In regard to child protection in SBC churches and entities, whatever solutions are proposed or adopted in the various levels of Southern Baptist life if they prove ineffective in local churches the effort will have minimal value. Our convention has 50,000 or so individual churches that voluntarily cooperate on associational, state, and national levels. The country crossroads church needs to protect children just like the multi-campus megachurch franchise operation.
In my church we have used MinistrySafe child protection system for about a year now. It is not a perfect system but works well for us. There are various levels of training offered all of which can be completed online. I prefer the regular, ongoing training of the type offered by MinistrySafe rather than the periodic hiring of experts to come into the church and have a mass training meeting. As volunteers are added, they can be required to complete training immediately, since it is available online.
I wrote about implementing the system in my church last year:
While I believe this to be the child protection most popular with SBC entities, state conventions, and churches, there are other options. Contributors who have experience with these may mention them in a comment below. My state offers several free child protection seminars around the state for pastors and church workers.
I am aware that MinistrySafe is not recommended by some. That’s fine and such can be debated elsewhere. I know of no good reason not to use this and know many reasons that it is good for any size church. Arguably, this is the child protection resource that has done the most in the SBC to educate pastors, churches, and workers about child abuse. I think it is a good choice and have no criticism of the program, save for the training videos could be made more interesting. My relationship with MinistrySafe is that I have attended one of their conferences in our state. I’ve never met either of the lawyers who are the principals in this organization. I’m not paid. My church uses the resources like any other church and are paying the usual charges for it.
The demand of churches for protection training services has grown greatly and one would expect it to grow in the future. There is a considerable market for these services which are for fee (our church of 300 or so may end up with $500 or so initial annual cost). Let each pastor and church choose what they think best for them.
But choose something. You can’t do nothing.