Subscribe to Living Lutheran by Nov. 15 and get 35% off the regular rate! SUBSCRIBE NOW.

Sexual Misconduct Prevention

Preventing Sexual Misconduct in Congregations

All forms of sexual misbehavior by clergy and lay leaders with church members are unacceptable within the life of the church. The church should be a safe place where people can worship, learn, work, love and receive care in a manner that is free from sexual misconduct.

A written policy statement is an important first step toward preventing sexual misconduct or harassment. Make sure all persons concerned are aware of the policy and understand the content. When misconduct occurs, the entire congregation suffers emotionally, spiritually and financially.

  1. Have a written policy regarding sexual misconduct and sexual harassment.
  2. Instruct all adults who work with children and youth in what is, and is not, appropriate behavior.

Make it clear to the staff, volunteers and members that following the guidelines you have established are to protect the children and youth of your congregation.

Resources for Congregations:

Preventing the abuse

After abuse is suspected

What if there is a known abuser in our congregation?


Legal Disclaimer
Information on this document does not constitute legal advice to anyone. In addition, the use of this document, and the sending or receipt of information through elca.org does not create attorney-client relationship of any sort. Visitors to elca.org should be aware that communication in this manner may not be considered as privileged or confidential. Individuals requiring legal assistance should engage a qualified attorney, licensed to practice law in the particular state or jurisdiction where the legal issues have arisen. Members of the ELCA, pastors, congregations, synods, and others affiliated with this church should always consult their own attorneys, accountants, or similar professionals whenever legal issues or problems arise. Neither the churchwide organization nor the general counsel is responsible for any loss, injury, liability, or damage related to your use of this document, whether from errors or omissions in the content of this document or any linked sites, from the site being down, or from any other use.