Home > Law

Law

Q&A: Should Churches Monitor the Contraceptive Mandate?
Churches are exempt, but religious liberty concerns for other ministries remain.
Q&A: Should Churches Monitor the Contraceptive Mandate?
Image:

Should churches care what develops regarding the Affordable Care Act (ACA)'s contraceptive mandate, even though churches are exempt from this mandate?

Yes. There will be extensive media coverage again about this in 2016.

The ACA requires employers to offer preventive ...

The Top Church Management Conferences for 2016
Training across the nation to gain knowledge in financial, legal, and risk matters.
The Top Church Management Conferences for 2016
Image:

A number of conferences are available for those who work with legal, financial, and risk management matters for their church. Here are some we recommend:

1. 2016 XP-Seminar

This event, led by XPastor.org founder David Fletcher, educates and encourages executive pastors, ...

When a Child Complained about a Volunteer's Physical Affection
My leadership team faced a difficult decision.
When a Child Complained about a Volunteer's Physical Affection
Image:

It was the last thing any church leader wants to hear at the end of a long, sweaty week of VBS. A mother, visibly upset, approached the pastor of our small church to report that an adult volunteer had once again hugged her 10-year-old daughter without permission.

The mother had ...

Do Churches Practice Age Discrimination in Hiring?
Six general trends I've seen.
Do Churches Practice Age Discrimination in Hiring?
Image:

It’s a simple question with profound implications. Do churches seek to hire pastors and/or staff who fall within a tightly defined age range?

Please understand that this article is about general trends. There are certainly many exceptions to each point I make. But these ...

Microsoft Resolves Office 365 Charity Licensing Issue for Churches
The restrictions related to nonprofits receiving a discount have changed.
Microsoft Resolves Office 365 Charity Licensing Issue for Churches
Image:

Many Christian churches and ministries have been uncomfortable with the Microsoft charity program for Office 365 because it requires them to certify they don’t discriminate in their employment practices regarding lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people. On ...

After the Same-Sex Marriage Ruling, What Legal Rights Do Pastors, Churches Have?
Understanding the officiating of ceremonies and the use of buildings for weddings.
After the Same-Sex Marriage Ruling, What Legal Rights Do Pastors, Churches Have?
Image:

In late June, the US Supreme Court ruled that same-sex couples have a legal right to marry, and many pastors are wondering what this means for their work and their church. Richard R. Hammar, a well-known attorney specializing in legal issues for churches, helps clear the ...

When Carpeting Is Risky
Churches can be legally responsible for injuries suffered from falls due to carpeting, throw rugs, and runners.
When Carpeting Is Risky
Image:

Carpeting can cause slips and falls in a number of ways. Throw rugs on a wood or tile floor often slide unless they are positioned on a nonskid mat. Carpeting can curl around the edges and not lie flat on the floor. As a result, people can catch their shoes on the edge and trip ...

What I Learned About the Church's Legal and Financial Responsibilities
Five areas that you may not be aware are putting your church at risk
What I Learned About the Church's Legal and Financial Responsibilities
Image:

I joined the Church Law & Tax Team of Christianity Today about a year ago. During my time on the team, my eyes were really opened to areas of church responsibility that I was pretty oblivious to before my time here. With that in mind, I wanted to share some areas of concern ...

The ACA Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute Fee
Some self-insured health plans are required to pay by July 31.
The ACA Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute Fee
Image:

With the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), some issuers of specified health insurance policies and plan sponsors of applicable self-insured health plans are required to pay a fee that helps fund the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute.

The fee is ...

Does Your Church Use a Credit Card Reader?
New legal requirements for this start on October 1.
Does Your Church Use a Credit Card Reader?
Image:

[New credit cards that help prevent fraud] require new devices to read them, and [churches that] process transactions will need to be trained on the new procedures. Instead of swiping the magnetic strip, the card will be “dipped” into the device, which can read ...

Court’s Marriage Ruling Creates Uncertainty for Churches, Clergy
Ruling lacks an explicit religious exemption, opening door for future challenges, experts say.
Court’s Marriage Ruling Creates Uncertainty for Churches, Clergy
Image:

Today’s historic 5-4 Supreme Court decision creates a federally recognized right for same-sex couples to marry. But what it means for churches and clergy who oppose such unions remains unclear, two legal experts said.

Such uncertainty likely will lead to more litigation, ...

What Churches and Clergy Should Note from the Same-Sex Marriage Ruling
The Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision, and what it means for religious liberty.
What Churches and Clergy Should Note from the Same-Sex Marriage Ruling
Image:

The Supreme Court of the United States ruled this morning that marriage between same-sex couples is a constitutional right, effectively legalizing same-sex marriage across the United States.

Christianity Today notes that the Supreme Court case, Obergefell v. Hodges, sought ...

What Are Church Bylaws?
One of the most important documents for churches
What Are Church Bylaws?
Image:

Most churches, whether incorporated or unincorporated, have a governing document that addresses several issues of governance and administration. While the name for this document varies from church to church, it often is called bylaws.

The Model Nonprofit Corporations Act (3rd ...

Q&A: Is Health Insurance Required by Law for Our Church Employees?
Richard Hammar's analysis of the Affordable Care Act sheds light on this issue.
Q&A: Is Health Insurance Required by Law for Our Church Employees?
Image:

The following is a recent question emailed to Church Law & Tax from a reader. If you’d like to pose your own question, you can email us here.

The Duggar Abuse Case: A Lesson for Churches
What churches can learn about the need to report abuse—and the consequences of failing to do so.
The Duggar Abuse Case: A Lesson for Churches
Image:

Josh Duggar, the son of the Duggar family who together star in TLC’s 19 Kids and Counting TV show, has confessed to sexually abusing several minor females when he was a teenager. Timothy C. Morgan’s coverage of this story in Christianity Today gives more details. ...

Are Ministers Mandatory Child Abuse Reporters?
What pastors need to know about reporting requirements
Are Ministers Mandatory Child Abuse Reporters?
Image:

Ministers are mandatory child abuse reporters in many states, either because the child abuse reporting law defines mandatory reporters to include "ministers," or because the law makes "any person" a mandatory reporter of child abuse. In other states, ministers ...

Faith and Law Are Key Reasons for Vaccinations
Why ministry is helped when church leaders consider creating vaccination policies.
Faith and Law Are Key Reasons for Vaccinations
Image:

Concern for vaccines and their negative effects has grown in recent years. That concern has translated into action: parents refusing vaccines for their children for religious or health reasons (or both). Christianity Today notes that “Vaccination rates are so low in some ...

The State of Abuse Prevention in the Church
Awareness of the issue has grown, and caring for victims of past abuse is key
The State of Abuse Prevention in the Church
Image:

April is Child Abuse Prevention Month and serves as a reminder that churches need to be aware of how children are being protected at church from sexual, mental, and physical abuse. To help in this effort, we're releasing the new eBook Church Board Guide to a Child Sexual ...

How to Respond to Reports of Child Abuse
Reasons why training and a legal and ministry-minded response plan are needed
How to Respond to Reports of Child Abuse
Image:

April is Child Abuse Prevention Month and serves as a reminder that churches need to be aware of how children are being protected at church from sexual, mental, and physical abuse. To help in this effort, we're releasing the new eBook Church Board Guide to a Child Sexual ...

Q&A: Is Posting Prayer Lists an Invasion of Privacy?
One key step in publically sharing the needs of your congregation
Q&A: Is Posting Prayer Lists an Invasion of Privacy?
Image:

ChurchSalary

ChurchSalary

Experience a whole new way to set compensation. Eliminate the guesswork – get access to detailed compensation reports in just minutes.

Youth Ministry in a #MeToo Culture

Youth Ministry in a #MeToo Culture Member access only

Develop boundaries and a reporting structure that keeps your youth program safe for everyone.
Politics and the Church

Politics and the Church Member access only

Tax and legal guidelines faith-based organizations need to know before jumping into the political fray.