Willow Creek Explains Why Staff Sign Non-Disparagement Agreements After Scot McKnight Raises Questions

“He warned that such agreements can sometimes be ‘profoundly evil,’ as they can tempt people with money to hide acts that are morally wrong, and even criminal.”

(Stoyan Zaimov – The Christian Post)  Scot McKnight, a scholar and former member at Willow Creek Community Church, has asked why churches are making employees sign non-disparagement agreements.

The evangelical megachurch told The Christian Post that such agreements relate to financial care packages offered to staff. It’s an extension of compensation following a termination of employment so they don’t suffer financial hardship. And the former staff member is asked to “refrain from making disparaging or untrue statements about the church for the duration of the financial care agreement.”

“Why in the world is a church in this situation? Are not Non Disparagement Agreements already an admission that something is seriously wrong?” McKnight asked on his Jesus Creed blog on Thursday.

Listing out several more questions, he continued:

“Is it right for a church, and in most cases the Human Resources Department of a church, to demand or to contract silence about an unChristian, unbiblical and perhaps even criminal action? Is the person who signs such a contract/agreement obligated to silence? What if the contract was agreed to under some coercion or duress or threat or bullying? What if the person who signed the agreement comes to a conviction later that the church was profoundly wrong and they now regret having signed it? Can they speak up?” View article →

This news story from The Christian Post is posted for informational and research purposes and not as an endorsement of the site.