We all know that Jesus loved children, and gladly took time to welcome and bless them. As those seeking to follow Jesus, we also want to love and care for the children and youthin our midst.
Sadly, our congregations are not always safe places for children and other vulnerable people. Those who abuse children often put themselves in positions where they are given trust and access to children. Since churches offer many of these kinds of opportunities, they are especially susceptible. No setting is immune. Abuse can happen anywhere, in any congregation, and to children from every social background, ethnicity and age. It is therefore important for congregations to implement child protection policies, as well as provide training for children, parents and teachers on ways to keep children safe.
Two helpful resources are:
- Dove’s Nest, a group working to empower and equip faith communities to keep children and youth safe in their homes, churches, and communities. Their website includes sample child protection policies from Mennonite congregations, as well as other helpful resources.
- Circle of Grace, a Christian safe environment curriculum that helps to form and educate children and youth about the value of positive relationships with God and others.