Jump directly to the content

Pastor, Church & Law

written by Richard R. Hammar, J.D., LL.M., CPA

Legal Briefs

Volume 2 . Chapter 5

What is a church? While the answer may seem obvious, a definition of the term "church" is a surprisingly complex task. For example, does a church include a church-operated school or nursing home, a denomination, a religious organization that conducts commercial activities, a small group of persons who meet in a home for religious study, a para-church ministry, or a religious publisher? These are but a few of the issues that have confronted the courts.

The term "church" appears several times in the Internal Revenue Code. However, the term is never defined. Presumably, Congress fears that any definition will be either too expansive (and encourage tax fraud) or too restrictive (and hurt legitimate churches). There is little doubt that the proliferation ...

Article Preview

This article is currently available to ChurchLawAndTax.com subscribers only. To continue reading:

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.



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

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.
Church Issues: Waivers and Release Forms and Church Liability

Church Issues: Waivers and Release Forms and Church Liability Member access only

What these documents do—and don't do—based on statutes and court decisions made nationwide.