Sexual lines no pastor should cross

Recently on this blog, we did an article on “7 women pastors need to watch out for.”  Someone who just read it wanted to know why we put the blame on the women when pastors are more likely to be the sexual predator.  “Google that,” she suggested, “and see for yourself.”  My only defense is that in the body of the article, we said, “Sometimes women are the victims; sometimes they are the victimizers.” However, my critic is correct. And thus, what follows….

I’ve known more than one pastor who was a sexual predator.  And, if it makes the reader feel any better, every one of them is out of the ministry now.

My observation however is that no serial adulterer occupying the pastor’s office entered the ministry with such sordid intentions.  He fell into sin and one thing led to another. (Sound familiar? It’s how life works.)

So, what follows is for young ministers in particular who have not been snared in the lust-trap and wish to make sure they don’t. (For your information, I invited my wife Margaret to add her observations.)

Here are 7 lines pastors do not want to cross.

1) Do not use cologne. Women are sensitive to fragrances, my wife says, which is why they wear them in the first place. When a man wears them, he sends out a subtle signal, the type no wise minister needs to be emitting.

2) Do not hug women.  One pastor said he hugs no one between the ages of 6 and 66.

To the minister who argues that “Well, I am a toucher and people need to be hugged,” I reply: a) Granted, but let women hug women and men hug men, if necessary and appropriate. b) In most cases, your “touching” indicates some physical or emotional need in yourself, and is not what healthy ministers do.

Even if your intentions are pure, you make yourself vulnerable to charges of inappropriate touching. And–do not miss this–in the minds of many, to be charged is to be convicted. Best to guard against these dangers.

3) Do not be in your office with a woman alone.

A pastor of a large church told some of us why he does not counsel in his office. “All she has to do is run out of the office screaming and your ministry is over.” When someone catches him following a worship service with “Pastor, could I come by and talk with you about a problem?” he answers, “Let’s sit in a pew right over here and talk now!” Their visit is in public, but far enough removed from people so that no one hears their conversation.

4) Do not be in the church alone with a woman.

This is more difficult for small churches that have no one on staff but the pastor.  In my first post-seminary church, the secretary worked half-days. Often she and I were in the building alone all morning. In those cases, you do the best you can at keeping your distance, making sure the doors are unlocked and drop-ins are welcome, and when possible, have others in the office too.

A pastor I used to serve with would sometimes ask me to remain after hours because he was counseling a woman, and wanted to make sure someone else was in the building.

5) Do not make pastoral visits alone. If you knock on a door and find that a woman is home alone, do not go inside but visit briefly at the door. Many pastors take a deacon or their wife with them on such calls.

6) Do not compliment a young woman on her appearance.  My wife says with women middle-aged and older, you can say, “You’re looking nice today.” But do not compliment a woman on her dress, her figure, tell her that her diet’s really working, and such. You are stepping over an invisible line.

7) Do not fantasize about women.  Most sins of a sexual nature had their beginnings long before as the individual imagined certain situations with some individual. Then, when the opportunity presented itself, he was ready since he had been over that ground a hundred times before.

“Let the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable unto Thee, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer” (Psalm 19:14).

The “do nots” clearly have no end. But here are 7 “do’s” which a minister will want to observe to keep  the enemy at bay….

1) When complimented inappropriately, laugh it off and change the subject.

“Oooh, pastor, you look so good today.”  “Mmmm, preacher, I like the way that suit looks on you.” “Have you been working out, Brother Al? You’re looking good.”

The insecure pastor soaks this stuff up like a sponge. But you are not insecure. “You are complete in Christ” (Colossians 2:10).

Do not acknowledge the compliment. It will only encourage her. Laugh briefly, then ask about her family or something–anything!–to change the subject.

2) Anticipate situations that may arise during the day and plan appropriately.  That is, if you know a woman is coming for counseling, make sure your secretary or another minister is just outside the door.  Pray always the Lord will guard you and give you wisdom about these things.

3) When you are close to some woman other than your wife, and you begin to sense all the signs of attraction–your temperature rising, your blood pressure elevating–walk away quickly. Make up an excuse, even if it’s only that “I just remembered something; I’ll be right back.”  Then, get to your office or pretend to make a phone call and talk to the Lord. Ask for His divine protection. Just because your chemistry with that person is strong does not make it right. As a mature follower of Jesus Christ, you are beyond running your life by your feelings. (You are, aren’t you?)

4) Center your love, your energies, your everything on the Lord and your wife.  (The Lord does not mind being lumped together with her. He planned it that way. See Ephesians 5:25ff.)

The biggest safeguard against sexual transgressions in the lives of ministers is a good relationship with one’s spouse. After numerous cautions against sexual sin, the writer of Proverbs counseled his son, “Drink water from your own cistern, and fresh water from your own well” (Proverbs 5:15).  In the margin of my Bible, I’ve written: “Focus on your wife, son!” Read on past verse 15 and he gets more explicit that that, with vs. 19 being one you probably won’t read in church, but it definitely communicates!

5) Have an accountability partner or a mentor. Or both.

If you are truly wise, you will have someone–usually an older, mature minister–to whom you can say anything. Such a veteran pastor has seen it all, has the scars to prove it, and has come up a winner.  (The one thing you do not want in such a mentor is someone who has never suffered! Spurgeon said, “God gets His best soldiers out of the highlands of affliction.”)

Once you find such a friend, you must meet with him frequently enough to be comfortable in speaking what’s on your mind. He must be a man of prayer who will pray with you and for you later.  There is no way to over-emphasize this.

6) A healthy fear of the Lord is a good thing.

One pastor’s wife said of her husband, “I don’t have to worry about Frank straying. He’s too afraid of God.” He laughed and said, “You’ve got that right!”

Someone asked Andrew Murray the greatest thought that had ever occupied his mind. He answered, “My accountability to God.” Indeed.  It’s enough to strike terror into our hearts and to drive us to repentance and submission. “Knowing the fear of the Lord,” Paul said, “we persuade men” (II Corinthians 5:11).

That said, we also rejoice that “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1).  Nevertheless, even the saved will give account for what they have done in this life. God help us to be found faithful.

7) Encourage younger ministers to be faithful.

If you’ve been in the Lord’s work as long as a decade, you are a veteran compared to those just leaving seminary. You have a lot to offer them.  Reach out to the new ministers coming to churches in your area.  Take them to lunch.  Then, after the first session, both of you bring your wives.  The ministry can be a lonely profession. No church member understands the stresses you and your family have to endure. That’s why no one ministers to pastors better than other ministers.

The goal is to be faithful. Do this and you will find a strength and courage beyond your own. “Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God” (I John 3:21). Yes, and confidence before men, too.

Toward the end of His ministry, our Lord told the disciples, “The prince of this world is coming, and he has nothing in me” (John 14:30).  I like that. Readers may recall I told recently of meeting an old couple in a rural Alabama cafe. The man was in his 90s and the woman wasn’t all that far behind. They had been married four years, I think, and were clearly still in love. With a twinkle in his eye, the old gentleman said, “I have iron in my blood and she has a magnetic personality.”

When the devil waves his magnet over us, let there be nothing inside us that responds to his enticements. May we say, “He has nothing in me.”

And nothing “on” me.

 

 

46 thoughts on “Sexual lines no pastor should cross

  1. I would discourage commenting on any woman’s appearance, unless she is at least 75 years old or so. Many middle-aged and older women are hungry for a man to say something flattering to them!

  2. Joe McKeever,
    When my Facebook friend posted this article on facebook, I never even imagined that you could be serious. As I read through the article, I was waiting for the teaching from the Heart of Jesus who was not afraid to be alone with a woman. I was actually shocked that it never came. I had to go back and read his comment above the post of your article. My friend posted this on Dan J Brennan’s page with this preface, “Dan, Here is someone who needs to read your book.” It was then that I understood his intention for reposting this article. With all the Grace of GOD by the Power of the Holy Spirit that lives within me, instead of being angry with you, I just bought you Dan’s book to read. I hope it with change your heart and you will be man enough to admit that you are wrong about interacting with women. Please contact Dan J. Brennan to receive your gift from me.

  3. Hi, It’s me again. Last year in April, Dan had a gathering for those who understand that LOVE comes before one’s reputation. It reminds me of being like King Saul who cared more about what the people thought than what God thought. At the gathering, I met his wife, Sheila. This year they are having another gathering and after reading your article, I truly wish I made the time to go meet with the brethren of the Lord Jesus Christ once more. I am copying and pasting a message I sent to Sheila Brennan regarding my experience. I hope you understand the deep deep pain that women feel when men act the way you described.

    EstaAnn Ammerman said…

    You were the best thing that happened to me at last years gathering, Sheila. The Holy Spirit does not discriminate by gender who will be the one to minister to another. When the Holy Spirit uses someone “with bones in them” to connect to another bringing His loving intimacy, it can be a male or a female.
    I went to the conference to validate that the way I treated both male and female intimate friends was truly directed by the HOLY SPIRIT. Connecting intimately with loving men and women is the very same for me. There is no difference in the dynamics of the dance of friendship in the LORD. I had been oblivious all my life to “religious” segregration in friendship of men and women. My life experience in family, Catholic school, college living, the profession of Pharmacy, and being Roman Catholic for 40 years, was void of this boundary between the sexes. I was just confounded at the things I was experiencing as I persued preparing myself to pastor in the evangelical community. I was completely innocent to the divide between the sexes.
    As you know I found Dan’s book when trying to break through this barrier I had experienced and write a paper on “How to Love Others Like Jesus Loved.” Being so broken and knowing that what I was going to read in Dan’s book would completely validate the Loving God I knew all so well, I could not bare to read it before coming to the conference. I waited 11 months for the conference before reading it. I needed people who knew how to LOVE like Jesus LOVED present to me when I read it. So, I came a day early to the conference and read Sacred Unions, Sacred Passions cover to cover, the first time through. I was filled with the Love and Joy of the Lord that I always had within me. The Joy that was being robbed and beaten up within me in my new community. My guts had been pumbled with rejection and accusations from those I was trying to love so intimately. The book validated that I LOVED JUST LIKE JESUS DID. I KNEW HOW TO LOVE OTHERS LIKE MYSELF, both male and female. Shiela, I’m still fighting to love my friends the way Jesus did and I will never give up that fight. They don’t get to put me in a box at all. It’s either you let me obey my Lord and love them completely or they get rid of me completely. The Holy Spirit’s Love is what it is and cannot be diced and sliced according to Religion.”

  4. Wow! If that book is powerful enough to eradicate sinfulness, temptation, and scandal from all our lives, we need to get the word out.

    Seriously, Joe, I didn’t take your post to be a prohibition of relationships, just a warning to protect ourselves from evil.

  5. Of Course Glenn you didn’t take it as prohibition, but why would you use words like sinfulness, temptation and scandal when talking about relationships with your sisters in Christ. Do you think of your mother or your biological sisters that way? Would you drive a married woman to the same meeting with you alone in a car? Probably not. That is prohibition in my book. That is not a relationship at all. It’s a farce. It’s wrong. That is not a relationship with a sister in the LORD. That is looking at her as an object of sex only. My Lord and my God, Yes is the answer. The book is that powerful and you should get it. It will free you greatly from freud’s influence on religion and it will bring His Love and Grace which was so beautifully demonstrated through the Saints in all of History. It talks about St. Francis’ relationship with St. Claire and many many others. Here’s a sick point for you? Pastor’s better not ride in the car with a young boy either. -right? Sick. Just sick. All of it.

  6. I agree with EstaAnn. In your effort to protect your purity, you end up treating women like the enemy. yes, of course you have to be careful of people with inappropriate boundaries, we all do. But I believe our boundaries need to be internal rather than external, the circumcision of the heart, that refuses to look upon any member of the opposite sex as a sex-object, but instead sees them as a precious sister (or brother in my case), but loves them as a precious individual, created in the image of God (for His purposes, not my use. There are so many women in our churches, in our world with deep father wounds that stop them from fully using their gifts to the glory of God. They need to experience the healing love of the Father, but in a world where God mostly uses humans as His means of communicating His truth, they usually need to hear those words of affirmation and restoration from male lips. As a woman in pastoral ministry I can work with such people, pray with them and encourage them, but they need a man to really speak into the deeply broken places. Yes, risky, but if you follow Paul’s instructions to Timothy to treat women as sisters, then there is a liberty to speak Christ into one another’s lives

  7. Treating women as the enemy? No way. I’m trying to tell pastors not to be lured into temptation, and here you and EstaAnn are lambasting me for doing this. I honestly would feel the same as if you accused me of saying that only two-headed men may be preachers. What? We must be living on different planets, lady. Every preacher I know has to guard his heart so carefully in this regard, and that, believe it or not, is all I’m saying!

  8. How on earth does any of this come across as Joe saying that pastor’s shouldn’t love women and minister to them? This is a list of common sense safeguards for a pastor to have in place. Internal safeguards are obviously a must, but ignoring external safeguards is asinine. I am honestly baffled by the negative reactions here. Naivety and self-trust does not befit a minister of the Word.

  9. Great article & well said on all points. As I said beneath your last post on facebook, my dad & brother both Pastors, have said the same things you say here. You are wise & set a good example for all Pators to follow.
    Thank you Bro. Joe.

  10. Hey Joe,

    Really, brother, if I may push back a little, where do you see this in Jesus? Any of these (do not handle, do not touch prohibitions? Col. 2:23)? Jesus surely didn’t relate to women this way. Lust is something we should be aware of like greed. You and I would see eye to eye on that.

    But I doubt if you ever tell people as a follower of Jesus, “Do not ever accept a raise in salary. There is so much power and evil in money. You know it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.”

    I don’t see these lines in Jesus. I don’t see them in Paul (Col. 2:22-23). We need to teach self-awareness (which I would totally agree with you) but never hug a woman? That’s our own extra-biblical easy out rather than to engage women as Jesus did. My two cents.

    • Brother Dan, you are a lot more reasonable than your disciples. (I say with a tease.) My sons have cautioned me not to respond to these–particularly from your two women pastor friends–as there becomes no end to it. However, saying that I am into the “taste not, touch not” business is quite a stretch. Makes me wonder in what other ways you get elastic with the Scriptures. You don’t “see” this in Jesus, my brother? How about “Everyone who looks on a woman to lust for her has committed adultery with her already in his heart.” Clearly, this was a huge deal to Him. And, as one of our commenters has said, show me one time in the Scriptures Jesus is alone with a woman inside a house. It’s outside in the open air, and I said as much by quoting Dr. Ed Young (Houston’s Second Baptist Church) that he counsels out in the middle of the sanctuary following a service, if he does so at all. — Let me lay this to rest by saying, “Are you and your friends not paying attention to the epidemic of adultery among ministers today? Does this not matter to you?” That’s all I’m attempting, here, to help some godly young just-starting-out ministers make it all the way home intact. Thanks for your note, Brother Dan.

  11. Bro Joe, Great advice. Many young pastors have seen ministries and marriages destroyed when things might be a bit strained at home and someone comes to them for help who is having trouble at home. It’s like matches and gasoline if not properly handled. Proper boundaries as a matter of ethical protocol are the right thing to do. we are admonished to “avoid the very appearance of evil.” I complimented the work of a children’s director as it was her first staff experience and she was doing a great job. Before you knew it, there were hints of something “amiss.” Nothing further from the truth (happily married for 34 years), but the cloud was placed by the grapevine which was all some less mature in the faith needed to shatter their trust. BTW pastor, you may never be told, but the damage is still done. We must truly be careful. Not a matter of weak faith- just common sense.
    thanks Bro Joe

  12. Joe, I really appreciate this post. I’ll paste a story I put on my Facebook page a few days ago:

    David Robinson is a retired NBA player (center for the San Antonio Spurs). He won the most valuable player award (MVP) in 1995 and is considered one of the greatest centers of all time. Robinson is a professing Christian who carefully guarded his marriage/testimony during the temptation-filled years as a professional athlete. He was known for being standoffish with female fans, refusing to engage them in lengthy conversations. Some considered this rude and questioned him about it. Here’s how he responded: “If any woman is going to get her feelings hurt, it’s not going to be my wife.”

    Here’s a rule Andy Stanley keeps:
    “I don’t get in a car with a woman. I don’t share a meal with a woman. I am never alone with a woman. I don’t talk about anything personal with a woman.”

    I know pastors in smaller church settings may be even more vulnerable since they are called on to do more counseling (with women). Thanks for sharing your advice on that as well.

  13. Dear Dr. Joe,
    I appreciate your thoughtful discussion on boundaries between a minister and a female member of his congregation. Boundaries show respect for both parties and offer that “hedge of protection” so often needed against the gossipers and pot-stirrers. I have never been made to feel that I am the enemy just because I am female and the minister observes the boundaries. In fact, observing boundary lines does just the opposite – it reinforces the fact that I am respected (as is his wife!) and I never have to feel awkward in the minister’s presence. Finally, observing the boundaries allows the focus to be clearly on God’s message and work, with nothing blurring the view.

  14. Dear Pastor, Thank you very much for writing this. Your advice, although specifically written for pastors, can also be applicable to lay persons. There is so much wisdom and practical advice in this. Please don’t let anybody tell you or convince you otherwise. We are all commanded to “flee” from evil, and not to linger for a while to think about our options. In the face of great temptations, some people think there is no other option but to give in and then just worry later about how to avoid detection and consequences.

    May the Lord continue to use you in your ministry. God bless you! 🙂

  15. Great word brother. I minister to women regularly as in Africa many husbands die young for a variety of reasons. Having another older trusted female Saint or brother with you for counseling allows you accomplish anything for the Kingdom counseling alone can without the pitfalls. I know many men with the Holy Spirit that still fell as a result of not following your advise. Those that take issue with you on this wise advice will find their theories sorry comfort for the man fallen into adultery with someone he originally just wanted to council. Yes Jesus was alone with the woman at the well outside at a very public place. For all we know others were coming and going watering sheep or more than likely it was a frequented path. Yes he was alone with the woman caught in the act of adultery after the mob left. He said go and sin no more. And that is all that is recorded. I see nothing in Jesus ministry that indicates he spent time alone with anyone in particular. Thank you for your wise council.

  16. Great word brother. I minister to women regularly as in Africa many husbands die young for a variety of reasons. Having another older trusted female Saint or brother with you for counseling allows you accomplish anything for the Kingdom counseling alone can without the pitfalls. I know many men with the Holy Spirit that still fell as a result of not following your advise. Those that take issue with you on this wise advice will find their theories sorry comfort for the man fallen into adultery with someone he originally just wanted to council. Yes Jesus was alone with the woman at the well outside at a very public place. For all we know others were coming and going watering sheep or more than likely it was a frequented path. Yes he was alone with the woman caught in the act of adultery after the mob left. He said go and sin no more. And that is all that is recorded. I see nothing in Jesus ministry that indicates he spent time alone with anyone in particular. Thank you for your wise council.

  17. Thank you Pastor Joe, for this timely article. It addresses a pervasive issue in our churches. I have a question, however. I also read your other article, “7 Women to Watch Out For …” Both articles emphasize married men and the importance of safeguarding their marriages. What about single pastors and church leaders? I assume the need for purity is just as great? Is the urgency of the boundaries/safeguards the same? Is the list of do’s and don’ts the same for those who are unmarried?

  18. Joe,

    Great resource. I’ve noticed that the folks against what you have to say are mainly females, and do not understand the male mind as well as you or I.

    1 Timothy 3:2 – “Now the overseer is to be above reproach…”

    The devil is crafty, and he will use any ammunition or weak point in our armor he can find to destroy us and shed doubt on our ministry. I’m determined not to give him the opportunity.

    One practice that may be helpful to others, is if I am speaking with an attractive woman, I will bring up the subject of my wife, and how much I love her/how much fun we have together, etc… I also make it a regular habit when preaching and in crowd situations to talk about her and her importance to me. Let other women know that you are off limits before anything has a chance to start.

    • I personally feel that a lot of Pastors and their wives are viewing single women negatively without actually saying it. I have felt uncomfortable by past pastors, wives, deacons and their wives, this is why I feel more comfortable attending a church headed by a female Pastor where i am not treated as though i have a plague become I am single. Doesnt anyone realize that most single women are not desperate are have no interest in anyones husbands or Pastors, married or single? Isnt it quite possible that we are not interested in them by, no means? We are also trying to seek the Lord in Peace and not looking for A Piece. I feel that, all this negative energy is being focused towards the single women from those who are harbouring their own insecurities! Once again, Pastors/Deacons/Wives of …, we do not want you, we are not interested in you or yours. If you cannot control your urges, please dont accuse us, of being Harlets, etc. Yes, I do feel that the silent treatment and underlined fears of most churches and their members is a form of sex decriminalization, and it is wrong. I, dont like feeling uncomfortable in churches and not wanting to participate in functions because someone is attracted to me while I have no clue that you even exist. Stop it!!

  19. Joe,
    Thank you for the words concerning this…I am a Pastor (past Youth Minister) and have been careful concerning my relationships and interactions. Yours is wise advice. I heard Billy Graham say the same things about this because he would rather err on the side of caution rather than hurt the cause of Christ first and then his relationship with his wife and family next. I experienced this personally a long time ago. I was a football coach at a Christian school, with our 1st child on the way, and we had a big win one Friday night. I was walking off the field and from my rear where I could not do anything about it, one of our cheerleaders jumped on my back and was celebrating the win. I quickly asked her to get off my back and she did. This lasted about 15-20 seconds. When I got home after the game, my wife asked me, “what is this I am hearing about you and the cheerleader who jumped on your back after the game?” Someone saw this little incident and the rumors started flying. I even got called into the principals office the next Monday morning and confronted about this. All this happened quickly and I shudder to think what would have happened to my relationship with God, the damage to the kingdom of God, my wife, kids, and family, and my career and my future as a Youth Minister and now Pastor if any of this had been true. So, you are correct in we Pastors/Ministers need to be careful. The Bible clearly states that the devil is around roaming looking to kill, steal and destroy. We have got to be careful. I will gladly err on this side of caution rather than take a chance at destroying my life over “ministry” and I think it would be wise if all Pastors/Leaders and Christians did the same. To pretend to know all about the situations Jesus was in, put that into our lives and pretend to be able to conduct ourselves exactly like him is and can be fatal because first, we are not perfect and sinless like Jesus and second, Proverbs tells us to guard our hearts which is the wellspring of our lives. We would be wise to take the advice of the Scripture and other wise men who have walked before us. Thanks again for the words.

  20. Thank you so much for these words. 🙂 It’s amazing to me how naive women can be about the struggles men have (read For Women Only, ladies!), and wonderful to see godly men taking great care to honor both their own wives and the other women in the church. I know that I, for one, would feel pretty weird if either of my pastors gave me a hug!

  21. Bro. Joe, my grandson is new in the ministry and I would like for him to read this article. After fifty six years in the pastoral ministry, I am thankful to be able to say that I have never been accused of improper actions involving money or morals. One of my rules was: I tell my wife everything such as where I am going, who I was with, and etc. If a person did not want my wife to know something, then they should not tell me. Keep these good writings coming!

  22. thank God for this…..the very scar we had, was there because we allow God to work in us….stay on ur guard against all form of sin…..the coming of the is at hand.

  23. I agree with brother Joe on this 100%. My husband follows these rules in his job and in his church ministry(young adults) and I LOVE him for following those rules!!!

  24. I really enjoyed this article! I find it to be biblical because King Solomon has so much to say about to this in Proverbs. I like what he says, “He did not know it would cost his life.” Proverbs 7:23. Keep ministering to pastors.

  25. I recently lost my beloved mother, I found her dead in her chair on that dreadful day, my brother has been no help since her death I had to take her ashes up to Liverpool with my daughter and he is now only interested in the money to be made from the sale of her bungalow.

    All this has left me very low and my local pastor invited me to talk to him about it , I have seen him twice now and find it helpful to talk. However, he recently told me that he has to protect himself and needs his wife there when I visit. Whilst I understand to a point his feelings this has left me feeling as though he does not trust me, it never occurred to me to do anything untoward and now I feel that I have to l stop the counselling sesssions as by saying this he has added to my anxiety which is the last thing I need and I certainly don’t want him to feel awkward. I wish that everyone was not looked at as a temptresss, there are some of us who genuinely need a friend to talk to.

  26. My sister, I really feel for you. God will take care of you. But you know, we Ministers have the onerous responsibity to take care of seemingly innocent little foxes that possesses the potentials to destroy our tender vines. If you cannot discourse in the presense of his wife with him, then I think you better quit before your action sends another GOD’S GENERAL to hell & out of Ministry. Pastor JOE is doing a great job. Thank GOD for him.

  27. This article must be circulated to all Pastors, you will be amazed the impact it will have in so many ministries. The time where in is evil, rescue the Pastors now, young Pastors need all the help and resources to say holy.

  28. Thank you and God bless you for sharing this. I’ve been noticing a trend of pastors and “men of God” falling into sexual sin. In my research for pastor’s confessions and different articles, I found this blog article and have truly been blessed. Thank you for sharing your God-given wisdom. I pray that God continues to keep you and lead you according to His will and His alone.

  29. Dr. Joe, thank u for the courage. Many ministers will never talk about it. Why? They are neck deep into immorality. We need more of this. May God help us to tread on the path of caution (even if to a fault). Alot are living the rest of their lives in regrets for crossing these boundaries. God bless u.

  30. Presumably the pastor in your title is male, right? Very Godly advice not only to male pastors, but also to all church leaders and Christian men. Thank you for speaking truth and God bless!

  31. Protect from sexual sin, yes. But will generalised rules really have the power to stop lust? It seems like these would just hinder meaningful friendship between men and women from forming.

  32. I read the article and the comments. I found it interesting that the biggest naysayers to your sound advice were women who called themselves “pastors”.

    Perhaps if these women were to examine their “calling ” in light of Scripture and get that right, then they might be in a position to better understand the issues that you raised in your article.

  33. I understand many of these rules, and they make perfect sense. However, what do you do with the fatherless teenage girl who desperately needs a wholesome hug from a caring man?

  34. Pingback: The pastor and inappropriate interactions with women in the church

  35. God bless you immensely Pastor Joe!
    I am a female pastor, I can boldly tell you [as in confess], that this is vice versa!
    This has got to do likewise with female pastors, we are not exempt. Can’t begin to recount the temptations.
    Please ignore the ignorant talkg here, we the ministers of God hear you loud and clear.

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