6 Ways BCM/D Can Help Your Church Protect the Vulnerable

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At the 2023 Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware (BCM/D) Annual Meeting, messengers overwhelmingly passed a constitutional change requiring churches cooperating with the BCM/D to have measures in place to protect the vulnerable. The BCM/D is dedicated to assisting churches in this area by providing several supportive services. Here are six ways the BCM/D can help you in this critical mission.

1. Pathways Resource Web Page

The BCM/D provides an extensive resource web page at www.bcmd.org/pathways

This page is packed with comprehensive information that can assist your church in implementing protective and preventative measures. The content is regularly updated to ensure it remains relevant.

2. Phone Consultation
BCM/D provides phone consultations to help you navigate through your church’s needs. It is an opportunity for you to explain your current situation and for BCM/D-trained staff to provide tailored advice and guidance. Don’t hesitate to reach out and discuss your concerns or queries. Call (800) 466-5290 or (410) 290-5290

3. Policy Creation & Assessment
Creating effective policies is a crucial step in protecting the vulnerable. The BCM/D assists in helping churches build these policies or reviewing what you currently have in place. We can offer suggestions and improvements to ensure your policies are robust and comprehensive. This service ensures that no stone is left unturned when it comes to safeguarding those in need. Email [email protected] for more information.

4. Pathways Workshop
BCM/D offers a 45-minute workshop designed for church leadership. It gives an overview of setting up prevention measures and response plans. The workshop can be attended in person or online, making it accessible for all church leaders. It is an excellent opportunity to understand the basics and importance of protection measures in a format that allows for questions and discussion. Email [email protected] to schedule a workshop for your church leadership.

5. Pathways Cohort
The Pathways Cohort is a new initiative for 2024. These online cohorts are designed to educate church leadership on prevention measures and response plans. More than just an overview, this in-depth cohort provides help with implementation and next steps. This is a great opportunity to receive detailed step-by-step assistance and to learn from the experiences of others. Cohorts meet five times over Zoom with several weeks in between to work on action steps. The goal at the end of this cohort is for your church to be able to confidently answer “yes” to each question on the church assessment. If your church is interested in participating in one of our cohorts, please complete this form, and we will reach out to you to schedule a start date.

6. In-Person Sexual Abuse Awareness Training
Another new initiative for 2024 is in-person Sexual Abuse Awareness Training. BCM/D, in partnership with Plan to Protect®, is offering this essential training to your staff and volunteers. The training will provide crucial knowledge and skills to protect the vulnerable from sexual abuse. TRAIN is one of the first and foundational essentials for protecting the vulnerable. Everyone who works with children, youth, or vulnerable adults should be trained in sexual abuse awareness. If you currently do not have an online provider for this training and are interested in receiving the training in-person through the BCM/D, please register for one of our training dates in 2024: January 13, May 18, and September 28.

These are just some of the ways BCM/D is committed to helping your church protect the vulnerable. For any further information, contact us at [email protected] or call (800) 466-5290 or (410) 290-5290.

Remember, protecting the vulnerable is not just a responsibility but a moral obligation. Let’s work together to make our churches safe and secure environments for all.

Kris Buckman serves as BCM/D‘s Children’s & Youth Missionary. She also serves on the BCM/D Sexual Abuse Task Force and the SBC Abuse Reform Implementation Task Force.