Board Liability

Church board members have been placed in a position of trust, and they have a legal responsibility to place the church’s interests ahead of their own. This duty is known as their fiduciary responsibility. If board members use their position in the church for personal gain, they can be sued as individuals, thereby placing their home and personal assets at risk. But the same laws that protect corporate board members in the secular world can also help protect ministry board members who are acting in good faith. CMI can provide your church with insurance protection.

The protection offered to board members of incorporated organizations can apply to liability arising out of injuries, contractual obligations, and other forms of liability created by statute. Consider these as part of your bylaws.

  • Prohibit board members from obtaining any personal gain at the church’s expense
  • Bar the church from doing business with companies that will benefit board members or members of their immediate family.
  • Limit terms of board member
  • Provide training for board members
  • Board members should not have sole responsibility for financial review and authority.

Members of the church governing board are responsible for guiding the church and helping the ministry fulfill its mission. Board members are held to a higher standard of accountability than others in the congregation. By placing the interests of the church above their own, they will not only better serve the church, but can also protect themselves from legal liability, fines and other out-of-pocket loss.

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