I ATTENDED A CHURCH LAST WEEK FILLED WITH BROKEN HEARTS...
(this was written before the Charleston tragedy)
Last Sunday I (Jimmy Meeks) woke up early - real early. I wanted to go see my friend Dave who lives in another state. Dave was one of my field training officers 30 years ago when I landed my present job. He has since retired, and leads a team of sheepdogs at his church. He has attended several of our seminars, and is a firm believer in what we teach.
Dave's heart was broken over a tragic event that had just happened at his church. A sexual predator - a volunteer at the church - had been caught in the very act of molesting a child. As the investigation unfolded, it was discovered that SEVERAL OTHER CHILDREN had also been victimized. Two of the children belonged to the pastor. As his wife listened to the horrid details, she vomited...
Dave's church safety team was all over this incident from the beginning. During the morning worship service that I attended last week, the pastor praised Dave and his team several times. The people applauded with great fervor.
There's a footnote to this story worth telling. About two months ago Dave called me and scheduled a Sheepdog Seminar at his church. Carl Chinn and I will be there soon. The seminar was scheduled BEFORE anyone knew about the molestations.
The Lord is fighting for His people. He knows what's coming. Sex crimes are going to explode.
Dave did not know I was coming to worship with him this past Sunday. I just showed up.
I sat there during the worship service and listened to the broken-hearted minister. He had difficulty communicating through his tears. The pain in the church was evident. And it will be a long time before it subsides.
Dave's church had MANY safeguards in place to protect their children. And now they're going to add even more, including an app that allows a parent to log on and view their child while in their class.
Churches must wake up to the threat of pedophiles and sex offenders. Pastors must become more aware of this danger, and ensure that every possible safeguard is in place.
There is much concern with ISIS attacks, terrorist attacks, and active killers. And these are real dangers - and they're bound to happen. But the truth is, sex offenses are through the roof. Churches have got to give this consideration.
A fellow officer of mine told me about a pastor who was confronted about the possibility of a certain man in the church who might have molested some children. The pastor insisted that the man was not guilty, and in an attempt to lend credibility to his words, told the people that he had prayed about it, and God had assured him that the man had done no wrong.
Dear God - have mercy on such foolishness.
You may be part of a thriving church that is having a great impact in your community. Or you may be part of one that's dying on the vine. It doesn't matter. A sex offense can occur anywhere.
Just ask Dave...