Supplemental Referred to in the Chapter

United Methodist Tax Exempt Status:
Resource 8.1 from page 143 - Download PDF
The most common question I receive around this issue relates to a corporate donor willing to donate goods or money to support some local church’s ministry. The donor, usually sophisticated, requests a copy of the determination letter, and the local church leaders are at a loss to understand what is needed. The answer is simple. To obtain a copy of the group letter ruling, a letter that will serve the donor’s purpose, the local church leaders need only request it through the General Council on Finance & Administration’s (GCFA) website. This ensures that the local church is recognized by GCFA, something that should happen for every local church anyway, and allows GCFA to provide the resource the local church needs. Currently, this website is found at and the link to the request for the group letter ruling is prominently displayed on the opening page.

Sample Building Use Agreement
Resource 8.2 from page 153 - Download PDF

Indemnification. What’s that?
Resource 8.2 from page 153 - Download PDF
In any good lease or building use agreement, the document often contains a passage in which one or both parties agrees to indemnify the other. To indemnify means to legally protect. Thus, if a building tenant agrees to indemnify a church from which it is leasing space, the tenant really agrees to step in and provide for the costs of legal defense if one of the tenant’s guests is injured and brings suit against the church to recover the costs of the injury. While any lawsuit is unacceptable, even one for which a church has some sort of indemnification protection, the mere existence of this sort of language may encourage tenants or other providers of the indemnification, to be more cautious in whatever relationship is created. A word of caution: Church leaders should not simply try to write their own indemnification provisions. These sorts of provisions can be highly technical and should be written and/or reviewed by a licensed attorney.

List of Music/Video Licensing Services
Resource 8.3 from page 158 - Download PDF
  • CCLI Licensing
  • CCLI – For Music
  • CVLI –For certain videos
  • SongSelect—For music
  • ScreenVue—For video/films

Other Supplemental Material

Coming Soon

Questions for Reflection and Discussion

  1. As with accounting, when do legal services and protections begin to hinder ministry? How can leaders ensure quality safeguards while still keeping the congregation open for ministry?
  2. How might a church develop a theological understanding for resolving legal disputes? Is there ever a role for courts to play? What about other forms of dispute resolution?

Case Study

Case Study 8.4 - coming soon