A volunteer Sunday school teacher began picking up a second grade boy each Sunday morning and evening allegedly for church services, and on Thursday evenings to participate in a church visitation program. This relationship continued for two years during which time the teacher frequently molested the boy.
A 6-year-old boy was sexually assaulted during Sunday school class. The boy attended a class of 45 first and second graders at a local church. During "story time," the boy became disruptive, and the teacher allowed a teenage volunteer to "take him back and color" in an unused room. The adult teacher did not check on the boy for the remainder of the Sunday school session. The volunteer allegedly abused and raped the boy, and threatened to hurt or kill him if he "told anyone."
A youth pastor sexually molested a 13-year-old boy. The boy then began molesting his sister, attempting to "act out" what the pastor had done to him. The church had hired the youth pastor though church leaders knew he had been guilty of child molestation in the past.
These cases illustrate the growing number of lawsuits directed at churches today.
Could it happen at your church?
Churches have a reputation for being desperate for volunteers—especially when it comes to children's and youth ministries. Churches are by nature trusting and unsuspecting institutions. Church leaders don't want to ask sensitive questions that might offend the people who are willing to give their time and talent to youth and children. These qualities, while making a pleasant community, can also make a church susceptible to incidents of child sexual abuse.