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These standards apply to leaders and volunteers in all of our ministries, including Sunday school and catechism; Gems and Cadets; Teen Club and Youth Ministry; Coffee Break; music groups; and members of church committees. Where required, volunteers undergo background checks in order to comply with our Safe Church policy.


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Thank you for posting this document. It's been a while since this volunteer covenant was posted. I would be interested in hearing the experiences of churches that have implemented this and/or samples of other similar documents covering "lifestyle standards" for volunteers. Would this standard apply to all volunteers including "helpers" or just key leaders?

First of all, I didn't know about the existence of this document until now. Secondly, if these standards were applied with any seriousness, most volunteers would be eliminated one way or another. It certainly would have eliminated me 5o years ago and probably many times since then. At no time during my tenure as a SS teacher have I received any supervision or been held accountable. for my performance. A Christmas present occasionally was about it. It was blindly assumed that I did a good job. 

The document begins with the sentence "Our church values it ministry volunteers." It then describes what volunteers should be doing for the church, with no mention of how the church will do its part in valuing its  ministry volunteers, supporting them to be faithful (successful) in their mission. As a result, the statement does not meet the definition of a covenant. The meaning of the word "Covenant" implies mutuality ("You do this and I will do that.") This must be a two-way street. It is the church's responsibility to help volunteers like me succeed. By not preparing us, or holding us accountable for what we do, the mission of serving Jesus Christ is cheapened and the witness of the church weakened.   

The question is what to do with the statement (e.g. continue ignoring it, bring it back to life as is, or revise it), I suggest a fourth option:  start over and use the experiences of past years as a guide to making it a new, living document, rather than one that has good sounding words, but which holds little value or meaning. The future of youth involvement in the church as adults may hang in the balance.

Thank you for sharing the document, Fred, and your encouragement for Fred to post it, Staci.


Thank you for posting this and the interesting discussion.  In his book Deep and Wide, Andy Stanley describes how Northpoint Church uses volunteerism as a way to engage and enfold outsiders into the faith family.  He describes (if I remember correctly) how the unbelieving husband of a member was interested in volunteering for the praise band and participated for years before finally surrendering his life to Christ.  Of course those in leadership positions and positions of mentorship/discipling are held to higher standards but for other positions the standards are more relaxed.

I've been wrestling with this lately.  On one hand our expectation should be that members of the body are living according to the scriptures; on the other we are called to go and preach the gospel, even when the "go" might not be physically traveling to others. 

I'm interested to hear what other people think about Northpoint's model in comparison with the volunteering covenant above.

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