If you already, read my disclaimer about this series. This series is a no nonsense approach about compromising situations that may cost you everything.
Don’t be alone with a child.
At all the churches I’ve been at, this has been one of the cardnal rules for ministry. If you neglect this one, I’m not even going to tell you how stupid you are.
Sometimes we have that last parents who lingers leaving their kids waiting. I want to honor my volunteers and send them home as soon as they can, but I’ll keep at least one to hang around with me until the parent comes. Sometimes this has been inconvenient for me and at other times this has been inconvenient to the parents. That’s okay, its a boundary worth protecting. I’ve never had a parent complain, usually they’re gratefull for the safeguards.
My wife teaches piano lessens. She requires the parents to stay during the lessons. Why? Because she knows an allegation could ruin my ministry and influence. It may seem a little over-the-top, but my calling to ministry is worth it.
I’ll take one more uncomfortable step. I’ve met a lot of student pastors who make efforts to connect with kids in their ministry. Often they’ll swing by to pick them up to take them to a movie or to hang out. I’m the first to admit that I’m no expert in student ministry, but does this not sound wreckless to anyone else. Most of the sex scandle surrounding the Catholic church has reolved around young middle school aged boys and girls. I would think this would make us more cautious. Catholic or not, it’s a blemish we wear as most people see no difference between protestant and Catholic churches. Yeah, this is probably going to cramp your style, but I think it’s worth it. I had a high school boy that I invested in a lot a few years ago. Before he could drive it was a pain getting together with him becasue I always had to arrange for his parents to drop him off or I’d have to bring Sara along. Just my opinions though. I love what you do too much to see you lose it all.
So, keep your guard up. Don’t be stupid. Don’t be alone with a child. Ever.
Unless it’s your own.
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