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The Church Body's Role in Resolving the Child Sexual Abuse Pandemic

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. 

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Church Leaders

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. 

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Children & Youth Program Leaders

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.

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Intercessory Prayer Ministers

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) 

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Care Leaders

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.

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Healing and Deliverance Ministers

"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)

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Child sexual abuse is predictable and preventable when we surround children with knowledgeable and outspoken adults.

Parents are called to protect their own children but they also have a unique opportunity to increase the safety of all children by inviting other parents in the community as well as youth-serving organization leaders who serve their children to become educated and actively participate in the prevention of child sexual abuse.

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All Believers

All believers can intercede with prayers of protection for our children and for restoration of survivors. They can also become empowered bystanders by taking our training in order to learn the risky behaviors that precede abuse and the signs of abuse in children and adults. Lastly, it is important to understand that there are child molesters in every walk of life who are actively working to exploit children - whether it is in our neighborhoods, schools, churches, sports programs, doctor's offices, police departments, or courtrooms. But I also know that those child molesters are surrounded by Christians who are called to do the right thing, not to conform to the pattern of this world, but to boldly stand for the truth and do what Jesus would do to protect his children.