What Would You Do?

Monday, January 27th, 2020

Imagine this scenario: You are in charge of the children’s ministry at your organization and a congregant comes to you with disturbing news. “There’s a sex offender in the congregation,” she says. “I searched the national sex offender website and this person’s name came up.” You did not know about this previously, and you don’t know the alleged offender personally. The woman is distraught, understandably so, but you want to keep a handle on the information getting out of control. What do you do?

First, thank her for coming to you with the information. Tell her to please be discreet and that you will be going to the senior pastor to discuss the situation. Assure her you will follow up with her.

You may want to confirm the information, but regardless, it’s time to go to the pastor with the information. Having a convicted sex offender in your church or organization comes with several challenges, and organizations handle it in different ways. It’s important to confirm the information with your pastor and then follow up with the woman. Find out if your organization has a policy, and relay that information as well. As children’s ministry director, it’s important that you are aware of the circumstances and protocol when the person attends events.

For more on this topic, read our archived newsletter article, “A Sex Offender in Church.”