Question – Dealing with Adultery

I am sure many of you out there have dealt with this before and I have a feeling I will come across this in my ministry. In order to work through it before it happens I would love some help thinking this out.

Here is the proposed situation and please tell me how you would handle it. You have a youth worker who you find out, through 2nd or 3rd person and which is not public what so ever, had an affair with another youth worker two to three years ago. One of the youth workers have moved churches and the other is still working with the youth. You don’t know if their relationship is still going or not. The YW who stayed also holds other positions of leadership in the church, such as committee chairs. What do you as the pastor do?

Do you keep that person in the leadership and influential roles that person has? Should that person be leading youth, or other committees? Where does repentance, forgiveness, and love for the youth worker come in to your relationship with that person? How do you, as the pastor handle the situation?

Just thought I would toss that one out there to get your minds away from General Conference.

5 thoughts on “Question – Dealing with Adultery

  1. Please pardon me if I’m being pedantic.Do you mean fornication? (Sex between unmarried adults.)Or adultery? (Sex where at least one is married.)I’m not trying to be a pain, but if it is adultery, then I think the state of the relationship at the moment is an issue.If you mean fornication, then it is interesting that you bring this up, as I was just wondering yesterday why we spend so much time vexed over homosexuality when we live in a world that celebrates and shouts about how great fornication is.I’ll have to do some actual thinking to answer your question, though.


  2. I would take the time to talk with the couple. I would remove them from leadership (especially if it is adultery). I have treated each instance with care and compassion, as well as dealt with it as an individual situation.


  3. I think care and compassion are of the utmost importance in a situation like this. But to ask further, what is the reasoning behind taking them out of leadership role…because of the sin? because they are not a good role model? just probing further.cometothewaters – I was thinking of adultery when I wrote this question but would it change the answer if it was fornication? I think if you have a single or divorsed youth worker who was known to have sex with someone else, that would also need some discussion.


  4. Rev J, the big difference to me is that in adultery there is a spouse somewhere who has also been hurt/betrayed.I suppose I see adultery as involving more people – and therefore more complicated.I agree that in any situation it requires some discussion.In either event, the youth worker should have known – and been told – that his or her position calls for exemplary personal conduct. I would want to minister to the youth worker in this situation, but also not have the person lead the youth, for at least an interim period.My reason for removing the person – even if the transgression is not public – is because it displays a rather bad breach of trust and responsibility. That calls for a period of reflection at the very least. My thoughts in the abstract.John


  5. “My reason for removing the person – even if the transgression is not public – is because it displays a rather bad breach of trust and responsibility. That calls for a period of reflection at the very least.”I like how you put that. I think that when a person is placed in a leadership role they are held even more accountable. Leaders are people we are to look up to who we see as examples to follow. You are excatly right that this is a breach in trust and time away from that leadership role to reflect is necessary.


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