Background checks are on the rise, LifeWay reports
More than 25,000 background checks conducted by churches or organizations on prospective workers in the past three years have turned up more than 1,600 felony offenses, with the number of organizations conducting background checks having risen 27 percent in the past year, according to LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention.
Since launching LifeWay.com/backgroundchecks in 2008, more than 1,656 different churches or organizations have conducted 25,470 background checks. Of those, more than 45 percent (11,656) returned a criminal hit. A "hit" is any kind of incident, ranging from minor traffic violations to felony convictions, explained Jennie Taylor, marketing coordinator in LifeWay's direct marketing department.
Excluding traffic and non-traffic infractions (jay-walking, noise pollution, etc.,) more than 20 percent (5,107 searches) returned records with misdemeanor or...
Part of the problem is motivating laymen to step up to the plate. At the church I currently attend, the men will teach only with the greatest reluctance - while the pastor's absent and none of his missionary friends are around. I would gladly teach, but I'm not a member.
When I've heard laypeople preach, they've done a fine job, perhaps because they're more humble & cautious than conceited "professionals."
Not satirical, just saddened. We should also note that many of the trained outside professionals actually come from in-house schools. There has to be some reasons why they are often like corporations in every way but competence.
In case you weren't being satirical, I didn't mean merely passing the baton to Junior, but collectively cultivating the talents of all elder-qualified men, who would share teaching duties. Incidentally, this would make it less necessary to pay them a full salary.
Isn't it strange that pastors who run their churches like Mussolini are so thankful they don't live in dictatorial regimes?
Neil wrote: Why can't churches train up their own officers from youth? My guess: pastors don't want peers they can't control.
They do train up their own. Hence ministerial dynasties. Just one example of many: http://trbc.org/visitors/meettheteam/
"Jonathan Falwell ‚Äď Senior Pastor Jonathan Falwell became the senior pastor of the historic Thomas Road Baptist Church (TRBC) in Lynchburg, Virginia, on June 3, 2007. He was named pastor in a unanimous vote by the congregation following the death of his father, Dr. Jerry Falwell, who started TRBC in 1956 and served as the church‚Äôs pastor for 51 years.
In his role as pastor, Jonathan preaches each week to a 20,000-member congregation ..."
20,000 members ... and they ALL voted the same. How many other candidates? Was there a RON box? Or perhaps it was one of those unanimous soviets where some voted no?
This example from another camp: http://www.wickedshepherds.com/Testimonies.html
"...I remember very vividly how I specifically and deliberately voted ‚ÄúNO‚ÄĚ on these issues, just to keep the vote from being ‚Äúunanimous.‚ÄĚ No other reason. At the end of the tally, the pastor named ... comes up to the podium and announces, ‚Äúit is unanimous.‚ÄĚ"
If churches weren't run like corporations, recruiting professional "hired guns" from outside, this would be less of a problem. Also, because of their obsession with "programs" (sorta like our gov't), church bureaucracies are needlessly large.
Why can't churches train up their own officers from youth? My guess: pastors don't want peers they can't control.
scott mcmahan wrote: Lifeway uses "backgroundchecks.com's proprietary National Criminal Database products." These databases disturb me. Private companies compile proprietary databases about me, but I don't even know what these companies are or that they're doing it. ...
Excellent points Mr. McMahan. I wonder too how many heroes of the faith would have passed a background check. Joshua, Moses, David, Peter, Paul, and Jesus Christ would have had their ministries quite hindered were they contingent on background checks. I don't fault folks for using background checks when hiring strangers to lead them, I do fault them for hiring strangers though.
"And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labour among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you;" - 1 Thessalonians 5:12
Lifeway uses "backgroundchecks.com's proprietary National Criminal Database products."
These databases disturb me. Private companies compile proprietary databases about me, but I don't even know what these companies are or that they're doing it. I have no control over what information is in these databases, and would only know about false positives if someone paid the company for a report and then denied me a job. Otherwise, false information could stay in a database for years or decades. Even if I somehow contested and cleared my name with one proprietary database, what about the others?
I have seen many reports over the years about false positives. There was a recent class-action suit against one of these background check companies, and a lot of dirty laundry is coming to light. The company didn't even try to keep information straight for people with similar names.