Press Releases

ERLC Announces “Caring Well Challenge,” a Joint Initiative Designed to Confront Church Sexual Abuse

June 6, 2019

NASHVILLE, Tenn., June 6, 2019—The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, along with the Sexual Abuse Advisory Group, announced today the launch of the “Caring Well Challenge,” a unified call to action designed to confront church sexual abuse.

The goal of the challenge is to provide churches with a clear pathway to immediately enhance their efforts to prevent abuse and care for abuse survivors. All Southern Baptist churches are invited to join as an important first step in addressing the issue of church sexual abuse. The ERLC and Sexual Abuse Advisory Group are thankful to welcome many partners alongside this initiative already—every Southern Baptist entity, over 35 Southern Baptist state conventions, as well as many Baptist associations and colleges—are encouraging the effort of the Caring Well Challenge.

Russell Moore, president of the ERLC, comments on the launch of the challenge. 

“There is no quick fix for an issue as complex as church sexual abuse,” Moore said. “But this initiative is an outstanding step designed to join our churches together in a common cause. Over the last year, I’ve spoken with hundreds of pastors and leaders who are determined to make this issue a priority in their churches, but are looking for tools and training. That’s exactly what this challenge is designed to provide. It has been a joy to partner with so many survivors and experts across many fields to design training that will give churches tools to act immediately.”

Churches who commit to take the challenge will commit to work through the following eight steps over the next year:

  1. Commit – Commit to the Caring Well Challenge
  2. Build – Build a Caring Well Team to lead your church’s effort
  3. Launch – Launch the Caring Well Challenge on August 25, 2019 or a similar date
  4. Train – Train your team at the 2019 ERLC Caring Well Conference
  5. Care – Equip leaders through Becoming a Church that Cares Well for the Abused
  6. Prepare – Enhance policies, procedures and practices related to abuse
  7. Share – Dedicate Sunday services on May 3, 2020 to address abuse or a similar date
  8. Reflect – Reflect on the Caring Well Challenge at the 2020 SBC Annual Meeting

Resources for the initiative are available at caringwell.com.

Elizabeth Bristow

Elizabeth Bristow serves as the Press Secretary for the ERLC. Elizabeth oversees press and media operations for the organization and also coordinates marketing and advertising for ERLC events. Elizabeth received a B.A. in Public Relations and Marketing from Union University in 2010. She and her husband have one son. Read More by this Author