N.C. Baptist churches must be safe places for the vulnerable and harbors for the hurting.
A care team helps your church prevent, respond and care for people in your church who have experienced abuse.
- A care team acts as an encouragement. This team allows parents and survivors of your church to be assured that you take this issue seriously and seek to care for and protect the congregation. Introducing the team during a service will also allow members to know the individuals they can contact to discuss questions and concerns.
- A care team acts as a deterrent. Having a group focused on this issue and leading your church through resources and safety and security systems lets perpetrators know that you take this issue seriously. This process acts as a restraint because perpetrators will go where they have the easiest access to victims.
- A care team acts as a conduit. This group will be able to focus their energies on this important issue and help your church’s initial commitment to caring well become more than just good intentions. They will serve as a conduit for your church’s efforts to move from ideas to implementation.
Who should be on a care team?
It is important to consider who should make up your team. For some churches, this team should comprise a small group of key leaders from your pastoral staff, student ministry, children’s ministry, women’s ministry or marriage ministry. Other churches may have church members who could contribute expertise or a unique perspective. Consider your specific context to decide who will serve best. Your most trusted leaders should be eager to support the effort.
Include men and women. They have unique roles and giftings, and both bring a unique and invaluable perspective.
Consider individuals who might bring expertise and experience to the team. Church members with a background in social work, law enforcement, counseling or education would make excellent team members. A church member who has experienced abuse in the past could offer an immensely valuable perspective — if they have made enough progress in recovery and believe their participation would be a healthy experience.
N.C. Baptist churches ought to be safe places for the vulnerable and harbors for the hurting. For more information about preventing abuse and caring for survivors, visit ncbaptist.org/abuse.
by NC Baptist Communications
EDITOR’S NOTE: This article has been adapted from a Caring Well resource.