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I did not realize until many years later how formative this experience was for me, personally. Because of it, I went to college with many questions. Why do Christians seem to wait so long to get counseling? Why is it so hard for church leaders, like the associate pastor, to find the resources they need to heal long before they commit acts of abuse and spread the damage? Who helps ordained and lay leaders in the church who must lead a congregation through the aftermath of abuse? How does a church ensure abuse does not happen?
In the years following, the more I studied and began to practice pastoral therapy and congregational care, I have been grateful to discover colleagues along the way who have been wrestling with similar questions. Colleagues like Boz Tchividjian.
Most recently, Boz and his colleagues at GRACE (Godly Response to Abuse in Christian Environments), produced a practical guide for crafting an effective children's ministry policy in your church. At ICTG, we cannot emphasize the critical need for this guide enough. A central tenet to the mission of ICTG, we believe congregations should be frontline catalysts for healing and restoration in communities. This guide helps congregations be the vibrant leaders in individual, family, and community health they are called to be.
The Child Safeguarding Policy Guide helps ordained and lay leaders provide reliably safe environments for children and youth, partner more effectively with school officials, law enforcement agents, social workers, and mental health professionals to counter the effects of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), and foster whole community care. In this guide you receive thorough research to understand how wide spread experiences of abuse are, including in your community. Even more helpful, you receive step-by-step instructions for your staff or volunteer team to carefully create a sound policy for children in your congregation and community to experience safety, nurture, and thriving. If you don't already have a policy in place, or you need to assess the one you have, we recommend getting this guide today.