I was on a children’s ministry site this week where a question was posed that made me stop in my tracks. It went something like,”As a new leader of children’s ministry at my church, should we have any safety policies in place? There currently are none in place here that I can find.” I was simply taken back. Was this a third world country??? Nope, right here in the great USA. Being a mom and ministry leader for many years, I quickly shot back a response that went something like this: DO NOT have another weekend come around without safety guidelines in place.
Children’s Ministry 101 is (1) Screen your volunteers on both the state and national level. (2) Never, but never open a room without a minimum of two screened volunteers and age ratio’s. (3) Do not ever allow anyone to take a child alone anywhere including a restroom. (4) Have an emergency plan (incl CPR training) in place and practice it! (5) Do not release a child to an adult/guardian without id,(parents actually appreciate this. There are just too many custody issues and predators out there who know church is an easy target). Don’t have church if you can’t do these basic things. I’d go to the mat on these minimum basics. Anything less is just sub-standard and dangerous. Protect your church (many have had legal action brought against them). Protect your kids. Protect your volunteers. A safe environment precedes ministry.