Child Safety

Child Safe Statement by Bendigo Baptist Church Council. 
The concept of under-18’s being an important part of the Christian community began when Jesus said, “Let the Children come to me” and “Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.” (Matt 18:5) He acknowledged that children were to be at the very centre of the church community.

These are some wonderful statements that comment on the church and children:
• Children are equal Partners with Adults in the life of the church, for they represent the ongoing nature of the church.
• Christian Worship, all of it, is both for Children and Adults.
• The call to evangelism comes to all of God’s people, regardless of age.
• The discovery and development of gifts in children is a key function of the church.
• The concept of the ‘priesthood of all believers’ includes children.

The Bible teaches us that each church community must take responsibility, along with the family, in nurturing children in life and faith. God’s ongoing care and concern is demonstrated in the Bible, and we are called to follow its leading and teaching. In Deuteronomy 11:18-19 the ministry of teaching children is a command given to the Israelites and in Mark 10:13-16 Jesus gave us His example in welcoming and loving children.

The Bendigo Baptist Church, along with Baptist all over Australia, is “committed to promoting the welfare of children participating in any of their ministries or activities by protecting their rights and also protecting them from harm.” An Australian Baptist Response to Working with Children and Youth" 2018 on this page.

Bendigo Baptist Church is committed to promoting and protecting the safety and wellbeing of children and young people, by providing a child safe environment where children and young people are safe and feel safe, and their voices are heard about decisions that affect their lives.

Our primary contact with children and young people is through our church services and Children and Youth ministries. Bendigo Baptist Church recognizes those aged under 18 (children and young people) are in scope for the purposes of this Child Safety statement, although we are committed to promoting and protecting the safety and wellbeing of everyone who seeks to call BBC their church community.

We have a zero tolerance for child abuse in any form and have systems to protect children and young people from abuse. We take all allegations very seriously and respond to them consistently in line with our policies and procedures, report all instances of suspected child abuse, and contact authorities when we are worried about a child’s safety.

We value and support diversity, inclusion, and equality as we see all people are made in the image of God and have equal worth and value.

Every person working or involved with Bendigo Baptist Church has a responsibility to understand the important and specific role they play, individually and collectively, to ensure the wellbeing and safety of all children and young people. Our Child Safety and Wellbeing Policy aligns with the Victorian Commission for Children and Young People Child Safe Standards 2022.