How do you make decisions?
Some people are “hunchers”. They go off their gut feeling. They have an intuition about something and go with what they feel is the right decision. Other people are “researchers”. They spend hours upon hours looking at all the different options down the minute details so they can make the right decision. And if you’re not one or the other, you usually sit somewhere in between.
And so when it comes to people in your community making a decision about coming to your church, how do you help people know that you’re a safe ministry church? We thought of 3 ways.
Be a Safe Church
It’s no secret that the key to letting people know they’re going to be safe is to make sure that you are a safe church. When you take all the precautions to safeguard your church, your community will feel safe. While it will be hard for them to know this before they arrive, the air of safety they will feel as they see the steps taken to care for vulnerable people and children will give them the confidence to know they will be cared for.
It’s also definitely in the interest of no one to present the image of safety when you’re not a safe church. Establishing a facade of care for children and vulnerable people will only cause damage when abuse takes place.
Safe Ministry Check will go on and on about screening and training until the cows come home, because it’s one of the simplest but regularly forgotten ways of safeguarding your church. Asking those who work with vulnerable people the hard questions about previous accusations is awkward at times, but necessary. Having confirmation from two referees that your volunteer is an appropriate person is almost essential. These are the things that will help to make your church safe and give your community confidence that they will be treated safely.
Use Your Website
If you were looking for a place to go to dinner, what’s the first place you would check? For most in this digital age, it’s the website. Your church website is the place you let your community know what you’re on about. Your website probably informs people on things that you value, and need to let people know so they can join you on a Sunday or throughout the week. You probably have things like a statement of faith, maybe even positional papers to show what you care about.
So why wouldn’t you let your community know that you’re on about safe ministry through your website? We encourage churches to have their safe ministry policy available on their website. We also have a badge of certification available for churches to display on their website, which shows your community your initiative in caring for their safety.
Use Your Social Media
Just like your website, your social media is a great way of helping your community to see the importance you place on safe ministry. There are a couple of ways you can do this.
Why not post a picture of someone doing the training courses on your Facebook or Instagram page? Not only will it highlight this for your community, but your church will also be able to see the process in action.
Another way you could use your social media is by posting the testimony of someone who has recently joined your church and their experience of safe ministry in the process of joining. It’s a clear way of showing your community that you care about them and the safety of their children.