We are all familiar with the headlines of yet another breaking story of a pastor who has fallen victim to sexual sin. Though it is not surprising anymore, it is still a subject that raise eyebrows.
No one is immune to sexual temptation. It doesn’t matter what your job is, how old you are, or how much time you spend with Jesus each day. As the world has witnessed from the President of the United States to the most prominent pastors in the country. We all have the potential to fall sexually.
While it’s not unusual to have a stressful job, there are five unique aspects of a ministry position that make him/her more vulnerable to opening the door to sexual temptation.
1. The pastorate is a place of power – Whether the minister knows it or not, or is using it or not, he has great influence over others. The minister may not even realize the power he has over others. The Pastor is an authority figure. He is looked upon as one with great power, and charisma. One who has the power to mend lives that are damaged and bring hope. I have met many pastors who admit, that if they did not occupy the position of power that they do; they would not be getting any attention. Women are not attracted to the man per se, but to his power, position, and even his anointing and gift.
2. Ministers are often isolated and unaccountable for their actions – Ministers spend large amounts of time alone. Many don’t have a set schedule or a structured day. They don’t have to clock in and out of work, and don’t usually have church leaders asking them accountability questions. Isolation and lack of accountability are seedbeds for disaster.
3. Ministers have few people they can share their deepest struggles with – It’s hard for a minister to be transparent. His closest relationships are usually church people, and he doesn’t want to share his deeply with parishoners. Neither does he share his personal or sexual struggles or sexual struggles with other ministers, for fear he might lose his job.
4. Ministers frequently feed off the approval of others – Ministers can be approval addicts. Their identities can revolve around the attention and comments of others. A minister’s well-being, if it is unhealthy, rises and falls with every “Good sermon” or “Sister Jones is mad at you.” Not only are broken church members looking for attention, but so are broken ministers. Sexual tension in a minister / parishioner relationship is powerful and deadly. It pushes the button of an approval addict and the needy church member and can quickly lead to disaster.