I am not really sure where to start this blog post. For the last three years I have dedicated my spare time to post helpful information related to church safety and security. I have spoken with countless numbers of people trying to help them increase the safety and security of their places of worship. Now… My church of almost 30 years and “former” church parent ministry is plagued with their own “apparent” scandal related to both sexual abuse and abuse of pastoral authority. I have purposefully been quite related to the events that have been occurring. For months I have been asked to comment on the issue. I have decided that I cannot run a website dedicated to church safety and security and NOT talk about a major issue that is unfolding right in front of my eyes.
How and why did we get to this point! By no means am I attempting to say that I have had all of the answers. Many of the claims and allegations against both Sovereign Grace Ministry (SGM) and Covenant Life Church (CLC) stem back 25 years… From a Safety and Security prospective I can honestly state that I have first hand observed Covenant Life Church make many positive changes over the last 5 years towards their policies and procedures related to safety and security. The question will remain was it too little too late?
When I started this website 3 years ago, I was approached by two individuals from SGM and asked to contribute information about church safety and security on their internal church leadership website. Their passion and desire was to get this information out to their family of churches so positive change could be made in the best interest of their church membership. I decided that my first post should be related to children’s ministry and the importance of conducting background checks. (Original Blog Post will be posted in a separate securityatchurch.com post). I received immediate positive feedback from the content of the message from the two individuals who were in favor of the content being shared. Unfortunately, an individual in SGM leadership felt that the content of my post should not be viewed as the opinion of SGM. He did not want SGM churches to view my suggestions as coming with the authority of the parent ministry. My blog post was removed and my invitation to post future content related to church safety and security was revoked! This decision was not the desire of the two individuals who originally asked me to contribute. In fact to this day they are both still huge supporters of my efforts and securityatchurch.com! (Note: One of the individuals no longer works for SGM).
I am including the original SGM Blog Post in my next post for you to read and decide for yourself… Maybe the SGM leadership should have had their local churches view this information as the opinion of the parent ministry! What is your local church or church parent ministry doing to actively protect you and your local church? If they ever have the unfortunate situation to have the national press and local legal system evaluating them, will the outcome show an active desire to help the church be a safe place or a hidden effort to prevent resources and information from being shared and spread?