Insight from a Children's Pastor & Awana Commander

A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothes – Be a vigilant shepherd

(AP Photo/Centre Daily Times, Nabil K. Mark)

Yesterday, Jerry Sandusky was found guilt of 45 of the 48 remaining charges against him for inappropriate acts to children. I won’t go into specifics here, you can find it almost anywhere in the news currently. This man’s actions brings to light something that we all need to remember.

Just because a person passes a background check and has stellar references does not mean that they have not, or will not harm children. It means that they have no record. Before his conviction Friday night, and before the allegations came to light and were publicized, Jerry Sandusky would have passed a standard background check and he could have provided great references. So how would you know he was a danger to children? How can we be sure our volunteers and those working with children will not mistreat the children? That is a very scary thought.

In the church, we want to trust people, and we need to do so, but when new people begin to attend, I am, what I call, “lovingly suspicious”. While we may never know who may harm children, we must be vigilant in our watch. Even if people pass background checks, we need to continue to monitor their actions and see if they are doing things that are simply inappropriate, or questionable. At the press conference after the verdict was announced, the state Attorney General said she wished for the day this kind of thing never happened. So do I, but unfortunately, because of man’s sinful state, I’m not sure we will ever see that day. So be vigilant, always watching, doing what you can to keep the children sae.

No, not everyone is like Jerry Sandusky, I believe they are few, but they are out there, and we need to be on our guard to protect against them. There appeared to be signs that people neglected, or overlooked.

On the other hand, at the courthouse was a man who had falsely been accused of a similar offense which turned his life upside-down and he was reminding people that a person is innocent until proven guilty. A mere accusation and one’s life is changed forever, even if there is not truth in the accusation. That is always in the back of my mind. Do your best to avoid scenarios that could compromise you and your testimony.

Be a good shepherd, protect the sheep in your care.




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