Please Don't Tell

What to Do with the Secrets People Share

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Please Don't Tell - eBook [ePub]
E-Book ISBN: 9781426786396
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Paperback ISBN: 9781426772016
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Published March 2014

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 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.

 

About the Author

Emma J. Justes

Emma J. Justes is Distinguished Professor of Pastoral Care and Counseling, Emma Toussant Chair in Pastoral Theology, at United Theological Seminary, Dayton, Ohio. She has taught at Northern Baptist Theological Seminary, Garrett-Evangelical Seminary, Perkins School of Theology. In addition to her role as professor, she has served as a pastor and counselor both here and abroad. Author of many articles and book chapters, she wrote the book, Hearing Beyond the Words: How to Become a Listening Pastor. (Abingdon Press).