Everywhere we turn, sexuality is in the news. More than ever, this issue is coming to bear on the Christian church. Regardless their context for ministry, Christian leaders need proficiency for addressing sexual integrity, sexual indiscretion and sexual integrity recovery, both in their own lives and in the lives of others they lead.
Last week, LifeWay Pastors posted a series of four articles I wrote from the concepts presented in my latest book, Unburdened: The Christian Leader’s Path to Sexual Integrity. They were designed to give Christian leaders a practical paradigm through which to apply a grace-filled sexual ethic to the biggest challenge facing the Church. Here’s a brief summary of each of the articles:
When Sexual Integrity Crashes at Your Church – A Pastor’s Response: Senior executive leadership can set a healthy tone within their organizations toward favorable outcomes when (not if) such situations arise among other leaders within their ranks. Included are three suggestions for a grace-filled response, along with two responses that will ensure more harm than good.
A Pastor’s Response to Failing Morally: Christian leaders caught in some level of sexual sin need real encouragement and practical first steps for walking away from the darkness and towards the Light. Disclosure is a scary but necessary part of this journey. “How” and “with whom” are very important considerations for such leaders.
Personal Sexual Purity and Pastoral Integrity: Successfully contending for our sexual integrity is a matter of changing the paradigm from “whether we struggle” to “how we struggle”. Sin is optional, but contending for integrity is something we all have to do at some level. Daily awareness and “pre-planning” – along with a heart surrendered to the Lord and a few carefully-chosen others in authentic community – significantly increase our ability to walk out our values rather than our impulses.
Counseling those Struggling with Sexual Integrity and Purity: Supporting others on their integrity and recovery journeys requires an intentional focus on genuine relationship more than behavioral perfection. Three types of situations are discussed, along with three deeper realities we must never forget if we’re going to effectively help others see the bigger God picture in their recovery stories.