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Protecting Your Church in Case of Allegations of Abuse
Protecting Your Church in Case of Allegations of Abuse
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Around a year ago, attorney Richard J. Mathews shared lessons he learned from advising the Boy Scouts of America during the organization’s child sexual abuse crisis. ManagingYourChurch.com recently interviewed him regarding what churches should know about insurance coverage ...

Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Christian Schools
The religious freedom victory now could mean others in the future.
Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Christian Schools
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The Supreme Court of the United States has ruled on its most important religious freedom case of the year, and they ruled in favor of a church.

Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia v. Comer was a lawsuit brought by a Lutheran church against the director of the Missouri Department ...

How Does Trump’s Religious Liberty Executive Order Affect Churches?
Four legal experts weigh in on what the order actually means.
How Does Trump’s Religious Liberty Executive Order Affect Churches?
Image: Samuel Schneider / Unsplash

On May 4, 2017, President Trump signed an executive order (full text here) concerning religious liberty. Promises to “destroy” the Johnson Amendment—a provision in the US tax code that restricts churches’ political activity—have long been part of ...

Church Cell Tower Leases and Zoning Laws
How to navigate the process smoothly and with minimal problems.
Church Cell Tower Leases and Zoning Laws
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Kevin Donohue spent decades building networks for wireless companies before switching sides to represent landowners through his work with Tower Genius—a consultant firm that helps churches, businesses, and private citizens with lease agreements. He spoke with ManagingYourChurch.com ...

What Churches Should Know About Immigration Law
An immigration attorney shares how churches can help immigrants in their congregations and communities.
What Churches Should Know About Immigration Law
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Recently, conversations about immigration have been surfacing in headlines, in our communities—and in our churches. Church Law & Tax talked with immigration attorney Analí Gatlin Looper about the sanctuary church movement, resources churches can use to learn ...

How Recent Changes to Form I-9 and the R-1 Visa Process Affect Churches
What church leaders need to know about recent changes to workers’ immigration forms and processes
How Recent Changes to Form I-9 and the R-1 Visa Process Affect Churches
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Form I-9 Changes in January 2017

Recently the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) released a new version of its Form I-9, the Employment Eligibility Verification form, and required US employers to begin using the new Form I-9 by January 22, 2017. Currently, US Immigration ...

How to Safely Use Copyrighted Video During Church Services
An attorney answers the most common questions she receives about video copyright.
How to Safely Use Copyrighted Video During Church Services
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You found a perfect video clip to highlight the deep spiritual point you wish to make on the platform. People will connect. Lives will be changed. But what is the risk in incorporating it into your message? And what, if anything, can you do to legally play the video clip?

Many ...

What Would Repealing the Johnson Amendment Actually Mean for Churches?
How a repeal of the amendment that prohibits political endorsements could affect pastors and churches.
What Would Repealing the Johnson Amendment Actually Mean for Churches?
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During this year’s election season, many churches and pastors have likely heard that Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has indicated he is in favor of repealing the Johnson Amendment, which governs the political activity of churches. The repeal of the Johnson ...

Interview: Churches and the State of Ministry Litigation
If you examine the annual lawsuits against churches, the results may surprise you.
Interview: Churches and the State of Ministry Litigation
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Churches may wonder whether there is a growing possibility of churches facing legal proceedings. Is church litigation spiraling out of control?

In this interview, attorney Richard Hammar provides insight into the trend relating to church litigation and points out what churches ...

Interview: Child Sexual Abuse Prevention in the Church
What churches should know and the steps they should take to protect children.
Interview: Child Sexual Abuse Prevention in the Church
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Attorney Richard Hammar gives six key steps churches should take to mitigate the risk of child sexual abuse in churches. Not only are Hammar’s six steps the most effective in preventing abuse, they are considered the set of reasonable measures churches should take in order ...

Interview: The Definition—and Danger—of 'Inurement'
Richard Hammar offers a definition for a common mistake that can have serious consequences.
Interview: The Definition—and Danger—of 'Inurement'
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While you may have heard the word “inurement,” you may be unsure of its definition. In this interview, Richard Hammar provides a definition of inurement.

Could inurement have implications for a church’s tax-exempt status? Hammar addresses instances where ministries ...

Interview: Facility Use and Public Accommodation
What churches should keep in mind when renting out their facilities.
Interview: Facility Use and Public Accommodation
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When churches allow outside entities to use their facilities, churches need to consider the implications that renting their facility might entail. This is especially true with regard to potentially contentious issues, such as same-sex wedding ceremonies.

In this clip of an interview ...

Interview: Ministers and the Supreme Court’s Decision on Same-Sex Marriage
Does the Court’s ruling affect ministers?
Interview: Ministers and the Supreme Court’s Decision on Same-Sex Marriage
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Following the Supreme Court of the United States’ ruling last year on the legality of same-sex marriage, ministers may wonder whether that ruling now requires them to perform wedding ceremonies for same-sex couples even if they want to be exempt from performing them.

If ...

Churches and the Americans with Disabilities Act
How compliance helps churches welcome all people—including individuals with disabilities.
Churches and the Americans with Disabilities Act
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The biblical principle of loving your neighbor is threaded into the life of churches. Often, however, churches are failing to love well those in their midst when they inadequately provide accommodation for and inclusion of individuals with disabilities.

The Americans with Disabilities ...

When a Pastor Is Suspected of Misconduct, Should the Congregation Know?
Consider the legal concerns of communicating the allegation.
When a Pastor Is Suspected of Misconduct, Should the Congregation Know?
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A false allegation [of a pastor's misconduct] could lead to a lawsuit for slander—especially if the pastor denies the allegations, said Frank Sommerville, a Houston-based attorney who specializes in legal issues facing churches.

“You are walking a tightrope in ...

Should the Bible Play a Bigger Role in Politics?
What recent research tells us about Americans’ views on the Bible in the political arena.
Should the Bible Play a Bigger Role in Politics?
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“Overall, Americans hold the Bible in high regard.”

It’s a sweeping statement, but according to findings from the American Bible Society (ABS), it may not be far from the truth.

The ABS’s yearly “State of the Bible” survey, powered by the The ...

Interview Questions Prohibited by the Americans with Disabilities Act
What you should and shouldn't ask an applicant.
Interview Questions Prohibited by the Americans with Disabilities Act
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The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) makes it unlawful for a covered employer to discriminate against a qualified applicant or employee with a disability. The ADA applies to private employers having 15 or more employees and engaged in commerce. The U.S. Equal Employment ...

A Closer Look at Church Internship and Residency Programs
Examining the statistics behind a growing ministry phenomenon.
A Closer Look at Church Internship and Residency Programs
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If you attend a relatively large church, then chances are you may be familiar with church internship or residency programs. In fact, 74 percent of churches with 2,000 members or more have such programs for those hoping to enter ministry.

Recently, Leadership Network conducted ...

The Causes and History of Church Property Tax-Exemption
A podcast interview with Frank Sommerville reveals the long, world history of religious exemption.
The Causes and History of Church Property Tax-Exemption
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Why are churches exempt from property taxes? When was this decided in the United States and by whom? What is the history of tax-exemption behind the decision?

Frank Sommerville, an attorney, CPA, and editorial advisor for Church Law & Tax, discusses the answers to those ...

Do Ministers of Small Churches Need to Know Employment Laws?
Why it's worth investing time in learning these.
Do Ministers of Small Churches Need to Know Employment Laws?
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Many young ministers and ministers of new churches ask whether it's worth investing the time learning employment laws applicable to larger, more established churches. The answer is yes.

Our family's home church grew from 1 employee to over 700 in a remarkably short amount ...

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