The Role of Safe Ministry Contacts

At Safe Ministry Check, we like to think of your church as a Safe Ministry Team. Everyone is working together in different roles and with different responsibilities to bring about a safe culture for children and vulnerable people. And if that’s the case, it shows how appropriate training is for the task at hand. Training helps get all members of your church equipped and on board. That’s why we have free training for your church members in our system, not just volunteers.

While we do have training appropriate for all levels of responsibility in your church, we thought it would be helpful to provide some resources to give you a bit of extra help with training your Safe Ministry Contacts. These are the people who you have entered into the “Safe Ministry Contacts” tab under “Settings” on the Dashboard. In this blog post, we’re going to explore some of the responsibilities of your safe ministry contacts, as well as ways you can equip them for their role in your safe ministry team.

Championing Safety

For all members of your safe ministry team (your church) it’s important they champion safety, but for your safe ministry contacts, this is a priority. What does it mean to champion safety? Well, your safe ministry contacts are the ones who want to promote safe ministry in everything that your church does. They promote safe ministry in their conversations. They chat with ministry leaders about what they’re doing to maintain a safe culture. They remind your church and leadership of the priority of safety in your church. It’s not that they only talk about safe ministry in any conversation they have, but they bring up the subject when they feel it needs to be addressed. They are the culture promoters.

This also means taking all precautions to make sure they are approachable people within your church. Safe ministry contacts need to be open, available, and ready to take all reporting and incidents seriously. People should be able to feel comfortable coming to them to report an incident, and have their concerns treated with respect and integrity.

Understanding the Incident Response Process

Your church should have an Incident Response Process. If not, as part of your subscription to Safe Ministry Check you’ll have access to the ANSVAR approved Incident Response Process under the example policies section of your dashboard, which you should implement. For your safe ministry contacts, it’s important that they know this process thoroughly so that if an incident occurs or someone reports a concern, they are able to follow it without any hesitation.

To help your Safe Ministry Contacts understand the Incident Response Process, you might choose to go through it with them in order to answer any questions they might have, or to work through some example situations using the document. Spending the time digging into the Incident Response Process will bring an expectation for them to understand it and be able to follow it.

Implementing the Incident Response process

Understanding the Incident Response Process is only the foundation of their responsibility. Implementation is where the rubber hits the road. Being prepared for an incident at all times, and being able to respond appropriately is going to make your church the safe place it needs to be for children and vulnerable people. One of the ways to make sure your Safe Ministry Contacts are always ready for an incident is to have them go over the incident response process regularly, as well as making sure they have access to it if they don’t already.

If you need more examples of what this will look like, there are some example situations through the blog link on the Safe Ministry Contacts page on the Dashboard.

Undertaking All Levels of Training

With Safe Ministry Check having high quality, short, online training, you are able to give your safe ministry contacts the resources to spot unsafe practise wherever they are. You’ll also be giving them an insight into the responsibilities of different levels of leadership in your church. The added bonus to having them complete the member, volunteer/leader, supervisor, and board member training is their ability to better understand the incident being raised. Anyone categorised in the board member level on the safe ministry check trainee list will have unlimited access to all courses for $0.39 per person per month.

As always, if you have any questions or need assistance in training your Safe Ministry Contacts, please let us know by sending us an email or giving us a call.

Photo by Gabrielle Henderson on Unsplash