The Church Office Handbook Part 2

Communication Corner

Office Handbook Part 2: Job Descriptions and Responsibilities

Last time we started talking about the Church Office Handbook, why you should have one, and the difference between a paper copy and an electronic copy.

Read more: The Church Office Handbook Part 1

So you’re ready to start putting together your Church Office Handbook, but where do you start? What should you include?

First, it is helpful to know what everyone is responsible for, when and how certain projects are done.  Start with the job descriptions for all your paid staff: secretary, custodian, youth director, minister, choir director, musicians, etc. Include lines of supervision and accountability, in addition to job responsibilities. Remember seasonal responsibilities, with dates. As needed, include complete directions on how to accomplish various tasks. The purpose of such a manual is to allow another person to step in seamlessly, if that is ever needed.

Example 1: the church newsletter is your secretary’s responsibility. Along with the job description, include directions on how the newsletter is put together.

  • Where is the archive file in the computer? How is it titled?
  • Who is responsible for submitting articles and by when?
  • What needs to be included? What should be omitted?
  • Who proofreads, before printing or publishing to the web?
  • What is the process for mailing, emailing, or publishing to the web?
  • Do you email, mail, or both? Where is the mailing list?

Example 2: Your custodian cleans the building and stocks supplies: soap dispensers and paper goods.

  • Where are the supplies kept? What about the vacuum cleaner, mop and bucket?
  • Who orders more supplies—the custodian, secretary, someone else? From what company?
  • Who is called for plumbing or electrical work? Who may make the call?
  • Where is the breaker box? The natural gas and water shutoff valves?

Example 3: Your pastor visits members who are homebound, ill, and grieving.

  • Who are the homebound, ill, and grieving? Who maintains the list?
  • Is a record of visits kept—with membership records, for instance? Who keeps that record?
  • Does the pastor deliver meals, cards, etc. from the church during these visits?


Next time, we’ll cover matters that may belong to paid staff or to volunteers, and ask about situations that vary widely from one church to another.



  1. This is a helpful partial listing of important items to track and record for the church. We have such a guiding document and set of archives already in place, but reviewing this (and an earlier installment) was encouraging. We look forward to future articles in this series and hope there will be additional categories that perhaps we have not yet included.
    Thank you!

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