Does Your Church Have a Facility-Use Agreement?
We are living in an age where people are litigation crazy. People will file frivolous lawsuits in hopes of gaining some “easy” money. If someone falls on your Church property they will wait for an ambulance to take them to a hospital emergency room for a check-up and an “ambulance chaser” to give them instructions. If parents do not control their children, and those children are hurt on Church property, they are quick to seek legal counsel for a possible lawsuit.
If issues such as those were not bad enough, we now have ungodly groups trying to demand that the Church lower their Biblical standards to support others’ non-biblical lifestyles. When a bakery is forced out of business because they do not want to make a wedding cake for homosexuals, it will not be long before those same groups will attempt to sue Churches for not allowing them to use their facilities.
In the age in which we are living it is vital that Pastors and Church Leaders take great strides to ensure their Church assets are protected against these and other actions.
A Facility-Use Agreement
Facility-Use Agreements should be extensive in their protection for the Church and its leaders. Due to the Responsible Party Provision Act, Church assets may not be the only thing in jeopardy – personal assets of its leaders may be also.
The agreement should include, but not be limited to the following:
- Steps taken in facility use scheduling
- It should limit use to those who honor the Church by-laws and tenets of faith, including the Scriptural Conduct and Living Provision Section
- It should contain comprehensive rules and regulations to which the using party and its guests must abide
- It should require the users to furnish proof of liability insurance for the event to protect the Church and its membership from legal and civil liability
- A fee schedule
- A user-agreement and liability form
Those who desire use of the facility, as a minimum, must do the following:
- Complete a facility-use application
- Read and accept the facility-use agreement
- If non-profit, they should submit a copy of their 501(c)(3)
- Provide an adequate liability policy covering any possible harm or damage to those in attendance and their property
Drafting the Agreement
When drafting the agreement, the rule of thumb is to go to extremes. Never take for granted that something will not happen. If you can conceive it in your mind, odds are it may happen. Protect your Church and membership.
Any attorney can draft a Facility-Use Agreement. The drawback is that attorneys do not work free. As a rule, to obtain a binding, legal document will costs hundreds of dollars. An agreement is worthless if it will not survive legal scrutiny and challenge.
A safe bet is to obtain the agreement from us. Our agreement has been time-tested and survived all challenges to date. To obtain this agreement, contact us at 800-344-0076. This agreement is compiled of Eight Legal Documents that should be in use at your Church now. To obtain these documents via an attorney will cost an average of $2500. Ours list for $495, but can be obtained for a limited time for $250 including shipping.
Do not go another day without your Church protected against lawsuits that could possibly bankrupt it.
Chitwood & Chitwood is the number one Church Management firm in America. Our 78 years of experience qualifies us to train Pastors and Church Leaders in this and other issues facing local Churches.
To learn more, attend a Church Management Tax Conference in a city nearest you. To register, visit us at www.cmtc.org or call 800-344-0076. You will be glad you did.