A church, like any organization, will require structure and a way to manage its creation and operation. This is accomplished primarily through its governing documents. Governing documents typically consist of an organization’s certificate of formation (or “articles of incorporation”) that explain how the organization is formed and its bylaws which outline the rules of how the organization operates. These documents represent the fundamental legal definition of the organization as well as its mission, organizational authority, accountability, and purpose. It is no surprise that a great deal of thought and planning will need to go into the initial creation of these documents, as well as the continued upkeep required to meet the organization’s growing needs and to ensure compliance with the rules and regulations that it is subject to. If not, mistakes can negatively impact the organization as a whole.
Rewriting or Revising Governing Documents
As with any legal document, an organization’s governing documents need to be reviewed regularly and updated as needed. How old are your bylaws? Do they still reflect the way the organization is being operated and managed? If they are old or outdated, then it is more likely they will need to be revised. This is where legal planning for your church or nonprofit comes into play. A skilled church lawyer who concentrates their legal practice in religious nonprofit and church law, will know the law of your state and will be able to advise you on any changes to the organization’s governing document(s) that may need to be made.
Why you Should Hire a Lawyer for Churches
It is important to remember that, while many different firms have attorneys that can help you write and revise your organization’s governing documents, most of these attorneys will not be as familiar with the laws specifically applicable to churches and religious organizations. For this reason, it is best to hire an attorney who concentrates their legal practice in this area of law. The Church Law Group of Anthony | Kennedy, PLLC, specifically focuses on the legal needs of nonprofit organizations, including churches, ministries, and other religious organizations.
A skilled attorney in this area of law can not only help you create or revise your governing documents as needed but can also help your organization effectively plan for the future. Your lawyer will know what types of issues are common with governing documents and will be able to advise you on ways to prevent problems from arising in the future.
Our team of church lawyers has extensive experience in helping churches and nonprofit organizations of all types and sizes. Most importantly, we can help your church, ministry, or other nonprofit organization avoid many of the pitfalls and headaches that can seriously harm your organization. With our experienced team of church lawyers, we can help you learn from mistakes others have made and help you avoid them in your own governing documents. Let us show you how by contacting our office today!