Two more lessons learned that leaders in churches and ministries can pick up from The Overnighters documentary. The first three lessons are here.
In this post:
- Your sin will find you out.
- People lie.
Your sin will find you out. Numbers 32:23 in the NIV translation says “…your sin will find you out”. That verse is often used to explain that sin you thought was long buried has a nasty tendency to surface again.
Both Jay Reinke and Alan found that out in very painful ways. Alan’s sin surfaced after the point that it was unacceptable for anyone in the program to have that sin.
Often time, your sin will surface at a particularly inconvenient time. Believers who know what I am saying will know how that just sort of seems to happen.
People lie. One of the amazing things from the on camera comments and especially the director’s cut is how many people were flat-out lying.
Alan, the key assistant, was lying to the pastor. He not only did not have a driver’s license while he was helping out at the church, he also had an old sexual misconduct conviction.
Keep in mind a major issue in the last part of the program is how to handle people who had convictions in the past. He sort of forgot to mention that. I think most folks would consider that to be lying by omission.
If you have some major problem in your past, it would be to your advantage to find an opportune time to disclose that to leadership. You can better handle a difficult disclosure at a convenient time rather than in the midst of a painfully related conflict.
One guy who turned on the pastor had lots of trouble with lots of people. I mentioned his situation earlier.
Then there is Mr. Graves. While verbally attacking the pastor, asking the Reinke family to define the mission of a local church, accusing Jay Reinke of hypocrisy, and accusing the congregation of hypocrisy, he was allegedly running a sex trafficking ring. As I write this, he is awaiting federal trial on 10 felony counts, which includes allegations he trafficked 7 different women.
The federal indictments accuse Mr. Graves of starting his trafficking activities in July 2013. That obviously represents what the federal prosecutors believe they can prove. I haven’t seen any indication of when the feds think he began. In the back of my mind, I wonder if he started before that date, and if so, whether it was a substantial amount of time earlier.
The overnighter program closed in September 2013. The director’s cut was filmed about six months after the program closed which would make that around March 2014. At that time, Mr. Graves was still living in the Reinke home. Again, according to the federal indictment, he had allegedly been trafficking women since July.
In the director’s cut, Mr. Moss identifies Mr. Graves as one of the few people in the overnighters program who survived.
If I understand the timeline and the dynamics, that means Mr. Reinke was defending Mr. Graves and providing him lodging for something in the range of eight or nine months while Mr. Graves was allegedly running a prostitution ring.
Published media reports quote city law enforcement officials saying Mr. Graves used a weapon to intimidate one of the trafficking victims. The police claim it was only a toy gun. The police also claimed to have found the supposed weapon in the Reinke home during a search. That is a rather large volume of deception, if you choose to believe the city police testimony and federal indictment.
Sure looks to me like both Mr. Reinke and Mr. Moss got played big time. If anything in the federal indictment is true, they both got seriously conned.
So yeah, people lie.
Next: Final lesson.