This book. Is everything I wanted to say to our church but couldn’t articulate.
A bit of background. Hubby and I went to our church council to talk about putting some safeguards in place and having some more resources available for kids and parents affected by child abuse. This book deals with sexual abuse. Mostly by an adult to a child. In a church setting.
We tried to come up with plan for prevention and a plan for responding. We, as fallen humans, sucked at trying to get the importance of the message across.
This book states in plain terms what we only couldn’t formulate even in our minds.
I bought the council members each a book and I devoured the book in a night.
The book discusses the importance of stewardship of children, the types of predators, the false assumptions we make about predators and asks the question “Why the church”?
The numbers and statistics shown in the book would astound the average person.
Probably the best sentence “..We must remember our high calling as parents, pastors, and children’s ministry workers – the God five charge to love, protect, and shepherd children under our care.’ [pg 11]
Creating a child protection policy is one thing we want to see happen in our church, background checks, also. This book gives an outline on how to begin to write out a policy and guidelines for background checks.
A check in and check out policy for the youth/kids groups/nursery. Being a member first before becoming involved in church ministry. Putting windowed doors or making dutch doors on class rooms. When sunday school is over, lock up all the doors. Train all volunteers.
Preparing before it happens means pastors/leaders being humble in caring and planning. Parents who are vigilant and understand the importance. Teens and kids, and even parents, going thru a class/curriculum on child safety AND sex.
there is a whole chapter on getting to know your community and resources. God-given resources that a church should look toward to help victims and abusers. Churches aren’t usually equipped to give specialized help to individuals.
The next few chapters deal with responding to an abuse that has already happened.
I plan on going through the endnotes and look at some of the reference material he used in the book.
I would love to have my church, your church, any and all churches read this book, prayerfully consider the importance of loving, protecting and teaching our kids.
a couple things I found online:
gospel coalition article [good quick read]