News & Resources

Resource group offers background screening for churches

Aug 26, 2011 Matt Roesly

A Christian products and services provider recently announced that it is offering background checks for churches and religious organizations, One News Now reports. Given the checkered history of many well-respected church employees, it may be wise for an entity to adopt background checks as a way to not only avoid future legal issues, but to ensure parents that their children are safe. Lifeway Christian Resources is providing this service. "It gives the parents who are bringing their children to the nursery or to Vacation Bible School ... a sense of security that they know you've done something to vet the volunteers or teachers who are working with their children," Jennie Taylor, Lifeway's department coordinator, told the news source. She adds that many churches are aware the screenings are necessary, but they don't have the funds to conduct them. Lifeway's screening services revealed 45 percent of submitted profiles have returned a criminal hit since 2008. According to the Houston Chronicle, background checks are commonplace for Southern Baptist churches. Houston's First Baptist Church - a house of worship with more than 6,000 devotees and 50 staff members - conducts screenings on all employees and volunteers.