How Do You Protect Yourself?

Discussion in 'Pastoral Ministries' started by Tom Bryant, Sep 25, 2010.

  1. Tom Bryant

    Tom Bryant
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    In light of the alledged scandal with Eddie Long, what do you all do to protect your spiritual life, ministry and marriage against falling.

    I hope this thread won't turn into a bash Long or his theology thread. But more about ideas to keep us protected from sin. We can't protect ourselves against false accusations, but we can put protections against making sinful choices and putting ourselves in positions where somene might accuse us of wrong doing. What are you doing?
     
  2. TCassidy

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    Simple. I love my wife.
     
  3. SaggyWoman

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    In light of this situation, I think all should be wary of what they need to do to make sure they are doing what they can for protection. I think there is always going to be trouble, but certainly we should not put ourselves in situations that could be the talk of the town.

    In the same vein, though, sometimes we are almost too overboard with stuff that we fail to do ministry.

    As a single woman, I feel more at liberty with my social life, but try to be careful not to be (alone) with married men. And certainly, although I have had and do have good relationships with my pastor(s), I do not strive to be alone with them like at a restaurant, in the car, etc. Windows on office doors left open help to clear up a lot of misjudgement.
     
  4. kyredneck

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    In my former life 'the trick bag' was an ever present danger. Failure to follow policy and procedure to the T could result in some serious consequences, and even then there were no assurances that there would be no accusations (though I never was accused, to my knowledge). I was fortunate to belong to a clique that watched one another's back, and would get in each other's face when it was needed. We all need a reality check at times.

    "If all your life you live with a clean conscience, you need not fear a knock at the door at midnight." Old Chinese Proverb

    What would be a good corresponding passage from scripture?
     
  5. j_barner2000

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    Even in protecting yourself, one person with a grudge can affect your reputation. Love God. Love your wife. Never be too private with children or members of the opposite sex. Stay in His Light and the rumors will be exposed.
     
  6. Bob Alkire

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    That works well, I have to say. But I still add what I was was taught at home from childhood on, never be alone with a female that wasn't my wife or a child that wasn't my child. I can't say I make an effort to do it, but it was taught so much and often, that I still do it today without thinking about it.
     
  7. menageriekeeper

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    You fellas are forgetting that Long's accusers are male.

    Now what do you do?
     
  8. Tom Bryant

    Tom Bryant
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    I think there are some real protections that pastors have to put into their life. Obviously, loving our wives is vital but there are other more concrete ideas. Much of our lives - especially for those of us in smaller churches - is spent alone. I have known too many guys who didn't have spiritual protection in place who were good men who walked into sin.

    We need to keep doors open or at least have an window that can be seen thru whenever we counsel with anyone. I used to say with women, but like menageriekeeper said, we have to have those protections with men. Never meet to counsel with a woman alone.

    Never stay alone with anyone besides your wife on an overnight trip.

    Have someone who has access to your computer such as your wife or a trusted church leader.

    Never allow yourself to make sexual jokes or comments about anyone. Give people the freedom to call you on it.

    Don't allow yourself to be a loner in the ministry.
     
  9. abcgrad94

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    Great suggestions there. I would add that a pastor must guard his family time as well. Every couple needs time just for themselves to nurture their marriage. Oftentimes, ministry needs can keep a man too busy, too tired, and too overwhelmed to take that time alone with his spouse. The devil loves to wait until we are tired, weak, and off-guard to attack.
     
  10. SaggyWoman

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    I think this goes for females, too.

    I think these situations must keep us in that "above reproach" range. This should not keep us from ministering to those of our same sex, though.
     
  11. Jim1999

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    Always keep arm's distance away, male or female. Never an ounce of trouble.

    I am not huggy buggy with anyone. Doff hat to ladies and shake hands with men...oh, may shake hands with ladies if they offer their hand first.

    I stuck to my lifelong rule of thumb: Friendly to all, familiar with none.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     

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