The Responsibility of the Church in Matters of Bullying
You see it on television; you see it on social media. It happens in schools, daycares, kids recreational programs, and yes it is happening in Churches all across the United States. I am talking about the national dilemma in America of bullying.
We are told of stories weekly of children (grade school to college) who have committed suicide or attempted it simply because they were bullied. It is bad enough that this happens in society, but when it happens in the Church, we really need to come to our senses.
The Church should be a safe place where everyone may come and worship God freely, without fearing their children will become victims of childhood bullying.
The Role of the Church
A Church’s role in this matter is two parts. We must first look at the spiritual aspect. The Church, Sunday School Teachers, Ministers, and Pastors should be teaching the youth to value their worth and the worth of others. When we know our worth in God’s eyes and that of our brothers and sisters in Christ, bullying should never happen.
But, there is also a legal liability issue of which every Church and Pastor should be aware. We are living in a span of time where people and attorneys are lawsuit crazy. There was once a time in our nation when attorneys and physicians deemed it unethical to advertise in any manner. Today television and billboards are flooded with attorneys advertising their levels of expertise.
In this type of society, the Church must be very diligent to protect herself from all forces that would attack – including those of civil or criminal instances. Church insurance companies are extremely aware of the liability that is now upon every Church in America. This is one of the reasons liability insurance for Churches is at an all-time high. People will sue a Church (or anyone) for practically anything. To insure that kind of liability, insurance premiums are skyrocketing.
Churches can protect themselves in two simple steps:
- Set some policies that will deal with childhood bullying
- Enforce those policies
A Church must not only be spiritual, but it must conduct its affairs in judicious order. A part of this will be to develop some bylaws and amendments condemning the childhood bullying acts.
Once procedures are in place the Church should enforce all of them. The tendency however is to enforce them for others while allowing the biggest tither, etc. to “slide by” (or bend the rules). That which is required of one, should also be required of everyone.
A lack of either of the two, above mentioned actions, may easily be grounds for a lawsuit. Cover Your Assets.
Our kids are our most precious commodities. We cannot afford to see another one committing or being the victim of bullying.
At every Church Management Tax Conference, Chitwood & Chitwood goes to great lengths to offer those in attendance insight as to how to protect themselves and their Churches against frivolous legal actions that can easily be avoided.
Visit www.cmtc.org or call 800-344-0776 to register for a conference nearest you.
For Chitwood & Chitwood, this is “A Ministry – not A Job.”