According to a recent Barna Group study, churches are doing a poor job of protecting children and youth in their congregations.
The survey found that nearly one out of every four pastors admitted that their congregation has an inadequate or nonexistent screening process for the those working with the younger crowd.
Only 57 percent of pastors confirmed that their church conducts “thorough background or reference checks of the people working with children and youth.” Another 20 percent described their efforts as “somewhat thorough.”
“Our research consistently shows that how a church treats children is one of the keys to drawing and retaining new families,” says Barna President David Kinnaman, who directed the study.
“Sadly, churches expose themselves to all kinds of potential problems by failing to screen the people who will have contact with and responsibility for the children of strangers during church events.”