Educate Your Childcare Workers to Recognize Sexual Predators
With each new study of sexual offenders, we learn more about their patterns of behavior and the way they target their victims. So it is important to train all our childcare workers to recognize the warning signs. While we’ve done annual training for our children’s ministry workers, it wasn’t until we partnered with Ministry Safe that we recognized this is a church-wide issue.
Think about the different contexts, beyond your Sunday children’s ministry, that you have folks in your church working with children. At Covenant Fellowship Church we have Vacation Bible School, choir camp, youth camp, our Wednesday evening evangelism program The Bridge Course, an annual Easter egg hunt, a homeschool ministry on Thursday’s, and evening childcare in many of our small groups. Once you start checking off the names of everyone who serves with kids, you realize that the vast majority of your church members are involved with caring for children in one capacity or another.
While child sexual predator awareness is not a pleasant subject to teach, Kimberly Norris of Ministry Safe recently presented the material to our members after a Sunday worship service with great care. Thanks to Sovereign Grace Churches, who introduced our pastoral team to Ministry Safe training at the last Pastors Conference, we reached unity as a team and were able to promote the training to the whole church.
We started by training our pastors, office staff, and key leaders. Minstry Safe emphasized to us the importance of top-down training, knowing our folks follow the example of their leaders. We then deployed our trained staff to serve in providing childcare after a main service so that the rest of our church could be trained.
Those who were unable to attend can still pick up the training on the Ministry Safe website to ensure that all of our folks are able to recognize sexual predators. That is important when you consider that 90% of sexual predators have yet to be prosecuted and hold clean background checks—another important point Ministry Safe makes.
If you are a Senior Pastor, don’t pass this off to the director of your children’s ministry. Give it a Sunday platform and ensure that all the ministry team leaders who work with children feel the importance of getting their folks through the training. That can be a daunting task, but utilizing an organization like Ministry Safe, with their training, counsel, and resources, can help you make it happen.
Marty Machowski is a Family Life Pastor at Covenant Fellowship Church in Glen Mills, PA. He and his wife Lois have six children.
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