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

Why generosity matters, especially during a pandemic

The global COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in more people in need around the world. Health concerns, scarcity of goods, job losses, decreased wages and more have stoked fear, hoarding and other concerns. In these days, even the church isn’t immune. On the other hand, the pandemic...

Pastors need prayers, patience amid pandemic

Two recent articles related to the comfort levels of people returning to in-person worship highlight the ongoing challenges that pastors and churches continue to wrestle with amid the COVID-19 pandemic.One survey conducted by the American Enterprise Institute reported that nearly...

Leading from online engagement to in-person gatherings

When the COVID-19 pandemic began, every church leader had to make a decision regarding the use of online-broadcasting for their weekly worship services. Some churches chose not to broadcast their services. Others, like ours, decided to utilize technology as a means to continue...

25 ways to make your service ‘family friendly’ as you regather

By now, your church has probably regathered in some format, either outside the building in cars or lawn chairs or inside the worship center with modifications for social distancing. Many churches will wait until fall to reopen children’s ministry areas. If your church is...

Top 5 resources for July 2020

Every month, we spotlight five helpful resources for you as you seek to walk closely with the Lord and make disciples. Many of these resources are created by the staff of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina (BSCNC) to help meet the ministry needs of pastors and lay...

Getty, Redman headline virtual worship conference

Some of today’s most renowned and influential worship leaders and artists are coming together for a first-of-its-kind virtual training event designed for anyone involved in worship ministry in the local church. The Resourcing Worship Virtual Conference, scheduled for Aug. 1, 2020,...

Guidance for churches on NC’s face covering mandate

N.C. Gov. Roy Cooper announced on Wednesday, June 24, that face coverings must be worn in public places in an effort to limit the spread of COVID-19. Cooper also announced that North Carolina will remain in the “Safer at Home Phase 2” until Friday, July 17.The Baptist State...

Ongoing concerns over SBC declines

Like many of you, I missed gathering with friends for this year’s Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) Annual Meeting in Orlando, Fla. As you know, the meeting was canceled in late March due to concerns about the coronavirus pandemic. Canceling this year’s annual meeting was a...

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 *

Stay connected by signing up for our monthly newsletter and events email.

Select Language ^

Share This

Share this with your friends!