Safety Basics: Steps 1 & 2
To create a safe and sacred space for all people to encounter and experience their faith is a biblical and faithful response. Below are some scriptures that can help guide your church throughout the process of creating a more sacred and safe place.
For more information about creating an inclusive and sacred space for families with children who have special needs - (Click here).
Know that I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.
You, O Lord, will protect us; you will guard us from this generation for ever. On every side the wicked prowl, as vileness is exalted among humankind.
The Lord will keep, your going out and your coming in, from this time on and for evermore.
Where there is no guidance, a nation falls, but in an abundance of counsellors there is safety.
Do not fear, for I am with you, do not be afraid, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my victorious right hand.
Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me. If any of you put a stumbling block before one of these little ones. . ., it would be better for you if a great millstone were fastened around your neck and you were drowned in the depth of the sea
2 Timothy 1:7
For God did not give us a spirit of cowardice, but rather a spirit of power and of love and of self-discipline.
1 Peter 1:15
Instead, as he who called you is holy, be holy yourselves in all your conduct.
(New Revised Standard Version)
Background Checks have different levels. The Insurance Board offers the following options and levels for members and non-members. Read more about Insurance Board Services at insuranceboard.org.
The Importance of Background Checks
Lessons from a Loss: The Value of a Background Check
One of our participating churches recently implemented background checking through the Insurance Board partner, Praesidium. The church used a “Basic” check, and on one check the system came back with a “hit” and provided a record of a person’s sex and child-related crimes. When confronted by the pastor, he denied the information was related to him. The pastor called us to ask what he might do. Because the church had the individual’s social security number as part of the background check permission form, it was possible to run a higher level “Confidence” check. The next report brought back mug shots of the man and a detailed multi-state history of sex-related crimes, from assault of a spouse to child endangering. Among the most striking of facts: the applicant was using the social security number of a dead person. The applicant was not able to deny the results of the second report. His intent to conceal his identity was clear. The church then had a choice. If it knowingly allowed the person to be involved in the church, even as a member, sexual misconduct liability coverage would not apply for an incident involving that person. The church would have to defend itself with its own resources if there were a lawsuit. Choosing “inclusiveness” over fiduciary responsibility is no simple task.
- The Steward is the joint effort of:
Carl J. Kotheimer, Director Loss Control & Claims and Elizabeth Vance, Marketing & Communications Coordinator,
Summer 2011, Insurance Board, www.insuranceboard.org
This page was last updated by JK 9/29/14