Legal Risks Facing Your Church


For a church leader to be fully ministry-minded they must be vigilant in protecting their flock from things that can detract from the Gospel and divide their congregation. This involves being constantly aware of potential legal pitfalls within their church.

These pitfalls can take the form of unexpected encounters with the authorities. Although the government cannot infringe upon religious liberty, churches are still subject to many legal stipulations like other nonprofit organizations. If not in careful compliance, you may see your church involved in an unfortunate legal situation.

Many times, churches are also responsible for the care of those involved in their services and ministries. Administrators should be careful to keep their policies up to date and regularly check for any lapses in safety coverage.

This due diligence can be an overwhelming task. How can a small church team possibly cover and address everything?

As ministry-minded attorneys, the legal team at Mauck & Baker has compiled a comprehensive guide that includes an audit of financial, legal, safety, and other risks your church might encounter. Our Church Legal Checklist is designed to help your church identify and assess general risks that it may bear under current law. Although the contents of the Church Legal Checklist are based on Illinois law, most principles are uniform throughout all 50 states according to federal law. After completing the form, church leaders should review the results to decide whether the church may bear any unacceptable risk. If any risk is deemed unacceptable, action should be taken to reduce it.

Still not convinced your church would benefit from a check-up? Here’s a testimony from Rev. Dr. Al Lloyd:

“Pilgrim Rest Church is grateful to God for Mauck and Baker. We have often retained their professional legal services since I began my pastorate with Pilgrim Rest almost 26 years ago. I consider Brother John Mauck, a dear friend, who loves Jesus as I do. Pilgrim Rest first used their Church Legal Checklist in 2018, and it served to alert our church council of many weaknesses that we had to face and now seek to correct. We will continue to use this precious checklist as often as possible.”

Here at Mauck & Baker, we want to help the body of Christ. Download our Church Legal Checklist for free today, and don’t leave the safety of your church to chance by waiting any longer.

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