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Confidentiality, Learning Lessons & Seeking Wellness

Confidentiality is one of the most important qualities of a pastoral leader. Faithful work is often as vulnerable and private as it is sacred. Pastors and deacons keep information confidential for a variety of reasons, including but not limited to,:

  • to model the love and forgiveness of Jesus Christ and God's ability to love people fully as they are (beyond their best or worst moments)

  • to encourage people to seek wellness and wholeness without fear of retaliation

  • to care for people in vulnerable life situations

  • to decrease gossip

  • to deescalate conflict in communities

  • to remain neutral in the midst of legal disputes

  • to support individuals in health care environments and preserve medical privacy

  • supporting victims of misconduct, domestic violence and other types of abuse or violence

  • to enable people to self-identify on their own timeframe

  • to support people in their sobriety work

  • to preserve the dignity of individuals

In my work as a pastor and chaplain, I have confidentially listened to the homeless, congregants, those seeking to get married, emergency responders, veterans, candidates for ministry, colleagues, victims of mass casualty violence, individuals in prison, runaway youth and others. In each of these situations, my ability to keep information confidential has been received as a positive quality.</