March 30, 2016
Participating in a mission trip is a great way to make a positive difference in today’s chaotic world. Before your ministry leaves on its next missions adventure, make sure you are organized and equipped for a safe trip.
Here are six ideas to consider before embarking on your next mission trip:
1. Recognize the risks. When embarking on a mission trip, your team is likely to be exposed to unfamiliar risks. Some may involve vehicle accidents, particularly if you’re in a foreign country. Many others are associated with your mission activities—sermons, handing out tracts, biblical dramas, worship or healing services, and other religious communications that can result in allegations of emotional injury.
2. Get Organized. Appoint a team leader who will attend to the details of your trip and take the initiative to associate your team with a legitimate relief organization.
3. Stop before you go. If you are driving, be sure to have your church vehicles inspected before you leave. Repairs can be costly and tough to come by in other countries.
4. Keep the doctor away. Make sure everyone going on the trip is in good health. Require an up-to-date shot record and a signed medical release form from every team member. Prepare your team for potential injuries and be sure to identify a hospital or emergency room nearest your mission site in case someone on your team is hurt in the field.
5. Protect your valuables. Leave duplicate copies of important documentation at home in case you lose yours while traveling or need a back-up copy for some unexpected reason. Also, notify credit card companies that you are leaving the country so they don’t get suspicious of unusual activity on your card. Suggest that other team members do the same.
6. Consider coverage. Consider Brotherhood Mutual’s Faith Ventures foreign travel insurance for the trip. Make sure all team members have health insurance and additional accident and sickness coverage. Also, check to make sure that all church employees participating in the trip are covered by the church’s workers’ compensation insurance.
Beloved evangelist Billy Graham was called to his heavenly home on Wednesday, February 21, 2018, at the age of 99.
For the first time in its 13 years of influenza monitoring, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is reporting that every state in the continental U.S. is seeing widespread flu activity. Get tips on how to keep your congregation healthy this flu season.
Snow skiing. Camping. Whitewater rafting. A youth group trip can give students an exciting diversion from their weekly routines, as well as an opportunity to strengthen healthy friendships. Off-site activities may challenge your students to step outside of their comfort zones a bit, but this can bring about a positive result.
If you are in the process of planning a mission trip for your church group, make sure to think carefully about insurance, safety, and security as you hammer out the details. Extra preparation could minimize headaches when your group arrives on the mission field.
Has your church or school ever been asked to loan one of your vans or buses to another? Before you decide to loan your ministry vehicles to another organization, seriously consider the potential risks associated with such a decision.
Completing a personal property inventory of your church or ministry could be one of the wisest activities you can pursue. If disaster strikes and you file an insurance claim, you may need an inventory highlighting damaged items.
Have you thought through potential dangers that may confront your ministry? Taking steps to consider and address these risks provides important protection from injuries, lawsuits, fires, and dozens of other hazards that may affect your ministry, especially your employees and those you serve.
Small businesses—including churches and related ministries—can once again pay premiums for their employees’ health insurance. Previously known as an Employer Payment Plan (EPP) or Health Reimbursement Account (HRA), these arrangements violated the Affordable Care Act (ACA). However, due to a recently passed law, ministries that are not part of a group health plan now have another option to help employees with health care costs.
Ministries beware: An email scheme, designed to coincide with tax season, asks payroll and human resource professionals to disclose employees’ personal information. Think you wouldn’t fall for such a scam? You might, if the email looks as if it came from someone in your ministry.
Under federal law, most ministers have dual tax status. Dual tax status means a minister is an employee of the church for federal income tax purposes, and self-employed for Social Security and Medicare taxes. Here’s what you need to know.
Lawsuits against churches and ministries are on the rise, making their board members especially vulnerable. Sometimes, courts have found directors and officers personally liable when their actions have resulted in financial damages.
Incorporation takes the weight of responsibility off the shoulders of individuals and instead, places it on the organization. In contrast, a court may find all members of an unincorporated church legally responsible for negligent or criminal actions committed by one church member.
Large or small, churches and ministries are often easy prey for would-be thieves, especially as church holidays, like Christmas, approach and weekly offerings increase as more people return to worship and other ministry activities. Ministry leaders can boost their ability to keep thieves away from their contributions and property by taking just a few precautions—not only during the holidays, but also throughout the year.
Churches seldom look more beautiful than when they're decorated for the holidays. Candles, lights, and greenery add splendor to the celebration of Christ's birth. Unfortunately, they also contribute to a number of fires each December. As you haul out the decorations, remember to balance beauty with safety.
Having a hard time finding people to serve in the church nursery? Do new volunteers stop serving, shortly after they begin? There could be a number of reasons for that.
Do you remember the last time you caught the flu? You probably sneezed and coughed and ached all over, resting your stuffy head by a box of tissues and wishing you had the energy to do more than lie there. Well, it’s time to watch out. The flu virus is preparing to pounce again.
Every fall, thousands of churches across the nation sponsor hayrides. Unfortunately, these events sometimes lead to serious injuries, even deaths. By following these suggestions, you can minimize the risks involved in sponsoring hayrides and make your hayride a safe and enjoyable experience.
Last May, the United States Department of Labor announced a new standard for determining who qualifies as an exempt employee under the Fair Labor Standards Act. The new ruling says that if an employee earns less than $47,476 per year ($913 per week), then in most cases the employee needs to be classified as non-exempt. This change will take effect December 1, 2016.
Issues related to sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) laws have received a great deal of media and government attention since the 2015 Supreme Court decision on same-sex marriage. As a result, many ministry leaders have questions about what the law requires and how they can accommodate LGBTQ* individuals without compromising their religious beliefs
From time to time, your church or ministry may need to borrow or lease a vehicle for a special event. Before using a vehicle that you don’t own, you need to consider a number of factors.