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is to worship God, and to glorify Him, through caring, equipping and mobilising people for mission.

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Living God's Story Together

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St.Marys SA 5042

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    Behind the Scenes: Children & Families

    Wednesday, July 13, 2011

    You don’t have to watch the evening news for very long to hear about crimes against children.  I don’t need to talk very long about State MPs or parents neglecting their kids to the point of death.  You would have had to live in a cave to not know about the universal church’s own failings when it comes to protecting children.  Anyone who listens to international news knows of the plight of children through wars and disasters.  You already know that children are the most vulnerable people on the planet.

    The Bible is full of amazing children.  Josiah, king at the age of eight, was one of the few kings who did what was right in the eyes of the Lord (2 Kings 22:2).  One of my favourites is the boy who gave his lunch to Jesus in John 6, what an example of discipleship!  How moving, when Elisha raises a boy to life in 2 Kings 4 and Jesus raises a girl from the dead in Luke 8.

    On one occasion Jesus became ‘indignant’ when his disciples prevented children from coming to him.  I looked up some synonyms for indignant and discovered angry, boiling, fuming, furious, riled and wrathful.  Mark 10:14 and 15 tells us that the kingdom of God belongs to children and that adults have got to be like children to enter it!  God is passionate about children and loves them dearly.

    It’s great that we can include strategies to impact children as part of our vision to Impact Adelaide! I read in a great book, Too Small To Ignore by the President and CEO of Compassion that, “fully half the world, and especially the developing world, are children and teenagers.”  That’s a lot of kids!

    It’s exciting to be a part of EBC’s desire to see children in relationship with our Lord and Saviour.  Kids ministry is not a tack on to the ‘real’ stuff in the auditorium, it’s not babysitting so the parents can sit without distraction in church or at home on a Friday night.  Kids who experience EBKidz and iYouth are opening the word of God and are being invested in because we believe with all our being that they matter to our creator.

    That is why we are big on child protection at the moment.  Late last year Joy Blesing and I attended an information session on changes to legislation that require us to comply with a number of measures to be a Child Safe Environment.  We formed a working group to make sure we comply and since the beginning of this year we have developed a draft Child Safe Policy including: a Volunteer Application Form, Codes of Conduct for leaders and children, and a Child Offender Policy.  We still have a few more to go.  Our policy assumes that there are people who would seek to harm children and gain access to them (which is why we need a policy in the first place).

    The bottom line is that the Children’s Protection Act states that a volunteer of an organisation formed for religious purposes is a mandated notifier - whether you are involved in a ministry with kids or not.

    I urge you to attend one of the upcoming Child Safe Environment information sessions or to get to the Members’ Meeting on Tuesday 26th July to hear more, and consider undertaking one of the fully certified Child Safe Training Sessions I will be running throughout August (as an approved trainer for the Department of Families & Communities).

    EBC is passionate about Child Protection.  We don’t simply want to comply with our legal obligations, we want to excel in our God-given mandate to care for and raise Godly children.

    Simon George
    Children & Families Pastor