Caring Well Sunday | September 24, 2023
For the first time, the Southern Baptist Convention will have “Caring Well Sunday” on its yearly calendar of special awareness Sundays. This year, that date is this Sunday, September 24, 2023.
Baptist Press recently reported on Caring Well Sunday:
Keith Myer, pastor of Harvest Baptist Church in Salisbury, Md., made a motion at the 2022 SBC Annual Meeting to add Caring Well Sunday to the convention calendar, and he said “there are a lot of hurting people in our pews that need to be seen.”
“Part of caring for people is knowing this happens,” Myer said, referring to abuse. “It doesn’t just happen in churches. It happens in homes. It happens in dating relationships. It happens at college.
“There are all kinds of occasions where people will be harmed, and if they can’t come to the church and say, ‘I need help,’ and if shepherds aren’t ready to say, ‘Let’s get you the help that you need,’ I think we’re limiting our ministry impact,” Myer told BP.
Below are 2 resources recommended by the Abuse Reform Implementation Task Force (ARITF) for your church this Sunday, and beyond.
The national statistics on sexual abuse are overwhelming.
- One in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys will be sexually abused before they turn 18 years old.
- One in 5 women and 1 in 71 men will be raped at some point in their lives.
- One in 3 women and 1 in 6 men experienced some form of sexual violence in their lifetime.
The most common places sexual predators search for victims is in youth activities such as school, sports, and church. Churches need to understand why this issue matters in light of the gospel and how it should be addressed.
The Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC) has provided a printable bulletin insert entitled, “5 Ways the Gospel Shapes Our Approach to Sexual Abuse,” for use in your church on Caring Well Sunday.
“Becoming a Church That Cares Well For the Abused” is a training curriculum that a church leadership team can take together. This training combines a handbook, an introductory video, and 12 lesson videos featuring top experts. For the most comprehensive training, use the handbook and videos together.
Be sure you check out our Ministry Toolkit. To make our churches safe from abuse, we must be proactive. Developing policies and procedures ahead of time, training and educating staff and volunteers, as well as partnering with abuse experts will set your church up well to be a safe place for your community. It is up to the pastors and leaders of a church to lead this charge. Learn about the Five Essential Action Steps to begin to protect your church from predators who seek to prey on the vulnerable among you and to care well for victims and survivors of abuse.