It may be easy to think, “Abuse could never happen at my church. We all know each other.”
It’s this mindset, however, that makes churches a target for predators. Churches must plan for and create safe ministry environments to prevent such acts.
The Baptist State Convention of North Carolina (BSC) has developed a new online resource page for pastors and church leaders that is aimed at helping prevent sexual abuse, respond to abuse allegations and care well for abuse survivors.
The new page, available at ncbaptist.org/abuse, is designed to offer a number of resources related to sexual abuse in a single location. The page provides access to training materials, checklists, sample forms and more on a variety of topics related to sexual abuse.
The page also includes links to other organizations and vendors that have years of experience and proven track records of working with churches and other ministries in developing safe systems.
“Developing a comprehensive care plan can feel like an overwhelming task,” said Seth Brown, BSC Director of Convention Relations. “It might even feel unnecessary when everyone in your church seems familiar. But this sense of comfort can lead to lax policies and make your church an easy target for predators.
“A well-developed plan can help you guard against danger and provide needed care when tragedy strikes. We can help you find the training and tools you need to prevent abuse and care for survivors.”
The available resources are designed to help pastors and churches in areas such as developing policies and procedures, hiring practices, background checks, abuse reporting, survivor care and more.
The resource page is a way N.C. Baptists can follow through on the biblical mandate to protect the vulnerable and minister to the hurting.
“Your N.C. Baptist staff are committed to helping you care for survivors and guard against abuse,” Brown said. “We want everyone to feel safe in our sanctuaries and Sunday school rooms so they have the opportunity to encounter the love of Christ.”