When it comes to protecting the church, one often thinks about things like locks, on-site security and alarm systems. But what about the threats that can exists from inside the ministry in the very congregation itself? How well prepared are you when it comes to protecting the most vulnerable members of your flock – your children? Experts say that in order to protect the youngest church members, ministries should have a strong safety screening plan in place. “A truly comprehensive screening program contains not only background checks suited to geographic location and position being applied to, but also a detailed child safety training program. Additionally, the program should include a rescreening policy,” said R.J. Frasca, Director of Marketing and Product Development at Protect My Ministry in an interview with Church Executive magazine. Additional safety measures can include keeping track of children during church-sponsored activities utilizing church check-in technology. Fortunately, ShelbyNext Membership, leading software for Church Relationship Management from Shelby Systems, comes integrated with robust tools from our partners at Protect My Ministry. This includes the ability to do background checks and access to child safety training programs. Also available in ShelbyNext Membership is the ability for parents to check their children in to church-sponsored activities right from their smartphone and, with separate hardware, ministry staff and volunteers can even print labels for badges that include barcodes for tracking. Whatever methods you use, always be sure your ministry has a plan for dealing with potential dangers – the ones you can predict and the ones you can’t.