Dec 15, 2021

Walls of Protection for Your Children's Ministry

One of your top responsibilities as a children's ministry must be to have a safe and secure environment.   

We read reports every week of children that were abused or mistreated by a staff member or volunteer in the church.

Don't think it couldn't happen at your church or ministry as well. The evil one is a roaring lion that seeks to steal, kill and destroy the next generation.  He knows the weak areas of your ministry and will do his best to get an inroad and bring destruction.   

One of the most heartbreaking things is when a child is abused at the very place where he or she has come to worship and learn about God.  

Our responsibility is to build walls of protection around the children in our ministry.  Each part of the wall is important and the stronger you make the wall, the safer your ministry will be.  

I would like to share with you some things you can put in place that will make your wall of protection strong and protective.

Cameras.  You need to have cameras in all of your classrooms, hallways, worship areas, etc.  Last year, I was speaking at a church and the Pastor shared with me the heartbreaking story of a girl who was abused.  It happened at the church in one of the classrooms. Thankfully, they had a camera in that room and were able to see exactly what happened. The perpetrator was caught.

Do not allow anyone who has abused a child in the past to serve in your ministry.  Yes, God can forgive past sins, but you can't allow the person to serve in children's ministry ever again.  No way.  No how.  Not ever.   

Remember this - it is a privilege to serve in children's ministry.  It's no ones right to serve in children's ministry. 

Don't feel bad about not letting anyone serve who has abused a child.  You must stand by this.  It is a key part of your wall of protection.

Background checks. Do not let anyone serve without first running a background check.  If something pops on the background check, sit down with 2-3 other people and together decide if they should be allowed to serve.  It all depends upon the severity of the situation and how long ago it was.

Personal interview.  You should sit down with each potential volunteer and ask them the hard questions.  Look them in the eye and don't be hesitant about asking the questions you need to ask.  If you would like a copy of the interview questions that I ask potential volunteers, you can get it at this link for free.

Minimum of 2 people in every classroom.  Don't open the classroom until two volunteers are present.  FYI - a married couple only counts as 1 person in a classroom.  Yes, husbands and wives can serve together, but there needs to be one more person with them to meet safety and security standards.

There needs to be a window where people can see inside the room.  This is another part of the wall of protection you need to build or strengthen.  

No one is ever alone with a child Never ever.  No way.  This is one of the biggest parts of a wall of protection.

Lock the children's ministry doors once service begins.  This would help slow down a shooter.

Only allow parents or guardians with a security tag into your children's ministry part of the building.

Have a security team that monitors the hallways.  Better yet, also have a police officer stationed in your children's ministry area.  Safety and security is a huge deal with parents and rightly so.  Having a security team  / police officer there makes them feel confident that their child is safe at your church.

Security tags.  No one should be allowed to pick up a child without a security tag.  No one.  No exceptions.

Together all of these things will make your children's ministry safe.  Each part of the wall is important - the more you skim on these, the less safe your ministry will be.  

Be diligent to build a strong wall.  Parents and their kids are counting on it.

Your turn. What other measures do you have in place to keep your ministry safe?  Share your thoughts and insight in the comment section below.