Tuesday, June 9, 2009

A Few More Thoughts About That

I've been thinking about That all day...not like every second, because I did have a great day with my wife and daughter...but it's been, at least, on the back of my mind all day. Maybe getting a few more thoughts down on paper may help me to move on and focus. Again, although this is related to the particular situation that went down this past weekend, I'm trying to think and write in generalities that will help me keep my nose clean.

> I have no idea why any man in church leadership (or in any leadership outside the church, for that matter) would invite a woman to be his "personal assistant". If a pastor absolutely needs a personal assistant, isn't the obvious choice to invite a guy? Beyond all of the sexual crap that can be avoided, church leaders should be looking for opportunities to mentor younger men, and what better way to do so than to have a personal assistant (maybe that's what we used to call "disciples"?) at your side? Not to mention, I couldn't imagine having the guts to tell my wife that I'd just hired a woman to spend hours a week "assisting" me in my ministry...yikes!

> I must be so careful how I communicate with the opposite sex, especially via the internet. Again, big screw ups don't happen overnight, and often, in this modern culture, they begin and are fueled via online communication. Whether email, twitter, facebook, texting, etc., I've got to be willing to limit who I communicate with on a very personal level and how I communicate with them. I know some church leaders who even have a personal policy not to have any facebook friends who are young, single females, just to avoid all appearances and temptations of evil. As a former, single, college student, I know how easy it is to flirt, even "innocently", with the opposite sex online...not something I want to even come close to as a married man. If my wife wants to look at my facebook private messages, I shouldn't have anything to hide.

> I must be incredibly careful how I talk about the opposite sex, especially via the internet. Living "above reproach" means that I don't give anyone any reason to doubt my character should a rumor or slanderous piece of gossip start going around about me. If I'm ever accused of anything morally questionable, I never want anyone to be able to say in honesty that they heard or read me say/write something innappropriate about a woman. If you ever hear me say that any woman is "hot", I'd better be talking about my wife.

> I have got to learn how to kill (ie. let God kill) my ego if I'm going to be in ministry. Again, if I'm ever accused of anything, I don't want arrogant and insensitive things I've said and written (and the stuff I say and write comes out of my heart and mind) to come back and give people reason to question me further. From emails, to twitter updates, to blog comments, I've got to learn to say everything with love and grace and encouragement, even if what I'm saying comes from great conviction. Transparency can be a good thing, but not if my heart is always filled with ego and pride.

Thanks for listening...I think I can get to sleep now...



David Wilson said...

Great post, Nate.

melissam2 said...

Well, mostly women are hired into these roles because the nature of the work is "secretarial," and not, generally, of interest to men.

I've been on the staff of two churches,and in both cases, the pastor had a female assistant - only MUCH older, and not eye candy ;>)

Ego seems to be at the center of so many of these situations.

We also need to be in prayer for the family of the woman involved. In so many cases, there is spiritual support and adoration for the pastor, but none for the other family that gets left devastated in the aftermath.

Kristan said...

this is all really true and great to read...for all Christian men, not just those in ministry!

Tammy said...

great post Nathan. After your first post to twitter last night I read this man's entire blog and looked at all the pics he had ever put up on twitter, I think--so much of what he had ever posted is so very questionable for any man who is called of God. I was actually embarrassed by some of what he wrote and some of the pictures that contained alocohol products... Let's just say that I don't think I would ever attend his church..and it made me wonder if his congregation had access to his blogs or twitter account.....

Thanks for feeling as if you must remain above reproach---this is what my pastor says ALL Christians must be..above reproach....


Andy Lawrenson said...

I have known 3, personally, who have gone down in the past couple of years and destroyed what God was using them to do. Then you add the countless others I read about or see on the news.

My personal assistant is my wife. No she's not on the payroll.

I have 188 personal messages in my facebook account because I don't erase any that come from students or the opposite sex.

We have to put up the guardrails and keep them there.

Thom said...

im no big shot or anything, but i'm with Andy on that my wife is my one and only "personal assistant" as was inteded by God in the first place.

i am so fortunate to have her, not just for my sake, but for the sake of the ministry that we serve in together.

Jeff T. said...

I'm with you on this stuff, man. I don't know how nobody sounded the alarm when there was talk of him having a female assistant who was obviously attractive enough to have an affair with.

I agree that men should have male assistants. I don't care that it's considered "woman's work" in church culture. It should be a discipleship position and an entry point into ministry for young leaders.

Can we just make this a rule for all churches?

CFHusband said...

thanks for your comments, all. Just remember, my goal is to avoid talking much about this pastor and his failings and look more at me and how God can help me avoid the same.

Rick Lawrenson said...

Underlying all this failure is an attitude that only compounds other carnal temptations. It's the attitude that "I'm the man", ie. "I'm the pastor/the guy in charge/the hub of the wheel".

When a young man especially is suddenly overwhelmed with adoration and success (especially after coming from a situation where he saw himself as a failure), keeping pride and ego in check requires transparency and accountability.

My hunch is that neither was practiced, and nothing was questioned.

Bob said...

Your reply is one of the most helpful posts (for me) I've read since the news broke this weekend.

Thanks man!