LENOIR CITY, Tennessee – July 16, 2019 – Ministry Brands, the leading provider of church management software solutions, recently released data showing mainline Protestant and Evangelical churches are utilizing background checks at an increasing rate. Of the over 30,000 churches that have partnered with Protect My Ministry, a Ministry Brands company, background checks on church employees and volunteers have increased by 12% year-over-year.
Yet, critical gaps remain. Data spanning 29,768 churches and ministries, representing more than 1.6 million individual background checks, shows that just 60% of churches are utilizing background checks with the proper level of advanced searches that employ multiple real-time sources of data and thorough alias searches. This leaves 40% of churches using a screening product that potentially could result in allowing a bad actor to infiltrate the church. Additionally, the data shows that less than 10% of churches are actively rescreening their volunteers and staff annually. In comparison, Ministry Brands found that youth sports and little league teams recheck 99% of staff and volunteers every single year.
“As one of the most prominent background screening platforms in the U.S., the data shows that churches are more engaged than ever before in having their volunteers and staff background checked. But it’s not enough given what our communities are facing,” said Josh Weis, executive vice president, Ministry Brands. “Church leaders and congregants may be operating with a false sense of security with the perception all background checks are equal in their depth. We advocate that church leaders educate themselves to better understand that checking a single name or simply running an applicant through a criminal database is not enough. Depending on the state, these lower level screens can be equivalent to merely Googling a name.”
Key facts about background checks:
“We are releasing this data to urge not just our base of predominantly Christian churches, but all faith-based organizations, to take a more systematic and comprehensive approach to safety in an effort to decrease the infiltration of predators to the greatest extent possible,” continued Weis.
Protect My Ministry’s Background Check Blueprint summarizes the role, application and depth of background checks. Click here to get the guide and learn more about total church safety and how your ministry can proactively safeguard its members and families.
Serving more than 90,000 customers, Ministry Brands is the leading provider of SaaS platforms for churches, parachurch ministries and other faith-based organizations in the United States and Canada. Under the leadership of a kingdom-driven management team, the company seeks to equip the 21st-century church with technology that empowers pastors, church executives, technology professionals and administrators to proactively carry out their biblical mission with excellence, reverence, and efficiency. Ministry Brands’ suite of solutions includes church management, giving, mobile applications, website development, background checks, content, and messaging.