Sep 30, 2010

Never Be Alone!

If you've been watching the news, you are aware that a Pastor of an Atlanta mega church is being accused by 4 young men of sexual abuse. The facts are not all in and I pray to God it is not true. My heart breaks every time I hear of something like this happening. Whether it is true or not is not the point of this post.

The point of this post is this. The Pastor made a huge mistake. He took these young men on trips...alone! Even if the accusations are not true, his reputation and character will be in question for the rest of his life.

One security measure we follow with our staff and volunteers without exception is to NEVER be alone with a child. This means...

1. Do not open a classroom until you have two volunteers present.

2. If you can afford it, have cameras in every single children's room and record everything that happens during services. This is vital if an accusation is made. Maybe the question to ask is can you afford NOT to have cameras?

3. Always have two adults take children to the bathroom. Have one adult look inside and make sure the bathroom is clear and then have both adults wait outside while the child is inside the bathroom.

4. Never ride alone in a car with a child that is not yours.

5. If you or one of your volunteers is mentoring a child (big brother scenario), make sure it is all done in public view and that someone else is always present.

6. Do not counsel children alone. Make sure someone else is in the room with you.

7. Do not allow your Small Group Leaders or Teachers to take children out alone for ice cream, etc. Always have the parents or several other leaders come along.

8. If you do an overnighter at the church with your pre-teens, have them sleep in large areas with an adequate number of staff and volunteers present (one large room for boys and one large room for girls). It's not likely they will sleep, but if they do, follow this rule. Do not let them break into smaller sleeping groups with only one adult in the smaller rooms.

This has reminded me that predators can come from anywhere. It may be someone who has no abuse record on their background check. That is why you must never allow your staff or volunteers to be alone with a child.

All of these steps are first to protect the children God has entrusted to your care. And then it is to protect you in case a child makes up something about you.

I can't say it enough times! Never, never, never be alone with a child!

Posted by Dale Hudson

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