Jul 8, 2020

Children's Ministries Must Be Intolerant About This

You hear the word "intolerant" quiet often in today's culture.  Churches and ministries are often called "intolerant" because of their stance against specific issues. 

This should come as no surprise.  One of the big mantra's of today's culture is being tolerant.  It's to the point where anyone who brings to light something the Bible calls sin, will be labeled as intolerant.  We will experience more and more of this as our country continues to distance itself from issues that the Bible clearly states are wrong.

As I've stated before, as we take a stand for what God's Word clearly says is sin, we must also be known for our love for others.  Love is the key that opens the heart of those who are calling you intolerant and enables you to influence them.

That being said, there is one thing that the church, especially children's ministry, must be known to have zero intolerance for. 

What is it you ask?  It's very clear cut and sensible.  Anyone who has ever abused a child, should not be allowed to serve in children's ministry.  Period.  No exceptions.  No tolerance.  No compromise.

Recently, I was reading an article about a high profile church that didn't follow this protocol and ended up in hot water.

What happened?

One of the volunteers in their children's ministry revealed that he is transgender.  He also revealed that he often fantasizes about having sex with children.  After uncovering this, the church leadership continued to allow the man to serve in children's ministry for several months.  The lawyer for the case said "I'm not naming ____________ out of malice, but he cannot be trusted to in the terms of his work with children."

This is a reminder of what NOT to do.  What to be intolerant about.  When to follow set protocols to the tee. 

Here's the bottom line.  No one and I mean no one, who has been accused of abusing a child should be allowed to serve in children's ministry.  Never.  Nada.  It ain't happening here in our church house.

Here are some clear steps you can take to prevent this from happening.

Personally interview each person who wants to serve in children's ministry.  Ask the hard questions and see how they respond.  (you can get a free copy of an application and the corresponding questions to ask at this link).

If they pass the interview, then run a background check. 

If they have ever been accused of abusing a child, they should never (let me repeat that) never serve in children's ministry.  No exceptions.  For life.  Period. 

Do you have a hard time telling a person that they can never serve in your children's ministry?  If you do, then remember this.

It is a privilege to serve in children's ministry.  It's no one's right. 

The safety and security of the children must be our top priority. 

Also add these security measures to your process.
  • No one is ever allowed to serve alone with a child.  This means you don't receive any kids into the classroom until at least 2 volunteers are present.
  • Place a window in the room, so you can see in the room at all times. 
  • Install security cameras in each room.  This can be a lifesaver when there is an accusation made and you need to prove it. 
  • Have a solid check-in and check-out process.  I recommend www.kidcheck.com as an excellent tool for this.
Adding all of these measurements can help your church and ministry stay safe.  Each one is part of a safety wall you are building around the kids.

There are many things I don't want to be known as intolerant about.  But one thing I do want to be known for is being intolerant when it comes to the safety and security of our kiddos. 

Your turn.  What are some more safety measures you are intolerant about?  Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

3 comments:

I truly share your conviction regarding protecting the church, the ministry, the kids and the cause of Christ by being exceptionally careful with who is allowed to minister in children's ministry.

I have never had a situation come up in my ministry like I have outlined. I am not sure that I would tell a person who was tried and found innocent that the accusation alone was sufficient to bar them from participating in a children's ministry. I would defer to the church's insurance company for guidance.

I was an adult probation officer for 24 years and for a good portion of my time, I supervised sex offenders. I have learned a few things over the years.

I would never recommend that anyone found guilty of a sex offense/abuse of a child, etc., or who is currently under investigation for amy such charge be allowed to participate in children's ministry. However your article said "If they have ever been accused..."

I know of a real life example of a man who was accused, and in court, the victim (not his daughter) recanted her accusation and revealed that her mother put her up to it. The state chose to drop the charges, however, his criminal history still shows that he was accused and the charge dismissed. Every state has different guidelines on how to deal with situations like that. Some expunge the record (it no longer shows up on a criminal history, some show the the charge as DISM - dismissed, I have seen one that showed the charge as QUASH - meaning to overthrow or annul. In every instance the accusation (charge) remains on the person's record.

Hey Steve, thanks so much for your insight. I know we agree the safety and security of the kids is our first priority. What you describe would be a challenging situation for sure. I respect the time you have spent helping families over the years. Personally I would still say no just because of the stigma it could cause if parents found out. I think we have to go the 2nd mile to protect the kiddos. In that situation I would help him find another area to serve in.

Hi Dale, Great post! Thank you so much for the "KidCheck" shout out and always being a voice that prioritizes safety first in children's ministry! We greatly appreciate it and so do the kiddos.

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