To our Friends in the Texas/New Mexico Fields,
As communicated previously, the Texas/New Mexico staff came together on May 11-13, 2023 for the specific purpose to raise our awareness of SA/CSA and the danger it presents, to equip ourselves with appropriate practices that prevent and/or address problems when they arise, and, above all, to reinforce a professional standard of behavior that reflects the testimony of our Lord and Savior. The workshop was conducted by several of our friends and each presented on a topic within the scope of their professional expertise. Even though we are not a formal organization their expertise is applicable to our fellowship. The topics covered were:
- Sexual Abuse and Child Sexual Abuse (SA/CSA)
- Laws and regulations requiring reporting of SA/CSA
- Agencies authorized and mandated to investigate reports of SA/CSA
- Psychological and physiological responses to, and impacts from, SA/CSA
- Recognizing Red Flags Behaviors associated with sexual predators
- Education regarding the signs of victims of abuse and trauma
- Awareness of National and State resources available for education, reporting, and treatment
- Professionalism: Boundaries and Standards of Conduct
- Types of boundaries including: physical, personal, emotional, sexual, time, and monetary
- Considerations for managing conflicts and building stronger communications within organizations
- Consideration of dynamics of power and communication including: abuse of power, how to respond/report, and best practices for preventing and/or mitigating impacts within organizations
- Consideration of cultural differences/boundaries including social, gender, societal, geographical and generational
- Technology: Smartphones/Social Media – Balance and Boundaries
- Productivity with technology
- Becoming aware of the “distraction to destruction” threat of technology
- Leadership Versus Management: Understanding the Difference
The workshop process provided valuable information that has, and will continue to, provide great benefit to us. The information presented and the related discussions in all the topic areas will prove extremely beneficial in assisting us as we strive to serve. The workshop resulted in better informed and educated participants on many topics, but especially those related to CSA/SA awareness, prevention, and response. The workers agreed that the outcome of the workshop was not only educational but also allowed for identification of best practices for the ministry. Our discussions also resulted in the intentional empowerment of all workers, young and old, male and female, to have open lines of communication and self-advocacy. We all agreed that there was clear evidence of the presence and leading of the Spirit throughout our workshop.
As a result of the workshop, the plan of the TX/NM Staff is to implement the following actions:
- Develop and share a policy on identification and response to CSA/SA – in review
- Develop and share procedures for identification of Red Flag Behaviors and how they are reported to a 3rd party professional organization for investigation – in development
- Finalize the agreed upon internal guidelines for conduct for TX/NM Staff
We acknowledge that some of these goals will take time to complete. We are dedicated to timely establishment of guidelines/policies for effective implementation of best practices in these areas. To honor our purpose, we acknowledge that this process is an ongoing effort which must allow for continuous updating and improvement.
We are including some SA/CSA resources for your information. We encourage you to review the information we have included. The raising of awareness enables the safest environment possible. When we know better, we can do better.
The workshop was a highly informative and deeply emotional process. Each day taxed our mental and emotional limits. We understand that a three-day seminar will not allow us to resolve all the issues facing us, but we feel assured that we are pointed in the right direction. We have already seen, even in these three days, that all workers felt the freedom to engage in open dialogue. A few of the thoughts that were shared during our days together:
- “This is something I wish we could have done years ago.”
- “I really wish that we would have had this when I started in the work.”
- “I am glad to see the transition here into everyone being able to express themselves.”
- “It is clear that God is refining his ministry.”
- “This has been the icing on the cake of all my days in the ministry.”
After our days together, we are comforted and assured again by what Paul wrote to Timothy, Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his (II Tim. 2:19).
The Texas/New Mexico Staff
This is exactly the type of thing I’ve had in my mind for a long time and I intend to send it on to the overseer of my state in Australia. There’s much to like here, not least the responsible use of professionally educated friends in the area.
Is there any way we could go about rolling out this type of program worldwide?
This is an excellent report! I wish ALL fields would replicate this process. Thank you for sharing.
This is not a training issue, this is a heart issue.
Having worked at a major corporation with operations throughout the USA for several decades, I was required to do extensive training, but never CSA/SA training (it was understood that normal people do not engage in this type of deviant and criminal behavior). The few that did were immediately dismissed, regardless of their position. That being said, why does the 2×2 leadership and staff need it? I was always told that they were chosen by God and were the best of the best. Also, what about the other 48 states? We were always told that the 2×2 leadership were lead by the Spirit and thus the Cult was the same the world over. Just food for thought.
I totally agree with Spartan. CSA/SA should not even have to be a ‘class’ for the workers…or the friends, as normal people wouldn’t even think of molesting a child or raping anyone! What’s even going on here! It truly is a heart issue. And yes, it should all be about the victim.
My experience is different than Spartan’s experience. I also work in a fairly large company with offices throughout the USA and we are required to complete a sexual harassment program upon hire, and again every couple of years. This includes what is acceptable, what is not acceptable, and how to handle sexual harassment in the workplace, depending on whether you are the survivor or in a management position. I have also been to seminars (not CSA/SA related) for management positions where we were told that unless we spell everything out for our employees, we cannot expect their “common sense” and their “normal” to be the same as ours. This was very helpful to me as it changed my thinking and helped to prevent me from being frustrated and angry at people for doing something I felt was common sense and impossible for someone not to know, and stop and ask myself if I had ever told them specifically how they are to act/behave. It made me feel more free to express what I expect from them and I had a lot more peace within myself without suppressing feelings of frustration or resentment in trying to be a fair, pleasant and generous boss. I believe these workshops can be very useful in helping people to better understand what is appropriate/inappropriate, the devastating effects of CSA/SA that go much further than some people realize, and to help get everyone on the same page on how go forward in the future.
Very well said. We were also were required to complete annual sexual harassment training, which included any other sort of bulling, harassment, or abuse regarding race, gender, religious beliefs, political views, etc. Any violation resulted in dismissal. I consider CSA/SA a major step beyond any of the above. However, any type of harassment, abuse, or bulling is not acceptable behavior. These items are all listed in the Ten Commandments and the teachings of Jesus, His Apostles, and Paul. The 10th Commandment listed in Exodus 20:17 specifically calls out CSA/SA.
It sounds like the Texas/NM sessions were a smashing success. Now, could Lyle Schober repeat the experience, this time with all the Canada and US overseers? And if I could be bold, each overseer would be asked to bring an upright, younger worker with them. This will help with the momentum.
To those who are skeptical, I get it, but we need to try.
Bend OR USA