Back to School, Back to Church 

August 25, 2022

Fall is a busy time for churches as people return from vacation and head back to school (and back to church)! A flurry of events welcome new community members and strengthen long-time church member relationships. Opportunities abound to connect with your congregation with back-to-school breakfasts, blessing of the backpacks, small group gatherings, and community outreach events. And before you know it, Christmas will be here…whew!  

Have you thought about how your church will use music in your outreach? Music is an integral part of church life, it can enhance all your church activities, BUT if you’re playing or performing music outside worship services, you may be doing so illegally.  

Does my church need copyright licensing as we head into fall? 

Did you know churches receive a very limited exemption from copyright law? The Religious Service Exemption (RSE) only applies to your actual worship services. But what about all the other ways you use music within your ministry? 

  • Is music performed at church fairs, fundraisers, or other outreach events? 
  • Does your church present Christmas pageants and programs or go caroling in the community? 
  • Do you play pre-recorded music in your lobby, café, or bookstore? 
  • Is music incorporated into Bible studies, small groups, and get-togethers? 
  • Are live music performances or concerts hosted on your church campus? 
  • Does your church use music ANY time outside of your worship service? 

If you answered yes to any of the above, you need performance licensing. Chances are your church uses music in common areas, during youth gatherings, holiday performances, and other venues. The PERFORMmusic Facilities License allows you to legally play or perform more than 28 million Christian and secular songs outside your services, bringing all your events and activities to life. 

Are there any other licenses my church should consider? 

It’s important to include a review of copyrighted material in your fall planning. A great place to start is with CCS’s online Copyright Quiz. You can quickly analyze your church’s compliance and identify where the holes are in your licensing coverage.  

We’ve also broken-down church licensing options into an easy-to-understand guide that explains which license covers what activities. Download the FREE“Pocket Guide to Copyright Licenses for Churches” today to learn more about CCS and CCLI licenses. 

Questions? You can contact us at or call 855-576-5837, and we’ll help determine which licenses fit your church’s needs. 

Tags: , , , ,

Categorized in: , , ,