For those who feel unsafe browsing on this site due to possible sexual abuse within your household, press the Safe Exit button at any time to switch your browser to Google and clear the back button. For even more protection, clear your browser history and open this site in an incognito window.

Registered sex offenders may ask for permission to attend your church or they may simply show up and hope you don't notice. So if you are not already doing so, it is important that you start reviewing the National Sex Offender Registry for your local area, on a regular basis (http://www.nsopw.gov/). Share the results with your staff. This will empower you and your team to recognize the names and faces of those on the registry that are close enough to attend your church.

Protecting the Children in Your Care

If your church has programs that serve children or youth, it is your responsibility to protect the children in your care and it is extraordinarily dangerous to allow sex offenders access to children. The best way to mitigate the risk is to ensure registered sex offenders do not have access to the children you serve by keeping them off of your premises.

Though the protection of the children in your care is a top priority, we are all God's children and sex offenders are in desperate need of God's grace, his strength, his guidance, and his redemption. They are also in need of a strong community whose members will hold them up and hold them accountable. So how do you balance the spiritual needs of sex offenders with your responsibility to protect the children in our care and in your congregation? Here are a few options for you to consider:

Refer to Local Churches

One way to ensure that sex offenders have the opportunity for the discipleship they need, is to connect with other churches in your community that do not have children or youth programs and refer offenders to those churches for regular services, bible studies, and fellowship. It is important not to just tell the offender to go to the other church but instead to do a personal introduction so the receiving church is aware of the offenders background, their discipleship needs, their restrictions relating to children, and any terms of parole that need to be upheld. 

Collaborate with Other Churches

Another approach is to collaborate with other churches to offer centralized programs (weekly services, bible studies, etc.) for sex offenders that are available to a broader geographic community, perhaps a single location within the county. The services would be held at a location that does not have children or youth programs or at a time when there are no children on campus. The collaborating churches could rotate responsibility for program delivery.

Be aware that this could pose a problem for some registered sex offenders as they may have terms of parole or probation that restrict them from communing with other registered sex offenders. If you are interested in pursuing this option, I recommend you reach out to your local corrections department to discuss your plans and gain their input and support for the discipleship program.

Provide On-Line Resources 

You may elect to offer on-line services on your website and refer offenders there for weekly messages and training. You may also consider offering messages that are specific to the struggles they face if you are so led by God. While access to these messages and studies is valuable, it certainly does not provide offenders with the invaluable opportunity to be involved in the faith community. Offenders who are isolated from family, friends, and community are more likely to re-offend or struggle with other issues such as substance abuse or depression. 

Insist on an Approved Escort 

The last option I will offer is to allow sex offenders to be on your campus, if they are accompanied by an approved escort at all times. This provides them the opportunity to partake in a variety of services and be an active part of the faith community. However, there is a significant risk involved - if members of the congregation are used to seeing a particular person on campus, they would assume they are safe. If the offender arrives on your campus and does not make previous arrangements to be with an approved escort, the congregation members would not be aware of the potential danger which would be a significant risk to the children in your care.

One alternative to overcome this risk would be to notify the adults within your congregation of who the offender is and engage them in holding that offender accountable for being with an approved escort. However, some congregation members may not be comfortable with the sex offender’s presence on campus near children and choose to attend a different church as a result.

Allowing sex offenders to be on your premises is by far the riskiest option I have offered you for consideration. I do not personally support this option because the risk far outweighs the benefit. However, I do know churches that have adopted this approach and I would be remiss not to address it. If you are considering this option, you must go into this type of scenario with your eyes wide open and leave your religious trust behind. You must involve a broad enough group of people to ensure accountability for constant supervision of sex offenders. Sex offenders may also have restrictions that do not allow them to be within a specified distance of areas where children congregate, making their presence on your campus during services a violation of their terms of parole or probation. 

Last but not least, you should be acutely aware of the increased liability you have if a sex offender, that you allowed on your premises, abuses a child in your care. This is especially true if you do not notify parents in advance. Check with your insurance company to determine if this option would be in compliance with your terms of coverage.  

Safety Plans 

Which ever option you select for offender discipleship, it is important that they receive both spiritual guidance and earthly boundaries. They will be well served by a small group of brothers (or sisters) in Christ who can impart sound theology and structure for spiritual disciplines. The offender will also need a team of professionals (law enforcement and mental health) to develop a safety plan that sets appropriate boundaries that minimize the risk of a repeat offense. A good starting point for boundaries is Best Practice #3 in my book, 8 Ways to Create their Fate. The safety plan should also be specific to the offender's personal triggers (access to preferred age range/gender, pornography, substance abuse, depression, anger, stress, homelessness, etc.). The small group can play a crucial role in holding the offender accountable for following their safety plan as well as providing on-going intercessory prayer against the enemy and for God's blessing of wisdom and self-control to prevail.

Diane Cranley’s book -  8  Ways  to  Create  their  Fate is an invaluable contribution to the field of sexual abuse prevention and recovery. As a treatment provider to sex offenders as well as victims, I recommend this primer  as a staple for every teacher, counselor, clergyperson, coach, and parent’s library. The information and practices posited herein can be helpful not only in the prevention of child sexual abuse, but also for the recovery of offenders in managing their behavioral choices; an unavoidable, albeit unpopular, component  in  child protection. —Nancy B. Irwin, PsyD, Los Angeles

 

 

  • icon Care Leaders
  • icon Children & Youth Program Leaders
  • icon Church Leaders
  • icon Healing and Deliverance Ministers
  • icon Intercessory Prayer Ministers
  • icon The Church Body's Role

Twenty percent of the population has been sexually abused and that doesn't count the indirect victims such as siblings, parents, spouses, and children. That means at least twenty percent of your congregation are victims - maybe more as God often calls us in our deepest pain and despair. When survivors are struggling with the repercussions of their own childhood abuse they may turn to the church for help. Survivors may struggle with flashbacks, body memories, substance abuse, marital problems, physical health issues, or psychological issues including life threatening eating disorders, severe depression,or suicidal thoughts. Some may be diagnosed with serious mental illnesses and be needlessly placed on psychotropic drugs rather than addressing the trauma of child sexual abuse. So it is critical for care leaders to know how to recognize a survivor, assess their needs, and provide or refer them to the appropriate resources to keep them safe and provide the long-term care they need. 

The church may also be the first place a parent turns when they find out their child was, or still is being abused. This is an emotionally charged time for everyone involved so it is important to have pre-established plans for how you will respond ensuring the safety of the child, abiding by the law, and helping provide for the short-term and potentially long-term physical, emotional, psychological, spiritual, and financial needs of everyone in the family. These plans are even more crucial if the abuser is a family member. Care leaders may include care ministry directors, lay ministers, recovery leaders, church therapists, chaplains, prayer team members, and all other team leaders or people who have care ministry responsibilities.

We encourage you to learn more about recognizing signs of sexual abuse in children and in adults and to take our free on-line advocacy classes on supporting adult survivors and parents whose children have been abused.

 

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Church leaders who are responsible for programs that serve youth are an integral part of God's plan to prevent abuse that may happen within or through church programs. By virtue of building trusting relationships with the children in their care, these leaders are also a vital part of the rescue team - it is crucial that they understand how to recognize, respond, and report; observed, disclosed, or suspected abuse of any child in their care, whether the abuse allegedly occurred within the church or outside of the church. In fact, clergy and youth program leaders are considered mandated reporters in most states and may be subject to penalties for failure to report to law enforcement or their local child welfare agency.

We need church leaders who are responsible for children, to actively participate in the development and implementation of child sexual abuse prevention policies and procedures and ensure all staff and volunteers who serve youth are trained and monitored. Youth program leaders include children's pastors, youth pastors, heads of school, missions directors, camp directors, and any other person who has direct or indirect oversight of child or youth-serving programs.

We encourage you to learn more about preventing abuse as well as recognizing the signs of abuse in children and taking bold action. 

 

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Church leaders play a key role in the resolution of the child sexual abuse pandemic because all areas of prevention and restoration fall under their realm of responsibility. It is therefore crucial that leaders in the church understand the vision for all components of God's plan outlined on this site including Intercessory Prayer, Preventing Abuse, Reporting Abuse, Speaking From the Pulpit, Survivor Support, Offender Discipleship, and Healing Prayer. This will empower them to raise up those within their congregation who are gifted in each area, ultimately creating a broad and deep program that protects God's children, supports those who are impacted, and adheres to the law. Church leaders include pastors, priests, reverends, vicars, ministers, deacons, preachers, church council members, board members, missions directors, chaplains, overseers including bishops/cardinals, and all other church members in senior leadership roles, regardless of demonimation. 
 

Because child molesters want to spend time where children congregate,
your church is a target. 

 
If your church has a youth or children's program, child molesters will want to work or volunteer there. One researcher refers to youth-serving organizations as a "well populated hunting ground."1 We can't be naive to the enemy's schemes and how he will use people to hurt God's children. So it is essential that you implement informed best practices to ensure the protection of the kids in your care and we can help you do that.
 
Our Founder, Diane Cranley, has written 8 Ways to Create their Fate: Protecting the Sexual Innocence of Children in Youth-Serving Organizations which will guide you and your staff to create an environment where child molesters virtually cannot succeed without being caught and therefore won't want to work. It is based on eight simple best practices, that when implemented will significantly lower the risk of children being abused while in your care. Your proactive approach toward prevention is a partnership with God to protect the plans he has for his children. The side benefit is that it will also protect your church against lawsuits and potentially even lower your insurance rates and increase your coverage limits.  

Protecting the children in your care is your first responsibility! 

Beyond prevention, we are calling you to lead the charge across all areas of spiritual hardship created by this pandemic; from the perpetrators and those struggling not to abuse - to the children and adults who have suffered the transgression of sexual abuse and are now fighting for their freedom from oppression and captivity. Freedom and the restoration of all things is available through prayer and deliverance ministry and we can teach your staff and congregation how to pray and effectively bind up the broken hearted and set the captives free! 

Bind up the Brokenhearted - Set the Captives Free 

Please order 8 Ways to Create their Fate today to learn how to prevent abuse and visit the other topics on this site to find resources for support and healing.

 
 

1Kenneth V. Lanning and Park Dietz, “Acquaintance Molestation and Youth-Serving Organizations,” J Interpers Violence (May 2014): 1,3, doi:10.1177/0886260514532360

 
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"The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy..." (John 10:10 NIV) and what better way to do it than to steal the sexual innocence of our children and make them believe it was their fault? Since most victims don't tell, the enemy spends the next several decades pouring salt on those open wounds, often giving the enemy strongholds through unconfessed sin, unforgiveness, and agreements with his lies. But Jesus proclaimed, “If you obey my teaching,” he said, “you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth. And the truth will set you free.” (John 8:31-32 NIV) Claiming the truth and power of Christ's death and resurrection through facilitated prayer can demolish the work of the enemy in a survivor's life, bringing them full freedom and the abundant life God pre-destined for them before time began. Healers and deliverance ministers are the hands and feet of Jesus on this earth, to carry out his ministry of healing the brokenhearted and setting the captives free. There is no greater need for this work than in survivors of childhood sexual abuse.

We encourage you to learn all you can about healing prayer through us as well as other reputable resources.

 

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God's word calls us to not only pray for the saints but it urges us to pray for all people, without ceasing. God has anointed people in the body with the gift of intercessory prayer and these prayer warriors are at the center of God's plan for fighting the child sexual abuse pandemic in the spiritual realm. His word says, "Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven." (Matt 18:18 NIV) 

The Kingdom is in need of intercessors who are led to make this pandemic a focal point of their ministry, engaging in relentless prayer, and wielding God-given weapons that have divine power to demolish strongholds. Intercessors may already lead a team, feel called to start a team, feel led to join a team, or simply to pray individually. All of these roles are valuable and welcome in God's plan!

 

We encourage you to learn more about intercessory prayer over the child sexual abuse pandemic and use our prayer guide so that we are all praying in agreement.

 

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Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.           1 Corinthians 12:27(NIV)

The child sexual abuse pandemic has many facets and in order to overcome this destructive scheme of the enemy, God needs us to actively engage in all of them. We encouarge church staff and the body as a whole to understand their role in prevention and in setting the captives free. There is so much to be done but together we can and will overcome. Please click on the role or roles below that apply to you and learn how you can become fully equipped to join us in this kingdom work.

 

Make a commitment - our kids our counting on us all!

 

Your church and community needs saints who are willing to:

  • Pray daily for all aspects of this pandemic
  • Recognize the signs of abuse in children and give them permission to tell so they can start their healing early
  • Talk comfortably about abuse, even from the pulpit, so adult survivors will find safety in disclosing what may be a lifelong secret
  • Get trained on how to prevent child sexual abuse within the church and at home and invite others to become knowledgeable as well
  • Establish effective boundary policies within the youth and children's ministries to deter child molesters
  • Disciple registered sex offenders and those struggling with inappropriate sexual thoughts about children
  • Provide healing prayer and deliverance from the spiritual strongholds surrounding childhood sexual abuse

 

Please spend some time looking through the topics on this website to see how the Lord leads you to participate. We encourage everyone to get started by taking our free on-line training!

 

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