The View from Here

Recently on the Network: Child Protection Policies

The Network is a website where people from across the Christian Reformed Church in North America can connect to share their ministry questions and find answers. Started in 2010, The Network has had more than 15,000 people post on it, and now averages more than 60,000 page views a month.

Ministry Q&A is a regular feature of The Network. It allows users to post a ministry-related question or offer a response. People have asked questions on such topics as church rental policies, finding resources for funeral liturgies, how to best call a pastor, and what other churches do in conducting background checks for volunteers who work with children.

On this topic, one person recently asked, “The church I work in is looking at its child protection policies. . . . We are at the point where we could likely do all of our training in-house using staff. How do we know our training will be sufficient for insurance companies? We are a small church.”

At the time of writing this article, the question had received five comments in response.
Doug Vande Griend, an attorney and CRC member, encouraged the poster to “directly ask your insurance company, and to get an answer in writing.” He added that “at least some insurance companies will have specific requirements that become a ‘condition of coverage’ such that they will deny coverage if later a claim is made and they discover that the condition wasn't fulfilled.”

Bonnie Nicholas, director of Safe Church Ministry, agreed. She encouraged the poster to  “check directly with your insurance company” and also reminded her that “Safe Church has resources on our website that may be helpful in training staff and volunteers.”

Nicholas added, “Since laws that apply to churches can change, and since they vary from state to state and province to province, every classis is encouraged to have a safe church coordinator, and local safe church teams to help address these issues. For more information about the classis coordinator position and safe church teams, please don’t hesitate to contact Safe Church Ministry.”

Do you have a ministry question that you’d like to have answered? Visit crcna.org/network to post a question, share a story, or read comments from others.

About the Author

Chris Meehan is news and media relations manager for CRC Communications, and a member of Coit Community Church.
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