Counseling and the Local Church
Church Liability Exposures
With economic uncertainty and civil unrest, more people throughout the world are anxious and distraught. We also live in an age where there’s greater dependency on technology for fulfillment. We’re in a state of information overload, which often impacts our inner peace. For those who have no idea what it’s like to live without technology (specifically cell phones), there was a time throughout the course of the day to disconnect and be in the present to think, create, play and just relax. This is not the case anymore, and people are seeking help both in and outside the local church.
The church has always been a place of refuge, but is it prepared to meet the counseling needs of those who seek help without creating potential exposures for the church? Any church staff member or volunteer that engages in counseling, advice and/or instruction, performs counseling to some degree. Traditionally, it was only the pastoral staff involved in this type of activity. However, counseling within the church has taken on a broader spectrum of care.
Churches are now engaged in areas such as professional, legal and financial counseling. Many churches I work with help their members with emotional/psychological health, as well as provide legal options for very difficult situations. Not to mention, providing pathways to eliminating debt and creating budgetary financial success. When adding these ministerial services, the church needs to take into consideration the potential exposures.
Not all insurance policies will cover your church due to negligence in these areas. As such, it’s important to work with your broker to identify potential coverage gaps within your Liability insurance policy. The church brings hope to the world we live in, but don’t neglect to protect its ways while serving those in very desperate situations.
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