Why women are being encouraged to attend The Enemy Within: Sexual Abuse in the Church...

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This year we hope women will attend our February 17-19, 2016 conference, The Enemy Within: Sexual Abuse in the Church. Previous years we called this conference a "Pastors Conference" or "Church Officers Conference," and only men attended—men who are officers and men who aspire to holding office in the Church.

This year, though, our subject demands the most intense work and wisdom on the part of pastors, elders, and deacons, and that work cannot be done and that wisdom cannot be gained without the help of wise women of the church, including officers' wives. So we've opened up registration, not just to the wives of pastors, elders, and deacons, but also to women, single or married, who obey the command of God given in Titus 2:3-5, to serve the church by "teaching what is good."

My wife Mary Lee and I will be talking about the necessity and helpfulness of church officers working with Titus 2 women in the protection of children of the church. If elders and pastors don't have...

open communication with their wives and other trustworthy women concerning the sins of the homes of the congregation, we are flying blind. Further, ministering to children and young adults who have been abused, not to mention their abusers when they're in the church (including women who have abused children, which is much more common than anyone wants to admit) absolutely requires women working in yoke with their pastors and elders.

Just this to say that the epidemic of sexual abuse of children in our culture has come to the Church as it's come to our culture and we must do the painful work of exposing it, disciplining the predators, and then working for the restoration of the victims and those who have sinned against them.

You, dear Christian, have this sin in the midst of your congregation and we hope you will come to the conference and encourage a couple women from your congregation to attend, also. If you have any questions, please get in touch with us. If your pastor isn't coming, tell him you'll pay his way—with his wife. Ideally, there would be a pastor and elder coming with their wives, and maybe one other woman of the church who is universally respected as a Titus 2 woman—whether she is single, widowed, or married; whether she is young or old.

Register now.

Here are the sessions we have planned:

SESSION: Exposing Sexual Abuse (Pastor Tim Bayly)
Dealing with sexual abuse in your church starts long before you ever uncover an actual case of abuse. It begins with cultivating a culture of pastoral care in your church—a culture where pastors and elders deal with and expose sins of all sorts, and church members expect their pastors and elders to care for them, no matter how deep and shameful their sin or how terribly they’ve been harmed.

SESSION: Preventing Sexual Abuse (Pastor Tim Bayly)
In order to prevent sexual abuse, we must build walls to keep the enemy out. But even more importantly, we must work from within to build a culture of healthy intimacy, a culture of honesty and normalcy. And even then, we cannot rest totally secure. How do we best protect our children without becoming slaves to fear?

SEMINAR: Sexual Abuse and Pastors and Elders Wives (Pastor Tim and Mary Lee Bayly)
The church leader that wades into a case of sexual abuse without the insight, help, and wisdom of his wife is a fool. In this session we’ll talk about the integral role the wives of elders and pastors play in identifying and caring for victims of sexual abuse. 

SESSION: Recognizing Sexual Abuse (Dr. Harry Schaumburg)
Sexual abuse can reign in families and churches unchecked for years while little ones suffer silently—unless there’s someone committed to exposing sin, someone who has their eyes open and knows what to look for. So what are the signs of abuse?

SESSION: Shepherding the Sexual Abuser (Pastor Stephen Baker)
One of the reasons it’s so painful to bring sexual abuse into the light is that it requires pastors and elders to care not only for victims, but also for perpetrators. This is painful and difficult work, complicated by everything from legal ramifications to our own bad consciences.

SESSION: Shepherding the Sexually Abused (Pastor Max Curell)
Victims of sexual abuse carry their scars with them their whole lives, affecting every relationship they have. This makes caring for victims of sexual abuse a delicate and lifelong work. How do we go about it with wisdom, compassion, and courage?  

SEMINAR: Sexual Abuse and the Law (Elder Ezra Hale)
The Bible tells us God gave earthly governments the authority to bear the sword—to punish wickedness and reward righteousness. Although many of these authorities have turned from God’s ways, we must not only submit to those He has placed over us, but trust that He has done so for our good. So what are the legal ramifications of sexual crimes? What are the things that every church leader needs to know?

As an add-on, attendees will get to hear the new music of My Soul Among Lions:

Musical Worship & Psalms Concert: My Soul Among Lions
My Soul Among Lions: Musical worship at the conference will be led by My Soul Among Lions. This folk-based group with a team of writers is taking on the ambitious task of setting all 150 Psalms to music for worship. They just finished recording Psalms 1–10 which is set to release just before the conference. Thursday night will also feature a concert where they will present many of these new settings of the Psalms.

Tim Bayly

Tim serves Clearnote Church, Bloomington, Indiana. He and Mary Lee have five children and big lots of grandchildren.

Want to get in touch? Send Tim an email!