"Jimmy" joined the church a year ago. Before long, he volunteered to teach a Sunday School class and got to know eight-year-old “Peter.” Things started innocently. A hug at the end of class. Gifts for Peter. Lots of extra attention. And then it happened. Jimmy took advantage of Peter.
In On Guard, Deepak Reju examines why child predators target churches and offers eleven straightforward strategies to protect children from abuse and to help young victims recover if it does happen. While On Guard does provide practical help for building a child protection policy, it provides much more. Full of pastoral wisdom, On Guard recognizes that the church’s response to abuse must be more comprehensive—in line with her calling—than a simple legal policy or clinical analysis. On Guard moves church staff and leaders beyond fearful awareness to prayerful preparedness with an actionable plan.
Deepak Reju, MDiv, PhD, serves as the pastor of biblical counseling and families at Capitol Hill Baptist Church (CHBC) in Washington, DC, as well as president for the board of directors of the Biblical Counseling Coalition. He is the author of several books and articles, including On Guard: Preventing and Responding to Child Abuse at Church, She's Got the Wrong Guy: Why Smart Women Settle, Great Kings of the Bible: How Jesus Is Greater than Saul, David and Solomon, and The Pastor and Counseling. Deepak and his wife Sarah have been married since 2001 and have five children.
"If I could mandate that at least one leader from every church had to read a single book, I don’t think there are too many I would choose ahead of On Guard: Preventing and Responding to Child Abuse at Church. Too many times the purpose and witness of the church has been tarnished by her failure to offer safety and protection to children. This book offers assistance where so many churches have failed."
Tim Challies, Pastor, author, and blogger at Challies.com
"Child sexual abuse in the church is a scandal, and yet many of us in church are woefully ill-equipped to identify danger signs, understand our legal responsibilities, or respond in an appropriate pastoral manner to the victims. In this timely book, Deepak Reju addresses all of these areas of concern, offering helpful advice to pastors, elders, and Christians in general on what the reality of this evil requires of them in terms of organization, wisdom, and action. Whether your church is just starting to formulate a child protection policy or seeking to protect the children in its care more effectively, this book will be a very useful resource in addressing the challenges in keeping children safe and giving comfort and care to the victims of abuse."
Carl R Trueman , Pastor, Cornerstone Presbyterian Church, Ambler, PA; Paul Woolley Professor of Church History, Westminster Theological Seminary, Philadelphia
"Deepak has given the church a fine gift. He has written a very practical plan for churches so we can better love and protect our children and teens. It won't overburden a church with endless regulations, but it will give church leadership what they must know, and it will lay out what church leadership must teach its members and ministry staff. This book will, guaranteed, make you and your church wiser."
Ed Welch, Author and CCEF Faculty