Background Screening: Who to Screen?

It can make a difference

Churches and related ministries should invest in background screening services for paid employees, those in leadership positions, and all volunteers.

While background screening is a good way to prevent incidents of child sexual abuse, it’s also useful in selecting the right people to assist with ministry finances and other valuable resources. As your ministry develops and implements a background screening program, keep in mind:

  • Employees and volunteers who have frequent contact with children, the elderly, or people with disabilities should be held to a higher standard.
  • Pastors, treasurers, and other people in leadership positions should undergo a thorough review.
  • Drivers of ministry vehicles should have impeccable driving records.


What’s Required?

Some states require background screening for workers involved in certain programs and ministries. If you are unfamiliar with the laws in your state, check with a local attorney to learn more.

What’s Wise?

Even if state law does not require your ministry to conduct background checks, creating and implementing a program is in your ministry’s best interest. Think about the costs—both monetary and emotional—associated with an employee or volunteer within your ministry committing a crime or acting inappropriately.

A background screening program protects your ministry and demonstrates to your employees, volunteers, and members that your church cares about keeping its people and its resources safe.