Safety is everything when it comes to children’s ministry. Nothing can close the doors of your church faster than something happening to a child under your watch. We want church to be a safe place for the kids that come. We want parents to feel comfortable leaving their most precious possession in our care.
Here are 3 laws of a safe children’s ministry:
- BACKGROUND CHECKS! If your church isn’t background-checking people that work with kids, then you are failing in a huge way. In the world we live in today, it is IMPERATIVE that you check out everyone’s background. Note that a simple call to the police department doesn’t cut it. You must do a NATIONAL search, including a sex offender registry search. Follow up on references. It is your duty. (Note to parents: NEVER drop your children off at a church that doesn’t pull this type of background check.)
- Interview your potential team:As a leader in the church, I reserve the right to not allow you to serve with kids even if you pass a background check. If I think you’re creepy, questionable, or just don’t have a good feeling about you, then I can tell you “no.” Passing a background check simply means you haven’t been caught. So as you interview people to serve in your ministry, be sure to check yourself for uncomfortable feelings regarding who is applying. It very well could be the Holy Spirit warning you.
- It needs to LOOK as safe as it IS: Appearance is 9/10 of the law when it comes to having a safe environment. Your children’s ministry areas need to look as safe as they are. In other words, everyone may be cleared to serve in your ministry but if they don’t have proper identification denoting that they’re cleared to serve, parents might worry that just anyone can walk in your ministry and serve with the kids. Present your ministry as safe by making an effort to look as safe as you are.
Any other tips for making sure your children’s ministry provides a safe environment for kids?