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What every Church Leader needs to know
The pressures in pastoral work are many and varied, the pressures of the work are also increasing, and to some, thinking about abuse is just another pressure among many. I would like to suggest why priority should be given to the whole area of abuse and why the church must take up its proper role in our society.
Abuse damages lives - the life of the person, the lives of their family, the life of the church and community and the life of the abuser. Jesus came to give life. He said, "I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full." (John 10:10)
Abuse not only robs people of life to the full but stunts fullness of life within the church.
Abuse destroys growth - both in the individual and the church.
Abuse kills community - breeding mistrust and self-preservation.
Abuse is a tool of our adversary who comes to rob, to destroy and to kill. Jesus said "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy" (John 10:10). The role of the church is to stand against the the devil's schemes (Ephesians 6:11). We therefore must give priority to, and take our stand against abuse, otherwise we are in danger of appearing like the Priest and the Levite of the Good Samaritan story.
The Role of the Church
I have never seen the church as the tail that society wags, but rather as a light that leads especially in the area of ethics and morality. Surely the role of the church is to lead in caring for the needs of others and to bring protection to the more vulnerable within our society.
I believe the church has a special place in today's society which makes it ideally positioned to take up the roles that few either can, or will.
I believe the role of the church is reflected in the actions of the Good Samaritan as told by Jesus in Luke 10:
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