We have a policy at Crossroads that says the following; you may not be alone with a person of the opposite sex in a car, closed office or anywhere other people cannot see you at the church or while working for the church.
We installed windows in each of our Directors and Pastors doors, with the rest of the staff being in an open cubicle setting.
Extreme? I don’t think so.
As leaders we must constantly stay aware and scrutinize each situation in our ministry with extreme care. Obviously if someone is determined to sin, they will, but I believe we are called to be wise and protect the flock to the best of our ability.
My husband and I recently talked to another ministry where a pastor was accused of sin with a woman who attends his ministry. Closed office door, no windows and no assistant to vouch for him. He is defenseless in the eyes of the world. He may be innocent and probably is, but we will never be completely sure. So why take the chance?
One of the areas this scenario can most easily happen in is within the worship team. People come on ‘off nights’ for rehearsals, linger, talk, they enjoy musical ability in common; so we ruthlessly keep our eyes open, with zero tolerance of even a bad appearance as much as possible.
Some of you may be thinking that we are paranoid. I don’t think we can ever be too careful in this area of sin. God needs leaders who are willing to lead strongly and unwilling to overlook potential problems.
My pastors have told me many times how much they value my intuition. That has not always been the case, there was a time I was quite naive. If I do have intuition, what it really is, is awareness straight from God, and I learned to be alert the hard way. At my previous church, where I played keyboards and sang, a married, Godly (at least from what I could tell) man followed me after practice into a basement of the church. He leaned in close and just talked, but, I knew if I gave him even an inch he would take a mile. So I immediately left and got in my car. I avoided him after that, and he didn’t pursue me or make me feel uncomfortable again, so I never told the worship leader.
As the leader of any area of the church, I would encourage you to take responsibility no matter how much of a hurry you are in, to escort everyone out of the church and watch them leave, before you go. And NEVER let yourself be alone with a member of the opposite sex.
This is a sinful world, and we as leaders are responsible to protect our teams to the best of our ability from falling into sin. I would encourage each of you to take a hard look at your policies and see where there may be cracks just waiting to hide a sin from view.