We’ve all heard the saying, “The church isn’t the building.” Paul even spoke to that in Acts 20:28 (NKJV):
“Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.”
Paul says, “to shepherd the church of God,” meaning we as believers are sheep meant to be shepherded as the church. As a church leader, you are one of those shepherds. You are shepherding a flock of believers you call your “church” to go out and bring others into the flock.
Just as a shepherd protects his flock from wolves and other enemies, you also should be taking precautions to protect your church from those seeking to harm. One way you can offer protection is by screening those involved in your ministry. However, we’ve heard the same questions from many churches just like you:
- What does a church background check show?
- Who needs screening within our church?
- How can we screen staff and volunteers easily and keep them up-to-date?
Let’s answer your questions, and take a look at how your ACS Technologies software can make the process easier.
Question 1: What does a church background check show?
It’s easy to say, “I’m going to start screening staff and volunteers.” However, it’s not easy to put that into practice when you aren’t sure about the different types of searches and what each shows. In general, a background check will investigate a candidate’s background based on criteria determined by your church. That may include employment, education, criminal records, credit history, motor vehicle, and license record checks.
ACS Technologies works with the leading comprehensive background screening processor, Verified First. We offer background screening packages built on best practices for roles within your church. However, we encourage you to evaluate each individual you are screening and their role within your church to ensure you run the appropriate package or search.
To read more about the differences in the many searches available, and see more answers to common screening questions written by the experts, check out the Know Your People Guide.
Question 2: Who needs screening within our church?
When you think of all those within your ministry, how many of them come in contact with children, youth, and vulnerable adults? What about those who see confidential information on your members? Or those who handle your church’s finances, including those counting offerings each week?
Anyone who fits as an answer to any of those questions should be screened, including both staff and volunteers. To get started, you should screen:
- All staff members
- Children’s Ministry Volunteers
- Nursery Workers
- Sunday School Teachers
- Special Event Volunteers (VBS, etc.)
- Youth Ministry Volunteers
- Special Needs Ministry Volunteers
- Homebound or Senior Care Ministry Volunteers
- Finance Committee Members
- Greeters and Ushers
We’ve created a printable checklist — you can find that checklist here — you can use it to help you get started as you create a screening process for your ministry.
Question 3: How can we screen staff and volunteers easily and keep them up-to-date?
Screening your staff and volunteers goes beyond just a one-time background check. You should have a process in place for placing orders for a background check, seeing who is screened and who isn’t, and renewing background checks in the future.
Your ACS Technologies software (ACS, PDS, or Realm) integrates Verified First to simplify those processes. You can sign up for free and start running background checks as quickly as today directly within your product! Not only that, you can track the date a background check was completed within your software to help manage renewals better.
Sign Up and start screening today!
As a shepherd, you wouldn’t lead your sheep into a pack of wolves. As a church leader, you don’t want to put your congregation and church at risk. Protect those you care about and your church as a whole by properly screening your staff and volunteers.