(This feature of the blog will be quick takes from the week. Books, blogs, etc. that Ricky or I have read that are relevant to pastoral ministry, church planting, replanting, or not being a jerk. In that order for the most part.)
To my knowledge, God Made All Of Me is a singular and unique book: A book written to help children protect themselves from sexual assault and abuse from a distinctly Christian perspective. The Biblical doctrines of creation (God mad all things good) and protection (It’s ok to say no) are written at an accessible level for children to understand appropriate and inappropriate touch.
One of the central lines to the book is:
God made every part of your body and God called every part of your body good. Some parts of your body are for sharing and some parts are not for sharing.
Children are encouraged to clearly say No when they do not want to be touched. Additionally, the private parts are defined by bathing suit and underwear lines – a helpful starting point that’s easy for kids to understand. Even Grandma gets told No with confidence to illustrate saying No to kisses (unwanted touch), even to family members.
Clear language about body parts and names are used, with good justification which the authors explain in the back. The introduction and final remarks aim to equip parents (and all involved with caring for children) with clear facts about sexual abuse and clear, simple steps to help protect their children.
God Made All Of Me is timely and helpful. I would recommend all parents have this and read through it with their kids. It may not take precedence over Curious George, but it wasn’t designed to. It’s aimed to equip our children against real threats to their safety, without making them fearful of everybody. The aim is to equip children, not scare them. In this way, it not only uses Christian categories, but illustrates sober Christian grace.
If you are a pastor of any kind, and involved in church leadership at any level, you must think carefully and thoroughly about child safety at any church function. As a church plant, we’ve decided to not be involved with some service projects because I saw gaping holes in their child safety policy. This is massively important for child safety and for volunteer safety. To this end, I simply recommend you check out and use Ministry Safe. This isn’t a sponsored ad, I just like them. I like everything about how they train children’s ministry workers to know how predators act, and how to identify problems. It provides much more for churches. Run by a lawyer husband-wife team, they’re legit. If you don’t have a thorough policy for your church, you’re inviting trouble. Please, check out Ministry Safe.
(Note: I was going to say that if you didn’t have a thorough children’s ministry policy that St. Peter would punch you in the face at the pearly gates, but my wife thought that was over the line. So, I deleted the line. Now you’re left having to wonder what that would have been like if I’d left it in.)