Fallen Pastors, Adultery and the Power of a Glass Door

glass office doors
Phil Cooke advises leaders to put glass doors in offices to help prevent adultery. (Jyri Engestrom/Flickr/Creative Commons)

Over the last year, there’s been a rash of pastors and other Christian leaders stepping down because of moral failings—usually infidelity.

Years ago, I met a pastor in Chicago who was serious about preventing anyone on his staff from engaging in immoral behavior on the job, so he made a brilliant decision: install glass doors in every office in the church. The fact is, there are very few reasons why offices need total privacy.

Years later, when we remodeled our office building in Burbank, California, I followed his lead and did the same thing. Now, every door in our building is glass. Anyone walking by can see what’s going on inside.

It’s such a simple and yet obvious idea. After dealing with crisis after crisis among leaders in the church, I’ve discovered that most start right there—on church property. Most leaders aren’t meeting people at random around the city. They’re working closely with someone, gradually developing a relationship, and after awhile one thing leads to another—all behind closed office doors.

If you’re a leader, the cost of switching your office doors isn’t nearly as much as the cost of making the mistake of a lifetime.

Obviously there are many reasons for infidelity. But until we solve everything else, my advice is: Put in glass doors. Make everything in your office public. You’ll be glad you did.

Phil Cooke, Ph.D., is a filmmaker, media consultant and co-founder of Cooke Pictures in Los Angeles. Find out more at philcooke.com.

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