It’s a Wrap: The Best of Church Law & Tax from 2022

From housing allowances to the ministerial exception; from copyright law to employee retention credits, these are our most-read, -watched, and -downloaded offerings of 2022.

With 2022 almost over, Church Law & Tax counts down the most watched, listened to, and downloaded content.

You may be among the tens of thousands who checked in on articles tackling some of the most complex issues facing the church today. Or maybe you’re among the thousands who attended a series of live webinars throughout the year. Or perhaps you downloaded or streamed the Church Law podcast. Regardless of the way (or ways) you accessed our content, know how grateful and thankful we are for your trust and support.

Blessings in the New Year!

-The Editors

p.s.—Christianity Today’s list of their most popular articles and favorite stories of 2022 is definitely worth checking once … if not twice … .

Top 10 Church Law & Tax articles (by page views)

10. Applying the Ministerial Exception to Employees
Understanding this key legal doctrine, how it works, and when it matters—or doesn’t—for specific positions.
By Frank Sommerville

9. When the Church Office Closes for Bad Weather, Does Everyone Get Paid?
The legal—and logical—considerations regarding how to handle an office closure.
By Sally Wagenmaker

8. Understanding Worship Music Copyright Law
Staying legal is important, but we might not always grasp exactly why, or who benefits.
By Bonnie McMaken

7. Benevolence Programs That Work
How churches can effectively meet the ever-increasing needs for financial assistance.
By Elaine L. Sommerville

6. Housing Allowances
Understand how to properly set this significant pastoral benefit.
By Richard R. Hammar

5. When Churches Give Christmas Gifts
Don’t let generosity trigger costly tax penalties.
By Richard R. Hammar

4. Sample Housing Allowance for Pastors
Ready-to-use resolution language.
By Richard R. Hammar

3. Designating a Housing Allowance in 2023
Help for setting this important clergy benefit before the new year.
By Richard R. Hammar

2. Taking Advantage of the Employee Retention Credit
If certain criteria are met, congregations, nonprofits, and schools are potentially eligible to receive thousands of dollars.
By Kaylyn Varnum, Michele Wales, and Mike Batts

1. Mastering Seventeen End-of-Year Tasks
Use this to-do list to finish 2022 well and start the new year right.
By the Editors

Top five Church Law & Tax webinars (by registrations)

5. Church Formation Basics
How a church is legally formed—and why it matters.
Featuring Lisa A. Runquist

4. 12 Key Tax Developments for Pastors
Getting ahead for 2021 tax-filing season and 2022 compliance.
Featuring Richard R. Hammar

3. Finishing 2022 Well
Getting year-end tasks right—and setting up 2023 for success.
Featuring Richard R. Hammar

2. Should Your Church Get Political?
Understanding the legal, theological, and pastoral considerations of political involvement for churches.
Featuring Church Law & Tax’s Matthew Branaugh, Sally Wagenmaker, Erik Stanley, and Christianity Today’s Big Tent Initiative

1. Handling a Child Abuse Allegation in Your Church
Planning well so that your ministry responds well if the unthinkable ever arises.
Featuring Jeff Dalrymple, H. Robert Showers, Jr., Sally Wagenmaker and Theresa Lynn Sidebotham

Top five Church Law & Tax podcasts (by downloads)

5. HR Matters for Churches
Why legal issues related to employees deserve top consideration.
Featuring Tiffany Releford, Esq.

4. Fraud in Church: It Can Happen to You!
How church leaders can face this unsettling reality.
Featuring Vonna Laue

3. Pastoral Accountability for Healthy Churches
What one ministry learned about how churches can more actively prevent moral failures, build healthier cultures, and reduce legal disputes.
Featuring Michael Martin, Esq.

2. Answering Listeners’ Questions About Legal Issues
Tackling board member liability, religious worker visas, childcare policies for home Bible studies, compensation-setting practices, and more!
Featuring Erika E. Cole and Matthew Branaugh

1. The Rise and Fall of Mars Hill and What You Should Consider Before Changing Your Bylaws
Why a shift in church governance can lead to unexpected results.
Featuring Mike Cosper

This content is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter covered. It is sold 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.

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