By Keith Boyette
The church must be a safe place for persons of all ages to experience the presence and love of God, to grow in faith, and to experience healthy community. Every congregation strives to provide such an environment. However, we have learned such environments must be cultivated and cared for with great intentionality. The development of sound policies and practices to enhance the safety and protection of children, youth, and vulnerable adults must be a top priority for every congregation of the Global Methodist Church.
The GM Church is pleased to announce the launch of a new partnership with MinistrySafe, a leading organization in helping meet the needs of churches and ministries to create preventative measures tailored to enhance the safety and protection of children, youth, and vulnerable adults. Every congregational member of the GM Church can access the resources of MinistrySafe without expense to ensure the highest standards are followed in their ministries. The GM Church has paid the costs associated with providing local churches and their ministries access to these resources. The goal is to ensure that every Global Methodist congregation and ministry is a MinistrySafe member and uses all of the resources provided.
MinistrySafe provides a five-part safety system at no cost to local churches. First, awareness training is available through informative videos to equip persons with a better understanding of behaviors and practices that endanger persons involved in our ministries. Second, skillful screening techniques and policies equip leaders to identify high-risk responses and risk indicators in the vetting process of persons who will represent and minister on behalf of the church and in the implementation of policies adopted. MinistrySafe provides sample applications for employees and volunteers in ministries of the church, interview forms, and reference forms. Third, thorough policies and procedures are available that have been implemented and tested in many settings. MinistrySafe provides sample policies for children’s ministries, youth ministries, youth sports programs, daycare and other educational settings, camps, and child services programs. Leaders learn the “why” behind policies and procedures so they can be effectively implemented.
Fourth, MinistrySafe offers a variety of levels of background checks. Training to understand what level is best for each ministry setting and how to administer a background check system is provided at no cost. GM Church congregations and members are able to have background checks performed at substantial discounts over what would be charged generally for such a service. Fifth, a monitoring and oversight system ensures that all aspects of the MinistrySafe offerings are being effectively deployed to maximize the protection and safety for those who participate in the ministries, programs, and gatherings of a local church.
Participating congregations are provided with access to a MinistrySafe Control Panel. Through this dashboard, leaders can monitor the status of every staff person or volunteer serving in the ministries and programs of the local church to ensure that all aspect of the five-part safety system are being deployed to maximum effect.
If each local congregation of the Global Methodist Church signed up separately to participate in the MinistrySafe offerings, they would pay an annual fee of $250 plus a $5 fee for each staff person or volunteer to participate in the basic portion of awareness training. Additional fees would have to be paid for more advanced awareness training. However, because of the agreement between the GM Church and MinistrySafe, all of this is available at no cost for each GM local church. This is one way the general church connectional funding provides a benefit to local churches. The only cost a congregation pays is for background checks when ordered and that cost is significantly discounted. Local church leaders can view the different levels of background checks available and their discounted pricing here. You can learn more about background checks generally here.
The GM Church wants to be a movement that goes the extra mile to ensure every person is protected and experiences a safe environment when he or she participates in the ministries of local churches. The denomination strongly encourages every local church to sign up for MinistrySafe now. To sign up, go to www.ministrysafe.com/gmc. Click on “Become a MinistrySafe Member.” Complete the online form provided and enter the Discount Code “GMC2023.” Becoming a MinistrySafe member will enable local church leaders to access the full library of 70+ documents, forms and resources offered by MinistrySafe immediately. You can learn more about all that is offered by MinistrySafe by visiting the organization’s general site, but only sign up through www.ministrysafe.com/gmc in order to benefit from the special arrangement with the GM Church which avoids any membership fee for your local church.
If you have questions about the MinistrySafe partnership, please email your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can learn more about the Global Methodist Church by exploring its website. You can subscribe to our weekly e-newletter, Crossroads, here.
The Rev. Keith Boyette is the Transitional Connectional Officer of the Global Methodist Church, its chief executive and administrative officer.