“You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy …” Psalm 16:11a (ESV)
Too often, people experience hurt in the church. Nowhere is this more egregious than when sexual sin occurs in the church. A 2019 Houston (Texas) Chronicle report described some 380 allegations of sexual misconduct at various levels by clergy, lay leaders, and volunteers alike. In all, it detailed some 700 victims of sexual sin in Southern Baptist Convention churches since 1998. This is horrific.
But God desires to set us on the path of life so that we might experience the fullness of joy. We need not just stem the tide of this tragedy through mitigation but eliminate it completely through repentance. The Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware wants to come alongside its member churches to equip them with knowledge about how abuse occurs among vulnerable people groups from those inside their communities and to help them develop pathways to prevention, protection, and response.