the Hope of Survivors

Take Precautions!

Proactive/protective steps to avoid sin:

1. Do you have an accountability partner or group and do you meet with them regularly and honestly? (This is critically important for pastors who do any serious counseling at all.)

2. Do you leave the office door open or the window in it uncovered?

3. Do you keep your desk between you and your counselee? Physical distance between you and the counselee is very important for her security and comfort, and for enabling you to resist any improper contact. Close personal proximity is not necessary for healing.

4. Avoid even casual physical contacts. We recommend not even shaking hands with counselees of the opposite sex. You can make them feel safe, comfortable, and welcome without physical contact.

5. Ideally, men should counsel with men, women should counsel with women. This is not always possible. Teaming up with a trusted and professional partner who can assist the male pastor when meeting female counselees, is a good idea. If the counselee is unwilling to meet with the pastor along with his designated partner, it may be time to refer.

6. Never assume a self-concept of sexual invincibility. Given the wrong circumstances, every pastor is vulnerable to temptation, sin and the abuse of power.

The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart...Psalms 34:18