Pastor’s Blog – Friend or Foe?
In the age of electronic media, which now includes electronic church, Pastors continually look for ways to stay on the cutting edge of technology, and in their efforts to minister to their congregants, as well as non-attendees. One of the great methods for this has been the Pastor’s Blog.
Some of these blogs are personally written by the Pastor and some are written by staff. Regardless of who writes the blog, we need to look at who sponsors it. Some Pastors write a personal blog that is not connected to their Church. However, many write blogs that contain the Church logo, website, and is even referenced or posted on the Church website.
What’s Wrong with It
What can be a Pastor’s asset – his blog, may also become his enemy. Any blog that references the Church in any manner, or is available on the Church website must be governed by Internal Revenue Service regulations that apply to Churches. Once the Church engages in promoting and/or posting it, or the blog contains Church logo, etc. it is no longer a personal blog.
It Cannot Benefit A Private Individual
Churches are subject to Private Inurement regulations as outlined in Section 4958. Should the Pastor promote any books, CDs, or DVDs that would result in personal income for him, the blog has just violated Private Inurement restrictions that prohibit any individual from personal gain or benefit from the Church.
501 (c) (3) Political Restrictions
Our nation is now in another election cycle. During election years people, including Pastors, form affinities for certain political candidates or parties. While everyone is entitled to his or her opinions, including political, they are not allowed to use the Church or its auxiliaries to promote those political inclinations.
If Pastors desire to promote their political preferences, they may do so as long as they do not do it via any Church sanctioned venue – including a blog. If a Pastor desires to use his or her blog as a political voice, that blog must be totally personal and not sanctioned or connected to the Church.
Play It Safe
The best way for the Pastor to ensure that he or she remains legal is to have two blogs. Let one be Church sanctioned, and the other, completely personal. Limit the Church blog only to Church and/or spiritual matters. Keep the personal blog, personal.
It Is No Longer Church As Usual
The days of “doing” Church the way we used to are gone. Regulations that affect Churches are implemented almost daily. The only way Churches can remain above the regulatory chaos is to be connected to Chitwood & Chitwood. Our 78 years of experience equip us with the upper hand in knowing what to look for and the best and most cost-effective ways to implement regulatory changes that are required.
I encourage every Pastor and Church Leader to attend a Church Management and Tax Conference nearest their city. During these conferences you will be kept abreast of what is required and expected of 21st Century Churches in America.
Call us at 800-344-0076 or visit us at www.cmtc.org to register today. Your future may very well depend upon the knowledge we provide you.
Remember, for us “It Is A Ministry – Not A Job!”