Georgia Baptist churches seeking to beef up their sexual abuse awareness and prevention efforts are encouraged to attend one of eight free workshops in March and April.
The Church Safety Workshop will be sponsored by the Georgia Baptist Mission Board and conducted by Texas-based MinistrySafe and Abuse Prevention Systems. In 2015 it conducted a similar workshop at the Mission Board’s headquarters in Duluth and First Atlanta and has worked with LifeWay Christian Resouces and several state conventions.
One out of three girls and one out of five boys is sexually abused before the age of 18, a spokesman told The Index. A free video explaining how congregations can implement abuse prevention systems can be viewed on MinistrySafe’s website.
Registration now open
Congregations can register here. No payment is required but a contact name must be provided. Early registration is strongly encouraged to assure space availability and provide for meal preparation.
The workshops will equip attendees with information to understand how children are at risk of sexual abuse in church programs. The understanding will be followed by the information, tools, and resources to develop and implement an effective safety system to protect children and those who serve them.
The upcoming training dates and events include:
- March 22 – Chula – First Baptist Church, 9:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. Lunch is provided.
- March 22 – Bainbridge – Morningside Baptist Church, 6:30-9:30 p.m. Dinner will be at 6 p.m.
- April 14 – Savannah – Savannah Baptist Ministry Center, 9:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. Lunch is provided.
- April 14 – Vidalia – First Baptist Church, 6:30-9:30 p.m. Dinner will be at 6 p.m.
- April 26 – Maysville – Maysville Baptist Church, 9:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. Lunch is provided.
- April 27 – Macon – Lighthouse Baptist Church, 9:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. Lunch is provided.
- April 28 – Cartersville – Grace Baptist Church, 9:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. Lunch is provided.
- April 28 – Lithia Springs – First Baptist Church, 6:30-9:30 p.m. Dinner will be at 6 p.m.
Training and prevention is imperative
Georgia Baptist Mission Board Executive Director J. Robert White said recently, “If you ever thought a criminal background check was enough, you need to attend this summit to learn what is really involved in protecting your children and youth from the blight of sexual abuse.
“If you ever thought you can manage a sexual abuse crisis quietly within the confines of your inner church structure, you need this conference to be prepared for meeting your legal responsibilities when you have an event.
“If you ever thought that sexual abuse laws do not have impact on churches, you need this summit to learn about your legal requirements and responsibilities.”
The Mission Board is providing the training to churches through gifts to the Cooperative Program and Mission Georgia state missions offering.