Safe Sanctuaries: A Ministry of Hospitality

What comes to mind when you think about hospitality in the church? Good coffee and fresh doughnuts? Smiling ushers and friendly greeters? A visitor gift bag with premium goodies?

But what about family ministry volunteers who are screened and trained, or classrooms with visibility into the space, or supervision procedures that reduce the possibility of abuse, or a compassionate response plan should an incident of abuse be reported? 

Implementing a Safe Sanctuaries plan in the local church is a ministry of hospitality that is foundational to providing a safe and hospitable environment where our children, youth, vulnerable adults, and those who serve with them can grow and thrive in their faith and discipleship. 

I don’t know about you, but I’m regularly assessing my home for the safety and comfort of those who live there and for guests. I want to be a generous host to all who are invited into my home. The aim of Safe Sanctuaries practices and procedures is to provide a warm, friendly, safe, and generous experience for all who interact with our ministries, even if that means a few updates or changes. 

As you review and update your local church’s Safe Sanctuaries plan in preparation for this year’s annual charge conference, please take advantage of the resources.

Written by Wendy Lybarger, Regional MIssional Specialist
Wendy Lybarger is a full-member elder, appointed as a Regional Missional Specialist in the West Ohio Conference. She has been working with Safe Sanctuaries training and coaching since 2005. Wendy is a daughter, spouse, mother, and “Nana.”

Click here for Safe Sanctuaries Resources