How and when to keep or break a confidence.
“I’ve never told a soul, and you have to
promise not to tell anybody.” “Pastor, I wanted you to know before we tell the kids, just in case they come to you.” “I’m so happy. Yes, finally, I’m pregnant. I just had to tell someone.” “Yes, it's terrible, but how am I going to explain it to our friends here at church?”
People need trusted persons as sounding boards and confidants. Not many weeks go by that someone does not confide a secret to a church leader, whether pastor, youth director, church secretary, choir director, or board member. While pastors have a unique role when it comes to confidentiality, listening to secrets is something that every church leader does. But there are both privileges and responsibilities in reporting, discerning the truth, and helping people bear the deep sins or temper the anger that threatens to overflow.