Seven Building Blocks

Seven Building Blocks of the 21st Century

The Church is under ever-increasing scrutiny, from its own congregation, from the media, from the government, along with other persons claiming to have been harmed by it.  The news headlines are full of religious organizations, once thought immune from lawsuit, rocked by damage claims and huge, and sometimes fatal, monetary judgments.  The perils are real.Tragically, the constant drumbeat of lurking dangers can become persistent white noise, unremarked, unheard, unheeded.Needed plans for necessary risk management are easily lost in a rip tide of bad tidings.

The Church Law Group is devoted to producing usable and effective materials and timely information for its clients.  We believe proper risk management begins with the thoughtful creation of an organization that can operate safely and effectively, while working diligently to avoid problems, and survive a legal attack, should it ever come.

The Church Law Group can assist your organization, in the seven critical areas for building a 21st Century Church.

1. Organizational Governance – The Church, Inc.

Jesus said a wise man builds his house on a foundation of rock. That way, when the rain falls, and the floods come, and the winds blow and beat on the house, it will not fall, because it is founded on solid ground. From a legal perspective, a religious nonprofit organization, the “house,” rests upon [...]

2. Children’s Ministry – Handle with Care

This point cannot be more strongly made: the Church faces enormous potential legal liability in the area of Children’s Ministry. Many studies show this to be the number one category that brings liability claims against the Church. Three major areas of concern for our clients are: · Prevention of accidental injury · Prevention of the [...]

3. Adult Ministry – The Heart of the Church Experience

Why do people come to the Church?  Hopefully, it is to experience the meaningful message and the chance to fellowship with other Believers.  But, many people expect more from the Church than just services.  In particular, they want instructive classes, fun activities, and personal attention including counseling.  Does your Church meet these needs?  Is there [...]

4. Employment Law – Human Resources

Employment Law – What is Title VII, FMLA, and ADA? Any church of any size will have employees. It might just be the senior pastor or it might be a staff of hundreds. As a result, the Church, as an employer, is subject to some, but not all of the various state and federal laws [...]

5. Business Activity

Commercial Activity – Can the Church also operate an Italian restaurant? In the “Norman Rockwell” past, the Church was a little white church in the valley that got by on the weekly donations of its congregation. Today, many churches have expansive campuses with millions of dollars worth of sophisticated video, sound, and computer equipment, satellite [...]

6. Copyright and Trademark – Keeping the Creativity Going

Churches are some of the most creative places on the planet.  Those creative ideas and works are sometimes created by church staff and they are sometimes based upon making use of creative materials from the outside world.  All of these creative works, whether created internally or brought in from the outside world, are subject to [...]

7. Peacemaking – Practicing What We Preach

Mediation and Litigation – The world is a place of conflict Church ministry is not easy. While the Church, through its staff and its members, will try to model good scripturally-based behavior, there will inevitably be conflict. This could be an employment dispute where a Church employee alleges that he/she has been the victim of [...]

Why is Good Governance Important?

According to a recent speech by Lois Lerner, director of IRS Exempt Organizations, there is a direct correlation between an organization’s good governance and overall tax compliance.   Specifically, the IRS asserts that a well-governed organization is more likely to be compliant with the tax law and as a result, is taking an active examination of [...]

Be Careful What You Write and Say…..

With the rise of social media, pastors and church employees have an increasingly public arena in which they can have their voices heard, whether it is through streaming sermon videos, podcasts or in written form through Twitter, Facebook or blogging. Most often, pastors and churches utilize these forms of written social media as a means [...]

The Pastor’s Study

QUESTION:  Are there any rules governing how the board of directors should be composed? ANSWER:  For the most part, the law does not contain rules of this nature.  The IRS suggests that “governing boards should be composed of persons who are informed and active in overseeing the charity’s operations and finances.”  The IRS further suggests [...]

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