“Jimmy” joined the church a year ago. Before long, he volunteered to teach a Sunday School class and got to know eight-year-old “Peter.” Things started innocently. A hug at the end of class. Gifts for Peter. Lots of extra attention. And then it happened. Jimmy took advantage of Peter.
Since Sandusky and the scandals in the Catholic Church, the issue of sexual abuse has shifted to the forefront of our collective mind. Many churches are poised for action but unsure of what action to take.
In On Guard, Deepak Reju examines why child predators target churches and offers eleven straightforward strategies to protect children from abuse and to help young victims recover if it does happen. While On Guard does provide practical help for building a child protection policy, it provides much more. Full of pastoral wisdom, On Guard recognizes that the church’s response to abuse must be more comprehensive—in line with her calling—than a simple legal policy or clinical analysis. On Guard moves church staff and leaders beyond fearful awareness to prayerful preparedness with an actionable plan.
Church, be on guard! Child abuse can happen anywhere, and we need a plan for how to prevent and respond to it. What’s yours?