Abuse by Clergy or Ministry Leaders Awareness: Resources

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Bulletin Insert / Flyer

The office of Safe Church Ministry has produced this bulletin insert/ flyer called: "Is It Abuse?" to assist churches in identifying some key questions: When is it an affair? When can it be defined as abuse?

The bulletin insert/ flyer may be ordered through Faith Alive by clicking here. 

Webinar

Healthy Boundaries in Ministry Relationships explores how healthy boundaries enhance ministry and how power operates in ministry relationships and how to avoid some common pitfalls that lead to harmful boundary violations.

Helpful Websites

Baylor University: Clergy Sexual Misconduct: Baylor University has studied clergy sexual misconduct to define the scope and nature of the problem so that effective prevention strategies can be found.

FaithTrust Institute: FaithTrust Institute is an organization that focuses on the intersection of faith and domestic and sexual violence. The office of Safe Church Ministry has some of their products, which may be borrowed upon request.

The Hope of SurvivorsDedicated to enabling support, hope and healing for victims of pastoral sexual abuse.

Mennonite Central Committee: The Mennonite Central Committee has a portion of their site devoted to abuse prevention, with many excellent resources.

United Methodist Church: Sexual Ethics: The United Methodist church is committed to preventing misconduct and addressing it when it occurs; this website offers resources to help in understanding and addressing this issue.

Video and Audio Resources

Baylor Clergy Abuse Study: One woman’s story about how clergy abuse can happen; it’s a process of grooming.

Clergy Sexual Abuse of Adults: This is a powerful 3-minute video introduction to Clergy Sexual Abuse

Articles

The Forbidden Zone: The Nature and Prevalence of Clergy Sexual Abuse is a helpful article from Christian Ethics Today, Oct. 2000

Preventing Sexual Misconduct in Youth Ministry

Recommended Books

Playing God: Redeeming the Gift of Power Mixed feelings about power can be a good defense against the misuse of authority. However, this book provides careful thinking and trustworthy examples of disciplined power.

Safe Sanctuaries for Ministers: Reducing the Risk of Abuse in the Church responds to the need to educate clergy concerning basics of ethical practice within their particular leadership role in the church, and help clergy become aware of the potential traps they face

Spiritual Abuse Recovery Dynamic Research on Finding a Place of Wholeness. Author Barbara Orlowski focuses doctoral research on the complex and often neglected topic of spiritual abuse by clergy and lay leaders.

Victim to Survivor: Women Recovering from Clergy Sexual Abuse tells the stories of women who have been sexually abused by Christian ministers; these stories are a gift of truth to the church.

When Pastors Prey: Overcoming Clergy Sexual Abuse of Women (2013, Edited by Valli Boobal Batchelor) is a helpful resource to understand predatory behavior by clergy and how to prevent and respond to such abuse.

Documents and Other Resources

Responding to Abuse: A Toolkit for Churches: This resource will help answer some of the common questions that arise in situations of abuse. 

Safe Church Report to Synod 2016: This report was written by a committee mandated to review and recommend changes to Church Order Articles 82-84 and Their Supplements. It speaks to the issue of reinstatement after sexual misconduct by a church leader. 

Approved Guidelines for Handling Abuse Allegations Against a Church Leader: These guidelines were approved by Synod 2010 as part of their response to a report by the Abuse Victim's Task Force.

Open Letter About Sexual Abuse by a Church Leader: An open letter written by the Safe Church Ministry director.

Power and the Christian: by Diana R. Garland and Vicki Marsh Kabat. Scripture study for individuals or groups designed to help Christians and congregations wrestle with the use of power.

Scenarios for Discussion

Joyce & Pastor Eric - Boundaries
Judy & Deacon Sean - Believe me
Bible Story Discussion - Tamar

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