Addiction in Church Leadership

What to Do When Your Church Leader is an Addict

Addicted Pastors, Deacons and Elders

Posted on 9 October, 2014

addiction church leadershipRecent studies and investigations into the church have revealed that Christians struggle with addiction as much as secular society does. This information has changed the way we view the church and how well the church body applies the lessons of faith they claim to live by. However, even more poignant is the knowledge that church leaders are also addicts far more often than we would guess. This was recently illustrated in the media by the horrific claims coming out of the Catholic church about the sexual relations that priests had with alter boys. This is an extreme example of criminal sex addiction that took place within the church, but other studies have revealed that pastors, priests, deacons and elders within the church are also susceptible to addiction at alarming rates.

It would seem that church leaders succumb to addiction under the same reasoning that church members do. They tell themselves that as long as no one knows, no one can be affected by it. They convince themselves that indulging in their addiction secretly will keep them level and happy so that they can serve their congregation better. They also convince themselves that corruption will not enter into their lives through their addiction because they are righteous, so as long as no one finds out about it, they will not leave an impression of addiction on someone who is spiritually weaker than they are. For this reason, church leaders tend to protect the secrecy of their addiction fiercely.

It goes without saying that their logic is erred, and their behavior is unacceptable. Firstly, indulging in an addiction is putting it over God, and anyone who believes they are free of consequences in this regard is deluded. Putting anything over God in your life creates a foothold for the devil, who will not cease to pick at you until your life is unraveled, which is exactly what addiction does to people. Secondly, believing that you can be an addict and not affect the lives of the people you care about is also an illusion. You will inevitably hurt the people you care about because you are ignoring God’s commandments and the spiritual character that he has called you to.

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