Greg Strand is EFCA executive director of theology and credentialing, and he serves on the Board of Ministerial Standing as well as the Spiritual Heritage Committee. He and his family are members of Northfield (Minnesota) EFC.
Richard R. Hammar, attorney, CPA and author, provides excellent help and counsel to pastors and churches as they are affected by legal and tax matters. In 2012 Hammar compiled, assessed and analyzed 12,000 court rulings in 2012 as they affected churches. He lists the “top five reasons.”
5) Zoning (5.4% of cases)
4) Property disputes (6.8% of cases)
3) Insurance coverage disputes (7.3% of cases)
2) Nonsexual personal injuries (7.6% of cases)
1) Sexual abuse of minors (13.6% of cases)
As in past years, Hammar will do the same with the court rulings of 2013. Many of these issues have been at the top of the list for the past 8 years, and will likely remain at the top this past year as well. If you are interested in reading more from Hammar, you can do so at Church Law and Tax.
In sum, though we must be wise about how to love God and serve others in this changing culture, we do so without compromising the gospel. We live in the world but we will do not live of the world (Jn. 17:11-19). We desire to be wise as serpents and shrewd as doves (Matt. 10:16). We do not war against flesh and blood but principalities and powers, and we do so in the strength of the Lord (Eph. 6:10-18).
How do you read these “top five reasons,” and how do you respond?