Office Handbook Part 3: Volunteers and General Ministry

Communication Corner

Office Handbook Part 3: Volunteers and General Ministry

Throughout the life of the church, volunteers fill in where paid staff can’t. These are the leaders whose presence and contributions are key to your church’s ministry. Because your volunteer staff can differ greatly from year to year, season to season, job descriptions and procedures can help with continuity without squelching innovation. Here are some things to consider:


  • Communion
    • Who prepares communion? Where are supplies kept?
    • Who orders or buys communion supplies?
  • Special events
    • List special events and holidays that your church observes
    • List the responsibilities of the people involved in each one: pastor, worship leader, choir director, worship committee, property committee, Christian Education committee, etc.


  • Bad weather:
    • Who decides about weather cancellations, and how is that decision communicated?
    • What criteria must be met? Who clears the snow and ice?
  • Rentals:
    • If your building is available for outside groups and private events, who approves this? Create or update the policy with regard to types of events, types of groups, set up and breakdown for groups and events, cleaning, fee structure, access to keys, more.

Youth & Children’s programs:

  • What classes are available? Are they divided by age, grade, or interest? When and where do they meet?
  • Develop a child protection policy and photo publication policy. More on this topic when we discuss church safety and security.
  • Specify who chooses curriculum and other materials, who orders, and how purchases are made.

Public Relations:

  • Identify the spokesperson for the church, especially in case of disaster. This person is the liaison between the church and the local news and radio stations.

Local Outreach:

  • How does your church handle requests for food, gas and rent help? An entire section of your handbook could be given to this topic. Are there dollar limits? Do you give cash, or vouchers to a local business? How much food do you give each family, and how frequently? What records are kept? Is this handled differently for members?

Next time, we’ll cover matters that relate to church safety and security.

Read more: What is the Church Office Handbook (Part 1)
                       The Church Office Handbook – Job Descriptions & Responsibilities (Part 2)

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