1. Who owns the content created for the church? “It is common for church employees to compose music or write books or articles in their church office during office hours. What often is not understood is that such persons do not necessarily own the copyright in the works they create. While the one who creates a work generally is its author and the initial owner of the copyright in the work, section 201(b) of the Copyright Act specifies that ‘in the case of a work made for hire, the employer or other person for whom the work was prepared is considered the author … and, unless the parties have expressly agreed otherwise in a written instrument signed by them, owns all of the rights comprised in the copyright'” (“Works Made for Hire,” by Richard R. Hammar, Pastor, Church & Law, Volume 4: Liability & Church and State Issues). Go deeper on intellectual property and copyright questions for churches in the Essential Guide to Copyright Law for Churches.
2. Help your church understand the meaning of “steward.” “When people fully embrace their role as stewards, become equipped, and begin to grow, literally every area of ministry is impacted. Do we need volunteers to serve? Do we want to see more people reaching out and sharing the gospel? Do we need more leaders? People won't step up consistently, as a way of life, until they understand and embrace their role as stewards. Do we want to see generous and cheerful givers? That, too, won't happen until our congregations embrace their roles as stewards and become equipped with the tools and practical resources to grow” (“Igniting Steward Leaders,” by Chris McDaniel, BuildingChurchLeaders.com).
3. What repeated criticism might be telling you. “If you keep receiving the same criticism, perhaps there is a problem, even if you still think there isn’t. It may not be a vision problem or a problem with your strategy or programming, but it may be a communication problem. You can usually learn something from criticism if you are willing to look for the trends” (“5 Right Ways to Respond to Criticism,” by Ron Edmondson, RonEdmondson.com).
4. Before OSHA comes knocking. “Expect a crackdown on workplace injuries and illnesses at health facilities by Uncle Sam. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is … especially focused on … workplace violence … and injuries stemming from slips, trips, and falls. … Facility owners should be vigilant, with plans to identify and fix problems before the feds arrive. That means making sure all walkways are in good condition …” (Kiplinger Letter, July 10, 2015). Evaluate the safety of your church building with our Risk Management Assessment Pack, available on ChurchLawAndTaxStore.com.
5. Use your downtime wisely. “(S)chedule restorative experiences that you look forward to. Making plans to play tennis with a friend or cook a meal with your spouse compels you to focus on an approach goal (doing something pleasurable) instead of an avoidance goal (not checking email). Approach goals are often easier and more enjoyable to achieve. Studies have indicated that doing an activity you find interesting—even if it’s taxing—is better for you than simply relaxing” (“How to Overcome Burnout and Stay Motivated,” by Rebecca Knight, hbr.org).
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