One thing that we can all agree on is that it’s important to keep our children safe. Another thing that all Christians can agree on (or at least should agree on) is that it’s important to teach our children about God, the Bible, and the gospel of Jesus Christ. This is why most churches have a children’s ministry. And this also why the safety of the students should be considered when planning and implementing a children’s ministry. Dale Hudson, the founder and director of Building Children’s Ministry, believes that “one of the most important aspects of children’s ministry is safety and security.”
Hudson founded Building Children’s Ministry “to help churches build thriving, growing children and family ministries.” His nearly three decades of experience means that he can speak with authority. Witnessing the growing threat of violence in places where children gather, Hudson is concerned with helping pastors, parents, and teachers implement procedures to help ensure the safety of the students God has entrusted to them.
In a blog post published by Church Leaders, Hudson warns that violence “can happen at anytime and at any place. From big cities to small towns, we must be prepared.” Pointing out that “an effective safety and security plan doesn’t happen by accident,” he encourages churches to develop the why’s and how’s of ensuring the safety and security of children. To aid with that, Hudson offers ten questions that should be asked when putting together a security plan:
- Do we run background checks on every person who serves in our ministry?
- Is there ever a time when someone is alone with a child?
- Do we have a check-in/check-out system in place?
- Do we lock down the children’s area once service has started?
- Do we personally interview potential volunteers and ask them the hard questions?
- Do we have windows in every classroom?
- Do we have an active shooter plan?
- Do we have a security team that is trained in what to do?
- Are our volunteers clearly identified?
- Do we have an evacuation plan for fire, tornadoes, earthquakes, etc.?
I highly encourage you to click over to the post and read Hudson’s comments about each of the questions. All ten questions are very practical and if thought through will help your church better protect your children. Even if you’re not a pastor or children’s ministry leader, the questions are good ones for parents to ask of their church or churches that they visit. The protection of our children should not be assumed. Thankfully, men like Dale Hudson are providing churches resources to help them be proactive in ensuring the safety of their children’s ministries.