Below is a list of core commitments that a congregation should make when employing lay persons and/or clergy. These three basic commitments (provided by the UCC Parish Life and Leadership group of Local Church Ministries) will help to ensure a smooth work/ministry life among the staff and between the staff and the congregation.
- Working Conditions – The church should provide competent support staff for the clergy. The church should also provide suitable office space and equipment to facilitate all of the staff’s work (including the clergy). In arranging office space, consideration should be given to the pastor’s need for study, counseling, and administration. It is also imperative that the church ensure that the pastor’s office is easily accessible to all persons.
- Job Description – It is to the mutual advantage of all staff and the congregation to have a written position description (covenant) and a written contract (letter of call). This will clarify mutual expectations!
- Evaluation of the Church’s Ministry – A regular evaluation of the church’s ministry, including staff, is important for the health of the church. Getting professional help with these evaluations either by members of the congregation who do HR work as a profession or ideally, by an outside source, will help these evaluations be done legally and without crossing any boundaries.