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Response from a Pastor who is leading his congregation through a moral failure of a staff member...

Thanks for checking in.

Things are going OK, well in some ways, weary in every way.

Over the last several weeks we’ve learned more and more about what our former staff member did at the church. He got caught up in day trading stocks and apparently tried to dig himself out of numerous holes by continuing to do illegal things at church, out in the communities, and especially online. He’s gotten himself in a mess, but apparently the single charge against him right now is all they are looking at. He’s done so much more as we’ve learned from him and through our own investigation.

The posture of our church leadership has remained consistent. We are approaching this from a biblical church discipline perspective. Our brother has sinned and we will do all that we can to help reclaim him, and restore him, through both grace and truth. I continue to meet with him.

We are continuing to provide daily meals to his family, paying compensation and insurance benefits for the next three months, including counseling.

We are trying to figure out what restitution will look like. He stole tens of thousands of dollars from the church alone. We still do not believe that we should pursue legal action against him for his crimes at church. We don’t want to run away from God’s refining purposes for him, but nor do we want to be seekers of the world’s justice. If the law enforcement investigation comes our way, we will be truthful. But he has a young wife with two little kids. I can’t see how it benefits anyone if the church is the one who exacts justice.

If God is big enough to shake the jail after a prayer meeting then He is big enough to discipline His wayward children in ways He sees fit. This journey has been tough - no doubt about it.

But my sense is that Satan picked the wrong church to try to destroy. I am confident that God will use our church to make much of Him in our community. I am also confident that God will strengthen His church. I also believe that God will reclaim my friend and restore him.

Any wisdom? Please keep praying. I know you will.

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