The risks of no church business directory can exceed the risks of having one and here is why. It can create legal exposure when a church staff member refers people to professionals. This exposure can happen because a court can conclude that a church has undue influence with church members.
Courts have found opportunity for undue influence in confidential relationships between Husband and Wife, fiancé and fiancée, Parent and Child, trustee and beneficiary, administrator and legatee, Guardian and Ward, attorney and client, doctor and patient, and pastor and parishioner.
The Risks of No Church Business Directory
When a church doesn’t have a church business directory, it is common for the staff members to casually refer congregation members to business owners from within the church body. The problem with this is that it can have the effect of the church endorsing that business. In this scenario there are none of the protections that are provided by disclaimers and disavowing of warranties.
So let’s take as an example a scenario where a congregation member asks a Pastor to refer them to a Wealth Manager who attends the church. Then after meeting with the Wealth Manager the congregation member invests their life savings with that Wealth Manager.
Let’s say the Wealth Manager is either incompetent or dishonest, and consequently loses most or all of the congregation member’s money.
Does that congregation member have a legal claim against the church? Many attorneys would say that they do. Why does this legal exposure happen? Because the congregation member’s Attorney can argue that the Pastor and the Church had Undue Influence with the congregation member.
Matters could even be made worse if that same Wealth Manager was a significant contributor to the church.
Would the church have less legal exposure if instead the Pastor had referred that congregation member to a risk managed Church Business Directory such as the one provided by Missional Marketing? The answer is ‘yes’ and the reason is that the Church would have better protection because of the risk managing features we provide at Missional Marketing.
Church Business Directories Can Reduce Risk
Attorneys often advise their clients that if they are going to refer people to professionals, they should refer them to several in that field and give them a disclaimer. A church business directory accomplishes these things.
Church staff members almost never give any disclaimers when they refer a congregation member to a professional. And even if they do give a disclaimer, it is usually verbal and almost impossible to prove that they did so after the fact.
Here at Missional Marketing we have developed six approaches to managing Church Business Directories in ways that minimizes these risks:
- Advertiser Eligibility
- Red Flag Categories
- Pop Up Disclaimers
- Advertiser Reviews
- Terms of Service Agreements
- A Well Trained Christian Staff
You can read about these in the article entitled Managing Church Business Directory Risks.
For Further Reading About Church Risk Management
- Church Law and Tax published a good article about church Risk Management that you can read here.
- It is also worth checking out the Church Risk Assessment Pack offered by Church Law Today.
- Reformed Church in America has a useful Risk Assessment here.
- Evangelical Lutheran Church in America posted an article on Risk Management, Loss Prevention and Insurance here.
For More Information About Church Risk Managment
Missional Marketing is a dedicated Christian communications firm working with Christian Churches and Organizations across the country, and we are also a Top 5% Certified Google Partner. Talk to us today by clicking the button below:
Contact Jason Hamrock or Kevin Peck, or use the Contact Us button.
Jason Hamrock – Phone: 480-773-9115 | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Kevin Peck – Phone: 602-481-2991 | Email: email@example.com