Why Pastors Leave • Abuse in the Evangelical Church • Church Embezzler Barred: News Roundup
    This week’s headlines that affect churches and church leaders.
    Why Pastors Leave • Abuse in the Evangelical Church • Church Embezzler Barred: News Roundup

    Survey Reveals Insights into Why Pastors Leave. “A recent study by LifeWay Research points to ways churches can encourage pastors to stay in the ministry, said Ed Stetzer, Executive Director of the Nashville-based research organization. ‘Almost half of those who left the pastorate said their church wasn’t doing any of the kinds of things that would help,’ Stetzer said. ‘Having clear documents, offering a sabbatical rest, and having people help with weighty counseling cases are key things experts tell us ought to be in place.’ . . . Trouble begins early, the survey indicates, with 48 percent of the former pastors saying the search team didn’t accurately describe the church before their arrival. Their churches were unlikely to have a list of counselors for referrals (27 percent), clear documentation of the church’s expectations of its pastor (22 percent), a sabbatical plan for the pastor (12 percent), a lay counseling ministry (9 percent), or a support group for the pastor’s family (8 percent). Forty-eight percent say their church had none of these” (“Former Pastors Report Lack of Support Led to Abandoning Pastorate,” LifeWayResearch.com).

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    “The largest sexual abuse scandal to hit the evangelical church.” “The story behind a sex-abuse scandal at an evangelical megachurch near Washington, D.C., . . . the 'The Fall of a Mega Church' [in the Washingtonian] details what some have called 'the largest sexual abuse scandal to hit the evangelical church.'
    . . .
    “A class action lawsuit accusing [C.J.] Mahaney and other Sovereign Grace leaders of covering up sexual abuse of children was dismissed by a trial court because Maryland law requires sex abuse victims to file lawsuits within three years of turning 18.
    . . .
    “Various families quoted in the article said church leaders recommended that allegations of child sex abuse be handled internally through a Bible-prescribed reconciliation process rather than turned over to secular authorities, something Sovereign Grace Ministries has denied” (“Tale of evangelical sex scandal hits Washington newsstands,” BaptistNews.com).

    The Reducing the Risk Leader’s Starter Kit helps churches protect against the number one reason they end up in court: child sexual abuse.

    SEC Bars Church Embezzler from Financial Industry. “A former registered representative with Investors Capital has been barred from the financial industry for his part in a criminal scheme to take over a Boston, Massachusetts, church, the Securities and Exchange Commission announced Wednesday. Michael T. Snedeker of Waltham, Massachusetts, previously pled guilty in Federal District Court in Boston to criminal charges of defrauding the IRS by not paying taxes on money he and friends skimmed off of funds of the Swedenborgian Church in Boston. He was sentenced to 36 months’ probation and ordered to pay $119,000 in restitution. He and his co-conspirator convinced the church board of directors to appoint him property manager for rental property the church owned, even though he had no property management experience. In the process, he was paid excessively for the work he was allegedly doing and paid kickbacks to those who got him the job, the SEC says” (“Church Scheme Gets Broker Barred from Financial Industry,” Financial Advisor).

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