Media Liability

How and what you communicate to your congregation and your community has a massive impact on your ministry’s mission. Like many ministry leaders, you’re probably overwhelmed by the number of methods available to communicate in an ever connected world. 

Today’s ministry leaders are adapting to email marketing, social media, text messaging and vlogging among many other new channels of communication. It’s hard to keep up! (Do we have to do Tiktok too? oof.) 

As your ministry’s message spreads further and faster, so does the risk of liability caused by your communications. 

Media Liability Coverage, or personal injury coverage, responds to allegations of personal injury caused by your ministry’s operations. A couple examples could include: 

  • Defamation: Your pastor asks the congregation to pray for a former member, telling them, without evidence, that the man has been having an affair and is on the verge of divorce. The pastor suggests that the congregation avoid patronizing the man’s business until he “gets his act together.” The man makes a claim for defamation against the pastor and the church. 
  • Copyright violations: Your church is unfamiliar with copyright laws, and copies and distributes words and lyrics of a contemporary Christian song for use during a worship service. The recording company discovers the unauthorized use of its copyrighted material and makes a claim for royalties under federal copyright law. 

What does this mean for my ministry? 

A communication policy is a great first step in avoiding liability caused by your employees or volunteers. You can get started with these resources: 

  • A communications worker consent form
  • A social media communications policy 

However, you can never eliminate the possibility of a lawsuit completely. ChurchWest is proud to partner with insurance companies like Brotherhood Mutual who believe in ministry and protecting your message. Happy communicating!

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