INTRA CHURCH CONFLICT RESOLUTION SERVICES
Litigation focuses on disagreement rather than compromise. Since the formal rules of evidence preclude open discussions and candidness in the courtroom, the system does not consider conflicting parties’ attitudes or feelings amidst doctrinal disputes. Mediation, however, provides the greatest potential for reaching resolution with intra or internal church disputes because it allows a neutral, objective outside third-party to address the parties’ underlying needs and interests while more aligning with Christian principles. Because the selection of a mediator is also an integral part of the mediation process, the member church has at its disposal a state certified, detached, neutral mediator whose objective is to maintain the balance between impartiality and substantive credibility while assuring all parties that compromise is in God’s Will.
A 42-year-old female Sunday school teacher has been teaching for 10 years at her church. At times her 14-year-old son helps out in the class. He is great with the 6-year-old boys and the kids like him as well. One day a parent of one of the 6-year-old boys complains that her son is speaking inappropriate sexual language after church. The concerned parent tells the Sunday school teacher about the problem. The teacher is sympathetic, but states boys will be boys. The worried parent has no proof, but thinks her son picked up the bad language from the 14-year-old boy who works in his Sunday school class. The concerned parent went to the pastor and he states he knows the Sunday school teacher and her son. The church has a conflict.
Additionally, the member church’s coverage includes:
CLIC Reconciliation division providing an initial analysis of the church’s specific circumstances to begin a process of healing the conflict. A CLIC certified mediator can conduct a no cost initial analysis over the phone.
NO COST mediation services for up to three hours of dispute resolution independent matters per quarter regarding intra church disputes between leadership and members, pastor and leadership or pastor and members with a certified mediator at the church’s designation. Services over the 3 hours per matter will be at the discounted hourly rate.
CHURCH LEADERSHIP TRAINING
Proper risk management begins with pro-active approaches and procedures that can operate safely and efficiently while working to combat problems and issues while surviving potential worldly legal attacks. The Church and its leadership are under ever-increasing scrutiny from its congregation, the media, the government, and even persons claiming to have been harmed. The news headlines are full of religious organizations being the focus of damaging claims, monetary judgments, and even prison time. Every church should have effective plans for risk management.
For a Pastor’s Anniversary, ABC church collects an offering and gives it to the Pastor as a cash gift or love offering. Are there any legal or tax consequences the church is liable for? OR A political candidate, who is also a well-known community leader, is invited to speak during a worship service right before a state election. Will this invitation jeopardize the church's tax-exempt status?
Member churches will also be able to take full advantage of training sessions each year at the National Baptist Convention, Mid-Winter Board Meeting and Christian Education Congress at NO COST to the member church. Risk Management Training Topics would include:
1. Roles of Pastors, Boards, Trustees, Directors, Deacons, and Heads of Departments
Leader Roles, Bonds/Personal Liability, Background Checks, Checks & Balances
2. Real Estate
Deeds, Acquiring New Property, Parsonages, Add-ons/Improvements, Schools/Daycare, Insurance Policies (Accidents, Flooding, Natural Disasters, etc.)
3. Bank Accounts/CDs
Signors, Succession and Transition, Loans, Collateral
4. Pastors Compensation/Benefit Package
Salary, Retirement, Love Gifts Offerings, Housing Allowance, Insurances
Employees v. Volunteers, IRS/State Tax Obligation, Hiring/Firing Process
6. 501(c)3 Tax Exempt Status (Incorporated v. Unincorporated)