An Ohio pastor involved in spreading awareness about child abuse in the U.S. said that the church should be "fearful of our own depravity."
Don Solin, youth pastor for the Next Generation ministry at Fairhaven Church in Dayton, told The Christian Post after a conference call on Tuesday that part of Christianity's response to the problem of child abuse needs to be pastors and clergy recognizing their own potential for depravity.
"All of us who do ministry ought to be fearful of our own depravity," said Solin, who felt that church leaders often run the risk of "[looking] down at other people that are struggling with sin."
"And so if a person in ministry, if a person leading in church thinks they have it all together they better look out…I think as leaders we have to say, 'okay, first of all I am willing to be honest about my own depravity. Outside of Jesus Christ, where would I be?'"
Solin believes another crucial thing churches should do is be welcoming of people regardless of where they are coming from.
"We ought to be thankful that there's a place called the church that says you are welcomed here no matter who you are, no matter where you've been," said Solin.
"We're going to help you deal with the real issues. That is the value of the church."
Solin was one of four members of a panel that spoke and answered questions during a conference call held by Moody Radio meant to focus on the upcoming child abuse prayer and awareness day called Blue Sunday, to take place April 29.
In addition to Solin, other speakers included Janet Magee, founder of the Blue Sunday organization; Renee Pettinger, senior associate at Shepherding the Next Generation; and Romanita Hairston, World Vision's vice president of U.S. Programs. The panel was moderated by Greg Wheatley of Moody Radio.
In her presentation, Hairston talked about the growing problem of poverty and child neglect in the United States. In an interview with CP, Hairston explained that she felt most Americans do not truly grasp the economic situation in America.
"People are surprised; they don't realize that we have the highest poverty rate since the 1950s. Fifty million people living at the poverty level," said Hairston.
"We have got to make people aware but then we also got to remind ourselves, especially the church, of our common humanity and our commitment to one another."
Solin focused on what the church should do to combat child abuse, emphasizing the need to help parents to communicate with their family, as well as being good role models.
"I hope [churches] become honest and say this is a problem, and we can do something about it. Not just say, here's a band aid and somebody else can fix this. I mean, I hope the church says, 'hey we can do something about this,'" said Solin to CP.
"The reality is that the church has to stand out. The church, the universal church, followers of Christ together has to stand out…It also must speak honestly about it and not skirt it. Not pretend it's not there, but really speak and do something honestly about it."