Shepherding Ministries in a Time of Change

Anyone who turns on the news, flips through a magazine, or browses the web can see that American society and culture are experiencing rapid transitions. Some ministries have valid concerns that issues surrounding societal shifts may expose them to negative publicity, governmental scrutiny, or litigation.

 

The questions become: when and how can ministries operate within their deeply held religious beliefs when they may conflict with others’ rights?

 

Employees in nearly all organizations, secular or religious, can sue their employer because of the employment-related decisions the employer makes. The U.S. Constitution, however, affords ministries certain protection for decisions that ministry leaders make based on their religious beliefs (belief-based decisions).

 

Before getting into specific issues, it’s important to consider steps to help protect your ministry’s beliefs. These steps include updating ministry documents to include sincerely held beliefs, considering how your ministry will respond to issues and requests that may not align with its values, and consulting with a local attorney:

 

  • Update your governing documents (i.e., bylaws or constitution) – Pointing to an institution’s governing documents is one of the easiest ways to show that it is acting in accordance with its beliefs when challenged.
  • Update your operational documents – It’s good practice to weave your ministry’s purpose and beliefs throughout your written policies and procedures.
  • Consult with a local counsel – When revising organizational documents, policies, and procedures, ministry leaders should involve a local attorney.

 

To help protect your ministry, Brotherhood Mutual offers a Religious Freedom Protection Coverage. Additionally, Brotherhood Mutual has created a white paper resource addressing current landscape and trends, lawsuits and threats, potential solutions and protections, and insurance considerations. Contact your American Church Group agent today to learn more about this coverage.

 

July 15, 2022
Shepherding Ministries in a Time of Change
Shepherding Ministries in a Time of Change

Anyone who turns on the news, flips through a magazine, or browses the web can see that American society and culture are experiencing rapid transitions. Some ministries have valid concerns that issues surrounding societal shifts may expose them to negative publicity, governmental scrutiny, or litigation.

The questions become: when and how can ministries operate within their deeply held religious beliefs when they may conflict with others’ rights?

Tags: ministry, insurance, religious freedom, protection
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