Why Does Christian Youth Ministry Attract Predators?

You may wonder why Christian youth ministry attracts sex offenders who abuse children and adolescents.

You may have heard the terms...

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Pedophilia and ephebophilia

  • "pedophilia"...which means being sexually attracted to pre-pubertal children.
  • “ephebophilia” (eh-feeb-o-fill-ee-yuh)...which means being sexually attracted to adolescents.

As you read further and your understanding widens…you may be surprised to find you already had an idea of the answer. Because it is no secret that…

Sexually abusive ministers are emotionally immature.

Sexually abusive ministers are...

At the same levels of emotional and sexual

development as those they molest.

And as you recognize this simple fact…

you understand that is why some ministers in Christian youth ministry are strictly interested in pre-teen …pedophiles...emotionally arrested children dwelling in an adult body.

But some ministers prefer children with …but who are not yet emotionally and socially adults. These are ephebophiles...emotionally arrested adolescents dwelling in an adult body.

And as your understanding increases you may find your head shaking in wonder at this paradox…

Although pedophiles and ephebophiles cross generational boundaries...they are very good at staying within sexual boundaries!

And so this gives us a clue about why are they attracted to minors.


As you will recognize immediately

Pedophiles and ephebophiles in ministry have easy…ongoing…even daily…access to children and youths.

And because ‘ministry’ is so loosely defined...or not defined at all...(except by us on our homepage)...) they can have private access to minors in a variety of activities…such as …counseling and spiritual direction.

Kids are simply widely available in ministry.

The pediatrician or the juvenile judge has appointment-only access to children and adolescents...who are usually in the company of a parent or an attorney.

And kids are often afraid of doctors and judges.

However, ministers have authority…prestige…credibility… and respect which makes grooming their victims that much easier. Usually…they are not afraid of a minister…especially if their parents like and admire the minister.

So you can see that someone with such highly specialized sexual preferences as pedophiles and ephebophiles have would be drawn to nearly limitless opportunities for potential ‘friends’ in Christian youth ministry...which makes child and especially adolescent sexual abuse easily accomplished by sex offenders in ministry.

The rigid sexual boundaries that pedophiles and ephebophiles have actually increase the extent of sexual abuse in a victim's life long after the fact.

Here’s why…

Emotional abuse survives after sexual abuse.

Pedophiles who are fixated on prepubescent children will have nothing to do with a child when puberty shows its typical signs of sexual maturing…deeper voice…body hair…and so forth.

The child may be very attached to this 'caring' and "kind' abuser. But as development begins…the pedophile terminates the relationship abruptly. The child ceases to have meaning for the abuser.

This abandonment is one of the ongoing effects of child abuse that results in serious emotional abuse for the child.

The now cast aside...abandoned...and emotional betrayed child believes long after the fact that such emotional upset is an important result of intimate relationships. Such abusive relationships may cause serious relationship problems in adolescence and in adulthood.

In addition, the abandoned child has no social support group for such emotional turmoil like the adolescent does.

Because the maturing child no longer has any redeeming qualities for the abuser...who originally was so caring...

The sexually abused child learns…without any preparation…all about emotional betrayal and abandonment…having done nothing except start growing up.

You can probably agree that prepubertal children abandoned by a seemingly caring adult would be having an experience they are not ready for.



For adolescents its somewhat different.

When a girlfriend or a boyfriend ends a relationship…an adolescent will learn about such things…

In the course of normal development in the context of their adolescent support group adolescents will learn how to process important emotional experiences...like heartbreak...and get beyond them.

The pedophile has no boundary problem ‘just saying no’ when the victim begins to mature.

Ephebophiles…fixated on adolescents…are semi-adult in their sexual interest. They too are interested in physical traits…but not in a meaningful emotional and social context…that mature sexual relationships have.

You can see the obvious

a minister in Christian youth ministry…who is involved romantically and sexually with a youth…has many professional and social ties and obligations that cannot include the adolescent.

Accordingly, the entire context of the relationship is sexual and secretive. So adolescent sexual abuse isolates the victim from the socializing influences of their peer group.

And like the prepubescent child...this removes the adolescent from the support of the peer group where important life experiences are processed and understood.

Once the youth begins to have more adult experiences…the ephebophile will lose interest and seek newer younger partners.


By now you can see that fixated pedophiles and ephebophiles are themselves emotional children and adolescents.

Abusers in Christian youth ministry never have to grow up…but their victims do…and…as you can imagine…the going can be rough.

And what happens when an adolescent becomes their own abuser through pornography addiction?

Supervise your own ministry to see if your relationships are ministerial or personal.

From christian youth ministry you can go to sexual boundaries.

Or you can...



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