Our CM team is not secure

Your Question:

“How can I improve the CM team’s sense of ‘security’?  The security in the CM area needs improving.”

The Issues:

A secure, safe environment is something that parents expect and demand.  In today’s world that is plagued by school and church shootings, if parents aren’t convinced that their children are safe, they will go to another church that does protect their children.  Ideally, the church, as a whole, has addressed this challenge and has a security process in place that includes security personnel, restricted access points, and possibly even bag checks.  If your church doesn’t have a security process in place, you will be forced to create one for the CM apart from the church process.  This may mean an increase in your CM budget to cover the cost of radios, furniture or equipment to create restricted areas, and even money to cover wages for security personnel.  This can all be a challenge if you have to “sell” the concept of protecting the children to the church leadership.

Scripture Foundation:

“If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.” Matthew 18:6

“Behold, I am sending you out like sheep among wolves; therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves.” Matthew 10:16

Short Answer:

Do everything you can to protect the children after the parents release control of them to you!  Not only do you have a legal responsibility for their safety, you also have a spiritual and emotional responsibility that comes with being their “caretakers” for the time that they are under your care.  Your CM should have safety policies that protect the children and your CM team from harm.  If you don’t have these policies in place, you must create them and get them approved and installed as soon as possible!  Your safety policies must restrict access to the children to only those who have been screened and trained by the CM.  The children and CM team members must also be protected by the “Never Alone” rule which dictates that NO child will ever be alone with a single CM team member.  This policy also states that NO CM team member will ever be alone with children.  This policy is a very basic, foundational rule that establishes a team approach to ministry.  The children must also be protected from outside harm by restricting access to the CM areas after the check-in period is over.  This restriction should be established through signs and physical barriers monitored by CM team or security team members.  At check-out time, these hallway restrictions are lifted, but children can only be released to adults with the appropriate check-out identification (numbered tags, ID cards, etc.).  All of this requires a strong check-in / check-out system that incorporates bar codes, ID pictures, and printed documents (labels or tags).  There are other steps that can add to the security of the CM team members such as radio contact, intercom contact, and hallway personnel.  All of these will be covered in the long answer. For more help, click on the links below.

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