I was recently involved in preparing a child protection policy for our church. We were given a template by our insurer which was really great as it prompted us to put a policy in place early. Even though our children’s ministries are still small, we’re now prepared to offer a safe environment and our people are trained so that in the case of a bad situation arising, our people know who to talk to and what to do about it. More than that, our leaders have it clearly spelled out what our obligations are.

For independent churches, a child protection policy can easily get overlooked and even where it is not overlooked, developing such a policy can be quite a daunting task. So I wanted to share our policy with you. We have significantly upgraded the template that was given to us. You can download the document here. The only change from our actual policy is that we’ve redacted the details of our Independent Person as a courtesy to him. This person is an elder at another church nearby.

Our church is in Queensland. If you’re in another state, you’ll need to adapt this document to fit the context in your state. If you’re not sure the mandatory reporting obligations in your state, look here for a summary by state including the relevant legislation. Consider also any requirements of your insurer.

I pray that this document will help someone, somewhere make their church a safer place. May the church in Australia come again to be trusted as a leader in ethical behaviour as an outworking of godly wisdom and love.

Grace to you.


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About Jason Harris

Dr Jason Harris is a writer, pastor, and academic. He has authored multiple books, articles, and papers including his book Theological Meditations on the Gospel. Jason has a PhD from James Cook University as well as degrees in theology, music, accounting, and research. Jason has lived in Cairns, Australia since 2007 and serves as pastor at CrossPoint Church. You can contact Jason at jason@jasonharris.com.au.


  1. Disaffected IBs need disinfectent deep on the inside. 24 July, 2017 at 1:16 am - Reply

    What church?

    You mean the four of you that gather together to watch John Piper on the TV, holding up his hands and sway, sway, sway-ing during a new-evangelical, Calvinistic ‘worship service’?

    You harbor long grudges and bitter envy in your hearts; ALL of you. Who could even conceive of a self-professed ‘church’ made up entirely of slanderous and disaffected ex-Independent Baptists?

    Has hell disgorged itself from the abyss and crawled up out of the ground in Cairns, Australia?
    Disaffected ex-IB’s… – I shudder at the thought, and I pray to the merciful God for the day He sends a solar flare, disturbing the electrical system and turning you all out of the darkness (basement) and into the light (outside).

    Who called you to preach Jason, who ordained you? who acknowledges your authority as anything other than a slanderer and deceiver who hates his own brother and works unceasingly to undermine him?

    You were disciplined and rightly so; if only you would repent you may even yet be restored.

    • Jason Harris 24 July, 2017 at 2:07 am

      When you get the guts to say your piece under your real name, I’ll take your questions seriously. Until then, your post can sit here as a monument to all that you are.

  2. Disaffected IBs need disinfectent deep on the inside. 24 July, 2017 at 8:40 pm - Reply

    I am a number of things Jason, what I am not is a slanderer.
    You don’t know me, I know you second-hand, but I can judge a scoundrel for what he is and there is no justification under the sun for what you have done.

    Publicly blaspheming your brother and the Independent Baptist movement’s names before millions.
    And yet you wrote in that letter that you “prayed that God would be glorified…” Who are you kidding Jason? You are seeking God’s glory by setting this lying infidel Liam Bartlett, Steve Jackson and their friends into a deeply personal and convoluted family matter?

    Do you think what you have stirred up has glorified God? Do you think channel nine sought to glorify God by deceiving and ambushing these two men and slandering them?

    Is ICBC a cult? By what measure? Are all the other pastors who have desired to wring your neck over the years ‘cult-leaders’?

    How many times did you go about behind their backs seeking to draw away their children? Did you not read what the Lord said of millstones being tied around men’s necks and them being tossed in the depths?

    You, [REMOVED], your mum and [REMOVED] are not innocent, you are in need of restoration and this does exactly nothing to achieve that end; what do you suppose Pastor Harris’ kids think of you after this?

    Do you think they earnestly love their contentious, calvinist uncle who is slandering their father and attempting to destroy his ministry? Or their grandma?

    Do you suppose what you have done is scriptural? Christian in the least? Would Jesus Christ have done such a thing?

    I will not give you my name else you will slander me too. Perhaps one day if I am in Cairns you can confront me face to face, and attempt to justify your actions by the word of God. Not before the world and by it’s wisdom but as you assert that you do, according to the scriptures and the authority of God.

    • Jason Harris 24 July, 2017 at 9:39 pm

      Elliot J. Kane (aka “Disaffected IBs need disinfectent deep on the inside.”),

      This may come as a shock, but Kevin isn’t God so I think I’m safe on the whole blaspheming thing.

      You’re angry and probably young. Give it time. God will give you wisdom to direct that anger toward righteous ends. Again, I’ll leave your slightly redacted comment here as a testimony to the twisted thinking that seems to thrive in the movement.

  3. kimsland 6 August, 2017 at 5:09 pm - Reply

    I think it’s wonderful the government has forced the churches to comply with the real law on mandatory reporting.
    The church ‘leaders’ will be put in jail (and rightly so) and the ministers who continue to not report these crimes will also be put in jail. Its a win win situation.

    In the meantime I hope the children do their best to get out of these religious delusion organizations and start thinking for themselves. Ideally before the next alter boy inevitably gets raped by any church minister.

    The issue with church ministers is that their ridiculous beliefs also cause their actions to to be unreasonable or inhuman and obviously illegal. This is why we should help to guide our children towards knowledge and to question everything, you know the opposite to the church’s delusional ideas.

    MORE church ministers in jail I say, they are societies child abusers.

    • Jason Harris 6 August, 2017 at 5:54 pm


      I also celebrate legal steps that help protect the vulnerable. But of course I find it sad that you take such a narrow and closed-minded approach to religion. The evil of some church leaders notwithstanding, we are each responsible to submit to God himself and will be held accountable if we reject his salvation.

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