If a pedophile were to target your church, heaven forbid, would you be prepared for it?
A healthy Children’s Ministry should have a robust system for providing security. At my first church, before scanning and printing name tags was realistic (or possible) we used a simple sign in and out method. Parents signed for their children at drop off; then, when they picked their kids up, signed again and showed their I.D. It was basic but functional.
When I was called to serve at Southeast Christian (SECC), a church with more children on any given weekend than people in my home town, we had a more secure program which I had to learn and adapt to. Now that I have become accustomed to how we do things at SECC, I have found it difficult to drop my kids off at churches which don’t even have a basic system in place for security.
If your church cannot afford a system which prints tags and checks kids in and out… that is fine. I believe most churches are in this boat. However, this does not mean you are not still responsible for providing a secure environment. In fact, your church will be held accountable for it if you allow a child to go home with the wrong person or to be endangered by someone with criminal intent.
One of the key bright spots we see in healthy churches is a commitment to providing a safe and relevant environment. Newly constructed churches invest significant value in making sure the building is laid out in a secure fashion. Volunteers are trained to check kids in and out using the best possible technology… even if that tech is as low-tech as pen, paper, and I.D.
What are some things you do at your church to make sure families can drop their children off in a secure environment?