Through my ministr(ies) , we have kicked ourselves a few times for not running background checks on applicants for membership. However, it can be difficult sometimes -- for instance, if an applicant has fled a disaster, if they previously were drifters, or if their old Church closed, and so on. And often enough, applicants have no background to speak of -- if they are new Christians. OBSERVATION: Regrettably, a few (not many) background checks have rung alarm bells. A few, too, would have rung alarm bells if we had followed this practice more faithfully.