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Let the Children Come Preparing Faith Communities to End Child Abuse and Neglect

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Preparing Faith Communities to End Child Abuse and Neglect
Let the Children Come

From a Protestant perspective

  • Are children safe at your church?
  • What precautions have you taken to ensure they won't be abused?
  • Do you know how to recognize the signs of child abuse and neglect?
  • What should you do if you suspect a child in your church or neighborhood is being abused or neglected?

If you aren't sure how to answer those questions, you need Let the Children Come, a new book from Herald Press that helps churches and church-related ministries learn how to keep children safe and strengthen families.

In the context of the Bible and faith, Let the Children Come helps Christians learn about their role in ending child abuse and neglect in all communities: church, home, extended family, neighborhood, school, work. Each chapter contains real-life stories, discussion questions and action items; the appendix includes prayers, readings and exercises for use in adult education.

Table of Contents

  1. Dispelling Myths of Child Abuse and Neglect
  2. Spheres of Influence
  3. What Does the Bible Say About Child Abuse and Neglect?
  4. Child Abuse and Neglect 101
  5. A Look at Neglect and Emotional Abuse
  6. A Look at Physical Abuse
  7. A Look at Sexual Abuse
  8. Risk and Protective Factors
  9. Offenders
  10. Ending Child Abuse and Neglect in our Communities
  11. Ending Child Abuse and Neglect in our Churches
  12. Child Abuse Prevention Policies in our Churches


  1. Parenting Curricula
  2. Frequently Asked Questions on Reporting Child Abuse or Neglect
  3. Denominational Statements and Resources on Child/Sexual Abuse
  4. Sample Child Protection and Abuse Response Policy
  5. Teaching This Material
  6. Candle Time and Sample Prayers
  7. Books for Children on Child Abuse and Neglect
  8. Frequently Asked Questions on Background Checks
  9. Church Checklist

From the author

"Sadly, children are being hurt and killed every day through abuse and neglect. While the church would like to believe that 'it doesn't happen here,' research and experience tell us that it does. Members of our faith communities need training to recognize the signs of abuse and to know how to respond. Faith communities need to be reminded of their role in protecting children, strengthening families, and ending child abuse and neglect."

Read a feature article by the author

Format: Paperback book
Product code: MM9518
Dimensions: 5½" x 8½"
Length: 213 pages
MennoMedia / Herald Press
ISBN: 9780836195187
Written by Jeanette Harder


A valuable tool for helping make our homes, churches and communities safer places for children.
Carolyn Holderread Heggen, author Sexual Abuse in Christian Homes and Churches
In clear, readable, and quite practical terms, Harder provides fundamental resources for understanding and taking seriously our responsibility to protect our children.
David A. Sherwood, Editor-in-Chief, Social Work & Christianity
Weaving biblical texts, social research, and stories, Let the Children Come arrives at a compelling conclusion: the faith community must respond to child abuse .. . . there is no excuse for every church not to own a copy and to share it with staff, volunteers, and parents.
Beth A. Swagman, Director of Safe Church Ministry for Christian Reformed Church in NA
Let the Children Come offers valuable equipping tools for all congregations.
Jane Woelk, Program Coordinator Voices for Non-Violence, MCC Manitoba
Jesus said: 'Let the children come.' As his followers, we also want them to come to know him through our programs and activities—and also to be safe and secure in our churches. Let the Children Come can help us make sure that's the case. I am happy to commend this book.
Ervin Stutzman, Executive Director, Mennonite Church USA