Lending Your Church Facilities: Guidelines and Preparation

Organizations may ask to use your facilities. Being a good neighbor suggests you should be open to helping people. Being a good steward suggests you take steps to avoid paying a claim arising from an activity your church didn't sponsor. Here are some issues you should consider:

Identify the Group

  • Will it offer a product of service to the public that conflicts with biblical values held by your ministry?
  • Is the reputation of this group well established and generally accepted by your community?

Know the Activities

  • Will the activities cause undue wear and tear on your facilities?

  • Are they of a high-risk nature in which people might be easily injured?

  • Will the group be confined to one specific area of the building, or will multiple rooms be required?

  • If the group involves children or youth, will there be adequate supervision?

  • Does the group use a child abuse prevention worker screening program that is at least as comprehensive as yours?

Legal Considerations

  • Decide who will be responsible for injury or damage resulting from the event sponsored by the borrower. Without a written agreement, your church may be held liable.

  • Obtain a Facilities Use Agreement before allowing another group to use your building or grounds.

Written Agreement

  • Insist that the borrower have a public liability insurance policy with at least $1 million limits of liability coverage.

  • The liability policy should also contain premises medical payments coverage with at least a $5,000 limit.

  • Require the borrower to have your church named as an “additional insured” on its policy for liability damages arising out of its activities on your premises.

  • Require the borrower to furnish you with a certificate of insurance before the event. This certificate demonstrates the borrower has obtained adequate coverage and that your church is named as an additional insured.

  • Require that the facilities use agreement contain a hold-harmless, indemnity, and defense clause for any liability claim arising from the borrower's activities on your premises. Ask your church's attorney to review the agreement to make sure it complies with your state laws.