I made a quick visit, dropped off the materials, invited her and her family to church and got out of there.

    From your experience, what are the rules in situations like these?
     
  2. blackbird

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    USN--if I know he's not home beforehand--I don't go! Period! Wait for another day another time!

    If I go and I find out he isn't home--I do like you do--make the visit as snappy as I can and come back--either when her husband is home or my wife is able to visit with me! And just tell her the truth--"I'll come back when your husband is home!" She'll understand!

    You did the right thing! It don't matter if you're out visiting her or Mother Teresa--keep doing like you did!

    Your Southern Baptist buddy,
    Brother David
     
  3. Jim1999

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    Thirty-forty years ago, we never bothered about an afternoon pastoral call, cup of tea, scripture and prayer.

    To-day is different. I usually just remain on the door stoop and have a brief word with the party from there.

    With shift jobs, it will be rather frequent that you will find one partner home and another away. Should decide ahead your particular strategy. Always keep in mind that the "heart is deceitful and above all things desperately wicked."

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  4. gb93433

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    I always try to take someone else with me when I visit people. Several things are accomplished. I am comfortable in any situation that way. Should anything happen there is always another witness. Also it trains the other person who is with you. When more people are present it allows for the other person to take care of any distractions. When my daughter was much younger we went as a family. When she went we tried to visit people she knew. When she came along she went to play with the kids she knew and it freed up the parents to visit with us.

    Today some of those men I have taken with me are in ministry today. Just recently a man who came to Christ just a few years ago was asked to start training people how to visit. He was a man who went with me regularly each week. Eventually he helped do funerals and a number of other things. I started meeting with him each week after he had only been a Christian just a few weeks. You never know how God uses thsoe times. Those are always great times. It draws the people who visit much clsoer together. When you establish that kind of bond it also gives you a lot of encouragement and it gives you additional help on things. When you are the person training them you know what they are good at and can do.
     
  5. Bob Farnaby

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    Actually, I don't think there are any absolute rules for every situation. I think what you did is probably the wisest general reaction, she would understand and at worst think you were a little oldfashioned. And better the conservative approach which is generally appreciated.

    There are times when it is good to take others with you, for security, traiing, gender balance, etc. but not in all circumstances. Sometimes it's the pastor people want to talk with .. not a ring-in .. and another person will stop any meaningful conversation.

    As to being alone with a person of the opposite sex, it happens quite often in business and other workplaces. Better if it's in a work setting than a home one. But remember, many people have servicemen call to fix all sorts of things around the house and it rarely causes any problems. So don't get too hung up with the situation. If I vcan have the washing machine mechanic in the house with my wife alone I can have the pastor there, no problem Obviously if you have concerns about your behaviour or the behaviour of the person you are visiting, take the conservative route. Pastoring isn't a simple thing.

    Regards
    Bob
     
  6. j_barner2000

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    I am at a samll church. The pastor insists upon 2 people. I try to get my wife free so she can join me. Often though, she can't so I bring one of my daughters, then again I am the intern and the director of children's ministries, so I have a good reason to bring a child. They probably have met the child and/or can provide a witness.
     
  7. GODzThunder

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    Ah yes, this is the joy of having your wife go on visitation with you. Of course, that is not always possible when you have a working wife like I do so I try to schedule evening or weekend visitation so she can go with me. That way if you run into a single young female your wife makes a perfect check and balance where you do not have to re-schedule a visit [​IMG] Plus my wife has a better time winning ladies to Christ than I do.
     
  8. dianetavegia

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    I'm certainly not a pastor but do go on visitation. We have it MOST Tuesday nights. Not tonight. Our teams consist of a husband and wife or two women, two men and one woman, two women and one man but NEVER an unmarried couple.

    You preachers made me feel bad! You don't know how many times we've had pastor or the minister of music drop by to pick something up or drop something off and I've not said, 'Jim's not home now. Would you like to come in?' I've always just let them right in! I KNOW better! I guess I just never thought! From now on, I'll make a point to let the pastor decide. Of course, I'm never here alone. Nick is almost 9 and would be right there but how unthinking of me all these years!

    Diane
     
  9. gb93433

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    Once I was pastoring in a small town and one of the men asked how I liked it, I told him that it seems like everyone knows everybody else. He said, "And they know some things about you that you don't know about yourself."

    At one time I was a general contractor and was never accused of anything like what pastors are accused of. Some people have nothing better to do than to be lazy and watch the pastor rather than help others grow spiritually.
     
  10. Dr. Bob

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    I never counsel a woman alone. Ever. If she is home alone, we sit on the open porch for the world to see. Never step into the house.

    Same with my office. Never have a gal alone (unless my secretary is in the next room and the door is open).

    Nor in the car. I just can't risk my reputation. Remember, that is one of the first distinctives in I Tim 3 for a pastor.

    I cannot emphasize enough the importance of nothing that could have your good evil spoken of.
     
  11. j_barner2000

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    this is how my pastor has put it to the staff. We must never tarnish our reputations. Was a time when a pastor was considered trustworthy unquestionably. Now, however, thanks to the very public cases where it has been shown that we are mere men... people look for opportunities to accuse us of improprieties, even where such has not happened.
    Best policy is to avoid those situations by never being alone behind closed doors with a member of the opposite sex.

    In fact, the room where "private" meetings are held has a window to the church office and no curtain. And another person must be there when any meetings are held. Not right in the same room, but in the office.

    We must, now more than ever, be carefull to stay away from situations where our integrity could be called into question.
     
  12. Loren B

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    I have been in Christian Education now for almost 29 years. We have to emphasize regularly to our staff (especially coaches)not to be alone with a member of the opposite sex.
    At least three times during my ministry, we have had fairly serious accusations come against male coaches who thought that they would bend the rules and take a girl home from practice or some such other situation. We make it very clear that they will be fired immediately if it comes to our attention that they are not following policy.
    The reputation of the ministry is too high a risk to take lightly.
     
  13. rufus

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    I Never, Ever counsel a female alone and I do not viist inside a home unless hubby is home.

    Rufus :rolleyes:
     
  14. SaggyWoman

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    I have been a Christian since my youth, and my pastor in my youth set a very good example for me with regard to this. He was a good friend of mine and a good mentor, but he never allowed himself to be in an inappropriate situation with me. The one time it came to a head was when I was working on my valedictory speech for graduation, and the speech I had prepared was bad. So, two nights before the graduation ceremony, we were at church working on it. I had gone to hime for help. He graciously helped me with it, but it kept him after church with me alone for longer than normal. He left the lights on, for some reason, his wife too the car home, so it was just my car at church. When we were done, he walked home, though it was about 6 blocks away. I won't ever forget it.

    On the other hand, I can't believe some pastors place themselves in positions they do. I had a pastor once who--well, actually, I had visited a church and the pastor was trying to get new workers in the church. As a result, He came by to visit me. Now, realize, I am single, and though I don't consider myself a voluptuous, lustful, wanton type woman, I still have my values. The pastor, who was alone, invited himself in. I was taken aback, and was uncomfortable the whole time. (Which, I might add, is very unusual for me.) Pastors, DON'T BE STUPID.

    Now, on the other hand, I will visit in most any circumstance, but it is all in the wide open spaces.
     
  15. Major B

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    I am a Biblical counselor; I do not counsel a woman unless my wife is present--period.
     
  16. USN2Pulpit

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    I appreciate all of the advice saying to never counsel a women alone - and of course I agree with you all. However, the point I was making when I first posted was that sometimes it can happen before you even know it.

    Is it possible that a person can find themselves in a "situation" despite their best efforts to prevent it?
     
  17. SaggyWoman

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    I guess maybe it could happen but I sense that you are saying that you aren't paying attention to things that could rob you.
     
  18. USN2Pulpit

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    You're reading to much into it. I'm simply saying that even though you set these "visitation and counseling rules" for yourself, situations can surprise you, and you have to be ready for it if it happens.

    In the very first post, I said that I found myself in a situation, and quickly removed myself from it. There are lessons I've learned from the situation, and be assured that I am paying attention to things that could "rob me."

    I'm beginning to believe that this thread may be one of those situations too, since people might getting the wrong idea about how I feel. The internet BBS can be a confusing place, so let me say it plainly. I won't counsel or visit a woman alone. It is to protect both her reputation and mine.
     
  19. GODzThunder

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    I have the policy of never counseling a woman alone (especially a teenager or one close to my own age). Yet, I remember a time when I happened to run up to the Church office just an hour before wed night service. A young lady in the Church came up frantic and shaken over her ex husbands latest actions (he got engaged to the women he left her for). She was upset and very fragile. There was no way I could turn her away as she had suicidal tendencies in the past YET I must mention again, I was ALONE.

    All I could do in that situation was leave my office door cracked open and pray. I admit it felt awkward and uneasy as she was around my age and she was a desperate woman whose husband left her. Perfect target for Church gossip. I praise God that no such gossip or things happened.
     
  20. USN2Pulpit

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    So you understand what I'm saying...it can happen even after the best precautions against it.
     

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