One of the things I do is post the daily news on the childrensministry.com site. I love doing this to keep up on what's new with kids. However, finding the positive news means digging through a lot of really horrible things that happen to kids day in and day out–usually at the hands of their parents or other trusted people. Children are abused, neglected, tortured, and killed…all over the place…and every day.
So this is my Christmas wish. In addition to children's ministers being mandated reporters of abuse, I wish that we in churches and clubs and schools and anywhere else that children come would say to kids upfront and regularly and loudly: "This is a safe place. And no one should EVER hurt you. Not your parents. Not a teacher. Not a sibling. NO ONE! So if anyone ever hurts you with their words or their actions, that is NOT ok! We're here to protect you. And if you tell us that someone is hurting you, we will make sure you are safe now and forever." And then we do just that.
I wish that children knew that all they have to do is tell us that they're being hurt and they don't have to keep the secrets of evil people who hurt them…but they won't know that if we don't tell them.