The relationship between church leadership and its members is grounded in trust. Members trust church leaders with some of the most sacred and private details of their lives. They also trust church leadership to be good stewards of the church’s resources; one of these resources is personal data.
Churches collect and maintain information that may be classified as personally identifiable information from members and visitors such as membership records (names, phone numbers, addresses, email addresses, household member information), counseling appointments and notes, and financial information. Not unlike any other business, churches now use technology for:
- Online and mobile giving
- Email newsletter signup
- Email “Contact Us” options
- Purchases from online bookstores and resource centers
- Event registration
But it’s not just about technology. The data collected on traditional giving envelopes and visitor cards also includes personal information that is often transferred to the church’s database.