2020 Top 25 Legal Questions

Last year our Legal Assist team received 2,915 questions from ministries around the country, covering a range of issues from child protection to activity participation agreements. Below are the 25 Most Clicked Legal FAQs for ministries in 2020.

Numbers indicate yearly pageviews as of 12/31/20. Numbers in parentheses indicate page ranking for that year.

  Question 2020 2019 2018

1

Are ministries allowed to remove disruptive people?

4,267 (1)

2,018 (2)

568 (5)

2

Does our ministry need to obtain a special permit before serving or selling food?

3,026 (2)

909 (6)

35 (66)

3

Do we have to report all injuries, even those that are insignificant?

2,697 (3)

1,2094 (4)

84 (41)

4

Does the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) apply to our ministry?

2,274 (4)

2,275 (1)

540 (6)

5

How do we protect against liability related to youth/special needs activities?

2,180 (5)

351 (17)

208 (15)

6

What should ministry leaders know about donor-directed donations?

2,027 (6)

893 (7)

197 (18)

7

What does the Boy Scout bankruptcy mean for churches?

1,848 (7)

N/A

N/A

8

Does our ministry need permission to use people’s pictures?

1,512 (8)

847 (8)

611 (3)

9

Should our church have armed security guards?

1,149 (9)

1,224 (3)

1,842 (1)

10

What are the potential tax ramifications for leasing ministry parking lots to outside entities?

962 (10)

350 (18)

111 (33)

11

Does our ministry need an employer identification number (EIN)?

886 (11)

632 (11)

368 (9)

12

Can an employee sue a church or ministry for decisions based on religious beliefs?

844 (12)

446 (13)

19 (86)

13

What should our ministry know about bylaws?

739 (13)

636 (10)

260 (12)

14

How do good Samaritan laws apply to our ministry?

733 (14)

667 (9)

81 (43)

15

Are clergy members required to sign marriage licenses?

688 (15)

N/A

N/A

16

What if children in our ministry’s care are not immunized?

579 (16)

958 (5)

327 (10)

17

As a church board member, what issues should I be aware of?

561 (17)

264 (21)

205 (16)

18

How can our ministry identify an independent contractor for tax purposes?

549 (18)

369 (15)

292 (11)

19

What risk management issues are associated with lending our church facility?

538 (19)

449 (12)

457 (7)

20

What should our church do when a background check turns up a criminal record?

492 (20)

305 (19)

113 (32)

21

What is an activity participation agreement?

479 (21)

293 (20)

390 (8)

22

What types of warning signs should we post around our ministry?

428 (22)

202 (25)

215 (14)

23

How should our ministry respond to a subpoena?

412 (23)

358 (16)

76 (44)

24

What Should Ministry Personnel Know About Mandatory Reporting Requirements?

411 (24)

379 (14)

129 (26)

25

Should we allow a registered sex offender to attend our church?

381 (25)

221 (24)

175 (18)

Legal Assist is a free service for all ministries, whether they’re a customer or not. Our in-house team of attorneys is ready to provide the risk management guidance you’re looking for - just click on the Legal Assist tab above.*

*Important information: Brotherhood Mutual is pleased to provide Legal Assist as a complimentary resource. The services we offer through Legal Assist are intended to provide general legal information to our current and prospective policyholders.The information we provide is intended to be helpful, but it does not constitute legal advice and is not a substitute for the advice from a licensed attorney in your area. Accordingly, no attorney/client relationship is created through this process, and no legal advice will be provided. We strongly encourage you to regularly consult with a local attorney as part of your risk management program.

 


2020 Top 25 Safety Library Topics

In addition to the most clicked legal topics, we’ve also compiled a list of the 25 most visited articles and resources in our Safety Library for ministries in 2020. You'll see that coronavirus related articles took the top rankings. We added more than 50 pages to the Safety Library to help ministries navigate the pandemic.

Numbers indicate yearly pageviews as of 12/31/20. Numbers in parentheses indicate page ranking for that year.

  Article / Resource Page 2020

1

Before We Gather

65,072

2

Novel Coronavirus COVID-19 Resources for Ministries

35,172

3

Before We Gather – Planning for Social Distancing

18,814

4

5 Steps to Starting a New Ministry

15,079

5

Before We Gather – Communication Reduces Fear and Increases Connection

9,147

6

Complying with Copyright Laws

9,108

7

Mandated Reporting Not Limited to Child Abuse

8,642

8

COVID+ and your Ministry: Tracking and Tracing

8,358

9

Navigating the COVID-19 Pandemic

7,913

10

Before We Gather – Deep Clean and Disinfect

6,759

11

Preventing Spread of Novel Coronavirus

6,376

12

Before We Gather – Facilities Preparation – Prepare Your Buildling Now for the Return of Worship

6,298

13

Paycheck Protection Program: Top 7 Takeaways for Ministries

5,946

14

What Does Children’s Ministry Look Like Going Forward?

5,940

15

Incorporating Your Church: Why and How?

5,298

16

Before We Gather – Taking the Touch Out of High-Touch Areas

5,229

17

Before We Gather – Back to Work, Back to Basics

5,145

18

Sex Offenders – Allowed to Attend Church?

5,119

19

Licensing Standards for Church Bus and Van Drivers

538

20

What should our church do when a background check turns up a criminal record?

4,843

21

Some – Not All – Ministrires Are Subject to HIPAA Requirements

4,373

22

Records Retention for Ministries

4,285

23

Children’s Ministry Prep – Cleaning and Disinfecting

4,206

24

Unemployment Benefits: What your Leadership and Staff May Not Know

4,041

25

Developing Security Teams

381

*The information provided via the articles and resources in our Safety Library is intended to be helpful, but it does not constitute legal advice and is not a substitute for the advice from a licensed attorney in your area. We strongly encourage you to regularly consult with a local attorney as part of your risk management program.