by Mike Durbin
PLYMOUTH, MI – A dramatic wakeup call is taking place in Southern Baptist life. Guidepost Solutions conducted an independent investigation of the “Executive Committee’s Response to Sexual Abuse Allegations and an Audit of the Procedures and Actions of the Credentials Committee.” The report released shortly before the Annual Convention in June, shocked Southern Baptists. A collective sense of grieving and heartbrokenness permeated the Convention for abuse victims, and the way they were treated. The recommendations of the Sexual Abuse Task Force to address the situation were overwhelmingly approved. Chief among them was the plan to establish a website where “pastors and church leaders credibly accused sexual abusers will be listed.”
Click here for information from the task force: https://www.sataskforce.net/updates/guidepost-solutions-report-of-the-independent-investigation
It’s a great start, but there is more to be done. Recommendations and resolutions at the Convention are important, but systematic change takes place in the local church. That’s why the Baptist State Convention of Michigan (BSCM) is paying for up to 10 US OneVERIFY Background Checks through LifeWay and 10 Ministry Safe Sexual Abuse Awareness Trainings. Our goal is to help every cooperating church provide safe environments for people to experience God, and grow in their relationship with Him.
The BSCM is setting the example by requiring all staff in the office and at Bambi to have Background Checks and Ministry Safe Training.
About Ministry Safe
“MinistrySafe was founded by legal professionals and sexual abuse experts, Gregory Love and Kimberlee Norris. Through their litigation practice representing victims of child sexual abuse, they recognized a vital need to equip churches and ministry programs to better protect children from sexual abuse. The risk is real, and it's preventable. Prevention starts with awareness” - ministrysafe.com
To equip those who work with children in your church with this Ministry Safe training, email email@example.com with the names (first and last name) and email addresses of those who need the training. The person will receive an email link to the training. Upon completion, a Training Certificate will be generated. The cost of the training will be billed directly to the BSCM.
About US One VERIFY Background Checks
“The Lifeway One Source program provides discounted prices on background checks for churches and religious organizations looking to protect their ministries. Screen your staff, volunteers, treasurers, teachers, bus drivers, camp counselors and more!”
Every church needs to create an account in the church’s name to take advantage of this benefit with the BSCM. This will allow the church to have all records on file in a safe place. Once the account is created, it will be easier to request background checks. The church will have to pay for the background checks (only US One VERIFY) and request reimbursement from the BSCM.
Background Check Process
Step-by-step process to obtain background checks of up to 10 potential staff members and volunteers. (Reimbursable by the BSCM)
Click the yellow “Register Now” button
Register your church (you will need to start with someone’s name and email)
Once logged in, you will need to select “Acknowledged” after you read the “Notice To Users” and “Summary Of Rights”
Click “order packages” at the top banner
A blue banner will appear under that; select “Create a URL”
Under “Select a package”: in the dropdown menu, select “US OneVERIFY” for $12.00 (This is the only type of background check that the BSCM will reimburse.)
Under “Start your search”: “Give this URL a name” NOTE: any name will do
Under “Define Payment”: select “Our organization will pay”
Click “Create hosted URL” at the bottom
Copy the URL and send to ALL candidates
Initially, you (the church) will need to pay for the background checks (see step 15)
If a credit card was not entered during registration, follow these steps
Click “My Account”
Select “Account Settings”
Click “View Billing Info”
Click “Edit Billing Info”
Enter credit card information
If candidate is using an APPLE device:
The first time an applicant clicks on the URL, it will go to a Review and Sign in page.
Once there, enter an email address, select “No, I’m new here,” and create a password.
A “Registration Failed” error will probably popup.
If that happens, go back and click on the URL again to get to a new Review and Sign in page.
Once there, enter the same email address, select “Yes, I have a password,” and enter the one that was just created.
Once the report is complete, the email that you used to create the account and the candidate will receive notice that the report is available for download
The email that you used to create the account will receive the background check results with all sensitive candidate information redacted such as social security number
Send a picture of the receipt for all background checks to firstname.lastname@example.org for reimbursement by the Baptist State Convention of Michigan.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Mike Durbin is the State Evangelism Director for the Baptist State Convention of Michigan. Before joining the state convention staff, Mike served as Church Planting Catalyst and Director of Missions in Metro Detroit since 2007. He also has served as a pastor and bi-vocational pastor in Michigan, as well as International Missionary to Brazil.