Legal issues continue to be a growing area of church affairs, necessitating familiarity with and resources for proper risk management.
Always remember that the farther away activities of a church venture from traditional worship and Bible study, the more the likelihood of potential legal ramifications. Churches are being sued for such activities as selling chicken dinners, sponsoring athletic events, and many other activities. As the number of ministry opportunities increases, so does the possibility that someone will try to find a legal angle from which to attack the church.
Necessity of Frequent Contact with a Lawyer - Some of the best advice that can be given to a pastor is to acquaint himself with and form an ongoing relationship with a local, reputable attorney. This relationship is important because the pastor can avail himself of the lawyer's expertise, before making a mistake with legal ramifications. It is always better to think preventatively rather than retroactively, and major decisions should not be made regarding the church or its business, without first contacting a lawyer.
In the state overseer field, developing a close relationship with a good local attorney is important because it provides for continuity in dealings between the lawyer and the church, and it provides him with ability to be familiar with our procedures, for posterity. In particular, a good local attorney who has been representing the state office for years can serve as a valuable counselor to any successors in office at our state offices.
Keep a good lawyer close by, and call him before you make big decisions.
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