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When the Church Office Closes for Bad Weather, Does Everyone Get Paid?
The legal—and logical—considerations regarding how to handle an office closure.
When the Church Office Closes for Bad Weather, Does Everyone Get Paid?
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Winter weather advisory: snow, gusty winds, ice, and bitter cold are hitting much of our nation, with the Polar Vortex bringing wind chills of 50 below or worse this week in parts of the Midwest.

How should churches address inclement weather issues for their employees? And are ...

Hey, Fletch: Does Our Church Have Enough Insurance Coverage?
Leaders must understand what is—and isn’t—covered by their policies.
Hey, Fletch: Does Our Church Have Enough Insurance Coverage?
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In this regular column, longtime executive pastor and XPastor.org founder David Fletcher takes on readers’ questions about finances, staffing, communications, and more. Submit your questions using the subject line "Hey, Fletch" to editor@churchlawandtax.com.

3 Areas to Consider in Evaluating Your Church’s Emergency Preparedness
Make sure you have plans in place for various categories of emergencies.
3 Areas to Consider in Evaluating Your Church’s Emergency Preparedness
Image: Franck V. / Unsplash

What would happen to your ministry if one of your key church leaders dies? Or who would be prepared to step in if one of the pastoral staff gets into a serious car accident and becomes disabled? Are you ready to deal with these occurrences?

Emergency preparation is geared toward ...

When Volunteers Drive for Your Church
Tips for handling this critical area of risk-management.
When Volunteers Drive for Your Church
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To help churches better understand some of the issues involved with volunteer drivers, we talked with Frank Sommerville. He is an attorney and editorial advisor for ChurchLawAndTax.com.

What should you know before allowing volunteers to drive on behalf of the church?

You should ...

Best Practices for Installing Security Cameras at Your Church
How to make the most of surveillance technology.

In this interview with Nathan Parr he shares his insights on security cameras. Nathan spent 12 years as the operations manager for the 4,000-member First Baptist Church of Belton, Texas.

How Should Churches Respond to Hurricanes?
Guidance for ministries in the wake of a devastating natural disaster.
How Should Churches Respond to Hurricanes?
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If your church was hit

Church closure

If power is available, create a special voicemail box and update your website with information about closures and other important disaster-related material. Distribute this information to staff and lay leadership who can pass it along to people ...

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. We recently interviewed him regarding what churches should know about insurance coverage for abuse.

What ...

What Leaders Can Learn from Violent Incidents at Churches
2016 statistics show churches should look for signs of domestic abuse.
What Leaders Can Learn from Violent Incidents at Churches
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In 2016, violent deaths were more frequent at faith-based organizations than at schools, and in comparing 2016 to the most recent 10 years, it was the second in the number of violent crimes with deadly potential (with 246 deadly force incidents, following 2015 at 248). Year ...

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 Churches Can Do About the Most Common Discrimination Charge: Retaliation
How welcoming reports of wrongdoing actually helps your church.
What Churches Can Do About the Most Common Discrimination Charge: Retaliation
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Recent surveys conducted by the ECFA (Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability) reveal that some churches have no established written whistleblower policy.

When asked if their church had a written whistleblower policy, only 16.2 percent of the responses from non-ECFA ...

Protect Your Church with Reference and Background Checks
4 tips on using these well when hiring a new pastor.
Protect Your Church with Reference and Background Checks
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One of the biggest mistakes you can make in your hiring process is skipping the background and reference checks on your potential new Lead Pastor. A reference check is your opportunity to protect your church and learn how your pastor candidate has led congregations and staffs ...

Violent Incidents at Churches Are Rising
Statistics from 2015 are the highest yet seen.
Violent Incidents at Churches Are Rising
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Halfway through 2015, I found myself running six months behind on the posting of deadly force incidents on religious property and haven’t been able to tighten that up much since. 2015 was the year that simply took my breath away, and I’ve yet to get it back. Mankind’s ...

A Shooter in the House
A police officer's advice on how to prevent and react to a gunman at church.
A Shooter in the House
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Churches are notorious for minimal security. And while acts of violence at church are rare, recent shootings at churches and schools beg the question: What can leaders do to protect their people? Based on experience in the pulpit and on the police force, here are four steps ...

5 Common Security Questions Churches Ask
And answers to them.
5 Common Security Questions Churches Ask
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1. Should we arm our security team?

This is really up to each church. Evaluate your risks and the make-up of your team.

You also need to understand the laws in your community. We primarily operate in three states (California, Arizona, and Nevada), and all three states are very ...

Tips for Christmas Event Safety
Beautiful decorations can be hazards if you’re not careful.

Many churches step outside their usual way of doing things around the holidays. There are special services, decorations, and events that keep us busy, excited—and sometimes unsafe. With that in mind, how can we keep members and visitors safe during the holidays?

Protecting Special Needs Adults
Part 3 in a series on creating a safe, welcoming ministry.
Protecting Special Needs Adults
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Mike Dobes has overseen the Church Relationships Department of Joni and Friends for the past three and a half years. His department provides training and materials to local churches all over the country, equipping them to serve individuals with disabilities in a ministry setting. ...

Protecting Children in Special Needs Ministry
Part 2 in a series on creating a safe, welcoming space for those with physical or mental disabilities.
Protecting Children in Special Needs Ministry
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Mike Dobes has overseen the Church Relationships Department of Joni and Friends for the past three and a half years. His department provides training and materials to local churches all over the country, equipping them to serve individuals with disabilities in a ministry setting. ...

Start with "Hi"
Joni and Friends Supervisor Mike Dobes on why saying hello is the best way to minister to individuals with special needs.
Start with "Hi"
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Mike Dobes has overseen the Church Relationships Department of Joni and Friends for the past three and a half years. His department provides training and materials to local churches all over the country, equipping them to serve individuals with disabilities in a ministry setting. ...

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
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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 ...

Safety Awareness: Building the Right Team
Youth Ministry Roundtable: Part four of a five-part series focused on issues related to risk and safety.

With the "Youth Ministry in America" survey results as a starting point, we continue our roundtable discussion. Today we discuss the all-important ministry issue of safety awareness.

If you missed the any of the other weeks' blog posts on the top concerns facing ...

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Avoiding Church Lawsuits

Avoiding Church Lawsuits Member access only

Create proactive procedures to avoid common reasons why churches most often go to court.
Setting Wages and Benefits for Church Staff

Setting Wages and Benefits for Church Staff Member access only

This training download addresses key aspects of compensation planning for church employees.