Forms & Resources

West Ohio Conference Recommended Practices and Procedures

Volunteer Forms

Parental/Guardian Consent Forms 

Mission Teams

Response & Reporting


Incident/Injury/Illness Report

Social Media Policy

Discipleship Ministries offers leadership resources including training videos and downloads, sample documents and more. 

For help in crafting Safe Sanctuaries® Procedures for your local church the West Ohio Annual Conference Safe Sanctuaries Task Force highly recommend Safe Sanctuaries: Reducing the Risk of Child Abuse in the Church, by Joy Thornburg Melton.   

The 10th anniversary edition of Safe Sanctuaries for children and youth Featuring updated and timely information about protecting young people from online predators.

Safe Sanctuaries in a Virtual World, the latest addition to the Safe Sanctuaries® series, addresses the challenges of ministry that have arisen in the face of rapidly changing technology, sometimes referred to as the digital age. Technology now pervades our lives on almost every level; it is nearly inescapable and, as Melton and Foster point out, easily accessible and increasingly user-friendly and intuitive, streamlining the way we work and interact with one another and the world around us. Safe Sanctuaries in a Virtual World is both timely and practical, covering topics such as

  • copyright in the digital age
  • the application of law to the life of the church
  • the basics of ministry in a virtual world
  • pornography
  • obscenity

Have you ever thought of older adults in your church as being vulnerable to exploitation, abuse, or neglect? The statistics are sobering. According to the AARP Bulletin, each year 1 in 7 older Americans is victimized physically, emotionally, or financially. But many cases of elder abuse go unreported. Elder abuse can happen to any older person-- someone in your church, your neighbor, your loved one, even yourself -- and anywhere. No church is immune from this reality. Don't let your church be part of the problem. In this Safe Sanctuaries resource, Joy Thornburg Melton, an attorney and a former minister, offers valuable, practical advice to help churches reduce the possibilities for abuse and exploitation of elders. Melton provides a wealth of knowledge and expertise in this excellent resource. She addresses such topics as: * Types of abuse (neglect, physical, sexual, psychological/emotional, financial) * Spiritual abuse and neglect (Dr. Richard Gentzler introduces these topics in the Foreword.) * Indicators of elder abuse * How churches are at risk * How churches can safeguard against abuse and exploitation of older adults * How congregations can care for the spiritual needs of nursing home residents, persons in assisted living facilities, or the homebound * What individuals and churches can to do to prevent financial exploitation of older adults * Best practices for beginning a ministry with and for older adults * Basic procedures for safely operating ministries for older adults * Planning how to respond to allegations of abuse * Much more Learn how your church can recognize and respond to issues of abuse, neglect, and exploitation of your oldest parishioners. Real care on the part of congregations includes knowledge, advocacy, and appropriate action.


Melton understands the need to educate clergy concerning basics of ethical practice within their particular leadership role in the church. She also helps clergy become aware of the potential traps they face: isolation, improper self-care, and lack of accountability.

SAFE SANCTUARIES FOR MINISTERS explores three large areas of special concern to clergy:

  • Counseling and the potential improprieties within the counseling relationship
  • Finances and the potential improprieties related to church finance
  • Sexuality and potential for sexual misconduct.
  • Melton writes not only for clergy, but also those who work with pastors, such as Staff-Parish Relations Committees or Church Relations Committees.


Additional Resources

Armed Intruder Readiness Video with Columbus Ohio Chief of Police, Kimberly Jacobs