On your Sunday morning routine greeting people in church, you come across a man sitting by himself in the back. You immediately recognize the voice, the charisma, the presence, the awkward looks from people sitting around him, the whispers and pointing. It’s OJ Simpson.
Yesterday during a Nevada parole hearing, OJ Simpson was granted release from his prison sentence stemming from an armed robbery in a Las Vegas hotel. In October, he’ll be a free man, able to reenter the work force, collect his NFL pension, and face the never-ending litany of cameras, reports, and questions. The former Heisman Trophy winner, NFL star, celebrity, actor has now become a shamed and outcast by the very public that launched him to fame.
So what do you do if you see OJ in your church on a Sunday?
It’s doubtful that you’ll have OJ in your church. But you will have visitors and guests. And if you’re doing it right, you’ll have visitors and guests with checkered pasts. Have wise policy and procedure in place so that with kindness, grace, and a sense of devotion to your calling to lead and shepherd your people well, you can embrace those around you and invite them to be a part of the Kingdom where the only measure of their accomplishments died on a cross for them.
Scott M. Douglas
A blog about leadership and the lasting legacy of family ministry.