Southern Baptists Launch ‘Caring Well Challenge’ to Protect Survivors of Abuse and Prevent Sexual Misconduct from Happening in the Church

Nearly 9,000 Southern Baptist messengers at the 2019 Southern Baptist Convention Annual Meeting June 11, 2019, vote to pass an amendment regarding churches and sexual abuse. | Van Payne

Southern Baptists will take part in the ‘Caring Well Challenge’ on Sunday, an initiative aimed at equipping congregations to care for survivors of abuse and prevent it from happening within the church.

Following reports of sexual misconduct at churches in recent years, the Caring Well Challenge is but one element of a larger denominational push to confront the issue, particularly the failure of church leaders to protect victims and prevent the perpetrators from harming others, the Baptist Press reported on Thursday.

The challenge is being launched on Sunday at 750 churches nationwide; participating congregations will begin an eight-part, 12-month program.

The Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission and The Sexual Abuse Advisory Group announced the initiative earlier this summer, and encouraged every Southern Baptist church to participate. Thirty-seven Baptist state conventions and other Baptist associations and colleges are also encouraging the effort.

“I am grateful so many churches are committed to the challenge to become safe for survivors and safe from abuse,” Russell Moore, president of the ERLC, said in a statement to the Baptist Press.

“This unified call to action, the ‘Caring Well Challenge,’ is a resource to equip churches to do everything we can to combat the satanic evil of sexual abuse. I pray this coming Sunday is a significant first step as churches across our convention launch many needed efforts,” Moore added.

The program serves as a “pathway” for churches to begin engaging the problem of abuse, SBC President J.D. Greear, pastor of The Summit Church in Durham, North Carolina, says in a promotional video about the challenge.

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Brandon Showalter