Personnel and the Church
December 7, 2009
Updated December 19, 2017
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Do you have a Personnel Team at your church? Depending on the size of your church, this responsibility may be a subset of elders or for a larger church an actual Personnel Team may be needed. It is important for churches to maintain a healthy relationship with the people who serve the church and having this responsibility defined can assist the church in healthy relationships.
Important elements of a team responsible for staff oversight include:
1) recommending decisions for approval council
2) reviewing staffing needs and staff evaluations annually
3) assuring that job descriptions and expectations of the staff are clear.
At least one member of this team should be on council if the team is not a subset of council so there is appropriate connection and reporting to the leadership of the church. The pastor and the church administrator as appropriate would serve on this team as ex-officio members.
The team could be involved in evaluating staffing needs in light of the goals of the church and recommending appropriate changes for staffing as necessary. One pastor may be strong in outreach and another fabulous in pastoral care. Do you make adjustments in your staffing model so your pastor is supported in what may be a weaker area of his/her gifts?
If the team is responsible for conducting the annual performance review for the pastor and he/she is responsible for performance reviews on other staff, you add accountability to the process. Often this leads to healthier relationships because items of concern are addressed sooner rather than later. Also, the team can assist with policies and procedures to assure that the human resource function is carried out in a professional manner.
Since this team is already reviewing job descriptions and staffing needs, they are the appropriate group to review and recommend the personnel budget for the year. Often the finances drive the budget rather than an actual review and plan of what we hope to accomplish in ministry. It is important to coordinate with the treasurer regarding the staffing budget as early as possible in the budget process.
Finally, this team could assist in the hiring or calling process. They could also coordinate appreciation for staff upon retirements, departures, and annually as appropriate.
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I have a question of a general nature. How many non ordained employees of the CRCNA in Canada or the USA are responsible for raising their own salaries and expenses? I am thinking of people like Greg Sinclair, as an example? Of course the better question might be is there a policy that might cover this type of situation?
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