Please take the time to read the recently posted Fighting Pedophilia in the Church: A Special Ops Ministry by Jimmy Hinton. Also his’ earlier articles:
and this video —
Jimmy is a full time minister at the Somerset Church of Christ in Somerset, PA. He speaks to churches about child sex abuse, after allegations arose that his father was sexually abusing children. His dad is serving a 30-60 year prison sentence for sex crimes against young children.
And http://churchprotect.org, the website of Jimmy’s nonprofit organization that works with churches to avoid and, when necessary, deal with pedophiles among their leadership and membership.
Sexual sin by church leaders is an astonishingly common problem. Prevention is the smart choice, and this includes spending some time periodically training church leaders: elders, deacons, ministers, and ministry leaders on the problem and the congregation’s child abuse policies (which you need to have) and reminding those in responsible positions how very serious and common these problems are. Make sure your child protection policies are up to date and being followed.
One of the greatest barriers to protecting the church from sexual predators is the fact that the other church members are our friends. And just as embezzlers are always trusted employees (the employees we don’t trust aren’t in a position to steal), sexual predators at church are often (around 80%!) among the leaders in the church (others have far fewer opportunities). Therefore, allegations of abuse often result in a “blame the victim” mentality and desperate attempts to defend the accused rather than the scriptural obligations leaders have to protect the flock.
Therefore, in such cases, it’s a good idea to bring in an objective outsider to help the church work through a tragically difficult situation — as well as making sure the church meets its legal obligations to report suspected abuse.