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Screening out wolves requires churches do thorough background checks

wolf in sheep's clothingWe are living in times where there seem to be more spiritual wolves than ever on the prowl dressed in sheep’s clothing looking to devour God’s flock. Quite often in the news there are stories where church workers are arrested for stealing from the church treasury or having affairs or carrying out Ponzi schemes on church members or, most heartbreaking of all, sexually abusing kids who attend church.

If anything, such situations show that churches must execute due diligence when it comes to them hiring employees for their ministry. That brings me to a very timely article I ran across at The Christian Post website that gives pointers on doing background checks. The author of the article does point out that bad people can slip through the cracks even if one does their due diligence. The three reasons stated for this happening are the following:

“1. The corrupt employees were never caught in previous fraud.

2. They were caught in fraud but because of embarrassment or other reasons, their employer or church board decided to keep the scandal a secret and never pursued legal action.

3. The corrupt employee was caught but settled out of court with a nondisclosure agreement.”

Then, of course, there are cases where a person starts off trustworthy and reliable in a ministry, but then veers off course and turns rotten. Which brings up the importance of another point the article’s author highlights. Prayer with the revelation of the Holy Spirit. Just as God told Samuel when he was looking for Saul’s replacement as king of Israel, “…the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart,” 1 Samuel 16:7. Since we as humans can sometimes be fooled by people, we have to remember God knows everything, including a person’s true nature, and can see what a person will do in the future.

That’s why ministries should have a reliable person or team who has proven faithful to the Lord in good times and bad that prays regularly and has been proven in their wisdom, knowledge, and understanding in hearing from God. These are the types of people that need to pray fervently over each candidate interviewed. Then they should wait for God’s answer patiently, which he will more than likely give by two or three witnesses. A church or ministry may even discover that God, who is merciful and forgiving, could have them hire an ex-con who has genuinely repented that would be of mutual benefit to both them and the ex-con even if their background check comes out negative.

Source: Bright Ideas. Background Checks for Church, Ministry, and Business. The Christian Post. Christianpost.com. January 8, 2013.

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