Non-denominational churches are often committed to providing safe and welcoming environments for families. These organizations work to build communities with citizens of all ages, from young children just learning about their religious faith to adults raising their kids in the church. To cultivate this kind of atmosphere, churches rely on the contributions of both employees and volunteers. Vetting these individuals thoroughly is of paramount importance to ensure the safe environment everyone expects at a church.
Pathways Church is a non-denominational church in Appleton, Wisconsin that preaches a message of community and closeness with Jesus and God. In addition to weekend services that feature sermons, contemporary music, and multimedia elements, the church offers regular programs for kids and teenagers. Parents are encouraged to enroll their preschool and elementary-aged children in age-appropriate Biblical learning experiences. The church also offers programs for middle school and high school-aged students, including mid-week gatherings, ministry groups, and mission trips.
With such a strong focus on families and students, Pathways Church is committed to ensuring that its employees and volunteers are safe and respectable mentors for the church community. According to Administrative Assistant Allison Oravec, the church is “very cautious” in choosing its new hires and volunteers—especially the volunteers in the kids' ministry programs. Adults volunteering in these programs often work with kids and teenagers in one-on-one or unsupervised settings. As such, the church needs a way to ensure each volunteer is trustworthy and safe to bring on board.
For the past two and a half years, Pathways Church has been using backgroundchecks.com to verify the trustworthiness of its employees and volunteers. The church never leaves kids or teenagers unsupervised with an adult unless that adult has gone through a background check. Through a mix of statewide criminal searches, multi-jurisdictional background checks, and alias searches, the church can get a better sense of who its members are and whether they should be granted positions of authority and responsibility.
The partnership between Pathways Church and backgroundchecks.com is yielding positive results. Allison says the church has rejected prospective volunteers because of red flags discovered through our background check reports. She also says backgroundchecks.com delivers background check reports with fast turnaround times—a must in the church’s busy setting.
A church should be a place where parents can take the whole family and know that everyone will be safe and carefully monitored. The idea of churches as sanctuaries dates back hundreds of years and the reputation continues to this day. With thorough background searches and timely candidate reports, backgroundchecks.com is doing its part to make sure Pathways Church is a protective and supportive sanctuary.