In this webinar, we explored the theme of creating a Safe Church team. You'll find many great resources to support you in developing your Safe Church team!
Topic: Creating Safe Church
Want to know our history? Check out this post on the history of Safe Church.
Our Direction for Safe Church
Initially, a process was needed for responding to abuse within the church. The Advisory Panel Process and ARTs (Abuse Response Teams) developed over the years. We need to continue to offer ongoing training as this is a key part of our work. This has continued to evolve over the years. A valuable resource for teams is: Guidelines for Handling Abuse Allegations Against a Church Leader: The Advisory Panel Process.
While being prepared to respond to abuse is necessary, the mission of Safe Church Ministry is much broader than that. We also need to focus on prevention and raising awareness at every level of the church. We do not think Safe Church Ministry is a ministry on its own, it is a vital element of who we are as the church.
Understanding the dynamics of abuse, and its prevalence, is also vital to living into the good news of Jesus renewing his world. This is gospel work, it is a part of joining God on mission to renew every part of creation. Directly addressing abuse, its devastation, caring for those who have been victimized, and taking steps to ensure that we are not using our power to exploit others is central to following Jesus.
It is our hope that we are able to partner with all the leaders of our church to take these steps together and with the help of God, striving for justice and for grace, stop abuse. It can’t all happen from a small office in Grand Rapids, MI. We all need to partner together, and one of the best ways to do this is to form thriving safe church teams both in our classes and congregations that collaborate with leaders in all the structures of the church.
Here are some other keys for Safe Church Leaders to Consider as you lead Safe Church Teams: How and why do we exist?
Name Your Why
What is it that makes it your passion?
Share your vulnerability! People will start to identify with you and join you.
What is your frame of reference? What is your story? How do you navigate the reality of abuse?
Look at How
We suggest the following:
Build a core team/executive: 3 to 7 people who focus on planning and equipping all the congregational safe church teams in their classis. This team’s focus: training, planning gatherings and events, team development and connections. Please note Safe Church has a Coordinator Grant! (Check out this article on the role of the coordinator, including important information on our Coordinator grant information in the 4th heading).
We have compiled a list of training ideas for your team:
Also, consider starting a book club. Here are some of our favorites:
Jay stringer - Unwanted: How Sexual Brokenness Reveals Our Way to Healing
Ruth Everhart - The #MeToo Reckoning
Diane Langberg - Release Date: October 20th, 2020 Redeeming Power: Understanding Authority and Abuse in the Church Check out her other books too!
Rachael Denhollander - What is a Girl Worth?
Chuck DeGroat - When Narcisism Comes to Church (Just released March 17th, 2020!)
Classics, oldies but goodies:
Jeanette Harder - Let the Children Come
Pamela Cooper-White - The Cry of Tamar
Valli Boobal Batchelder - When Pastors Prey
We want to take every opportunity to remind you of our annual Safe Church Conference for Safe Church Coordinators. It will be October 22 to 24 in Grand Rapids, MI at the Drury Inn! The theme for our conference will be: Connect, Collaborate, and Coordinate to End Abuse. This year the conference will primarily be for Safe Church Coordinators of classes and key Safe Church leaders of the 49 Christian Reformed Church classes.
It was exciting to see so many participate in our second webinar of the series.
Here is a list of our upcoming webinars so you can make sure to put them on the calendar!
April 29th, 12 pm to 1:30 pm
Link to purchase The #MeToo Reckoning
May 27th: 12 pm to 1:30 pm
Church Council Training
Guest speakers to be announced soon!
June 24:12 pm to 1:30 pm
Guest Speaker:Yvonne Lammers, Safe Church Coordinator, Classis Chatham