Children played a prominent role in the ministry of Jesus, with the Lord going so far as to contend that our treatment of children speaks volumes about our attitude toward God (Mark 9:36-37). For centuries Christian churches have not only shared the gospel with children, but have advocated for their education, their well-being, and their value in God’s eyes.
Nevertheless, children have suffered abuse and neglect in Christian homes, churches, and youth ministries. Because of the great spiritual harm child abuse causes, churches are creating policies and adopting practices that keep kids safe.
This series of articles, when complete, will describe ten best practices to becoming a safe church for
- Form a Child Safety Committee
- Create Urgency through Education about Abuse
- Know Your Volunteers through Screening
- Assess Your Physical Space for Safety
- Create Guidelines for Interactions with Children
- Train Adults to Recognize and Respond to Abuse
- Support Abuse Survivors
- Create Guidelines for Responding to Abuse
- Empower Youth
- Review and Maintain Your Child Protection Program