Five Takeaways from “Church Prepared”


Greg Love is a Texas attorney and co-founder of Ministry Safe, Ministry Safe Institute, and Abuse Prevention Systems. Greg led four “Church Prepared” gatherings across Kentucky recently and provided excellent training in sexual abuse prevention, response and care. Those who attended said they are grateful for the training and are better equipped to protect children from sexual abuse.  

More than 600 Kentucky Baptists registered for these gatherings. Greg shared helpful content that many of us had never heard before. James Reeves was also a presenter at the training and encouraged us to think about a ministry model that local churches can use to care well for survivors of abuse.  

Here are five takeaways from the Church Prepared training: 

1. The numbers are devastating: There are more than 60 million sexual abuse survivors living in the U.S. One in four women and one in six men have been sexually abused. Many believe the numbers are higher. These numbers remind us that sexual abuse remains a serious issue in our nation and that churches are not exempt from this problem.  

2. We are mostly protected from the wrong type of predator: There are two types of sexual offenders — the abduction offender and the preferential offender. The abduction offender is likely a stranger who abducts a child and sexually abuses the child. The preferential offender is a male or female that prefers sexual activity with an underage person of a particular gender and age range. More than 90 percent of sexual abuse is committed by the preferential offender, and most of our churches are not well-equipped to protect children from this predator.  

3. It takes the whole church: An excellent way to protect children from a preferential offender is to help the entire church, starting with all leaders and volunteers, to recognize the grooming behaviors of the preferential offender. One thing a church can do is obtain the video version of the KBC Church Prepared training and view parts of it on a Wednesday night, or have the church staff, its deacons or church security team watch the videos. The video version of the training should be available by the end of October at  

4. We must start where we are: When hearing the type of information that was presented at the Church Prepared training, some may feel that all they have done up to this point was of little value. Many of us feel guilty that we have not done more. A better path is to acknowledge that we know more today than we did yesterday, and that we can now develop policies, procedures and practices based on new information.  

5. Every church needs training in this area: I attended all four of the Church Prepared training gatherings plus one for KBC staff in Louisville. At one of the gatherings, I spent time with a seasoned pastor who has availed himself of the most up-to-date training in this area. He has attended four trainings of this type during his ministry career and shared that this was the best one he had attended. We heard this comment repeated across the state. Even churches that believe they are prepared would be well served to review the content presented at the Church Prepared training and the Church Prepared manual.  

For the Kentucky Baptist Convention Mission Board staff, and the churches we serve, the Church Prepared training is not the finish line, but the starting block. We have a long way to go but this series of training events was a good start. Please join me in praying that sexual abuse will never happen again in connection with a Kentucky Baptist church. 

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