Summer event season is upon us! I hope your church is reaching out, serving and spreading God’s love in your community. Whether you’ve planned the event or have coordinated supporting another organization’s event, you need to seriously consider using church event release forms.
Remember permissions slips? Yeah, church event release forms are basically those. Especially when children are involved, the chances of accident and injury go up. Kids are kids, right?
But church event release forms aren’t just for kids’ activities. Depending on your event, consider having adults sign one for themselves.
Start With Your Insurance Carrier
Your church insurance carrier isn’t interested in paying out claims because of church negligence, so they create lots of helpful, generally free material to help you manage risk well on the front end. From pamphlets to training videos to fillable forms, you can find some great stuff on their website.
Chances are good your insurance is through one of these 3 major carriers (alphabetically):
- Brotherhood Mutual Safety Library (see their Activity Participation Agreement)
- Church Mutual Release Forms (see their Release, Waiver, and Indemnity Agreement)
- GuideOne Insurance SafeChurchⓇ Resources (requires login)
Glean from Other Churches and Camps
A quick internet search revealed lots of downloadable forms from various churches, camps, and missions organizations:
- Gateway Church’s Full & Complete Liability Release Form
- Kensington Church’s Student Permission Form
- San Diego Rock Church’s General Release and Waiver
Either Way, Use Caution
None of the free church event release forms above were written for your church, so just swapping out the name of the church and using it for you own purposes may or may not work for you. I’m not even sure all of them were written by lawyers, but the free samples that were written by lawyers all have “you should still consult a lawyer” and “may not be legally binding” disclaimers on them.
The good news is that you can call it any number of names. You’ll notice that none of the ones listed above have the same title. I think mine will be called Ironclad Promise Not to Sue Our Pants Off. I’m still working on it.
Some might argue that you should have a church event release form signed by everyone for every off-campus church activity. I’m not sure I’m there yet myself, but certainly I would have them for all children’s events and higher-risk grownup events like paintballing.
You should weigh the risk, talk to your insurance agent about getting special coverage, and maybe even talk to that attorney. I hope at least these free church event release forms may get you a little closer a little faster.