By Bob Weeks
Children’s Ministry is indispensable in growing a church. There are several reasons for this: 1) Children’s ministry frees the parent to be exposed to the life-changing message of the Gospel. It is the rare mom and dad that is willing to wrestle their children and then be in the frame of mind to “hear” the message that is proclaimed. If we are going to reach unchurched young parents we must have something for their children. And 2) Children learn differently than adults. If your church is going to impart Truth to children we need to target our methods so we can be effective in the short time we have them. It is the principle Paul used in 1 Cor 9:22. We need to reach people, parents and children, as they are.
One of the foundational things in your Children’s Ministry toolbox needs to be security for those kids God has placed in your hands. In years gone by this was optional and thought to be only for the bigger churches. This is not so any longer. Every unchurched parent that brings their child to a local church knows how a secure children’s program is supposed to function. They have been trained by the school their child attends to know what to expect. For many of those parents if you are unwilling to show that you care for the safety of their children they will find someplace that will.
You know these basics – a Children’s Ministry should be served by background-checked Believers trained to notice the behaviors that child predators have. Access to the area the children are in should be limited to just those people serving. The area should also have no “hidden” places where things can happen and no unauthorized person can pick up a child that has been placed into the Children’s Ministry’s care.
Maybe all of that is not possible in your setting. But surely some of it is. Where can you begin? Right here.
We have just secured access for you to MinistrySafe’s, “Church Safety Workshop.” This online tool is available right now to all cooperating SCBI churches for the low, low price of FREE! Here is the link https://ministrysafe.com/scbi/. Click it and watch the videos. Then do the best you can.
I want to be real with you. Church leaders and ministries are currently being sued for financial damages due to their negligence in protecting the children entrusted to them. It will not surprise me, in the near future, to see leaders of churches where children are molested to be held criminally responsible also. Pastor, there is so much information out there you just can’t say any longer, I didn’t know. It is negligent not do everything you can.
This is a real problem. This is an ongoing problem. Satan has been at this for a long, long time and I see no sign of it stopping.
Size, or lack of it, is no excuse. Watch the training and then do what you can do.
If you would like to talk through what your church can do please reach out to your Church Leader Development Team. John Horn (812/454-6615)or Bob Weeks (812/592-3755). And as always if you need someone to sit with to blow off steam or if you need someone to walk with you through the unique challenges of your context we are ready and willing to do that. And if you just want to have a cup of coffee and chat about your kids I am game for that too!