MinistrySafe Q&A: Gregory Love

July 31, 2019

After decades of litigating sexual abuse cases, Gregory Love and Kimberlee Norris founded MinistrySafe to help ministries meet legal standards of care and reduce the risk of sexual abuse by creating preventative measures tailored to fit the needs of churches and ministry programs. With over 50 years combined experience in sexual abuse litigation, consultation and crisis management, Love and Norris understand the risk of sexual abuse and how it unfolds in children’s programming.

The Baptist State Convention of North Carolina is partnering with MinistrySafe to conduct two church safety workshops for pastors and church leaders on Friday, Sept. 20 and Saturday, Sept. 21 at Pleasant Garden Baptist Church. The training will provide the tools to implement a safety system that protects children from sexual abuse in church and ministry environments.

Love, a recognized expert in legal standards of care related to child sexual abuse, recently took time to answer some questions about what he plans to share at the workshops. His responses are below.

What led you to start MinistrySafe?
My involvement in sexual abuse risk began in the representation of victims of sexual abuse in the mid-90s. Through this work, I learned a great deal about sexual abuse risk and how it unfolds in child-serving programs (litigation). That practice grew into the prevention side through the design and implementation of systems to prevent sexual abuse (prevention). Representative clients range from the very large (United States Olympic Committee) to the very small, secular and faith-based. Over the last 15 years my firm has been heavily relied upon by organizations to help respond to crises, conduct internal investigations, address reporting matters and more (related to) crisis Management. MinistrySafe and Abuse Prevention Systems were started as the consulting arm of my business on the prevention side.

Media coverage over the past year has raised awareness about issues related to sexual abuse in the church. What’s been your reaction to that coverage?
I’m pleased to see sexual abuse risk to finally get attention. I’m disappointed that it took this long. The key to understanding the risk of child sexual abuse is an understanding of the “grooming process.” The grooming process has not changed materially over the last 25 years, (and) children’s programming has not changed materially over the last 25 years. Awareness of the risk is finally changing. Sadly, the culture and the media are waking up in anger and frustration — and rightly so. In sum, I am glad but disappointed that the “wake-up call” to many is rude and angry. It would have been much easier to have addressed this risk when the culture was less hostile.

The media coverage and attention that’s been given to this issue suggests that no church is immune from the problem of sexual abuse. What’s your response to a church that may still be thinking, “This could never happen here”?
That church is simply wrong, which has been one of my messages for the last 20-plus years. You will meet me someday — hopefully in my capacity of a prevention expert and not as a crisis response expert.

What are some of the basic first steps a church should implement or have in place to guard against sexual abuse?
Understand the risk. Throw off common errors and misconceptions. Understand the grooming process — especially how grooming would unfold in that church’s particular programs. Implement the MinistrySafe five-part safety system with sexual abuse awareness training as the foundation.

We’re thankful that you will be joining us to conduct two MinistrySafe workshops here in North Carolina this September. What do you plan to address, and what do you hope attendees will take away from this training?
In sum, I want to cover the why, what and the how. I want attendees to understand information about sexual abuse and sexual abusers (the why). With a correct understanding of the risk, I can now help attendees understand what an effective safety system looks like (the what). Once ministry leaders understand the risk, the necessary steps to address the risk become clear. With a good understanding of the risk and an effective safety system, I will then show attendees how to get the tools and resources to implement an effective safety system (the how).


by BSCNC Communications

4 keys to choosing the right Bible study curriculum

It is vitally important that you choose the right curriculum for your ministry. If you don’t, you could derail what you are trying to accomplish. But when it comes to resources for almost any church ministry, you will find that there are hundreds of choices on the market. So how...

What can my church do to prevent sexual abuse?

It’s been one year since the Houston Chronicle broke the news about allegations of sexual abuse in Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) churches and the response of many churches and organizations to hide or minimize these criminals. The question we must ask ourselves is, what can my...

BSCNC announces partnership with Alliance Defending Freedom

As part of a new partnership with the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), churches cooperating with the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina (BSCNC) can benefit from a variety of resources and services at a reduced cost when they join the ADF Church Alliance. The ADF is an...

‘Abuse of Faith:’ One year later

Southern Baptists were shocked and dismayed one year ago this month after the Houston Chronicle printed a series of articles titled “Abuse of Faith.” These articles reported that numerous sexual abuse cases with teens and children had occurred in Southern Baptist Convention (SBC)...

Church revitalization Q&A with Sandy Marks

Last fall, the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina (BSCNC) announced a new emphasis on strengthening existing churches. The emphasis included the formation of a newly named Church Health and Revitalization Team headed by BSCNC staff member Sandy Marks. Marks assumed his new...

How you can lead that difficult person

How are you leading the difficult people in your life? Who comes to mind when you ask yourself that question? You may be surprised that the difficult person I was actually referring to is you. The person staring back at you in your mirror is truly the most challenging person to...

Why reaching every child is important

I put the car in park, loosened my grip on the steering wheel and allowed a few tears of exhaustion to fall. Due to a change in our morning routine, it had been a morning full of communication difficulty and meltdowns. I quickly wiped the tears away and began walking with my...

Supporting gospel work in oppressed places

The spread of the gospel faces challenges because people are battling their own personal sin and pride in the face of the “offense” of the gospel. In addition to the challenge of simple human sinfulness, sometimes the gospel runs up against challenging settings. Christians in...

Join us Sep. 20 or 21 to learn how to implement a safety system that protects children from sexual abuse.

Email [email protected] or call (800) 395-5102, ext. 5546

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Get the latest news and event information by signing up for the DiscipleNC newsletter.

Select Language ^

Share This

Share this with your friends!