Make a Safe Place
By Pastor Tom Anderson
Who is responsible for making a safe place for children, youth and vulnerable adults at Thrive Church? There is only one right answer to that question for every member of the congregation. Do you know it? Each member should look in the mirror and answer the question, “I am.” Each of us is responsible.
Keeping children safe in this age of abuse is as easy as 1-2-3. We have three simple rules here at Thrive which if followed by us all will ensure the protection of our children as well as us adults.
Rule 1: No one-on-one. Adults interacting with children or youth should always be in the eyesight of other adults. In our ministry times there is never any moment when adults should find themselves alone with a child. Such situations are not just to be avoided; they are not permitted.
Rule 2: Two-deep leadership. In all of our children and youth programs from Thrive Kids to Youth Fellowship we provide at least 2 certified adults as leaders. Adults always have a partner in leadership. This is great back up in case of emergency, one can always go for help without having to leave the children alone.
Rule 3: The rule of three. We encourage the buddy system among children and youth. Especially when on an excursion or mission trip, children should move around in groups of three. If adults must move about with children, it should be in a group of three.
Thrive Church has a printed Protection Plan that all adult leaders are required to read and be trained in each year. New leaders give permission to Thrive Church to conduct a criminal background check. Copies of the plan are available from the church office.
It’s my personal goal to have every adult member at Thrive take this training and become certified to work with children and youth at Thrive. Even if you have no plans to serve, you will be qualified to step in to chaperone, drive or assist as a substitute when needed. It’s a great way to make yourself available to a call to ministry from Jesus.
A Child Protection Training will be held after church on January 22 at 12:15 in the Worship Center. It will take about 30 minutes and will be time well spent in honoring our Lord and protecting the youngest of His flock. Please let Sue Cole or me know you are coming. I look forward to seeing you all there!