Southern Religion

Yes to CRM; No to similarly effective protection of ‘giving units’ from predators

The Baptist General Convention of Texas is spending $2.14 million on database-driven Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software for the purpose of maintaining donor relationships with current giving units (essentially, Texas Baptists), and no doubt to develop relationships with new giving units.

Baptist General Convention of Texas

This is the same BGCT which under different top leadership spent some $1.3 million on the Valleygate church planting which produced some still-undetermined, small percent of the new churches originally reported. Investment in management software does appear to make some sense for them. Although they had to tap an emergency reserve fund to finish paying for the system.

Christa Brown thoughtfully observes that while building their CRM system, they’re creating a database for tracking the “giving records” of Texas Baptists who make donations (essentially, “giving units”). While the Southern Baptist Convention will not create a database to track Baptist clergy who are sexual predators. Despite the very large number of currently active Southern Baptist clerical predators. From whom the “giving units” should be protected.

The BGCT has a limited-effect anti-predator file called Broken Trust. Not at all like the CRM system.

Churches may report if they elect to, but according to the ethics expert who helped BGCT set up the system, “churches don’t have to report abuse cases to the registry and aren’t likely to.” The result is not a functional predator-tracking database. As of this writing, it’s an online list of 10 names and the claim that “In addition to the names listed above, in keeping with the mission of the BGCT and as a public service, the Convention endeavors to maintain records relating to confirmed* cases of sexual abuse or sexual improprieties by members of the clergy in BGCT-affiliated churches.”

So for the SBC and to a slightly lesser degree the BGCT, it’s still pass the offering plate please. And hush. We must keep our priorities straight.

March 1, 2009 Posted by | Crime, Religion | , , , , , | Comments Off on Yes to CRM; No to similarly effective protection of ‘giving units’ from predators