I was only 15 when I first thought about going into the ministry. In light of the fact that I hadn’t grown up in church, and my mind was filled with sex (isn’t that what 15 means?), it was a unique spiritual dynamic. Still, it was at that age I received what is considered a “call” in the church world. That was a long time ago, but isn’t it interesting I talk about a call to the ministry and sex in the same breath?
As I look back upon it I never really really veered from that direction for the next thirty years. Wait, am I talking about my call to the ministry or a mind filled with sex? Sometimes I wonder if they aren’t the same thing. Uh oh. We are headed for trouble here.
Since I’m in the distant past I might as well go down those ancient streets. I remember wondering what it would be like if I really did become a minister as I pursued an education in that direction. I became acutely aware of how clergy were perceived in the world around me. Remember the televangelists' scandals? Jim Bakker. Jimmy Swaggart. Famous T.V. preachers who not-so-euphemistically got caught with their pants down.
I’m not sure what the numbers were, what the cause and effect formula was or who exactly is to blame, but I do know that church attendance has declined significantly in my lifetime and the dignity and respect of clergy has gone with it and lots of people roll their eyes when the subject comes up.
You see, it didn’t stop with headlines. Almost anyone close to the church knows of some story where sexual scandal and church got into their world. This minister did this. That priest did that. The volunteer who disappeared with rumors following did what?
Just this week I talked to a man who is a generous donor on my support team at Standing Stone Ministry. He’s a deacon in his church and takes meals to Seniors during this pandemic called Corona. He was telling me about the background checks he had to go through to volunteer to take meals to seniors.
So today we brought in an expert uniquely qualified to speak to this subject. Sex, Church, and Ministers. Oh my.
Welcome to Church Hurts And Rev. Ned Beadel.