The North American Mission Board announced a new abuse prevention and response plan today (May 25) through a statement by NAMB president Kevin Ezell and board chair Eric Thomas.
Commitments are to:
•Investigate any alleged abuse.
•Establish an abuse prevention and response committee.
•Assess policies and procedures.
•Provide staff, missionary and chaplain training.
•Support convention reforms.
‘Integral part of the mission’
“During times like this, it is easy to be tempted to look the other way, to minimize what has taken place, or to find reasons why the situation we are facing is ‘different’ than other abuse crises,” Thomas and Ezell said in the statement. “Grievously, as we have seen again just this week, far too often these responses are even cloaked in Scriptural sounding ideas — protecting our mission, our base, our resources.
“We want to encourage our SBC community to stand against this temptation. Our God is sovereign and powerful, and He does not need our protection — He requires our obedience. He has commanded us to bring light into darkness, to speak for the oppressed, and to act with justice. We are to grieve at sin and brokenness, to weep with those who weep. Surely this includes survivors of sexual abuse, recognizing the incredible damage that is created when such deep betrayal and violation is experienced.
“We understand that the steps we have outlined will require time and resources, and we encourage our SBC community to remember that caring for the vulnerable is not a distraction from our mission — it is an integral part of it,” they wrote.
Read the full statement and the details of the abuse prevention and response plan here.