Church Safety Online Links
It started with email and local church web sites; electronically based communication may now (June of 2009) include PDF versions of the traditional newsletter, presence in the online social network world, and periodic "tweets" to collections of strangers.
With church members of all ages, but particularly among the young, increasingly relying on digital communication, the church and its leaders finds itself needing guidance. In addition to learning the new technologies, they offer new challenges to maintaining appropriate boundaries between clergy and parishioner, youth leader and group member, employee and employer. These resources have been developed to facilitate discussion and to help churches adapt their safe church policies to a new and emerging environment in cyberspace.
Developed by Rev. Eric Anderson and Rev. Kim Hoare for workshops on Internet safety in the winter and spring of 2009.
- Social Networking
- Reviews the nature of social networking, its use in the church, and surveys boundary issues arising in it. Click here for the PDF.
- Putting a Window in Your Virtual Door
- Reviews the basic boundary issues, some special factors in online communication, relevant Christian values, and some best practice suggestions. Click here for the PDF.
- Social Networking and Youth
- A list of recommended practices for pastors, educators, and youth workers who may communicate with youth online. Includes a sample model release for photos. Click here for the PDF.
- The Electronically Safe Church Office
- A brief set of points on two topics: (1) evaluating content for church web sites, and (2) protecting church information (such as membership or financial data) from loss or misuse. Click here for the PDF.
- Sample Model Release
- A boilerplate document used by professional photographers and video producers. It may be adapted to the specific use of a local church. Click here for the PDF.