There is much deserved print space dedicated to the topic of violence in Houses of Worship (HOW), particularly, in the aftermath of the Charleston shooting in 2015. The cornerstone of our firm’s existence is due to the rising violent incidents that occur in HOW.
We have also monitored what is possibly a larger threat to our worship centers that has exploded over the course of the last couple of years in terms of reported events. Rarely a week goes by that we do not come across an article through the various social media outlets reporting an arrest, conviction, or other follow up stories on ministerial staff’s involvement in incidents of sexual misconduct against our children. We could expand this topic to include school teachers, administrators, and coaches as well; but, that is not our focus in this article.
Churches do not like adverse publicity for obvious reasons. However, in light of the circumstances at other institutions, such as Penn State University and Baylor University, the failure to report even the suspicion of sexual misconduct can have far reaching ramifications.
The first twenty-five minutes of the attached podcast presented by experts on this topic highlights many of the misconceptions of sexual predators within the confines of our HOW. It also delves into the criminal and legal ramifications of a “head in the sand” approach to monitoring.
If you are involved in any ministry within your church that involves children, you should listen to this podcast. I also encourage you to be vigilant within your church to support efforts to inform, educate and train your church staff and volunteer workers.