Christian Reformed World Missions office staff are working with hundreds of volunteers who are serving for a week, a month, or a year in overseas settings. It is exciting to see so many people willing to spend their time and money in ministry and learning about other cultures and how God is at work in them to gather a Church for Himself.
One of the issues we have faced recently is getting background checks for volunteers. It has become increasingly common for organizations to require those who serve, especially if they are working with vulnerable populations, to do a background check for any history of criminal activity or abuse. Some churches are requiring them for anyone working with children. These checks are seen as a way of protecting those we serve overseas as well as the organization and the Lord's reputation. We all know what damage was done when abuse issues in the Roman Catholic Church came to light.
So, does your church or organization require background checks for volunteers? If so, what sort of volunteer service leads to such a requirement? Do you think this is a good practice, or not?