Openly gay Texas pastor Jordan Brown claimed that a Whole Foods Market in Austin, TX had given him a cake with a slur written below the message “Love Wins.” However, Whole Foods shared video footage of the store, showing that the cake Brown presented on social media had been tampered with since buying it. The company has plans to sue Brown after he threatened a lawsuit.
Why this story matters for church leaders:
It’s not out of the question that someone on your staff could do something unusual or unexpected in order to gain attention, so proceed with caution when accusations arise.
- When a story is too strange to be true: It’s highly unlikely that an employee would risk his/her job just to shame a customer. While Whole Foods took the story seriously in their investigation, they had good reasons for suspicion.
- Assemble all of the facts before choosing a course of action: Whole Foods conducted a deep investigation into all of the details surrounding the pastor in this incident, including video footage. Did this pastor hope that they would act quickly to settle the matter out of court?
- Hope for the best but prepare for challenges: While we should always hope for the best when accusations arise against a ministry leader, churches should have policies in place to help them navigate the difficult and unusual.
What are your procedures for investigating pastoral misconduct or accusations?
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