Encouragements to Associations, State Conventions, and Churches Regarding Abuse of Minors

Southern Baptist Conference

June 20, 2019

The Southern Baptist Conference of Associational Leaders (SBCAL) and the Officers of the
SBC Fellowship of State Executive Directors join together to make a statement in support
of the prevention of sexual abuse and for the protection of minors. As organizations, we
recognize our respective entities have no authority over any Baptist body. However, our
intention is to offer encouragement to associations, state conventions, and churches to
diligently guard those whom God has given to us for the purpose of ministry.

1. We encourage associations and state conventionsto practice the regular reviewing,
updating, or creating worker policies and guidelines for all staff,
association/convention/church leaders, and youth/children volunteer workers.
2. We encourage associations and state conventions to take the initiative and
advocate for comprehensive screening processes for all staff,
association/convention/church leaders, and youth/children volunteer workers to
address such things as:
• Understanding the need for a written application.
• Discovering when and how to check references.
• Researching prior church membership and volunteer work, especially with
• Conducting internet research for potential news stories containing allegations
of sexual misconduct for any potential staff member or volunteer.
• Calling for background checks.
• Linking to and utilizing the U. S. Department of Justice National Sex Offender
Public Website posted on the Sexual Abuse Prevention page on SBC.net and to
viable public databases of sexual offenders in a church or ministry setting as they
may be developed.
• Conducting personal interviews with applicants.
• Implementing at least a six-month rule of association.

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