Over the years, our team at Cooke Media Group has advised numerous churches and ministry organizations on how to recover from a pastor or other key ministry leader’s adultery. While I recommend excellent counselors and spiritual advisors to help the couple involved in the infidelity as well as their families, the goal for our team is to focus on the church – how do they communicate the story to the congregation and community? Do they release a media statement? How do they handle critics or local media? How do they recover?
As I discuss in my new book “Maximizing Your Influence: How to Make Digital Media Work for Your Church, Your Ministry, and You,” in a digital, online world, how we respond in a crisis is more important than ever.
That’s why I was fascinated at the poll recently released by Lifeway Research based on how long a pastor who commits adultery should withdraw from ministry.
While it’s a complex question and there are more issues at stake than this survey dealt with (like should a pastor who comes back start a new church in the area?) I think you’ll find it interesting to see how the opinions break down across denominational, ethnic, and theological lines.
Check out the study. As I say in my book – in today’s distracted, digital, media-driven culture, it’s not a matter of IF your church will experience a crisis, it’s a matter of WHEN.