If you have been listening to the news this week it must be clear to you, more so than ever, we live in a broken world. The headlines break our hearts with news of child abuse and of a ten year old girl who killed herself to escape bullying. This is not how things are meant to be. I’m sure it must break Jesus’ heart just as it breaks our hearts. So, what can we do? Consider the following . . .
- We need to make our children’s ministries a safe place. Period. Have a zero tolerance for inappropriate behavior by anyone – volunteer and children alike. Let your children’s ministry be known as a place where children are safe. Safe from being harmed by adults they should be able to trust. Safe from being harmed by unkind words and actions of other kids. Period.
- Pay attention. Again, period. While you need to have a child safety and anti-bullying policy in writing, it isn’t enough to have words on paper. You must, absolutely must pay attention. Watch your volunteers – never, under any circumstances, allow a volunteer to be alone with a child. NEVER. This is for the protection of the children and the protection of the volunteer. Watch over the children entrusted to you. Do not ever ignore bullying of any kind. Always put a stop to it whenever you see or hear or hear of it happening in your ministry.
- Stand for showing Jesus’ love to children. Always. Do all you can so your ministry is known as a place where children are safe and where they are able to experience Jesus’ love
- Pray! Pray for your volunteers. Pray for the children in your church and community.
This world is broken. Things happen which are not the way they are supposed to be, but we have both a mission and the message of Jesus’ love which this broken world so desperately needs to hear . . . and see! Commit to having your church be a place where this mission and message is experienced!