College football is like a religion where I live in lower Alabama, and Labor Day weekend kicked off a full schedule of opening games. Some fans were disappointed by upsets, and others were thrilled to see their teams score big wins – but it’s a long season before the BCS playoffs.
Football season also signals that it’s time for churches to tackle new fall programs. Now that we are back to our daily routines, it’s important to spice up your fellowship offerings with great events that support church fellowship and fun.
Fall is also an important time for bringing in new members to your church. Many adults transition between jobs in the summer, especially families with children. Young families are also looking for a place where they’re able to connect with others of faith. So for many churches, the best way to help your members invite new people to church is to have ‘kickoff’ events.
Church picnics, football viewing parties, youth lock-ins, dinner-and-a-movie nights, fall concerts, family fellowship nights, fall festivals, holiday bazaars for Halloween or Thanksgiving, and of course upcoming Christmas programs. There are a flurry of fall events designed to welcome new community members as well as strengthen long-time church member relationships.
All of these events and programs may be greatly enhanced by the use of music, videos and other copyrighted material. It’s easy to overlook necessary music licensing because many fall programs aren’t considered under the overall music program, so it’s important to have a plan and a way of identify any use of copyrighted material.
Big events, as well as smaller ones, require PLANNING. It’s vital that your team discuss the types of copyrights that might be used during each event to make sure licensing is in place. Your creative arts staff and volunteers need to be on the same page, as well as your church’s executive and administrative teams.
Church leaders excel when it comes to planning…whether it’s outreach programs, building projects or holiday events. But often that planning expertise is overlooked when it comes to copyright licensing and clearances. Applying the same planning discipline is paramount for establishing copyright compliance in order to minimize your church’s risks of infringement. For more ideas on how to plan for copyright compliance, download our free Church Copyright Policy Fact Sheet.
There’s an easy way to find out how your church scores when it comes to copyright compliance with CCS’s free online Copyright Report Card. You just need to answer 12 questions and it takes about 10 minutes.
We’ve taken 31 years of our experience in the Christian copyright business and created this free interactive tool to help your church lower its risk. You’ll find some very useful information and practical solutions that you can quickly incorporate. It’s a great way to assess where you’re doing well, and where you may need to improve your coverage. When you finish taking the test, you can print it out and call one of our copyright experts at 1-855-5SOLVER (855-576-5837) to answer any questions you may have.
CCS’s Founder and CVO, Susan Fontaine Godwin is an educator and long-time member of the Christian arts community with 30 years of experience in the Christian media industry, church copyright administration and copyright management. Susan is an author and speaker and frequently writes for several Christian magazines and online publications. She serves as an adjunct professor at the University of Mobile.
About Christian Copyright Solutions: CCS’s quest is to help churches and Christian ministries “do music right.” CCS is an expert on church music copyrights and our primary focus is providing licensing and clear educational resources to churches, as well as representation, administration and advocacy for copyright owners. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. The information contained herein is for informational purposes only, and is not legal advice or a substitute for legal counsel.