On-the-Job-Training Isn’t Working

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Boz Tchividjian has firsthand knowledge of the devastating impact of child abuse. especially when it occurs within the church. He is a former child abuse chief prosecutor and is the founder and executive director of GRACE (Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment). Tchividjian is also an Associate Professor of Law at Liberty University School of Law, and is a published author who speaks and writes extensively on issues related to abuse within the faith community. He is also leading a new initiative to develop a seminary curriculum that will aim to educate and inform church leaders about child abuse.

In his recent blog, Tchividjian explains why on-the-job training in preventing child abuse isn’t working. He writes, “On-the-job training … is dangerous and all too often has devastating consequences. A problem with on-the-job training is that it allows for mistakes. That is okay when you are cooking hamburgers, but not when it involves the safety of children. It is not okay when it involves an abuse survivor who quietly suffers in the pew. It is not okay when it involves a perpetrator who exploits ignorance in order to victimize children and avoid getting caught.”

Tchividjian describes the harms that result when churches are ill equipped to prevent and respond to child abuse. He explains, “What I have encountered are children who were victimized in churches that refused to acknowledge the importance of taking proactive steps to protect. What I have encountered are survivors and their families who struggle to find a pastor who is equipped or even interested in working through their deep spiritual questions associated with this horrific offense. What I have encountered are scores of survivors who spend years searching for someone inside the church who understands their dark journey and is willing to walk with them. Most of these aching souls eventually lose hope, stop searching, and walk away.”

Tchividjian isn’t standing idly by hoping things will improve. Continuing to do the same thing churches always have done will continue to result in the same outcomes. Instead, let's do something different! Tchividjian has assembled a group of experts to develop a seminary curriculum, and he hopes it will be used in a wide range of seminaries and institutions of learning, across denominations, and maybe around the world, very soon. Doing better isn’t optional, says Tchividjian. Lives are at stake. “There is no reason any of us should accept the status quo of on-the-job training when it comes to the protection and care of God’s children," Tchividjian concludes. "We can do better. We must do better. The invaluable lives of those made in God’s image deserve nothing less.”

Read the blog for yourself. The comments are informative, too. See more at: http://boz.religionnews.com/2014/05/30/job-training-isnt-working-lets-st...

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