The Church Office Handbook – Part 1

Communication Corner:

The Church Office Handbook – Part 1

In most churches, the church office functions as the central nervous center of the church. It is where the day-to-day magic happens that keeps everything else running smoothly. When everyone and everything in the office is running in sync the entire body is running smoothly, but when something happens – the pastor moves, the secretary falls and is out of the office for several weeks – things become disjointed.

A church office handbook is a good place to start when disaster hits. The handbook includes the information needed for someone to step in and cover essential tasks: where to find the templates for the worship bulletin and newsletter, passwords, the list of people with keys to the communion cabinet and the sound booth, contact information for church leaders, and more—the content will vary according to what your church needs. Include the information that is most essential for your congregation.  

Your church office handbook can be on computer or on paper, simple or complex. Regardless, the handbook is your roadmap to getting things back in sync. Over the next several issues we will explore how you can create your own Church Office Handbook.

Hardcopy vs. Digital

There are positive and negative aspects to a hardcopy, paper version, of your office handbook:

  • Easy to retrieve if computers crash, Internet goes down, and/or electricity goes out.
  • Anyone with access to the office may have access to the handbook, so security of sensitive data may be compromised.
  • Harder to keep up to date.
  • Goes Down with the building-is there a backup?

Likewise, there are positive and negative aspects to keeping your office handbook in digital form:  

  • Easy to retrieve from any location through applications like Dropbox or Google Drive.
  • Easy to keep all copies up to date
  • Password protected so that only those in specific leadership roles can access sensitive information.
  • Harder to access in an emergency when Internet, computers, and/or electricity is down.

The best solution is for most churches is a combination of both. In the next issue we will explore what you should include in your office handbook.


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