Pastor Failed To Report Church Volunteer


Photo Credits: H News Wire

John Ortberg, who is a popular evangelical author and megachurch pastor, found out that a person serving in the Menlo Church community as a volunteer is attracted to minors, but the pastor did not take any precautions. He took no steps to prevent that person from working and coming into contact with minors during his volunteer work and he did not even inform any other church officials about the situation. With his failure to take actions, Ortberg created risky and unsafe environment for minors attending the church activities.

This situation was investigated by church leaders but it looks like they also failed to act because there were no indications that Ortberg was disciplined or reprimanded for his actions or the lack of them. According to The Religion News Service, Menlo Church leaders said in their statement that they hired an independent investigator to look into the concerns over Ortberg's handling of the church member. "Based on that investigation, interviews with supervising staff across Student’s and Children’s ministries, and a review of detailed volunteer records, the Board has not found any misconduct in the Menlo Church community, and the investigation did not reveal any allegations of misconduct," their statement reads. "Nevertheless, the investigation showed John exhibited poor judgment that was inconsistent with his responsibilities as Senior Pastor."

The church's statement did not reveal who reported Ortberg's lack of action to the church's officials; but Ortberg's estranged son, Daniel Lavery, posted a message on Twitter saying he and his wife reported the pastor. After a church member confessed that he has "obsessive sexual feelings about young children," Lavery confronted his parents about the situation together with his wife. His parents were aware of the situation and John Ortberg defended his handling of the situation, so Lavery urged him to report the situation to the church's officials. When his father declined to do that Lavery reported his concerns to the church board.

After the report, the church did what it did but they did not inform the public about any official actions taken against pastor Ortberg who apologized for his decisions. According to The Christianity Today, Lavery said in his Twitter comments that the church’s response was puzzling—as Ortberg apologized, yet the church found no misconduct. “As a non-churchgoer, I have no position on what an appropriate ecclesiastical response might be, and I am not aware of the full scope of the investigation,” he wrote. “This has been personally devastating, and broken the trust that once existed between me and the Ortberg family. I have no further public statements to make at this time.”

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