Ethical ministry issue

Discussion in 'Pastoral Ministries' started by TaterTot, Dec 27, 2005.

  1. TaterTot

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    I am childrens minister at our church, my husband is pastor. There is a molestation issue that involves someone in our church and community. A friend whose son was almost molested wants me to go with her to tell the mother of another child. Should I?
     
  2. Johnv

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    The safety of children comes first. If this teenage boy is in the presence of minors, and you know of it, you have a duty to make the parents of those minors aware of the possible danger.

    This teenager boy shoul dnot be permitted in the church's youth ministries, since it provides access to other minors.

    But the biggest question I want to know is: Why have the police not been called? This is not a civil issue that should be solved privately. This is a criminal issue that needs to have the police involved. They need to be called immediately.
     
  3. TaterTot

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    If it had been my child, things would have been different. He hasnt admitted it, so its just allegation from a 7 year old boy.

    I feel its the mothers place, not mine to tell other church members. As the pastors wife, i have to walk a fine line. I believe he did it, but I dont have proof.
     
  4. gb93433

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    Where are the police in this issue?
     
  5. PastorSBC1303

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    If it is just allegations at this point, I am not sure it is your place at the present time either.
     
  6. TaterTot

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    Thats my question. I mean, I want all kids to be free of danger as well. But is it really MY place to tell it? If its NOT true, then look what I would have done.
     
  7. go2church

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    Check with a lawyer type, but I think you are obligated to report this to the police.
     
  8. Johnv

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    Oh, no, not at all. It's the duty of every reasonable adult to protect children. Knowlege of child molestation must be sat upon by those who know it. We're not talking about rumor in this case, we're talking about knowing. The person who has this knowlege, in this case you, must contact the police immediately.
     
  9. gb93433

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    One thing I would wonder is: was there someone else in the room to verify what you saw?

    Allegations are not fact.
     
  10. Pastor_Bob

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    I would recommend contacting CLA and seeking their counsel on the matter. They offer such counsel free of charge to churches.

    http://www.christianlaw.org/
     
  11. ronthedisciple

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    As a teacher's aid at a public school, I am required by law to report any suspicions of child abuse to the department of child and family services in our district. My obligations (legally) beyond that are nil. I cannot know what your state does, but where I live, all such reports are done confidentally.

    But, I can sympathize your challenge. As a Christian we are called to do more than just what is legally obligated, although we must do at least that much. From your original post, it seems you are receiving the report second-hand. The one asking you to go with is the one who needs to make the report, but is obviously afraid to do so alone. Perhaps reporting it to the parent is not the best way to go about it. Perhaps, you could accopmany the one who needs to make the report to the child and family services office, or police, as you think best, and provide the encouragement to make the report. It's worth considering that the veracity of the claim is put to a test, especially when reporting to police. There might be consequences for makeing a false report, and facing that could possibly reveal any attempts at deception.

    If it were me, I would insist that the person who told me tell it to the authorities (in my case the child and family services office), and I would agree to go along for moral support. I would inform them that I will be making my own report, regardless due to my legal obligations as a teacher's aid (an obligation that is not confined just to the school campus).

    It is my prayer that whatever you decide, you shall be led by the Holy Spirit.
     
  12. exscentric

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    I would agree with the call to report it to the police, but wonder why pastor isn't involved.

    :confused:
     
  13. gb93433

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    That was the law when I taught in CA and pastored in TX. One time it created quite an uproar among a family who became furious in one church I pastored when I did report something to the police. It became contagious and the deacons had a cow. The kid had been caught stealing at a military base and was truant many times from school.
     
  14. gb93433

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    Who is supoporting the pastor if he does get involved. It may be a time for removal if he does report it and against the law if he does not.
     
  15. exscentric

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    "Who is supoporting the pastor if he does get involved. It may be a time for removal if he does report it and against the law if he does not."

    Most likely only his wife :rolleyes:

    Life is full of dilemas, that is why God asks us to do what is right at all times [​IMG] that way we can wait on Him to take care of things -- not saying it is easy.

    I didn't mean that in a negative manner, by the way, just curious why he hadn't gotten involved.
     
  16. TaterTot

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    The pastor IS involved. He has counseled with both familes, referred them to a professional. No one "saw" anything, no one admitted anything, so its allegations at this point. Thats why I am not sure *I* should go with the mama to tell ANOTHER uninvolved parent.
    I do appreciate your comments.
     
  17. exscentric

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    Good - if allegations only, then see what your state law is on the subject and go from there. This is personal opinion, the pastor should be involved in any visits, whether you go or not.

    Know, that whatever you do, you are all wrong most likely :rolleyes:
     
  18. ronthedisciple

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    [/QUOTE]That was the law when I taught in CA and pastored in TX. One time it created quite an uproar among a family who became furious in one church I pastored when I did report something to the police. It became contagious and the deacons had a cow. The kid had been caught stealing at a military base and was truant many times from school. [/QB][/QUOTE]

    These issues are rather prone to creating uproars. It is my opinion that most often, problems that go unchecked eventually become uproars. I personally advocate the practice of voicing problems and dealing with them as soon as they are sensed, and not wait until something must be done. Usually by that time, the consequences involve pain and suffering on everyone's part. Nevertheless, no matter hos difficult it may seem or what difficulties may arise, this issue must be dealt with, and soon, because already the futures of many people are being changed as a result.
     
  19. guitarpreacher

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    Let me bring a little balance. I'm not sure what it means when you say he was almost molested. Can anyone prove that the young man in question was about to molest the 7 year old? Is it possible that the 7 year old misunderstood what was happening?

    You said that the mother of the 7 year old wants to tell another mother, I'm assuming this is not the mother of the one who almost molested the 7 year old. If that's the case, and you have unproven allegations (not of something that happened, but something that almost happened) and nobody is willing to prosecute whatever crime may have been committed, isn't that a lot like gossip?

    Bottom line is you have to do whatever it takes to protect your children, but if the 7 year old isn't right about what happened and it gets spread through the community anyway, this guys life is ruined. Unless this can be proved, you have as much of an obligation to protect the accused as you do to protect the 7 year old. And you don't need any proof at all to ruin this guy, all it take is an allegation.
     
  20. TaterTot

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    The child said the teenager asked him to show his private part. The little boy said no. Teenager tried to coax, saying "my cousin shows me his all the time, come on." Kid says no. The mom wants to warn another mother whose child stays with teenagers grandma, and he is there in the afternoons and holidays.

    You are right, an allegation can ruin the teenager for life. Also,dragging a 7 year old thru court and testifying for something with no proof (although he is believed) is also not good, and he would be branded as the kid who accused _____ of trying to molest.
     

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