A couple mornings ago I heard a report on the radio that the number of companies hosting a company holiday party has decreased this year in comparison to past years. What made this news memorable was one of the speculations as to why? It wasn’t necessarily about economics. One of the reasons offered for this drop was in reaction to the #MeToo movement that grew out of the sexual misconduct scandals. It appears that companies are becoming more concerned about potential lawsuits that might result from inappropriate behaviors that typically happen at such parties, often after hours with generous amounts of alcohol involved.
Most of us in the church welcome this prospect of less alcohol flowing and fewer resulting incidences of inappropriate behavior as encouraging news. It’s certainly a step in the right direction. Most CGGC Christmas parties aren’t known for copious amounts of alcohol or raucous behavior. Our CGGC Office Christmas party will go on as planned without much need for concern.
While our Christmas parties may not need much attention, there are still troubling matters that we need to address. Have you ever googled “pastor in the news” or “youth pastor in the news”? What you’ll find after such a search typically isn’t good. Go ahead and try it: you’ll find one heartbreaking story after another concerning sexual misconduct in the church. We’re not immune to this in the CGGC.
I know that these kind of conversations make many folks uncomfortable, but we must learn to talk about uncomfortable matters if we want to see change and experience the correction and healing that needs to take place. I’m grateful for the Billy Graham Center at Wheaton College for creating a forum to help start this difficult, but necessary conversation. That’s why I wanted to make you aware of their upcoming Reflections GC2 Summit (https://www.gc2-summit.com).
Reflections: A GC2 Summit on Sexual Violence is a one-day evangelical conversation on December 13, 2018 to challenge the church to address sexual violence, harassment, and abuse in all of its forms for Christ, his people, and his kingdom. The Reflections GC2 Summit will challenge pastors, leaders, and lay Christians to address the very real tragedy in our churches and to begin the healing process. We will bring together Christian leaders today to address what the Bible says about this tragedy, the destruction of silence, how to protect those who are vulnerable and victimized, the role of accountability in leadership, and much more.
I know most of us aren’t close to Chicago or able to travel there on short notice a couple of weeks before Christmas. That’s why I’m so grateful that they’re providing a livestream option for $25 (if you register to the livestream event, you will also receive access to the recordings of the event at a later date).
I plan to register and watch as much of the livestream as I can next Thursday (and catch up with the recordings when they become available).
If we want to be effective at reaching people with the Good News of Jesus, it’s vitally important that we address this critical issue of our day.
I hope that some of you make the investment to take this first step in addressing an issue that’s not going to go away and not going to get easier in the years to come. We must start now.