I hear so often from churches of all sizes asking what services they should consider when hiring someone as a pastor. Too frequently I hear churches say that the “very basic criminal search” is enough – “we feel good about this guy!” Someone in a leadership role of this magnitude should be fully-vetted before an offer is made.
We are in the business of helping organizations hire safely, screen volunteers, and maintain safe environments for their staff, visitors, attenders, and volunteers. To us, fully-vetted would include these 11 checks as a part of a pre-employment screening process for pastors:
- Multi-State Criminal Search
- National Sex Offender Search
- SSN Validation/Verification
- MVR – Driving History
- Credit Check (If position includes financial responsibilities)
- Federal National Search (to screen out embezzlement, trafficking, some drug offenses, any crime that could be tried in Federal Court)
- County Searches to augment the Multi-State Search
- Education Verification (Higher degrees)
- Employment Verification
- Reference Checks
- Drug Screening
The last one really throws churches for a loop. But how often do we hear of someone in these leadership roles who uses church funds to abuse drugs? A LOT.
Drug screening should be a part of the hiring process and a continued process for all employees. I think that part of the problem resides in the fact that churches don’t think of themselves as an employer, but a church that ministers. However, they are a business too and subject to those rules and regulations.
If you’re looking for a simple and streamlined way to conduct full background checks on potential staff hires, check out our services online at SecureSearch.
Our goal is to help churches build strong, safe environments for doing good in their communities and the world; screening is just one piece of the puzzle that can help make everything fit.