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Privacy concerns come in to play in a number of areas in church life. As a general rule, churches need to be careful not to communicate information or make information available that might be harmful to those involved, or that might make them uncomfortable.

Do's And Dont's


  • Always get permission before posting photos on your church website in which people, especially children, are recognizable. This can be done after the photos are taken, but before they are posted. Or, if photos are to be taken at worship or another event, an announcement can be made beforehand that the pictures will be used online; anyone with objections can be asked to speak to the photographer or other church staff person. Finally, include a notice on registration forms for church school and other events that by signing, the parent agrees to allow the child's photo to be used for publicity purposes.
  • When posting photos, do not post people's names or other identifying information with their photos, except for staff persons or special event speakers. When writing captions, write Bob F or Cindy B, not their full names.
  • Consider putting personal items like prayer concerns or the pastor's vacation schedule in a members section of your website that is secured by a password.


  • A church directory shouldn't include unlisted phone numbers
  • Don't announce a persons illness without their permission
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