WHY THIS POLICY WAS DEVELOPED:
In the interests of excellence in Church Administration, and to minimize the church’s Liability, we should develop Church Policies regarding any aspect of church life whenever our church’s children are concerned. Please review another article Ultimate Church Policy
The following Church Policy was developed when a church’s visitor communicated to the pastor, the fact that he was a registered sexual offender. Because the church had never previously experienced such an unsettling event, there was great confusion and debate over what to do; And in the course of determining policy, they experienced an ultimate loss of about one third of it’s members.
Conclusion – When we have Church Policies, we will “Respond” sweetly and Christlike to difficult situations. Where there are no Church Policies – we may “React,” and probably not too well.
SAFE CHURCH POLICY:
All sexual activity outside the bonds of marriage, especially acts of sexual misconduct, and sexual molestation committed against minors, are sin and wrong in the sight of God. However, we affirm that people living outside God’s creative purpose and will, can be freed from compulsive behavior by faith in Jesus Christ (John 8:36) by the cleansing, mind-renewing power of the Holy Spirit (Rom 12:1-2), and through the supportive ministry of the church, which is the Body of Christ (James 5:16). Just as we teach of Biblical standards for sexuality, we must be willing to provide the support systems necessary for the redeemed to live a holy lifestyle in a fallen and sexually promiscuous culture.
Sexual Misconduct, especially Sexual Molestation, is one of the major issues of our day, not only in your city, but throughout the nation and the world. The Church is presented with demanding ethical, social, public health, legal, educational and spiritual challenges. Because of the overwhelming statistical facts regarding the rate of recidivism of those convicted of sexual misconduct, especially of Child Molestation, it is imperative we establish safeguard policies which define to what extent the registered sex offender will be allowed to attend church – if at all. Regardless of how long ago the date of his conviction – yes he is forgiven by God and us – but he [and we] must live with the consequences of his action(s).
There are two dimensions of concern we must be aware of. When we become aware of the fact that we have a known sex offender attending the church, we MUST immediately determine whether or not the the conditions of his parole allow him to attend church, or is he prohibited from being in a church in all circumstances?. Any pastor or leader who may be aware of a registered sex offender attending the church, but fails to take steps of notification to protect the children, would likely be held personally accountable [financially] in any civil action, should the convicted offender commit a sexual misconduct in the church.
This Church Policy is written with the hope that every member of the Body of Christ will remember we are called to be the light and emissary of the Lord Jesus Christ to a lost and dying world. It is not our duty to judge people, but we are called to walk in wisdom when we are aware of certain facts. We are to demonstrate the love of Jesus, and to attempt to lead him into a more personal relationship with our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, and to encourage him/her in his personal growth in Him. We are to agree to ‘stand’ with the redeemed sinner, in expectation of a complete restoration of his life, while at the same time providing a safe environment for all other church members, especially every child and young person. To accomplish that, we must acknowledge the devious mindset of the average registered sex offender and as best we can, eliminate any opportunity for him to interact one-on-one with any person in the church. Each case will be evaluated on the basis of the relevant facts, and a specific course of action will be determined
SAFE CHURCH POLICY
After a great deal of discussion and prayer, a motion was duly made, seconded and carried, and it was
RESOLVED, that the following be the official SAFE CHURCH POLICY of the church. Any person having been convicted of sexual misconduct, or molestation and or who is a registered sex offender will, initially, be welcome to attend the early church services, but only so long 1. The conditions of his parole allow him to do so; 2. He agrees to being systematically discipled according to Biblical principles; 3. He is to be accompanied by an assigned church member whenever on church property; 4. He calls the church, or the assigned member at least two days prior, and make arrangements to be met in the church parking lot; and 5. He is only permitted to come on the church property with the following restrictions. Each case will be evaluated on the basis of relevant facts, and a specific course of action will be determined.
He must also agree to not:
1. Use the church restrooms, unless he is accompanied by an Usher or an assigned member; 2. Be in the immediate presence of any person, regardless of age or sex, unless he is accompanied by an Usher or the assigned member; 3. Socially interact with any church attendee, other than the assigned member; at any time outside of group activities which must be approved by the pastor in advance; and then only if accompanied by the assigned member; 4. Cook or serve food; 5. Serve communion; 6. Consider dating or marriage, with anyone in the church, without the prior approval of the Senior Pastor; 7. Ever ask for, or have church keys in his possession; 8. It is further understood he will never be hired as a church employee, or work with the church’s children or youth in any way.
The registered sex offender is to be presented with a written SAFE CHURCH POLICY, and by his affixed signature he must agree to abide by these conditions. It is also understood that if he violates any of these conditions, the Board of Elders [Directors] will discuss the circumstances of his failure, and determine whether to allow him one more chance, or to request that he immediately leave the church.
AGREEMENT TO ABIDE BY THE SAFE CHURCH POLICY
I, __________________ , am a seeker of Truth. To the degree of my limited understanding, I believe that Jesus Christ is “The way, the Truth, and the Life,” and that knowing Him personally will greatly benefit me and help me to get my life in order.. I am a _Registered Sex Offender – Or ?___ , and I request permission to attend the services of this church. I acknowledge having reviewed the Liberty Christian Fellowship’s SAFE CHURCH POLICY above and I agree, God being my helper, to abide to all the terms as defined in this Policy.
____________________ _______________ ________ _________________
Signature of the Applicant Name Printed Here Date Church Rep.
Copyright © 2007 By Administrative Assistance This Policy is released for the use by any church
This information is provided to help you with the process of creating your own start up materials, for your church or ministry. When we develop these kinds of policies for ourselves, I often contact our CPA or an attorney before adopting them. We therefore suggest you do the same. We are not attorneys, and are not attempting to practice law by making this available to you. We are only providing you with Church Policy samples, in the spirit of developing excellence in Church Administration.
This Policy was developed by Administrative Assistance, and is made available to you in the hopes you will look at some of the other church administration materials we have developed for the church. Our SAMPLES Manual now has more than 100 such Policies, Resolutions and Minutes. Upon reviewing the many policies found in this Manual, you may find you really need to adopt some of them as your own.
The above information is provided as a service to the Body of Christ by ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANCE
If you would like more information about similar issues, please consider “The Church Administration ‘How To’ Manual.” This Manual, endorsed by three CPA’s, an EA and two attorneys, was updated again in January, 2011, for the 12th time, since its original publication in 1991.
- Cell Phone Use Policy – Why we need one?
- Ultimate Church Policy