Seminar Schedule

9:30-10:30  Church Position on Biblical Marriage & Tax Exemption

Church Position on Biblical Marriage: When the Supreme Court changed the legal definition of marriage in America to include same-sex couples, it also mandated that every state recognize these unions. What does this mean for churches and other ministries that hold true to Scripture and continue to define marriage as between one man and one woman? This session will address the impact of this decision and will provide specific action steps individuals and ministries can take to protect themselves in the coming days and months as the legal ramifications of the Supreme Court’s decision begin to unfold.

Tax Exemption: Your ministry’s tax exempt status is one of its most important financial assets. However, this long-recognized benefit is not a guarantee. Ministries can lose their tax exemption when they operate outside of certain legal parameters, and in the future, those parameters may include the biblical positions they take on certain social issues. During this session, learn how to run your ministry in such a way as to minimize the danger of unnecessarily losing your ministry’s tax exemption while also standing firm on the moral and biblical issues of the day.

10:30-11:30  Critical Ministry Documents & Child Safety and Protection

Critical Ministry Documents: A church can dramatically reduce its liability by managing one key concept: expectations. Communicating the requirements for affiliating with the ministry as well as what attendees, members, employees, and volunteers should expect will reduce the possibility of angry ministry participants—and will subsequently reduce the likelihood of legal action against the ministry. In this session, the critical ministry documents that help establish expectations will be covered, including ministry bylaws, counseling policies, employment agreements, conflict resolution policies, meeting minutes, and permission slips/liability release waivers.

Child Safety and Protection: Reports of child abuse are rising to epidemic proportions. Sexual abuse, in particular, is running rampant in our world and, unfortunately, may also be found in our churches, Christian schools, and homeschool groups. In this session, we will discuss specific policies and safeguards your ministry can implement in order not to just minimize the risk of children being molested or mistreated but also to defend against false allegations of such behavior.

11:30-12:00  Break

12:00-12:30  Sponsored Lunch: What does Stewardship mean to you?

What does Stewardship mean to you?: An introduction to the Life Institute’s Stewardship Seminars from a Biblical Worldview, A live church event to help believers establish a Biblical framework for everyday financial decisions. The Life Institute partners with churches nationwide to help disciple Christians to be even better Stewards of all their assets.

12:30-1:00  Emergency Response Preparedness & Copyright/Plagiarism 

Emergency Response Plans: Being a pastor and running a church is not a Sunday-only operation. Regardless of the ministry’s size, many issues must be considered in order to operate a safe and secure ministry, particularly in the event of severe weather, a security breach or act of violence, a building hazard, or a medical emergency. This session will provide guidelines and recommendations when developing your ministry’s emergency response plans for each of these potential scenarios.

Copyright and Plagiarism: Copyright violations are fast becoming one of the most expensive liabilities for churches and other nonprofits. The biggest problem is that in most cases, ministries aren’t even aware of a violation until it’s too late. This session will address general copyright law as it applies to churches and other ministries, including how copyright laws apply to music used in the worship service, online streaming, and other electronic and online ministry activities.

1:00-2:00  Financial Integrity & Protecting Ministry Assets

Financial Integrity: Almost nothing has the potential to cause more division in a church than money. Maintaining financial integrity with the money that flows through your ministry is foundational to your ministry’s very existence. Establishing, communicating, and enforcing who has authority with regard to financial transactions is absolutely essential. These issues along with procedures for handling cash receipts, disbursements, and reconciliation practices will be addressed in this session.

Protecting Ministry Assets: A ministry’s assets include not just its property and the money in its bank account—although those are significant. The private and personal information that a ministry collects on donors, members, volunteers, and employees are also assets which, if breached or stolen, can create major problems for the ministry. This session will focus on two of the primary areas where ministries can take proactive steps to protect the assets that have been entrusted to it: (1) obtaining sufficient insurance and (2) handling personal and private data.

2:00-2:30  Question and Answer Session