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Do Your Staff and Volunteers Use Cell Phones while Driving on Church Business?
A new study shows more distractions exist behind the wheel, including voice commands to dial.
Do Your Staff and Volunteers Use Cell Phones while Driving on Church Business?
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Voice commands in cars aren't as safe as people may think. New research by AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety shows that "potentially unsafe mental distractions can persist for as long as 27 seconds after dialing, changing music, or sending a text using voice commands" ...

When a Child Complained about a Volunteer's Physical Affection
My leadership team faced a difficult decision.
When a Child Complained about a Volunteer's Physical Affection
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It was the last thing any church leader wants to hear at the end of a long, sweaty week of VBS. A mother, visibly upset, approached the pastor of our small church to report that an adult volunteer had once again hugged her 10-year-old daughter without permission.

The mother ...

How Thorough Is Your Reference Check?
Check if these six key pieces are on your forms.
How Thorough Is Your Reference Check?
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Reference forms that an employee or volunteer applicant fills out are a vital part of the background check process for new ministry volunteers, especially children’s ministry volunteers. But often, reference forms don’t get to the nitty-gritty of what you truly need ...

Protecting Special Needs Adults
Part 3 in a series on creating a safe, welcoming ministry.
Protecting Special Needs Adults
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Mike Dobes has overseen the Church Relationships Department of Joni and Friends for the past three and a half years. His department provides training and materials to local churches all over the country, equipping them to serve individuals with disabilities in a ministry setting. ...

Protecting Children in Special Needs Ministry
Part 2 in a series on creating a safe, welcoming space for those with physical or mental disabilities.
Protecting Children in Special Needs Ministry
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Mike Dobes has overseen the Church Relationships Department of Joni and Friends for the past three and a half years. His department provides training and materials to local churches all over the country, equipping them to serve individuals with disabilities in a ministry setting. ...

Start with "Hi"
Joni and Friends Supervisor Mike Dobes on why saying hello is the best way to minister to individuals with special needs.
Start with "Hi"
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Mike Dobes has overseen the Church Relationships Department of Joni and Friends for the past three and a half years. His department provides training and materials to local churches all over the country, equipping them to serve individuals with disabilities in a ministry setting. ...

When Carpeting Is Risky
Churches can be legally responsible for injuries suffered from falls due to carpeting, throw rugs, and runners.
When Carpeting Is Risky
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Carpeting can cause slips and falls in a number of ways. Throw rugs on a wood or tile floor often slide unless they are positioned on a nonskid mat. Carpeting can curl around the edges and not lie flat on the floor. As a result, people can catch their shoes on the edge and ...

6 Tips on Church Nursery Safety
6 Tips on Church Nursery Safety
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Keep your nursery safe for children by following these suggestions:

  • Keep the cords of window blinds out of reach by hanging them at the top of the window covering. Don’t set cribs near windows.
  • Install anti-scald devices on faucets to keep water temperatures below 120 degrees Fahrenheit.
Violence at Church
The statistics of deadly force incidents in 2014 at faith-based organizations in the U.S.
Violence at Church
Image: Mauro Luna / Flickr

On June 17, 2015, a shooter opened fire at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina, killing nine victims, including the pastor. The crime appears to have been motivated by hate.

The incident is tragic, jarring, and almost unbelievable. Sadly, even if mass shootings are ...

The Duggar Abuse Case: A Lesson for Churches
What churches can learn about the need to report abuse—and the consequences of failing to do so.
The Duggar Abuse Case: A Lesson for Churches
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Josh Duggar, the son of the Duggar family who together star in TLC’s 19 Kids and Counting TV show, has confessed to sexually abusing several minor females when he was a teenager. Timothy C. Morgan’s coverage of this story in Christianity Today gives more details. ...

Faith and Law Are Key Reasons for Vaccinations
Why ministry is helped when church leaders consider creating vaccination policies.
Faith and Law Are Key Reasons for Vaccinations
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Concern for vaccines and their negative effects has grown in recent years. That concern has translated into action: parents refusing vaccines for their children for religious or health reasons (or both). Christianity Today notes that “Vaccination rates are so low in ...

Will Your Church's Insurance Policy Cover an Abuse Claim?
Why your leaders must review insurance coverages before something ever happens.
Will Your Church's Insurance Policy Cover an Abuse Claim?
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April is Child Abuse Prevention Month and it serves as a reminder that churches need to be aware of how children are being protected at church from sexual, mental, and physical abuse. To help in this effort, we're releasing the new eBook Church Board Guide to a Child Sexual ...

Common Church Board Blind Spots
Facts worth noting as you plan your board's next meeting agenda
Common Church Board Blind Spots
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April is Child Abuse Prevention Month and serves as a reminder that churches need to be aware of how children are being protected at church from sexual, mental, and physical abuse. To help in this effort, we're releasing the new eBook Church Board Guide to a Child Sexual ...

The State of Abuse Prevention in the Church
Awareness of the issue has grown, and caring for victims of past abuse is key
The State of Abuse Prevention in the Church
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April is Child Abuse Prevention Month and serves as a reminder that churches need to be aware of how children are being protected at church from sexual, mental, and physical abuse. To help in this effort, we're releasing the new eBook Church Board Guide to a Child Sexual ...

When to Postpone or Cancel Church Events
Guidelines for when safety and prudence trump the church’s schedule
When to Postpone or Cancel Church Events
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I live one hour north of New York City, an area where our church and the local population endure hurricanes, blizzards, ice storms, and a wide variety of other dangerous weather conditions. Our area is also affected by power outages that can go on for days, sometimes more than ...

Preventing Child Sexual Abuse
How to reduce this risk in your church
Preventing Child Sexual Abuse
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April is Child Abuse Prevention Month and serves as a reminder that churches need to be aware of how children are being protected at church from sexual, mental, and physical abuse. To help in this effort, we're releasing the new eBook Church Board Guide to a Child Sexual ...

How to Respond to Reports of Child Abuse
Reasons why training and a legal and ministry-minded response plan are needed
How to Respond to Reports of Child Abuse
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April is Child Abuse Prevention Month and serves as a reminder that churches need to be aware of how children are being protected at church from sexual, mental, and physical abuse. To help in this effort, we're releasing the new eBook Church Board Guide to a Child Sexual ...

Q&A: Sleeping Arrangements for Minors
Safeguards to protect youth and your ministry.
Q&A: Sleeping Arrangements for Minors
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Q: Our church is sending a group of high school students on a 10-day missions trip. What sleeping arrangements would result in the least risk? Should there be an adult in each room containing minors?

A: I am often asked about the appropriate sleeping arrangements for church-sponsored ...

Kiss Cam
Kiss Cam
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All joking aside, find some important production ministry safeguards in Create a Safe Production Arts Ministry.

3 Steps to Keep Criminals from Targeting Your Church
Property prep, community relations, and common sense can go a long way.
3 Steps to Keep Criminals from Targeting Your Church
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When it comes to crime prevention, law enforcement professionals often reference this adage: If a property looks like a target for criminals, it is.

Churches might well take that observation to heart. Carl Chinn's 2013 report on violence against churches and faith-based ...

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