The 10 Commandments of Church Management

Church Law & Tax | 10/17/2019 | Staff
adele2234 (Posted by) Level 3
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I. Thou shalt not allow the church's intellectual property to be used for personal purposes.

Editor’s Pick: Occasionally, we like to bring forward some of our favorite posts with practical takeaway. We've given this post a once-over and updated it where needed. Thanks for reading.

Rule - Work - Hire - Doctrine - Property

Rule: Under the work for hire doctrine, any property developed within the scope of the job duties of an employee is the property of the employer.

Practice Tip: An intellectual property policy should be carefully crafted and adopted. It should address all areas of concern, such as curriculum, sermons, and music.

II - Thou - Amount - Revenue - Business

II. Thou shalt not have a substantial amount of revenue derived from unrelated business income.

Rule: An organization may have some unrelated business income, but too much can endanger the exempt status of the church.

Business - Income - Activities - Purposes - Trade

Unrelated business income is generated from activities that are r egularly carried on; not substantially related to exempt purposes, and trade or business.

Practice Tip: The rules are complicated and there is an exception to every exception. Each activity must be separately analyzed. The commercial manner in which an activity is conducted can create unrelated business income even if the activity seems to be related.

III - Thou - Outreach - Programs - Benefit

III. Thou shalt carefully design outreach programs to provide for the benefit of a charitable class.

Rule: The church's programs cannot create unacceptable private benefit to individuals and organizations. Therefore, all programs have to be able to pass a test that any benefit to an individual is permissible private benefit and will not endanger the exempt purposes of the church. Such programs include the benevolence program and scholarship programs.

Practice - Tip - Church - Policies - Guidelines

Practice Tip: The church should construct policies and guidelines to be followed for these programs that comply with the applicable rules.

IV. Thou shalt not allow any transactions with another party to be conducted at more than or less than fair market value.

Rule - Transaction

Rule: Any transaction may...
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