We are implementing a new voluntary program designed to protect Calvary Chapel and our affiliates from potential lawsuits, by the use of accountability and due diligence. No state has screening requirements for pastoral staff, but many have requirements for school staff and, as in the case of

California, permit the usage of the state system for screening pastors and staff at a church. TAP was designed to fulfill and supersede the requirements of each state to make each church and school able to deter frivolous and even predatory law suits

TAP is the necessary tool to combat civil litigation by maintaining ethical standards above and beyond the requirements of ‘Due diligence’. ‘Due diligence is defined as simply the effort made by an ordinary, prudent, or reasonable party and/or organization to avoid harm to others. Failure to make this effort is considered negligence. Criminal and Civil Defenses require the illustration that the party and/or organization took every reasonable precaution to prevent harm to an alleged injured party.

We know that some among us have had problems with the law, both criminally and civilly, before being saved. We are not so much interested in prior criminal or negligent activity, however, ‘Due Diligence’ and proper ‘Accountability’ requires the efficient, recent reporting of ongoing problems that may affect pastoral and ministerial responsibilities with the potential for civil litigation.

The purpose of this project is to identify, prevent and hold accountable ourselves and our leadership. Accordingly, we aim to:

  1. Confidentially identify potential problems with regard to a pastor’s/minister’s past and, more importantly, recent criminal or civil history, and/or verification that a pastor/minister is accountable to any criminal or civil problems.
  2. Prevent the hiring or continued employment of someone that has had a serious undisclosed criminal or civil problem.
  3. Hold pastors/ministers accountable to deal with ongoing problems with the assurance our pastors/ministers will know that criminal and/or civil information will be revealed in a timely manner.

The Accountability Project will be implemented by Background Check International, a branch of National Christian Information Center, Inc., a non-profit 501 C-3 ministry located here in the Logos Building. We will be conducting voluntary Criminal, Civil and Federal background checks as well as monitoring the appropriate state sex offender files. This is important information to have available should any related problem arise at any time in the future.

The implementation of this project will be conducted in an organized chain of ‘Accountability’:

  1. Regional Pastors will voluntarily submit to a background check with reports sent directly to CCOF. CCOF will retain the finished reports.
  2. Senior Pastors of Calvary Chapels and Affiliate Ministries will voluntarily submit to background checks with reports sent to their respective Regional Pastor. The CCOF will retain the finished reports.
  3. Senior Pastors will submit background checks on their existing staff. Existing Staff includes, but is not limited to; all new and current Pastors, Associate Pastors, Assistant Pastors, Facilities and Office Managers, Elders, Counselors, Ministers, and Missionaries. The senior pastors and CCOF will retain the finished reports.

In addition, the program will automatically review and update on an annual basis. ‘Accountability’ dictates, that if a problem does arise, the person will admit the incident to their proper authority in a timely manner knowing the information will eventually be revealed to the appropriate authority.

In designing TAP we have sought input from a number of pastors, principles, law enforcement and civil attorneys. One question that we were frequently asked is, “We already do what the state requires, why do we need this program?” Our response is that using the example of California where employees and applicants are ‘Live Scanned’ and the resulting check is about as good as available in any state it is nevertheless deficient in several ways. It checks no civil records at all, which is where civil lawsuits and restraining orders are found and for criminal records it does not cover arrests or resultant trials where a defendant was not fingerprinted. And in many cases it does not give a disposition of the criminal trial. Virtually everyone, including law enforcement professionals, were not aware of these limitations in the program.

Whenever possible we can use existing (recent) records as mentioned above to reduce duplication and cost.
In Conclusion, as privileged representatives of our Lord, we are guided in His service as “the prudent considering well his steps.” (Proverbs 14:15) May God richly Bless Us.

To view Sample Reports or to order, please go to: The Accountability Project Order Page

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