One of the things I've advocated for a while now is getting out in front of cultural trends. For example, there are some changes that churches need to make now to get out in front of sexual orientation and gender identity laws, the trend with courts to side-step the First Amendment using business organizational law, and so forth. Our guest today is an expert and researcher of where churches are heading and what the future might look like. And as we've discussed some of these trends legal issues start to pop out.
- Growing churches will have to pay attention to property law and business organization law.
- Tech savvy churches will have to pay attention to data security and intellectual property laws.
- Shrewd churches will have to pay attention to tax laws.
- Senior citizen churches will have to pay attention to changes in legacy giving patterns and estate laws.
- What do you forecast in terms of church growth strategies? Horizontal growth will out pace vertical growth. Churches must be prepared for mergers, new churches, and new property acquisitions.
- How do you see churches using technology and the internet for church growth? The online campus will continue to grow as a first step to a physical campus. Data security around online giving, prospect capturing, and other confidential communications must be addressed. Protecting intellectual property will also be a chief concern.
- What do you think about the prospect of church-business partnerships? For profit activities on church properties will begin to generate Unrelated Business Income Tax and could jeopardize property tax exemptions.
- How will the retirement and longevity of the boomer generation affect churches? As the boomers retire and live longer, legacy gifts will become more unreliable and potentially dangerous. Charitable giving in estate plans is generally in decline.