Why is it important that I review the church corporate records, by-laws, and resolutions periodically? If it is important to review these documents, how often should they be reviewed and changed or modified?
To think that the laws today governing churches would remain the same is certainly wishful thinking! Laws change every day. Congress passes new laws. The IRS issues new regulations and rulings. The courts make decisions that affect the current laws. All this continually affects the operation and status of the church. In addition, there are various policies that have been presented in recent years that a church would want to implement for safety, liability purposes, and for the overall protection of church members and visitors.
For this reason, the church must continually review its structure when it comes to the corporate paperwork, policies and resolutions. In recent years, the IRS has issued new regulations concerning items that must be included in the church’s by-laws. In fact, one senior revenue agent stated that if these items are not included, the IRS will not recognize the church as a non-profit organization.
In addition, resolutions concerning the staff, administration, and pastor change periodically. A church certainly would want to be sure that these resolutions are current and up-to-date so that all tax benefits could be continued.
A thorough review of the church by-laws, resolutions, policies and corporate records should be done a minimum of every other year. These items are too important to ignore as they determine the on-going non-profit status of the church and provide many tax benefits for the staff and ministry.