21 Must-Have Pastor's Tools: Attorneys

(© iStockphoto/asbe)

Editor's Note: This is one of a continuing series of stories on pastor's tools from Ministry Today magazine's special May/June issue, MinistryToday 21.

What does it take to run a church today? The pastor just starting out in ministry may be surprised by the answer. While it's important to keep kingdom purposes at the forefront, experienced church leaders have found that a pastor's toolkit consists of many instruments that are helpful in doing the work of the ministry today.

We have pooled some of our own talent to answer that question and have asked a number of businesses to give their take on what 21 tools the pastor needs to know are available for meeting today's congregational needs.

Attorneys

Get Spirit-filled content delivered right to your inbox! Click here to subscribe to our newsletter.

Immigration is a currently a hot-button issue in the United States. Regardless of one's position in the political and legal debate, it is important for pastors and ministry leaders to know how to utilize immigration law and, therefore, immigration lawyers, to better serve their members. This article will focus on two areas of immigration law relevant to Christian leaders: the religious worker visa and religious asylum.

The religious worker visa, or the "R-1" visa, allows a qualified foreign-born minister or member of a religious occupation or vocation to enter and reside in the United States to work for a religious organization. The R-1 visa is a valuable tool that allows churches and ministries in the United States to tap into the wealth of ministry knowledge and experience all over the world. In order to hire a foreign-born religious worker, the ministry must petition the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) on behalf of the religious worker. USCIS often applies a high level of scrutiny to these petitions, so it behooves a church or religious organization to seek the assistance of a knowledgeable and trustworthy immigration attorney who can help ensure the preparation of a strong petition.

Asylum, on the other hand, is a humanitarian benefit available to an individual who fears persecution in her home country, either by the government or by those the government cannot control, because of her religious faith. To obtain asylum, the person who fears persecution must apply to USCIS within one year of entering the United States (although there are some exceptions to this rule), and the process can be grueling and unforgiving. Churches in the United States are often called upon to serve as a place of refuge and hope for persecuted Christians from all over the world, and in order to serve this population well, church leaders should be quick to refer them to an immigration attorney who can guide them through the asylum process. Many individuals who qualify for asylum struggle through and prolong the process because they decide to apply on their own or they receive inadequate and even harmful assistance.

The religious worker visa and the availability of religious asylum are just two of the many reasons that church and ministry leaders would do well to include "immigration lawyer" on their list of "must-have" ministry tools. Immigration is a complicated and expansive area of law, and there are many facets of it that can affect the members of a church or ministry. An immigration lawyer can help a ministry navigate the complexities of immigration in order to help it grow and serve its members well.


Christine M. Brimmer, Esq., is an Immigration and Refugee Attorney with Just Law International PC in Richmond, Virginia.

Get Spirit-filled content delivered right to your inbox! Click here to subscribe to our newsletter.

Dr. Steve Greene is now sharing stories, teachings, and conversations with guests who lead with love on Love Leads, a new podcast. Listen now.


Help Charisma stay strong for years to come as we report on life in the Spirit. Become an integral part of Charisma’s work by joining Charisma Media Partners. Click here to keep us strong!

Dr. Mark Rutland's

National Institute of Christian Leadership (NICL)

The NICL is one of the top leadership training programs in the U.S. taught by Dr. Mark Rutland. If you're the type of leader that likes to have total control over every aspect of your ministry and your future success, the NICL is right for you!

FREE NICL MINI-COURSE - Enroll for 3-hours of training from Dr. Rutland's full leadership course. Experience the NICL and decide if this training is right for you and your team.

Do you feel stuck? Do you feel like you’re not growing? Do you need help from an expert in leadership? There is no other leadership training like the NICL. Gain the leadership skills and confidence you need to lead your church, business or ministry. Get ready to accomplish all of your God-given dreams. CLICK HERE for NICL training dates and details.

The NICL Online is an option for any leader with time or schedule constraints. It's also for leaders who want to expedite their training to receive advanced standing for Master Level credit hours. Work through Dr. Rutland's full training from the comfort of your home or ministry at your pace. Learn more about NICL Online. Learn more about NICL Online.

Charisma Leader — Serving and empowering church leaders