I recently received an email from the Westminster Bookstore advertising a book on a troubling subject that it all too often neglected in the church, namely that of sexual abuse against children. We all know it happens but we’d prefer to never think about it or discuss it. I know more than a few people who have been molested as children by clergymen in various congregations. It happens and we needn’t act as if it doesn’t. So when I was met with this email I knew immediately that I had to procure several copies of Deepak Reju’s On Guard: Preventing and Responding to Child Abuse at Church. This is an issue we’ve had to think about recently as we renewed our church’s insurance. We have to go with a small subsidiary insurance company because no one else will insure us in cases of sexual abuse. We pray that the policy is never needed but if something were to happen, God forbid, it pays to be aware and prepared.
I’m hoping and praying that this book will help to equip the leadership of my church. I ordered 6 copies—one for each elder—and would suggest that it might be beneficial for you (ministry leaders) to do the same in the event that this is an issue you haven’t worked through as a church. I have no idea what the book says, but I stand confident that anyone courageous enough to broach the subject will have thought long and hard about it, and I’m willing to bet that its contents will be more helpful than harmful. I’m grateful that the Westminster Bookstore has made this resource available at a great discount. We were able to get out copies for $10 apiece (50% off the cover price), which is $3 less per book than if you got a single copy (which goes for 35% off the cover price). Those purchasing a case of 24 will receive an even larger discount of 60% off and pay a mere $8 per copy. Money well spent; I’m sure.