Question: I’m uncomfortable that two of our staff members are related to our deacon chairman. Nepotism is a problem, right?
Answer: Today’s churches are doing more and more in-house hiring for various ministry positions. If the person being hired is capable and able to do the job as expected, he or she should be judged on their own merits. But there are pros and cons with hiring someone “in the family.” They know the church and its ministries, and already have a strong connection with the people. But if an employment problem or conflict arises, nepotism can cause turmoil that will negatively impact the church. Each situation should be weighed carefully.
Question: Our small church only has two or three children’s workers. Do we really need a screening system with fingerprinting, etc.?
Answer: Simply put, yes, yes, and yes! Even after you’ve conducted a background check, criminal check, and made the best possible effort with people you already know well, most courts would judge against the church if any incident occurred. A background check for anyone working with children is an absolute must. Let your members know no one is a suspect, but the church wants to assure every parent that proper and diligent precautions have been taken. Again—yes, yes, and yes!
Pat Pajak is IBSA’s associate executive director for evangelism.