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.
Most ministry leaders don’t realize there is funding available to non-profit employers including churches, schools, colleges, and camps. This post includes some highlights about the credit and guidance on where to start to see if your ministry is eligible.
April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month. Though child abuse may not be something you could ever imagine happening within your ministry, sexual abuse of a minor is one of the top five reasons churches end up in court, according to Church Law & Tax. Studies also show that a child is much more likely to be sexually abused by a trusted adult than a stranger.
When severe storms strike, they can produce high winds and tornadoes. Damaging winds can wreak havoc on your ministry’s property and to buildings. A high wind event can crash debris through your windows, strip your siding, down trees on your parking lot, peel shingles off your roof, and fling back the flashing.
Thieves are taking advantage of soaring precious metal prices. Take steps to protect your ministry’s vehicles and property.
As temperatures plummet, the risk of freezing pipes soars. Frozen pipes can cause costly messes that could also put your ministry on hold while you clean up.
Preparing for this Christmas season may require additional creativity, due to the uncertainty of what COVID-19 may bring in our local community.
A mid-November deadline in the Boy Scouts of America’s (BSA) bankruptcy proceedings may have you wondering what the organization’s bankruptcy filing means for your ministry if you ever hosted or chartered Boy Scout Troops.
Organizations that obtained Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) funding through the CARES Act can have their loans forgiven, turning them into grants. To qualify, each borrower must file a forgiveness application with its PPP lender, proving that it followed the rules. If your church, school, college, or camp meets all the criteria, 100% of its loan can be forgiven.
Learn about the CARES Act and two loans for which ministries may be eligible, since Congress authorized additional funding April 23.
As concern over the dangers associated with the spread of a new coronavirus, COVID-19, spreads, our agency and Brotherhood Mutual want to keep you informed and provide best practices for managing the spread of this and similar illnesses at your ministry.
The Illinois Abused and Neglected Child Reporting Act that addresses mandating reporters underwent significant changes effective January 1, 2020. Educate your ministry staff and volunteers.
The first Sunday in February is a big day for sports fans. In fact, many Americans view Super Bowl Sunday as a national holiday. Friends and families will gather this year to watch the big game, enjoy delicious snacks, and of course, critique the commercials that go along with game day.
Recently, we learned about two major overseas incidents involving pastors on mission trips. The first incident involved a pastor being hit by a motorcycle while running. The second was a bus accident involving two pastors. The runner and one of the two bus passengers sustained extensive injuries.
Last month, the IRS announced that its initiating hundreds of church exams to test compliance with the Affordable Care Act (ACA). While many provisions only apply to churches with 50 or more full-time equivalent employees (FTEs), even smaller churches could potentially violate provisions applicable to health benefit plans with as few as 2 plan participants.
July 4th is synonymous with food, fun, and fireworks. If your church is planning an event this Independence Day, remember to keep a focus on safety, so that everyone can have fun.
Do you use commercial vehicles that transport more than 15 passengers or carry cargo from one state to another as part of your ministry? If so, you are required to register with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and obtain a USDOT number.
There’s a new scam in town, and ministries and other organizations collecting donations are the primary target. If your ministry collects tithes or donations, you could be targeted by scammers practicing donation overpayment fraud.
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.