Facing Messy Stuff in the Church (Case Studies for Pastors and Congregations)

by Glen H. Jones

As long as we have humans who are members of churches we will have "messy" situations that involve one or more of the church body. Kenneth L. Swetland interviewed fifteen pastors of churches from different denominations to gather input about difficult problems in their churches. One could wish that this book provided easy answers to messy church situations. That, however, is not the case. There are no easy answers to sinful situations. Pastors and church leaders must evaluate each problem and weigh possible solutions with spiritual wisdom and scriptural teachings.

The author provides a brief overview on fourteen difficult human and church problems. Most of these problems touch on human sexuality—sexual harassment, divorce, pornography, AIDS, adultery, child molestation, sexual deviation, abortion, and miscarriages. Other problems arise too: depression, gambling, suicide, alcohol abuse, and murder.

In each scenario Swetland lays out the problem, discusses its ramifications for the individual and the
congregation, and provides discussion that pastors and church leaders can consider for possible resolutions.

These case studies can be used as teaching tools, and the writer includes a teaching appendix. The teacher serves as a facilitator that allows the participants to arrive at possible solutions. While the group may not be able to agree on a solution that satisfies everyone, discussions provide one avenue for pastors and other church leaders to face messy situations in the church.

Target: Pastors, Church Leaders

Type:   Church Problems

Take:     Recommended

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