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Q&A: Starting a 501(c)(3) at Church

Can our pastor launch a side ministry at our church?

Are there any IRS restrictions (moral or legal) for a pastor starting a side ministry of his own, for which he has gotten Section 501(c)(3) IRS approval? The pastor does not take a salary from this side ministry, as all money goes for radio time and mailing expenses, etc. He also uses the church's grounds, office, and some administrative help.

There are several considerations that should be addressed. All employees, including pastors, owe their church employer a duty to devote sufficient time and effort to accomplish their job duties. Most pastors do not keep traditional hours, so there needs to be some understanding that this side ministry does not take away too much time or effort from the pastor's main job. Next, all pastors owe their church a duty of loyalty, so there needs to be a fair determination by the church's leadership that this side ministry does not compete with ...

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Posted:
  • March 9, 2010

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