Churches and Copyright • Defining 'Stewards' • OSHA Crackdown: Management Roundup
Trends, tips, ideas, and stats to help church leaders manage well this week.
Churches and Copyright • Defining 'Stewards' • OSHA Crackdown: Management Roundup

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,

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,

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

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,

This content is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter covered. It is published with the understanding that the publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting, or other professional service. If legal advice or other expert assistance is required, the services of a competent professional person should be sought. "From a Declaration of Principles jointly adopted by a Committee of the American Bar Association and a Committee of Publishers and Associations."

Due to the nature of the U.S. legal system, laws and regulations constantly change. The editors encourage readers to carefully search the site for all content related to the topic of interest and consult qualified local counsel to verify the status of specific statutes, laws, regulations, and precedential court holdings.


If you found this article helpful, subscribe to for access to more articles like this one.

Recent Posts
Subscribe to Church, Law & Tax

Receive a customized salary report for up to 18 different ministry positions. Learn how your church should compensate based on size, budget, location, and employee work experience.

Avoiding Church Lawsuits

Avoiding Church Lawsuits Subscriber access only

Create proactive procedures to avoid common reasons why churches most often go to court.
Understanding Pastoral Liability

Understanding Pastoral Liability  Subscriber access only

Know the situations in which a pastor is personally liable for wrongdoing.