Some documents and records that churches maintain are private. Examples of confidential information include:
- Members' contributions records.
- Counseling notes taken by a pastor or church counselor.
- References you obtain when screening youth workers.
- Minutes of board meetings at which sensitive issues are discussed.
A church faces possible legal liability if it permits disclosure of any of these kinds of confidential records. As a result, it is important for church board members to take steps to insure that confidential information is not leaked or inadvertently disclosed. There are a number of ways this can be done, and to a great degree it is simply a matter of recognizing the problem and using common sense.
Precautions for keeping confidential information:
- Keep confidential information in a locked, fireproof file, and give the keys to a designated person such as the treasurer or senior pastor, depending on the nature of the records involved.