Tuesday, September 28, 2010

#193 Hooking up with the youth pastor

This is a time-honored evangelical tradition which Christian culture is loath to speak of, yet everyone who grew up in Christian culture knows youth pastors (plural) who were deposed due to the dubiously defined Moral Failure. And those are just the ones who were caught.

The youth pastor's fall from grace is never less than gory. Once found out he will either make a tearful public confession, feebly defend his shredded reputation, or both. He is then ceremoniously fired and flees town under a spectacular shower of emotional fallout while the abandoned youth group reels from this strange new trauma which Christian culture has no idea how to handle. In their heads they replay the years of Purity Talks he gave whilst conducting clandestine activities on the side.

Post-scandal, these pastors sometimes go on to be youth pastors in other churches. This usually happens even with the hiring church's full knowledge of his past. Youth pastor gets older, high school girls stay the same age.

This post originally appeared at Beliefnet, comment thread is here.


AnnaRebecca said...

Yup, pretty much. Sadly, I know of at least two instances of this going entirely unnoticed by the church as a whole, because those teens taken advantage of are too afraid of not being believed, and those adults in the church are too enamored of the 'godliness' of said youth pastor. Because what teenage girl wants the pastor and deacons (all males) questioning her regarding whether or not she 'enticed' this 'godly man' to sin? After all, she's probably just being dramatic.

Anonymous said...

Hello, I just found your site today and I sure am happy I did. I grew up in a "non-denominational" environment and what I like about this site is that it highlights all those things about the evangelical culture that are so hard to put into words and explain to others. So many aspects of that life are incomprehensible to others and often times its hard to define them for yourself. They simply defy logical explanation.

Anyway, I have a story which ties in with this entry. Not a scandal, but still amusing. Basically, when I was a young teenager working my way up through Sunday school groups year by year, I observed two counselors(assistants to the youth pastors) who were most likely seniors in high school when I first met them. Within a short amount of time, they were dating, and a short time later(when they had started college), they were married, followed by her pregnancy a few months beyond that.

What a lucky guy! Probably the first woman he's ever been with, and he not only married her at about 18, but got her pregnant right out of the gate! I'm sure they're still together today, living in marital bliss!

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