The Arkansas Baptist State Convention and the 1500+ SBC churches who partner together have a passion to reach the next generation. As we reach the next generation, we must equip parents to disciple them and we must make sure they are safe while in the care of the church.
Unfortunately, many churches end up in court because they did not protect the children they had in their care. Churches end up in court for a variety of reasons as summarized in this church law and tax infographic. The sexual abuse of a minor was identified as the top reason churches ended up in court for five years running (2011-2015). Richard Hammar elaborates on each of these issues in his article, “Top 5 Reasons Churches Went to Court in 2015.”
The Great Commission commands us to make disciples of all nations, including the next generation. Churches can no longer get by with having a vibrant children’s ministry or student ministry without providing a safe environment especially in our litigious culture.
The Arkansas Baptist State Convention has partnered together with Greg Love and MinistrySafe to provide training and a helpful process to reduce the risk of your church becoming one of these statistics. We want to help you reach the next generation and protect them when you do reach them.
Greg Love says an effective safety system designed to protect children in your church should include five elements:
1) Every church should require sexual abuse awareness training for any volunteer or staff person working with church under 18 years of age.
2) Every church should require background checks for anyone working with minors.
3) Every church should screen all volunteers who work with children.
4) Every church should develop tailored policies and procedures for working with minors.
5) Every church should monitor and oversee the policies and procedures they have developed.
MinistrySafe provides a user-friendly platform to help churches develop and oversee the implementation the five elements of an effective safety system.
Many churches are doing something to protect children. What is your church doing to protect the children you reach? Why aren’t you doing more?
If you would like some additional information on MinistrySafe and help toward implementing a safety strategy in your church or association, then please contact Emily Smith with the Evangelism and Church Health Team for a consultation to address the safety concerns in your church.