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9 Tips for Planning a Safe VBS
How to prepare for this significant summer event.
9 Tips for Planning a Safe VBS
Image: Mi Pham / Unsplash

It’s May—and that means summer is just around the corner. For many churches, summer means Vacation Bible School.

Is your church ready for this big event? Has your children’s ministry team started preparing? If you haven’t thought about it yet this year, ...

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 ...

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 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 Should Learn from the Recent DDoS Attack
Technological vulnerabilities exist, but some steps can help minimize risks.
What Churches Should Learn from the Recent DDoS Attack
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Late last month, the world saw a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack of historic proportions. Anyone who uses a computer, tablet, smart phone, or web-enabled technology—including many churches and church leaders—needs to understand the significance of this ...

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 ...

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 ...

The Zika Virus and International Church Trips
What churches need to know before they travel.
The Zika Virus and International Church Trips
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As churches and church leaders prepare for international missions trips or other activities, they must anticipate in advance any safety, security, or health related concerns participants might encounter during the trip. Churches planning to travel to some areas internationally ...

How an Email Scam Targets the NBA—and Your Church
The email scam that exposed sensitive information from an NBA team affects churches, too.
How an Email Scam Targets the NBA—and Your Church
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A successful email scam is one that fools even the most well-known of organizations, and one scammer—using a specific email strategy—recently made headlines for conning an especially famous group: the Milwaukee Bucks professional basketball team.

For this particular ...

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 ...

The Brand and Value of a Church
What’s in a name? For churches, it could be more than you think.
The Brand and Value of a Church
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All of us understand that when you have something of value, you protect it. We may differ on defining value, such as whether it is based on a monetary or sentimental cost associated with the item, but the principle of making sure that an item of value is protected is one that ...

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 ...

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
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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, ...

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

Email Scam Targets Nonprofit Leaders
Even people who normally spot fraudulent emails fall for this.
Email Scam Targets Nonprofit Leaders
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Nonprofit financial leaders are receiving fraudulent emails that genuinely appear to be from their superiors, and these emails ask them to wire or transfer funds to a bank account in connection with the nonprofit organization’s activities. In some cases, the financial ...

Responding to a Dangerous or Suspicious Person at Church
The right words, said the right way at the right time, can help ease tense situations.
Responding to a Dangerous or Suspicious Person at Church
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When confronting a suspicious person, what you say is important, but how you say it is paramount. The best approach is to speak quietly but firmly and to be respectful of the person's dignity and humanity. This approach keeps the situation from becoming overly disruptive ...

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
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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 ...

How Thorough Is Your Reference Check?
Check if these six key pieces are on your forms.
How Thorough Is Your Reference Check?
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Reference forms that an employee or volunteer applicant fills out are a vital part of the background check process for new ministry volunteers, especially children’s ministry volunteers. But often, reference forms don’t get to the nitty-gritty of what you truly need ...

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Best Practices for Technology Usage

Best Practices for Technology Usage Member access only

Establish policies and best practices to govern the use of technology for church staff.
Avoiding Church Lawsuits

Avoiding Church Lawsuits Member access only

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