Today’s churches exist and operate within an increasingly litigious climate. Years ago, it could be said that churches enjoyed a type of sacred immunity from legal attacks. Unfortunately, that’s no longer the case. The sanctified and safe pockets of society, such as houses of worship and schools, have been infiltrated by legal attacks and random violence. Since times have changed, so too must our churches. To continue to operate our churches as we did years ago leaves our churches exposed and vulnerable. One bad lawsuit or IRS penalty is enough to shut a church down.
The good news is that the vast majority of legal attacks are preventable. Today’s churches must discuss and implement legal protections. Legal protection for the church starts with its governing documents; Articles of Incorporation, bylaws, and tax-exemptions. The lack of these legal documents leaves the church exposed and vulnerable.
The church exists to serve God, serve the community, and advance the gospel. In order to stay on track with the mission we must prevent derailment. The adage holds true, one ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.