Navigation

 ·   Wiki Home
 ·   Wiki Help
 ·   Categories
 ·   Title List
 ·   Uncategorized Pages
 ·   Random Page
 ·   File Upload
 ·   Uploaded Files
 ·   Recent Changes
 ·   RSS
 ·   Atom
 ·   What Links Here

Active Members:

Search:

 

Create a Page:

 

View Policies and Procedures: Sample of Categories

Policies and Procedures
Sample of Categories

These policies and procedures live out the constitution and bylaws of our church in more specific ways.  They may be changed by a vote of the Leadership Team.  Important changes should always be discussed thoroughly and may need 2 Leadership Team meetings before enacting it.  Changes that impact the congregation in an important way should be communicated in a clear way.  (Of course, a few changes may entail a bylaw amendment – in that case, follow the process outlined in the bylaws.)

1.  Stewardship and Financial Procedures
      a.  Biblical Teaching of Stewardship
      b.  Stewardship Policies
      c.  Financial Officers
          i.  Petty Cash
      d.  Building the budget
          i.  From the Ministry Teams
          ii.  By the Budget committee
      e.  Benevolence Policy

2.  Membership Procedures
      a.  Number of membership classes and curriculum
      b.  How prospective members are interviewed
      c.  How members are received
      d.  Membership lapse and term.

3.  Working with Children and Youth

4.  Ministry Teams

5.  “Ministry Flow Chart”

6.  Staff
      a.  Policies for the Pastor-Relations Committee
      b.  Agreements to pay benefits for ECC pastors

7.  Nominating Committee Procedures

 

 

STEWARDSHIP POLICIES

1A. DEFINITION AND TEACHING OF STEWARDSHIP

DEFINITION OF STEWARDSHIP

•  Everything we have belongs to God; we are to manage it for His glory.
A steward does not own anything—he is to make his master a profit
(Psalm 24:1-6; Matthew 28:18-20; I Corinthians 10:26).
•  Stewards are to be trustworthy (I Corinthians 4:1,2)
•  Parable of the Talents—(Matthew 25:14-30)
      -We are to multiply the resources we are given.
      -God expects a return on the resources he entrusts to us.
•  We are whole-life stewards of our
      Time—redeeming the time for the days are evil
      Talent—stewards of the gifts God has given us.
      Testimony—stewards of the grace of God.
      Treasure—we are to make our master a profit

EXTREME VIEWS OF MONEY CHRISTIANS ARE TO AVOID

•  The Populist View—that money is the root of all evil.
•  Those that have money gained it at the expense of the poor and probably aren’t saved.
•  We should stay poor so we won’t be corrupted by money.

•  The Prosperity View—that all Christians should be wealthy.
•  If we tithe, God will provide everything we want; thus, we give in order to get.
•  If we are not prosperous, it is because we do not have enough faith.

WHAT IS WRONG WITH THESE EXTREME VIEWS?

•  It is not money that is evil, it is the love of money.
•  You do not have to be rich to be in love with (or be obsessed with) money.
•  Biblical heros like Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, David, & Solomon had money & power.
•  It is not the possession of money, but the reliance on and love of that money that causes us to no longer rely on God.
•  According to Luke 18:18-30: anyone who loses in behalf of the Gospel will receive it back several times over, either in this life or in eternity.
•  It is often hard for a rich man with power to see the need for God.  If he has seen the need for God, his riches can become a powerful tool for furthering the Gospel.
•  God wants us to trust Him completely and not have a “Plan B” if God doesn’t come through.
•  Job was rich, lost it all during his tests and trials, but then became rich again after his trial was completed.

•  The expectation of prosperity can become the focus of your faith, rather than a result of trusting God.
•  James says you have not, because you ask for the fulfilling of your lusts.
•  When the focus of giving is what will be received, it is no longer an act of worship and does not honor God.
•  When we focus on exercising our faith to receive from God, the focus becomes our own abilities to believe, rather than trusting in God’s faithfulness.
•  Going through a trial can be an opportunity to grow in the Lord – and a blessing from God; rather than a punishment for our lack of faith.

WHAT IS THE BIBLICAL VIEW OF HANDLING OF FINANCES BEFORE GOD?

•  We are to have no other gods before the One, True God (Deut 5:6-10).
•  Jesus said that we cannot serve two masters… we cannot serve both God and Money (Mammon).  (Matthew 6:24)
•  Money has become a false god in our society… and more people bow to this god than the One, True God. 
•  This false god must be de-throned… we do this when we direct the first-fruits of our money toward God and His work.  It is appropriate to do this in worship.

•  We are to bring the first-fruit of our crops to God recognizing that God is our source (Exodus 34:19-22,26).

•  We are first to seek God and His righteousness and all of our needs will be met by Him (Matthew 6:19-34).
•  The first part of Matthew 6:19-34 says that we are not to lay up treasures on earth.  The word, treasure, implies a “strong attachment.”  We tend to focus on the amount rather than whether it is treasured by us.
•  We cannot serve two masters.  God must be first.
•  The second part of this passage states that God knows our needs and will provide them for us, if we put Him first and trust Him as our provider.

•  II Corinthians 9:1-15
•  Verses 10-12.  Here God provides “seed” for the sower so he can reap, resow, rereap, resow, etc.
•  There is ample to go around for all good works, if we are faithful to continue sowing.
•  Verses 6-8.  We will reap as we sow:  abundantly if we sow abundantly; and sparingly if we sow sparingly.
•  God wants us to be cheerful givers.
•  Giving should be an act of worship.

•  Philippians 4:10-19
God will meet all of our needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus, if we are giving as discussed in verses 10-18.

•  We are to give a tenth of all we get to God as our tithe (Leviticus 27:30-34).
•  This is in addition to dedicating to the Lord each first born.
•  Only give God the first fruits and the best (no culls, no runts, no rejects).
•  In the Old Testament, if the person sent money rather than the crops or livestock, he was to add 20% to his gift.
•  When you add the “Temple tax,” (see II Chron. 31:12; Ex. 30:12-16) the “poor tithe,” thank-offerings and sin offerings, many Bible scholars believe that the level of Old Testament giving was 23%.

IF WE FAIL TO TITHE, WE ARE ROBBING GOD—Malachi 3:7-12

•  We can be cut off from God’s blessing.
•  The tithe was to go to the storehouse—the temple.
•  God says to test Him by paying the whole tithe—to see if He won’t bless us.  We must do our part.
•  When God blesses us, He will give us more than we gave Him and He will rebuke the devourer so that our crops (work) will bear fruit.
•  Tithes were obligatory for funding the basic ministry.  Offerings were designated for special things over and above the tithe.
•  The New Testament never overturned the tithe.  Only the excesses of the Pharisees who turned it into a legalistic system were chastised.

WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS ABOUT GIVING TO THE POOR & TAKING CARE OF BELIEVERS

•  Scriptures:    Leviticus 19:9-18
  Deuteronomy 15:7-11
  Psalms 36:9,10; 112:1-9
  Proverbs 19:17
  John 15:12-17
  James 2:14-18
  I John 3:16-24

•  Principles
•  We are to love our neighbors as ourselves.
•  We are to love the brothers even as Jesus loved us—enough to die for them.
•  If we love our neighbors as ourselves, we will help them in time of need.
•  God gives us resources and He expects us to help our brother when he is experiencing trial.
•  God says He will reward the one who helps the poor.
•  James and John both say that if we have the resources to help a brother in time of need; and we refuse, then our faith is meaningless.

OTHER ASPECTS OF GOD’S FINANCIAL SYSTEM

•  Minimize Debt (Proverbs 22:7; Romans 13:8)

•  We should be wise with savings and investments
•  We should lay up our treasures on heaven rather than on earth (Luke 6:19-21).
•  When we have a surplus, it is given to us to help othes.
•  There is no scriptural command to spend all we receive.
•  We are to put our faith in God’s provision rather than in the size of our investments (Luke 12:15-21). The key issues are where we put our trust and how we use our money, rather than how much money we have.

SUMMARY

•  We tithe as a form of worship and as a way of proclaiming that we have no other God before Him.  Tithing is a “Declaration of Dependence” on God. 
•  Giving of tithes and offerings should be a giving of our best and our “first fruits” to God.  It should be the first check you write each month.
•  Our tithe to the church is to be used for the furtherance of the Gospel and to help those in need.
•  When we tithe and give cheerfully, we sow the seeds for God to return financial blessings to us.  It must be a form of worship rather than a duty or a means to have our needs met.  God always looks at the heart and judges our motives as well as our deeds.  For example, the Pharisees were tithers but saw it as a means of justifying their superiority rather than as an act of worship.

1B. Stewardship Policies

(Adopted 6/3/90)
General: We will provide a framework whereby everyone is encouraged to participate with their time, talent, testimony, and treasure as part of their loving response to our Lord Jesus Christ.

1. Member Participation
➢  Every member is encouraged to participate in a small group, Sunday School class, or Ministry Team.
➢  Every member is encouraged to tithe as a minimum goal.

2. Stewardship Awareness
➢  We should educate members about what the scriptures have to say about tithing throughout our educational programs during the year.
➢  We should have a stewardship month during which time each member will be encouraged to complete the 4-T form regarding their personal spiritual goals for the next year.
➢  Second-giving opportunities should be presented to the membership with the understanding that they are faith promises over-and-above the basic tithe.  We should provide our members with a list and brief explanation of the many second-giving opportunities within our church during stewardship month or at other appropriate times such as during missions month.
➢  We should educate our members about our purpose as a church and the importance of each member’s participation (I Corinthians 12:12-31).

3. The Church’s Giving to Missions
➢  Our church should have a minimum goal of giving 20% of local contributions to missions.  This should include 10% to the missions of the Evangelical Covenant Church, 5% to the missions of the Midsouth Region, and the balance to missions selected by the congregation. *

4. Evangelism/Outreach/Church Growth
➢  The church should have a goal of investing 10% of local giving in evangelism/outreach/church growth. *


5. Guidelines for Church Debt   (Adopted July, 1996)
It is the goal of our church to utilize the assets that the Lord has entrusted to us as wisely and prudently as is possible.  We do not believe that extending our debt ceiling without due consideration, careful analysis, and most importantly, seeking the will of the Lord, would be acting as wise stewards.

The following criteria have been established by the council as minimum standards for increased debt load by the church:

•  UNITY: For the church to grow it is essential that the body be united behind any expansion project.  Anything less would indicate that the success of the project would be highly suspect from the start.  Any debt increase that requires congregational approval must therefore be passed by a “super majority” (2/3’s approval) vote.

•  BALANCE: Because we are committed to ministry opportunities, it is important that service on our debt not overshadow or ability to invest the Lord’s money in other avenues.  No additional debt should be considered until current debt service is less than 30% of local giving.

•  COMMITMENT: We value the support of the congregation toward any additional growth in facilities. One of the most tangible evidences of that support is demonstrated by present giving and future financial commitments toward a project.  Additional commitments should not have a majority of the funding reliant on long term financing. One of the following must be in place prior to beginning any new project: 51% of the total cost of the project is in hand, or 75% of the value is pledged within a 3 year period.

•  ALIGNMENT: Any project should meet the test of being supportive of the goals and ministry of the church.  Any perceived conflict that arises during presentation to the congregation will be resolved within the council prior to commitment of funds.


6. Reports and Administration
➢  We should provide envelopes for weekly giving.  The envelopes can be used to designate special giving and keep it separate from regular giving.  Envelopes can also be used in a way that will help ensure proper reporting of contributions.

➢  We should provide our members with at least a quarterly statement of their giving.  The statement should include a letter from our pastor telling our members how we used their contributions in the work of the church, special missions, evangelism, etc.
➢  We should report weekly giving versus the current need in the weekly bulletin and in the newsletter.


1C. Financial Officers

(see material from MPI that spells this out)
•  Offerings will be counted on-site by two leaders entrusted with this task.
•  Offerings will be deposited asap.
•  Petty Cash

1D. Building the budget
From the Ministry Teams
By the Budget committee

1E. Benevolence Policy
    a.  Each church is in contact with hurting people who approach the church for tangible help.  A church is not a “Community Development Corporation” or a “Mission” whose sole aim is helping hurting people.  The church has multi-faceted ministries that aim at building healthy disciples.  The healthier the disciples and larger the church, the more the church has capacity to extend its mission into the community.  This mission includes: evangelism, compassion ministries, and church planting.
    b.  Churches often partner with other churches and organizations in a community to help hurting people.
      i.  The advantages include increased resources from the many organizations, the opportunity to refer people to organizations according to specialty, and the opportunity to have a clearing house so people cannot manipulate the system.
      ii.  Many churches maintain a food pantry and/or clothes closet.  These can be done in partnership – so the members and referrals from the partner churches have first-access before making the resources more broadly available to the community.
      iii.  As Christian organizations, we seek to serve the individual and family and not be a police force for the government.  As such, any data collected is confidential and not available for any other purpose.
    c.  Churches often have special offerings (eg. First Sunday of the month or on Communion Sunday) that are often called Benevolence Offerings or Crisis-Relief-Offerings.
      i.  These funds are counted by the same 2-people who count the regular offering.
      ii.  These funds area deposited in a Designated Account (eg. Benevolence or Crisis-Refief) by the Financial Secretary of the Church.
      iii.  Churches may designate a portion of their Mission budget to also supplement the Designated Fund.  (See Mission Giving section above)
    d.  Distribution of Benevolence Funds
      i.  Is initiated by a special request to the pastor or other official leader of the church.
      ii.  When the request is made and deemed legitimate by the leader, then they discuss how to help by getting the agreement of at least 3 people: the pastor, the chair of the church (or designee), and the treasurer.
              1.  The Treasurer knows how much is in the Benevolence Fund and can write the check.
      iii.  In some rare cases, the 3 leaders may decide to take this to the whole Leadership Team to request a special offering for this need from the congregation.  They determine how best to handle this.
      iv.  Confidentiality is maintained unless the individual agrees otherwise.
      v.  When the money is disbursed for the request, there is an expression of Christian love and extension of welcome to the church.


2.  Membership Procedures
      a.  Number of membership classes and curriculum
      b.  How prospective members are interviewed
      c.  How members are received
      d.  Membership lapse and term

3.  Working with Children and Youth
      a.  Develop procedures based on the suggestions at http://www.covchurch.org/children/church-safety/
      b.  See word.doc etc at http://www.churchplantingwiki.com/index.php/wiki/LifeKids_Policies_and_Procedures/

4.  Ministry Teams
      a.  Names of Teams
      b.  How often they will meet
      c.  Ministry Team Leaders
              i.  Will seek to “get the ministry done through other gifted people.”  Your team is deployed to do the work of ministry in your area.  (See “Ministry Flow Chart”) Unto this end, you should:
                1.  Recruit gifted members for your team.
                2.  Minister to the needs of those on your team through prayer times, etc.
                3.  Seek to provide training for your team as needed.
                4.  Convene your team regularly for planning and bring your team to leadership training events.
                5.  Represent your team’s ministry to the leadership team and church as directed.
                6.  Will cooperate with the pastoral staff and other ministry teams.
      d.  Collaborative Leadership Training events

5.  “Ministry Flow Chart”
Go to http://www.churchplantingwiki.com/index.php/wiki/Ministry_Flow_Chart/

6.  Staff
      a.  Policies for the Pastor-Relations Committee

General
The PRC exists to make sure that clear communication is occurring between the pastor and congregation.  This is not a “review” so much as it is an opportunity for frank discussion about the mutual relationship between pastor and congregation. 
As such, the members of the PRC are usually the members of the executive committee of the church: chair, vice-chair, secretary, treasurer, and financial secretary.
The meetings should be marked by a desire to communicate with friendliness and frankness.  Each participant should realize the confidential nature of the meeting.  Dialogue should refer to facts and reality as opposed to feelings and perceptions.
Typically, the PRC should meet with the pastor at least annually, and preferably semi-annually.

Committee Responsibilities
A.  To assure mutual understanding in church-pastor relationships the committee shall:
      1.  Share concerns the pastor may have regarding the welfare of the church and his/her own welfare.
      2.  Share concerns of the congregation for the welfare of the pastor and the church.
B.  Give guidance and counsel in the following areas:
      1.  Pastoral opportunities to serve the denomination, the conference, ministerial associations, chaplaincies, secular associations, etc.
      2.  Concerns of the congregation for possible change of pastors.  It is understood that when the concern arises, it is to be shared with the conference superintendent.
C.  Because of its experiences in dealing with church-pastor relationships, this committee should become the nucleus of the Pastoral Search Committee when the church is seeking a new minister.
D.  Suggested agenda for the PRC:
      1.  Call to order by the chair.
      2.  Time of prayer with participation by all.
      3.  The pastor views the church:
              i.  Its response to their leadership—to goals, to opportunities for additional ministries, etc.
              ii.  It’s response to the pastor’s needs—salary, housing, business expenses, time with family, etc.
      4.  The PRC views the pastoral leadership.
              i.  The services of the church, conduct of worship, preaching, teaching, etc.
              ii.  Pastoral functions: calling, counseling, etc.
              iii.  The administrative work of the church.
              iv.  The church’s outreach.
      5.  Review and assessment of goals previously set.
      6.  Looking to the future:
              i.  The pastor shares plans and goals
              ii.  The churches expresses it’s hopes and goals
              iii.  Goals adopted by pastor and PRC
      7.  Date of next meeting
      8.  Closing Prayer

      b.  Agreements to pay benefits for ECC pastors
              i.  See Covenant Agreement and/or ECC documents regarding pension, health, life, disability, etc.

7.  Nominating Committee Procedures
      a.  Looking for Spiritual Leaders for the Leadership Team
              i.  Qualities
                1.  Faithful adherence to our church vision, mission & strategies.
                2.  Spiritual Example as a leader
                        a.  Commitments to serve the church with their: Time, Talent, Testimony, Treasure
                        b.  We want our leaders to be tithers, and servants in the church.
                3.  Servant of the Body
                        a.  Will monitor the spiritual health of the body.
                        b.  Will keep confidences.
                        c.  Will represent the vision and unity of the council to the body. (when we make a decision we will speak with one united voice)
                        d.  Will work to lessen any fires of discontent and sweeten the joy of fellowship.
                        e.  Will help wounded or dissatisfied members follow Biblical patterns of reconciliation.  (Matt 5:23,24; Matt 18:15-17; Gal. 6:1-3)
                        f.  Will do pastoral care of the congregation as directed.
                4.  Will support the pastoral staff.

              ii.  Church Leadership Requirements
                1.  Faithful attendance at Leadership Team Meetings, Ministry Team Meetings, Retreats.

      b.  Guidelines for the Nominating Committee
              i.  List Open Positions
              ii.  Go over spiritual qualifications for Leadership
                1.  Focus on Spiritual Qualifications For Christian Leadership First.
                        a.  Do NOT put names of people next to open positions until this step is completed.
                        b.  Use the following tool to help determine spiritual leadership.  http://www.churchplantingwiki.com/index.php/wiki/Leadership_Quality_Self-Assessment/
                        c.  Focus only on those candidates who are strongest in this area.
              iii.  Write down the names of those who are members of the church who fit these guidelines. 
                1.  Focus on the Specific Positions to be Filled.
                        a.  Write down the names of those who seem to best fit these positions.
These people need to have a heart for this area and a spiritual gift that will allow them to serve.
                        b.  And they should also be good administrators – people who can lead and get things done through others. 
              iv.  Nominating Committee determines how to contact the potential church leaders to see if they feel led to serve in this way.  This contact should be made personally by one of the Nominating Committee members and the person contacted should get back to the Nominating Committee member within one week.
              v.  NOTE:
                        1.  It is NOT necessary to obtain two candidates for each position. 
                        2.  PRAY though-out this important process.

 

 


Category:Leadership and Governance
Category:Training Center Topics & Workshop Resources

Categories: