Nashville and Middle Tennessee have the nicknames “Buckle of the Bible Belt” and “Protestant Vatican.” According to Wikipedia, Music City is home to around 700 churches. Charisma News reported that in five years ago, 4000 new churches were planted in America.
Churches are as American as apple pie and here to stay. For the enthusiastic pastor and church planter full of evangelistic fervor, however, it is important to not neglect the practical, less exciting aspects of planting and running a church, and that includes insurance coverage.
Churches get sued more often than the general public or newbie pastor would think, and not always for the obvious reasons. Raul Rivera, a church planter, pastor, and founder of the blog Start Church, stated that almost 1000 churches are sued each month, and one of the major reasons is personal injury claims. Christianity Today, in an article published in 2017, reported that the top reason for churches getting sued from 2011-2015 was sexual abuse of a minor.
What are things you need to consider when insuring your church? The Experience Community Church is a nondenominational church of around 4000 people with campuses in Murfreesboro and Woodbury, and will soon be launching a third one in Eagleville. Gregg Sowards, their executive pastor, who has 26 years of pastoral experience as well as being a former insurance agent, advises, “First and foremost, one needs to look at liability insurance. Not just in case someone gets hurt on the premises but liability for pastoral counseling. As I’m sure you’re aware, pastors can be accused of a lot of different things…Most coverage would be provided to other constituents as they counsel as well. For example an appointed or elected elder praying with someone and telling them they should leave their spouse could be sued for such a statement.
Secondly, they would also need to look at transportation liability if they plan to do events with students away from their building. You can also purchase policies that have coverage for mobile sites.”
Part of making a church a safe place for clergy, parishioners, and staff alike is making sure you have the proper insurance coverage, and that can vary depending upon the size and structure of your congregation. Scott, a Middle Tennessee resident and active in the local church community, wants to see your house of worship thrive. His team of independent insurance agents and he have over 25 years of combined experience. They are passionate about helping those of all faiths in Brentwood, Franklin, Nashville, and Spring Hill get the coverage they need at a price they can afford, whether it be for their commercial and private property or their churches and charities. Call Johnston & Associates today to put their insurance expertise to work so you can concentrate on your higher calling.