Maintaining the daily behind-the-scenes functions of a church can often feel like juggling a dozen balls in the air at the same time (and sometimes with one hand tied behind our backs!). That’s what makes an organization like Dove’s Nest, whose sole mission is to equip churches to protect their children from abuse, so essential in this day and age.
My home congregation, Mission Church in Tucson, Arizona, hosted a training with Anna Groff from Dove’s Nest, with assistance from a Safe Church mini-grant. The training was offered to all of our childcare volunteers as well as a few other local congregations. The training focuses on a variety of necessary topics for discussion, including how to understand consent in regards to touch, recognizing power dynamics between children and adults, and discerning how/when to report concerns about a child’s wellbeing.
The presentation was a sobering and occasionally jarring wake-up call for many of our volunteers. Fortunately, this led to a fruitful and engaging discussion where we spent over an hour brainstorming how we can continue to practically emphasize safety for our kids.
It is a heartbreaking truth that the church has become a place where children can be dangerously vulnerable to abuse of many kinds. Dove’s Nest uses this information adeptly to empower churches rather than dishearten, using this wisdom to spur us to diligence as we represent Christ’s love and compassion for our littles ones.