Step Two: Create Urgency

“Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers” Galatians 6:10.

People in the congregation must first understand the statistics and results of child abuse to feel compelled to do something about it.  That is why education is the first Child Safety Committee  task to start. Together, the committee decides which information to share with the various audiences in the congregation and the best way to communicate it with each group.  

Potential groups to educate:

  • Leadership groups
  • Women’s and Men’s groups
  • Lutheran elementary school staff
  • Early Childhood staff
  • Sunday / Wednesday school staff
  • Teen group
  • Members at large

Information that could be shared:

  • Child abuse statistics
  • How abuse affects children 
  • What child abuse is
  • Adult survivors of child abuse
  • ACEs
  • Spiritual ramifications

Ways to share:

  • Presentations by committee members
  • Invite outside speaker to talk
  • Bulletin inserts and blurbs
  • Newsletter articles (church and school)

The goal of all church education should not be to scare people; rather, it should create an urgency to address the issue of keeping children safe. It creates a unity among the body of believers and a common purpose in the fight against abuse. It also invites the entire congregation to stand up for the children of the church. 

Abuse education is an ongoing task for the Child Safety Committee. The first year of education will have a heavy emphasis on continued and varied opportunities to learn about child abuse. After the initial training, the committee will be responsible for ensuring that ongoing training opportunities are available throughout the year.

Michelle Markgraf, Freedom for the Captives

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This entry is part 2 of 12 in the series Steps to Safe Church