Other books have been written about clergy misconduct and its effects on congregations. Some are by victims. Others are written by professionals for a professional audience. Until now, however, there hasn’t been a book for the congregational leaders who must deal with the fallout of prior clergy misconduct. This collection is for the “afterpastors”—interim or settled pastors—who follow misconducting pastors. And it’s for lay leaders who may themselves have witnessed or been victimized by the misconducting pastor. Both groups of leaders need guidance about how to assess and effectively respond to the misconduct, how to care for the victim/survivor, and how to carry out the mission and ministry to which the congregation has been called.
The contributors to this volume have all consulted, taught, and written about clergy misconduct. In this book, they provide non-technical guidance for the those on the front lines in congregations where misconduct has occurred—not only the people who are professionally interested in the subject, but also the people who must deal with it on a day-to-day basis. They give readers tools to engage congregation members in the issues surrounding clergy misconduct, so that real healing can occur; they help congregations understand the victim’s/survivor’s experience; and they offer strategies to help afterpastors and other leaders manage a difficult situation, serve effectively, and even thrive.