LEGAL Archives - Church Executive


Advancements in volunteer screening

Proven strategies to keep your people safe — from recognizing red flags to re-screening practices, cost considerations, and navigating potentially sensitive conversations Many churches fall victim to an “it-can’t-happen-here” mentality. In actuality, what makes churches especially prone to ill-intentioned volunteers? Norton: The nature and admirable traits of most clergy is one of compassion and trust. […]

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A Supreme Court case to watch

Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue poses critical church-state separation issues By Kimberlee Norris, attorney at law  The Supreme Court will be deciding Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue this Term. The decision could be very important for Church Executive readers, particularly if it alters or clarifies the Court’s 2017 holding in Trinity Lutheran Church v. Pauley. […]

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Cyber security & your church

How to properly protect your parish from scammers By Elizabeth “Betty” Norman Cyber criminals seek out organizations that seem unsuspecting. Unfortunately, churches often offer just what they’re looking for. In late April 2019, Father Bob Stec of the Saint Ambrose Catholic Parish in Brunswick, Ohio found himself sending a note to parish members that no […]

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What you need to know as an executor

By Matthew D. Hoffman You have recently been named the executor of an estate — but, like many people, you might not be familiar with the scope of the task that you’re undertaking and the important information you need to know. An executor is the person responsible for managing the administration of a deceased individual’s […]

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Child sexual abuse in ministry contexts: understanding the risk

By Gregory Love & Kimberlee Norris Child sexual abuse risk in ministry contexts cannot be ignored. This statement implies child protection has been ignored by some ministries in the past. For most ministries, however, the challenge is ignorance of the problem. Most ministries are doing something, but not doing the right thing. Church Executive and […]

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Equipping pastors for counseling

Overall, are pastors are adequately prepared to provide counseling to their church members? Yvonne N. Glass, Ph.D., LPCC-S: It depends. Pastors are prepared for pastoral counseling. Some are certainly well-equipped to deal with parishioners’ spiritual and emotional issues. Many more are reasonably equipped to do “non-clinical” counseling, such as grief and pre-marital counseling. They likely […]

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Protecting the kids in your care

Expert advice for protecting the church’s children against sexual abuse and bullying — plus, how to mitigate internet-use risks What are the biggest risks and liabilities facing churches in the area of protecting children? Alex Smith: Allegations of sexual abuse are the greatest risk and liability.  Also, complacency — saying, ‘We’ve always done it this […]

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Caring Well AND Prevention

Sexual abuse: training ministry staff to care well AND prevent At the beginning of each new year, many of us make New Year’s Resolutions: evaluating our past year or present circumstances and resolving to improve on a particular matter (i.e., more time with the kids, less coffee, more exercise). For the Southern Baptist Convention, the […]

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Theft, fraud & embezzlement: how to protect your church

Red flags and best practices to better protect your religious organization They’re on the news on a regular basis: stories of church theft, fraud and embezzlement. Sometimes the culprit is the church accountant who intentionally misrepresents church spending. Sometimes it’s the church food pantry director, who purchases food for the church — and $30,000 in […]

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Aggregation: Changing the healthcare industry for U.S. churches

Whether you’re an established megachurch with multiple campuses or you’re a small local church in a tight-knit community, it’s equally important to provide a benefits program for full-time staff. But with rates going up by 10 to 20 percent every year, it can be a challenge for smaller churches to keep up. The result? Understaffed […]

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