I’ve gotten many letters because of this site. Sadly they come from the broken people who sat in the pew. Not one note has come from a pastor who has made the terminal choice to have an affair. I’m sure it’s just too hard to be honest. We are masters of justifying our actions, “I just wanted to be happy,” or “my wife wasn’t meeting my need,” and “God will forgive me.” All the excuses you might hear will never justify this breach of trust, this sin of betrayal.
Adultery for a pastor betrays trust with his wife, his children, his parish and his God. The results of such a sin are more far reaching than most will ever know. The church is crippled, the pastor and his family are brutalized and the work of God is ridiculed by a watching world. There are few sins worse for a church than adultery by the pastor. That church, that pastor will never be the same again.
So, how do we prevent affairs in the pastorate? How do we protect our pastors from this horrible and destructive sin? What can you do to help? Here’s a few thoughts that will help your church protect your pastor from the attack from the enemy of our souls,
1. Pray for your pastor. No pastor can fight this battle on his own. The enemy is after your pastor, you need to know that. He may not realize how serious the task is, but it is extreme! Years ago I pastored and was constantly the focus of women wanting time with me. God was good and protected me, but I noticed something significant. After a number of years in the ministry I took a break and went into the business world for a few years. Suddenly something became crystal clear- women weren’t looking at me in the same way any more! I was shocked that it was so dramatic. I was surprised that they weren’t after me anymore. I was no longer the devil’s target. The heat was off, but it was obvious to me how powerful this weapon is for the enemy. Most pastors don’t realize this. Pray for them that God will protect them, guard them and help them.
2. Build men around your pastor and hold him accountable. Get some men around him and build a team of “mighty men” to protect your pastor from the attacks of the enemy.
3. Encourage your pastor to never be alone with a woman other than his wife. It’s just too dangerous! If he counsels people make sure there is someone in the church office with him. Don’t put your pastor is this dangerous place. The counseling office is where the problems begin. In our church we never counsel a woman without a secretary in the church office. We have also installed windows in each pastor’s office door so the counseling room is not secret, hidden and made a place of temptation. You pastor might think he’s strong enough to handle this, but he’s not!
This will be a good start, but there is more you can do to help. If you are a member of a church family you need to know your pastor is under attack. Help him finish well. Pray for him, get good and strong men around him, protect him from temptation places. This is too important.
How do you prevent an affair? Never ever assume you will never fall! Always protect yourself. The enemy prowls about like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour and his weapons for the pastor are often a pretty woman in need.