What is a Church Confidentiality Agreement?

A church confidentiality agreement is a document that states the declaration of keeping things about the church to be secret. Whether you are an employee in the church, a volunteer, a church member, or even a visitor in the church, you must agree that you will not disclose any information that you have heard or gotten in the church. This includes the secrets of church members or any person that has confided their stories in the church. In churches, we do confessions and it is the responsibility of the church to protect our information. The church must be wary in keeping things to avoid slander and gossips that can happen to any person that has attended the church.

Whether the church is a Baptist Church, a Protestant Church, a Catholic Church, or whatever it may be, pastors and priests need to have a sense of secrecy for everything that has been divulged in the church. It should be responsible for taking care of its sheep. Personal things are been discussed in the church and it is in the goodness of everyone to respect others’ information that they should not tell or gossip about the personal matters that they have heard. Sometimes, our mouth can be sinful. Especially since the matters that can be disclosed in the church are sometimes intriguing. The church should avoid every possibility of gossip that can destroy a person’s life. Everyone should respect his or her neighbor. But to be sure of that, the church will make its volunteers and staff, its church members, and its visitors sign a confidentiality agreement in the church. This is to protect everyone from all harm. Gossipping is easy to do, and it can destroy the church. To protect the church itself, it should be careful that its people will not commit this mistake. Through the agreement, everyone will fear to disclose any information because it is a binding document that can be brought to the court. They will keep their mouth shut so that they will not be dragged with any issue that can make them responsible to answer a legal case. Thus, peace in the church can be maintained and everyone can keep their secrets safe.

Elements of a Church Confidentiality Agreement

Like an ordinary confidentiality agreement, a church staff confidentiality agreement or a church board confidentiality agreement has specific elements. It contains some important matters that are needed to include in the agreement. Read the following and know what a church confidentiality agreement consists of:

Confidential Information

This is the information that is needed to be kept secret. This includes the stories that any church member has shared, the confessions that are made in the church, the tithe that the church has collected, the money that every member gives to the church as tithing, or any important information or details that should be kept secret in the church. As we take refuge in the church, we also tend to share our secrets with it. The church needs to protect every information that we have shared. It is a church that can easily get confiding from anyone. It must understand that after any person has confided in the church, this information should not be disclosed forever. So, this type of information is particularly written in the church confidentiality agreement as confidential information. It should not be disclosed by anyone in the church. Everything should remain secret concerning the church and the agreement.

Confidentiality Exceptions

Though you must completely know that everything that has been shared in the church is completely confidential, there should be a clause that should state the exceptions on the confidential information. This makes the agreement not too severe to follow. It can also emphasize the information that needs to be confidential. Church people can know up to what extent they can speak.


The agreement clearly defines the obligations of the persons who are signing it. If you are a staff or a volunteer, you should have the decency to keep everything in the church confidential. Everything that you will happen to know as you work in the church should remain secret. You should be honest not to tell anyone about them. It is also true with visitors. If you are new in the church, you must respect anything that you saw in the church. You must respect the way of worship of any church that you have attended. You should not disclose any information that you have observed as you are in the church. As a church member, you also must respect the privacy of the church. You need to respect every church member and keep their secrets as you may happen to know any of them. You must observe these obligations as a part of the church confidentiality agreement. In any agreement, these things will be clear so that the parties involved will know what to do.

Confidentiality Rules

In the agreement, there should be some rules on how to maintain confidentiality. These rules can direct the person who will sign it how they can keep confidential information. It can be some bulleted rules that define what a person should do when inside the church. It may be a list of things that they will not do or a list of things that they have to keep secret.

Consequence of Breach

There may be some time that the parties involved may not able to keep the church confidentiality agreement. They can divulge information about the church. In this case, there should be a consequence for breach of the church confidentiality agreement. Breach refers to breaking the rules in the agreement. If ever this happens, there should be a clause that will state some consequence that the person who breaks the agreement will face. It may be some penalties or the possibility to face the court of law.

Tips on Church Confidentiality Agreement

Even in church manuals, you can find some confidentiality information. Confidentiality agreement in churches is important because disclosure can destroy the image of the church and can scatter the flock if a slanderous activity will happen it. Confidentiality is a must and the church must be good in keeping it. Consider the following tips and know how you can better keep confidentiality in your church:

Make Confidentiality Policy: Aside from the agreement that the church attendees and staff will sign, you must make some policies about confidentiality. You may make a policy that if ever one breaks confidentiality, they will make some community service. If you will make policies, the church members will have tendencies to follow these rules and they will become careful of whatever they will say. They will know that if they break the rule, they can get a certain punishment. They can be ashamed of doing what is against the policies because they have to face some consequences. So, aside from your church policy, you must add some confidentiality policy that can make everyone follow what is needed for your church.Respect Privacy: Everyone in the church should remember that they have to respect others’ privacy. If ever someone has divulged anything about their private life, have the decency to respect them. Respect their privacy that even if they have shared something with you, you must not disclose it to someone else. Be swift to hear but you must never judge. Judging them can make you relay the information to someone else to ask for their opinion. Just as you are serving in the church, treat each other as your brother and sister that you must care about them and their personal stories. Never gossip just because you do not understand their situation. Put yourself in others’ shoes so that you will not risk sharing others’ secrets with others. If you know that those secrets can hurt them if they will be shared, you must not do it because you do not want that thing to happen to you, too. Give privacy to their secrets and keep it on yourself only.Give Training for Confidentiality: A training can help your church to learn what should be done regarding confidentiality. If you will train your staff and church members, they will remember the important things that they have to do regarding confidentiality. If you will have a youth group confidentiality agreement, give training to your youth group. If you will have a church board member confidentiality agreement, then, give training to your board members. The same if you will have a church volunteer confidentiality agreement. You must give training to your volunteers. The training can guide them on how they can keep confidentiality in the church. They will be forewarned of the things that they have to be wary about. They will know the extent to how they can communicate in the church and with others regarding the church. Every training keeps a person to be equipped in things. So, if you want your church to maintain complete confidentiality, you must train them so that they can keep doing what is right for everybody.A Good Approach in Getting Information: In getting information in the church, the church must have some good strategy on how they can get data from every people. Anyone should know that they do not need to share personal stories if they do not want to. If they are scared that their secrets will be revealed, they can ask their pastors to share it only with them or with someone that they can completely trust. You must maintain privacy in your church by getting the information in the best way only. Sharing secrets with too many people may sometimes be risky. If someone wants to confess anything, he or she can tell it to a few people that can surely understand his or her situation. You may not be going to let them tell it with your new attendees. This way, you can keep important information safe. There will be less chance of gossip and you know who to consult with if the secret will be disclosed.Control Access: If your church members share secrets with you through electronic means, you must have control access that can keep their information safe. You must be sure that none can read their information and the only persons that can access it are the ones that you know will keep it a secret. Have limited user access to secure it. You can lock also paper files so that no one can see them. You must take care about the information because it is one way on how to keep confidentiality. Be sure that information will not be reached by outsiders.

How to Make a Church Confidentiality Agreement

Whether you are making a confidentiality agreement for church employees or a confidentiality agreement for church volunteers, you may need some steps to follow to create a better agreement. Here, you can have some steps that you can consider in making a church confidentiality agreement:

Step 1: Define the Confidential Information

Before drafting an agreement, you must first identify what are the things that belong to the term ‘Confidential’. Define the term and state the information that can be pertained to this. To make a contract or agreement, you must tell all the information that should be confidential in your church. Be clear in stating this so that the parties involved will know what to follow. Make a list of all the confidential information that should not be disclosed. State them in a clause and label it as ‘Confidential’.

Step 2: State Responsibilities

After identifying the confidential information, you can now set some responsibilities that the receiving party will do. These responsibilities must be observed in the church to maintain confidentiality. As the receiving party signs the agreement, he or she must know that he or she must be responsible for observing these duties regarding the agreement. Breaking it may be a source of the breach of the agreement and the disclosing party may do an action on his or her end.

Step 3: Set a Period for Confidentiality

Like any other confidentiality agreement, there can be a period for confidentiality. Set a proper time when the receiving party should not disclose the information that they can get in the church. Most information should remain confidential forever, but you must state it in the agreement.

Step 4: Put Severability Clause

In case of severance, the agreement should have a clause about this. If the agreement seems to be illegal, you must put a severability clause that can resolve this issue. There may be times that you cannot enforce the agreement in court and a severability clause can solve this problem.


What Will Happen If I Disclose Information About the Church?

This is where a church confidentiality agreement comes in. It secures that no information in the church will be disclosed. If you have disclosed something and you have not signed anything, you have nothing to do and you have no problem. But if you have signed a church confidentiality agreement, you must know that this document is binding, and if you break it, it can be brought to the court of law.

Why Confidentiality is Important in a Church?

Confidentiality is important in a church because it gathers some personal stories and secrets from its church members. This information should remain secret and should not be disclosed to others.

We have complete trust in our brothers and sisters in our church. But to ensure to protect the rights of everyone, there should be a church confidentiality agreement that can keep our information safe. Are you wondering what a church confidentiality agreement looks like? This post has 3+ SAMPLE Church Confidentiality Agreement in PDF. You can even use any template if you like. Download now!