“Lifeway’s leadership team is continuing to review the Sexual Abuse Task Force report and their recommendations to see how we can best support our Convention in preventing abuse and in caring for survivors. We continue to grieve with the survivor community and share their desire to see action.
In moments like these, my mind goes to these questions: What is Lifeway doing to prevent abuse from happening within our organization? And how can Lifeway help churches with these matters? I’m thankful to say that Lifeway has a zero-tolerance policy against any type of abuse or sexual misconduct. We are committed to providing a safe, Christian environment for all employees, customers, and camp participants. While we are always striving to improve, here are a few ways Lifeway is addressing this issue:
- Lifeway has an Ethics Line 833-333-LFWY and website, lifeway.ethicspoint.com, administered by a third party where any concerns of unethical misconduct or abuse can be reported, including anonymously, and will be fully investigated.
- All of our summer staff who work with kids and students at camp must complete training through MinistrySafe, a consulting organization that helps churches and organizations create safety systems to meet legal standards of care and reduce the risk of child sexual abuse. And we have a reporting structure in place to make sure any issues at camp are reported appropriately and investigated.
- We have strong safety and security procedures in place at our camps and have increased those over the years.
- We have provided sexual harassment/discrimination training for all directors and above with an outside firm and are scheduling additional sessions for all leaders.
- We also have comprehensive internal policies and guidelines in place to address and respond to any reports of sexual misconduct or unethical conduct.
We are fully committed to working with Southern Baptists and partnering with other entities to provide comprehensive resources to equip churches in the areas of sexual abuse prevention and survivor care.
While we await the official action by SBC messengers regarding the recommendations of the Task Force, we would point churches to the ‘Becoming a Church that Cares Well for the Abused.’ This free resource is available at churchcares.com and is a comprehensive training curriculum that includes lessons from experts in the areas of social work, law enforcement, trauma counseling, abuse counseling, legal services and pastoral care. We are thankful for the partnership with the ERLC and the SBC Sexual Abuse Advisory Study team to create this resource.
In addition, Lifeway’s OneSource program provides discounted background checks for churches and religious organizations.
We firmly believe the Guidepost report and its recommendations deserve our prayerful attention. My prayer is that we will serve churches well by providing the resources they need to be safe places for children and adults to hear the gospel and grow in their faith.”
— Ben Mandrell, Lifeway President and CEO