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Church Employment Guide

God has called His Church to be a beacon, to spread the Gospel and demonstrate Christ’s love to those around us. This vital work isn’t done in isolation – it’s a collaborative effort, much of which is undertaken by churches through their paid employees. And your church is no exception. You’ve likely enlisted a team of employees to help do life-changing work. That team is probably comprised of people who believe what your church teaches and puts those beliefs into action in their daily lives as they live out their faith.


In the United States, churches still have broad freedom to determine their employment policies. However, as our culture changes and as the Church faces increased hostility for abiding by and living out biblical beliefs, it’s crucial that the policies you have in place regarding employment clearly state your church’s beliefs so that it can be better prepared and protected.


We’ve seen a rise in legal challenges against ministries stemming from sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) laws and ordinances in recent years. These laws and ordinances elevate sexual orientation and gender identity to protected class status at the expense of churches’ and faith-based nonprofits’ beliefs about biblical marriage and sexuality. SOGI laws are often enacted under the guise of equality. In reality, they pose a threat to religious freedom, and by extension, your freedom to make employment decisions that align with your religious beliefs.

We are here to help you navigate these issues at no additional cost beyond your annual membership fee. And you can have confidence that your membership connects you to a strong ally ready to advocate for the First Amendment rights of churches across the country.


In the following pages you will find brief explanations of fundamental rights and practical guidance on employment. You’ll also find sample documents later in this guide. You can access these resources and more on our members-only website. If you need help accessing this site, please contact us at 1-833-ADF-ALLY or ChurchAlliance@ADFlegal.org.


The information included in this guide is designed to be an educational resource and does not constitute legal advice. For specific questions or legal issues related to religious freedom, we encourage you to contact us directly—we are here to serve you.


We want to thank you for being a member of ADF Church Alliance. We appreciate your partnership in this mission to keep the doors open for the Gospel.


For the Church, The ADF Church Alliance Team


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