XPastor tries to help churches by providing some of the essentials for running a church—items like job descriptions, employment applications, review forms and church policies. Below is the Personnel Policies and Procedures from Parma Heights Baptist Church, Parma Heights, Ohio.
This handbook has been prepared as a general statement of our policies and as a guide for general information that should assist you during your employment. The provisions of this handbook are designed to serve as guidelines; however, exceptions may be made periodically based on particular needs or circumstances.
The statements contained in this handbook do not limit the right of either the church or the employee to terminate the employee’s employment or compensation, with or without cause or notice, at any time. Further, this church, at the discretion of the Deacon Board of Parma Heights Baptist Church (PHBC), reserves the right at any time to change, delete, or add to any of the provisions or benefits in its sole discretion.
PHBC exists to help people find and follow Jesus Christ.
Through PHBC, we picture a community of people consistently engaged in life-changing worship gatherings and involved with effective growth groups where spiritual growth, caring for each other, and reaching out together is unmistakable. Individuals joyfully serve in ministries using their unique God-given talents and skills. We also envision a church which consistently identifies and develops leaders for ministry. Through personal evangelism and strategic outreach events, we desire to increase our effectiveness in connecting people to God and PHBC. Together, we strive to become a community of people who compassionately meet the needs of hurting people locally and throughout the world.
All ministry must have a focal point of origin—a reason or basis for existence. It is our intention to base our ministry on the principles of Scripture. The following theological axioms are the sources on which our ministries exist:
- The Scriptures are our authority for faith and practice (2 Tim. 3:16). The Scripture is one of the major ways through which God has revealed Himself to us and is our authority for life and practice. Therefore, all areas of ministry and program carried out in the name of Parma Heights Baptist Church must have their support from the biblical context.
- Ethical standards and integrity are mandatory for our leadership (1 Tim. 3:16). The Scripture has outlined the qualifications and lifestyle of those who have been called to lead the people of God. Each employee is expected to exemplify the qualities set forth in Scripture, namely:
- A PHBC employee’s personal ethics and integrity must be an example to the church and to the world.
- A PHBC employee’s marriage (if married) must reflect the nature of Christ’s love through loyalty, faithfulness, unselfishness and reverence.
- A PHBC employee must be a person who displays the qualities of temperance, self-control, respect for others and hospitality.
- A PHBC employee must have a teachable spirit and gentleness in attitude.
- A PHBC employee must abstain from tobacco use, harmful drugs and drunkenness.
- A PHBC employee’s spirit should be one of a peacemaker and be disciplined in the area of money management.
- A PHBC employee must manage their household and train up their children to respect authority and others.
- A PHBC employee must have a good reputation among those outside the church family.
- The Priesthood of all believers is affirmed (1 Pet. 2:9). We affirm the principle that all believers are called to ministry, not just the employees. Employees and laity alike are ministers of God. The only difference is in the area of responsibility. Speaking to specifically Pastors and Ministers, they are not special people set aside for special favor, but are to minister to the body of Christ. As a body is made up of many parts with each supporting one another for the strength of the whole, so is each member vital to the “body of Christ.” Members of the pastoral team must have evidence of “a servant spirit” and humble attitude.
- The Church is called to train and equip its members for discipleship and evangelism (Eph. 4:11-13). Our main calling and responsibility is to equip the saints for the work of the ministry. Our purpose is to motivate, encourage, challenge, enable, and train the “people of God” in discipleship and evangelism. When all the saints are working together, there will be a happy and healthy church family where believers are growing and maturing in their faith, uplifting one another and sharing the Gospel with those outside of Christ.
- Our calling is equal (2 Tim. 1:9). No one minister has a calling higher than another. We do not seek position, but to be a servant of Christ. The differences in ministry are in the areas of responsibility. The Senior Pastor has the ultimate responsibility for the welfare and productiveness of the team.
- Spiritual gifts need to be understood and utilized (Rom. 12:4-8). The Scripture states that there are varied spiritual gifts. We recognize that this is a valuable factor and seek to discover these gifts for ministry and then exercise them for maximum productiveness and fulfillment. If these gifts are not exercised, the result will be frustration and discouragement.
- We are called to serve (Gal. 5:13). Our motivation is to be a servant of Christ, not to seek public approval, attention and recognition. Our ultimate goal as a steward of the Gospel is for the Lord to say to us someday, “Well done, good and faithful servant. Enter into the joy of your reward.”
- We are committed to spiritual oneness (John 17:22-23). The pastoral and support staff, above all else, must exhibit a deep sense of unity and spiritual oneness. If this spirit is not exemplified among the team, it will greatly hinder the unity of the church body. This quality is a basic necessity for the power of the Holy Spirit to work in and through the church family.
- The church staff has a prime responsibility to their family (1 Tim. 3:4-5). Knowing the demands and pressures on schedules, time must be set aside to meet the needs of their family and to give their children proper instruction. There is a strong tendency for church staff to sacrifice family needs for the needs of the congregation. These family needs can be prioritized with church activities. If done so, both will be blessed.
Employment at Will
All employees of Parma Heights Baptist Church, regardless of their classification or position, are employed on an at-will basis. This means that each employee’s employment is terminable at the will of the employee or the church at any time, with or without cause and with or without notice.
Furthermore, nothing contained in the policies, procedures, handbooks, manuals, job descriptions, application for employment, or any other document shall in any way create an express or implied contract of employment or an employment relationship on other than an at-will basis.
Equal Employment Opportunity
Parma Heights Baptist Church is an equal opportunity employer. The recruitment and selection process will be based on job-related, objective qualifications, in accordance with the job requirements of the position being filled. All employees must be able to perform the essential functions of their jobs as set forth in the employee’s individual job description. Reasonable accommodations will be made, in accordance with applicable state and federal laws, to assist employees with disabilities in performing the essential functions of their jobs.
Employees who believe they have been unlawfully discriminated against should report it immediately to the Church Administrator.
In all reported cases, Parma Heights Baptist Church will take reasonable steps to protect the reporting employee from retaliatory, harassing, or abusive behavior in relation to such reporting.
Church Attendance and Membership
PHBC employees are expected to attend Parma Heights Baptist Church Sunday worship services and actively participate in ministry including involvement in a growth group, serving and giving regularly. Employees are encouraged, but not required to become members of Parma Heights Baptist Church. Special circumstances may be considered and any variance from this policy must be approved in writing by the Administrative Deacons, Senior Pastor and Church Administrator.
Non-exempt personnel are specifically not allowed to “volunteer” hours in performing their regular job assignment. This restriction is based on Department of Labor—Wage and Hour standards. This restriction does not apply to exempt employees.
Non-exempt employees are allowed to volunteer their time to serve in positions at PHBC, but the position cannot be related to the employee’s normal job responsibilities and duties. For example, a ministry assistant could teach a children’s class as a “volunteer” without any problem. However, if a ministry assistant is asked to “volunteer” her time outside of the scheduled work-week, this time would be considered compensated time.
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
PHBC is committed to complying fully with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in ensuring equal opportunity in employment for qualified persons with disabilities. All of PHBC’s employment practices and activities are non-discriminatory.
PHBC’s policy is not to discriminate against qualified job applicants or staff members with respect to any terms or conditions of employment because of a person’s physical or mental disability or diseases. After all, Jesus himself had a heavy burden for the infirmed. “He took up our infirmities and bore our diseases” (Matt 8:17b).
PHBC will provide reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals with a temporary or long-term disability so that they can perform the essential functions of the job, when the accommodation does not create an undue hardship to PHBC.
PHBC is committed to employing United States citizens and aliens who are authorized to work in the United States. PHBC does not unlawfully discriminate on the basis of citizenship or national origin.
In compliance with the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986, each new staff member, as a condition of employment, must complete the Employment Eligibility Verification Form (I-9) and present proper documentation establishing both identity and employment eligibility.
Open Door Policy
In keeping with the PHBC’S philosophy of open communication, all employees have the right and are encouraged to speak freely with their supervisor, Church Administrator or the Senior Pastor about their job-related concerns.
We urge you to go directly to your supervisor to discuss your job-related ideas, recommendations, concerns and other issues that are important to you. If, after talking with your supervisor, you feel the need for additional discussion, you are encouraged to speak with the Church Administrator or Senior Pastor.
Dress and Personal Appearance
Appearance must reflect the tasteful and moderate position we elect to take, projecting quality service to members of our congregation and the community at large. PHBC requires staff to dress in relation to the people with whom you interact and the responsibilities of the job; sometimes this will dictate professional dress, sometimes casual. Clothing must be modest and in good taste. Those who appear inappropriately dressed may be sent home and asked to return in appropriate attire.
Regular attendance and punctuality are considered essential functions of every employee’s job. Therefore, all employees are expected to arrive on time, prepared to work and give their best to the Lord.
We define an absence as failure to report for and remain at work as scheduled. This includes arriving late for work and leaving early without prior supervisory approval. Additionally, absences that exceed the permitted number of hours under the vacation and sick plan may be considered unexcused absences.
If you are unable to arrive on time or must be absent for any portion of the day, you must contact the Church Administrator as soon as possible. If that is not possible, then you must leave a message for your immediate supervisor.
Excessive absenteeism or tardiness will result in disciplinary action up to and including termination. Parma Heights Baptist Church will administer this policy in accordance with federal and state law, including, but not limited to, the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Family and Medical Leave Act.
General office hours are Monday through Friday, 8:00 am-4:30 pm. An unpaid meal period is required if you work more than five hours. Each employee is permitted to take one thirty minute or two fifteen minute paid break(s) each day.
Employees are given a job description at the time of employment to review and sign. A job description summarizes your duties and responsibilities and gives you important information about your new job. Please read and study your job description carefully and discuss it with your supervisor if you have any questions.
The church reserves the right to revise and update your job description as it deems necessary and appropriate.
The normal workweek will be Monday through Friday for most employees. However, due to the varied needs of the ministry, work schedules could include evenings and weekends. Pastors and salaried employees (termed “managerial exempt” employees) may have flexible work hours within the workweek in order to accommodate the variable demands on their ministry. Full-time managerial employees should expect to work 45-55 hours per week and should not exceed consecutive work weeks of 60+ hours.
Day of Rest
All pastoral team members will reserve one day for rest and time with their families, as well as at least two evenings per week. Realizing the average minister renders more than 50 hours of work per week, this time should be set aside for personal and family matters. The spouses of the staff are expected to be a part of the church’s ministry on the level of any other member, serving where their gifts can be used.
In the event of inclement weather (blizzard, ice storm, etc.) during normal working hours, a decision may be made to alter normal working hours. Employees will be informed if a decision is made to close the building, but should contact their supervisor if concerned.
On very rare occasions, an excessive volume of work accumulates or an emergency arises which requires an employee to work overtime. Overtime will be required only when necessary, but employees are expected to work overtime when asked to do so. Overtime will not be considered approved, unless the time is approved by the Church Administrator or Senior Pastor. Overtime will be paid at 1½ times the normal rate of pay only for non-exempt employees in accordance with the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938.
The PHBC office and staff observes the following holidays:
|New Year’s Eve||12 noon on|
|New Year’s Day||January 1|
|Good Friday||12 noon on|
|Memorial Day||Last Monday in May|
|Independence Day||July 4|
|Labor Day||First Monday in September|
|Thanksgiving||Fourth Thursday and Friday in November|
|Christmas Eve||12 noon on|
When a prescribed holiday occurs on Sunday, the following Monday will be observed. Likewise, when the holiday occurs on Saturday, the proceeding Friday will be observed. Additional office closings may be determined by the Church Administrator with approval of the Administrative Deacons.
Parma Heights Baptist Church is locally controlled by a Board of Deacons and supported by the North American Baptist Conference. More importantly, it is a community of believers who have joined together to meet the spiritual needs of the greater community. As such, the church promotes behavior consistent with the Scriptures. Consequently, when joining the PHBC staff, you freely and willingly agree to the standards of behavior outlined in this policy. The standards included in this policy are not exhaustive; rather they provide a guideline of conduct we believe is in accordance with biblical standards and principles.
As representatives of Parma Heights Baptist Church, it is critical that our actions are above reproach in every respect. As a result, the following standards of conduct shall apply to all employees. Violations of these standards are regarded as a serious breach of integrity and could result in discipline, up to and including termination.
God’s Word teaches us that certain attributes are desired, including: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Gal. 5:22-24). These attributes are to be sought, encouraged and demonstrated in our relationships with others at all times.
Scripture further teaches us that certain behaviors should be avoided, including: theft, lying, dishonesty, gossip, slander, backbiting, profanity, vulgarity, sexual promiscuity (including adultery, premarital sex, homosexual and transsexual behavior), substance abuse, drunkenness and immodesty of dress.
Managerial staff (see job classifications below) need to abstain from consuming alcohol. It is the position of PHBC that staff, especially those who are overseers, ought to live at a higher standard, set an example to those they shepherd (Prov. 31.4, 1 Tim 3:1-7), and avoid being a hindrance to people who struggle with alcohol (Rom. 14.21).
Employees shall observe Sunday as a day set apart for worship and fellowship.
Employees agree to conform and affirm the Church’s statement of faith.
Any kind of demeaning gesture, threat of violence, or physical attack directed toward another person will not be tolerated.
Safeguards from Moral Failure
Protecting yourself and the church from the perception of, or actual, moral failure is vital. As a church staff it is especially important to ensure there are healthy boundaries between members of the opposite sex. All employees are urged to use extreme caution when ministering to the opposite sex. Since it is not possible, nor desirable, to “police” all relationships within the employees’ ministry responsibilities, certain guidelines must be adhered to when ministering to those of the opposite sex, excluding a spouse or biologically-related or adopted family member.
Some simple guidelines to follow are:
- Pray to the Lord and ask yourself whether this relationship is honoring to Him. Listen to your conscience, even though we can easily deceive ourselves. God has placed a conscience within each person that often speaks louder about right and wrong than anything else.
- Listen to the advice of mentors, colleagues, and, if married, a spouse, by humbly submitting our desire before others. God will ultimately work things out in an appropriate way and bring honor to Himself in our relationships.
- No two individuals of the opposite sex may meet for any reason alone while away from the office, unless both individuals are unmarried or married to each other. This includes but is not limited to riding in a car, going to lunch together, having coffee, or any other occasion that would have the two individuals of the opposite sex alone together.
- One-on-one communication is important regardless of gender, therefore certain provisions have been made at PHBC to allow such meetings to take place. For example, most church doors are furnished with windows to allow others to see into rooms. If meeting with one other person in a room that does not have a window, the door must be left open. If a one to one meeting must occur after office hours at church, at least one additional person must be notified and be in the vicinity of the meeting.
- If any unmarried employee is found to be involved in a sexual relationship, PHBC will encourage such a person to stop the relationship and reserves the right to terminate the employee immediately.
- If any married employee is found to be engaging in an extra marital dating or sexual relationship, PHBC will encourage such a person to stop the relationship and reserves the right to terminate the employee immediately.
Appropriate Interactions with Minors
Staff members will assume the full burden of responsibility for setting and maintaining clear and appropriate physical and emotional boundaries with minors. PHBC adheres to a simple “two adult” rule. This requires that an adult is never alone with a child or youth. There must be two adults present at all times. This rule excludes biologically-related or adopted family members.
Substance Abuse Policy
Parma Heights Baptist Church recognizes the danger to one’s physical and psychological well-being in the use of certain products. Therefore, employees are to refrain from the use of tobacco, marijuana in any form, mood-altering drugs, and substances or narcotics not authorized by a physician.
Employees of PHBC may not possess or be under the influence of alcohol during normal working hours or during church-sponsored gatherings or events. Employees are strongly encouraged to abstain from consuming alcohol.
Employees should always be aware of where they are, whom they are with, and how their actions may reflect on PHBC and Christ and His church. Employees are encouraged not to present a stumbling block to others and to know that what is permissible is not always beneficial.
Drunkenness is always forbidden.
In the event a narcotic or other drug that could inhibit your ability to fully engage your work is prescribed by a physician, it is your responsibility to inform your immediate supervisor before reporting to work so that a proper assessment of your health status can be made.
It is also the policy of this church that if an employee becomes aware of another employee who is in violation or possible violation of this policy, it is expected that he or she inform the Church Administrator or Senior Pastor within 24 hours. The failure to do so may lead to disciplinary action up to and including termination.
Workers’ Compensation—Injury and Illness at Work
Parma Heights Baptist Church carries workers’ compensation insurance on all employees for on-the-job accidents. We will comply with applicable workers’ compensation laws and regulations and will provide information to the workers’ compensation carrier, who will make benefit payments to injured or ill employees as provided by applicable workers’ compensation laws.
If a work-related injury or illness appears life threatening, 911 will be called immediately. Otherwise, any employee who sustains an injury or illness that is job-related should report this immediately to his supervisor who will report it to the Business Manager. Non-emergency, work-related accidents require authorization forms located with the Business Manager.
All job-related accidents, regardless of their cause or severity, must be reported to the Church Administrator immediately. Details including the date the accident occurred, time and specific circumstances, including witnesses and those present must be reported and recorded in writing. Accidents that are not reported promptly may result in the claim being denied. First aid supplies are available in the choir room, kitchen, office and worship center.
Accidents include all work-related injuries or illnesses that occur while working for Parma Heights Baptist Church. Employees have an obligation to report any work-related injury or illness immediately and return to work as soon as their medical conditions permit after an injury or illness.
A list of approved medical care facilities may be obtained from the Business Manager.
Parma Heights Baptist Church will not tolerate any form of harassment, including sexual harassment, or any offensive conduct that has the effect of substantially interfering with an employee’s work performance or creating a pervasive, intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment.
Parma Heights Baptist Church has instituted the following three-step procedure for reporting and investigating allegations of unlawful harassment, including sexual harassment.
Reporting: An employee who believes he or she has been the victim of harassment has a duty to report it immediately to the Church Administrator. In all reported cases, the church will take reasonable steps to protect the reporting employee from retaliatory, harassing, or abusive behavior in relation to such reporting.
Investigation: The Church Administrator will direct the investigation of complaints. All employees are expected to cooperate with an investigation of any type of harassment. Confidentiality will be maintained to the extent permitted under such circumstances.
Corrective action: After the investigation has been completed, the Church Administrator will make a determination regarding the resolution of the case. If warranted, appropriate disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal, will be taken.
Sexual harassment is present whenever unwelcome sexual advances (either verbal or physical) requests for favors and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature have occurred and submission to such conduct is either an explicit or implicit term or condition of employment; submission to or rejection of the conduct is used as a basis for making employment decisions; or the conduct has the purpose or effect of substantially interfering with an individual’s work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment.
Sexual harassment includes, but is not limited to, unwelcome sexual advances, verbal abuse or physical conduct of a derogatory or offensive nature, the display or communication of pornographic material, or job-related requests for sexual favors. Sexual harassment does not refer to occasional compliments or other conduct that is socially acceptable and does not have a discriminatory effect on the employment relationship.
Reporting Child Abuse and Neglect
PHBC takes seriously the responsibility and need to promote a safe environment for our congregation’s most vulnerable. It is the policy of PHBC to have all employees report a suspected or actual child victim of abuse or neglect to both the Senior Pastor and Church Administrator, and also to Child Protective Services or local law enforcement agency.
Additionally in accordance with the Ohio Revised Code (ORC) 2151.421 any employee, “who is acting in an official or professional capacity and knows, or has reasonable cause to suspect based on facts that would cause a reasonable person in a similar position to suspect, that a child under eighteen years of age or a mentally retarded, developmentally disabled, or physically impaired child under twenty-one years of age has suffered or faces a threat of suffering any physical or mental wound, injury, disability, or condition of a nature that reasonably indicates abuse or neglect of the child shall” report this immediately.
It is important that a safe, secure workplace be maintained for the benefit of all employees and students. Accordingly, any actual or potential threat to safety within the workplace will be promptly addressed. Any violence or threatened violence by an employee will result in disciplinary action up to and including immediate termination, No talk of violence or any communication involving threats of violence will be tolerated. It is incumbent upon any employee to report any threat or potential threat immediately to the Senior Pastor or Church Administrator.
PHBC prohibits the possession of weapons by any employee while on ministry property. Weapons include guns, explosives and other items designed to inflict harm. Appropriate disciplinary action, up to and including termination, will be taken against any employee who violates this policy.
Desks, computers, telephones and work areas are the property of PHBC. Accordingly, PHBC reserves the right to enter and inspect your work area, storage area, computer or desk with or without notice.
As a security measure and to maintain proper procedures, all visitors should use the rear entrance door at the glass walkway and register with the office staff during office hours.
For security purposes, unless specific events, services or programs require it, PHBC keeps all exterior doors locked at all times. Unless an employee has personal knowledge of a visitor, the employee should not permit any non-employee to enter when the building is locked.
If an employee notices a suspicious person or activity on the premises, the employee should immediately report the incident to the Church Administrator or custodian on duty.
Communication and Electronic Media
Parma Heights Baptist Church provides a variety of electronic systems and services to improve the effectiveness of communication and information flow. Electronic media means any electronic program, access, or services, including but not limited to, any computer hardware or software, email, the internet, facsimile services, and telephone services. All such means are the property of Parma Heights Baptist Church.
Parma Heights Baptist Church’s electronic media services have been developed and maintained for the specific use of correspondence, communications, and research information gathering. For employees’ convenience and expediency, electronic media may be used for incidental personal use. Personal calls should generally be limited to those of an emergency nature, and whenever possible, should be made during breaks or lunch periods. Good judgment, however, should be used to limit the amount and frequency of such use.
Consequently, Parma Heights Baptist Church has the right to monitor electronic communications for purposes of time and content.
Although there are security measures in place to protect the privacy of electronic media and communications, it is impossible to ensure the confidentiality of any electronic message.
Employees are required to regularly check and respond with email and voice mail in accordance to response times deemed as normal in the professional workplace.
All systems, including the equipment and the data stored in the systems, are the property of Parma Heights Baptist Church. Thus, all electronic data or documents created, sent, received, or stored in the systems are the property of the church. Upon termination of employment, the employee agrees to return all electronic media and equipment.
Parma Heights Baptist Church is not responsible for any privately owned equipment used for business purposes. No equipment may be attached to organization systems without prior approval from the Church Administrator. All other Parma Heights Baptist Church policies, including harassment and confidentiality policies, apply to the use of electronic media.
Abuse of any electronic media or services through excessive personal use, use in violation of the law, or in violation of Parma Heights Baptist Church policy, may result in disciplinary action up to and including immediate termination of employment and/or legal action. Access to electronic media is limited to those employees with proper authorization.
Unacceptable uses of electronic media or communications include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Use for any purpose that violates state or federal laws.
- Use to transmit or access information that disrupts the operation of this church.
- Use to transmit or access any content that is abusive, discriminatory, harassing, disrespectful, or pornographic.
- Use to falsify the sender’s or author’s identity or to misrepresent another person.
- Use to transmit or access confidential information to individuals who are not authorized to receive such information.
- Use to transmit non-critical, non-business broadcast mail/data, distribution of chain letters or other mass distributions that cause stress on any computer or network system or disrupts the operation of the church.
Software Use Policy
Parma Heights Baptist Church will provide necessary software to employees for use on church computers in accordance with federal copyright law and applicable licensing agreements.
Parma Heights Baptist Church does not condone the unauthorized reproduction of copyrighted computer software or documentation. Personal software is only allowed on church computers with prior approval from the Church Administrator.
Employees with access to electronic media are responsible for taking the appropriate security measures to prevent loss, misuse, and damage including damage caused by computer viruses. Any unexplained loss or alteration of data should be reported immediately to the Church Administrator
Access to any internet sites with content deemed illicit, pornographic, unsavory, or inappropriate within the guidelines of ministry values and objectives will be subject to immediate review and disciplinary actions.
Social Media Policy
PHBC views the use of social media, including Facebook, Twitter, blogs, YouTube or other technology media use positively and can be used responsibly for both the work of the Gospel and as a personal positive use of outreach and self-expression.
However, it is important to remember that as an employee of PHBC, all employees are seen by members and outside parties as a representative of the church. Thus, content that employees post on their social media or any other electronic media may negatively reflect on PHBC, so proper precautions and consideration should be taken when posting something.
Social media use during work hours should be limited to official church use. Personal use should be conducted during approved break times. Additionally, should an employee have or want to start a personal website, blog or other site, it is required to inform the Church Administrator of the site for affirmation. Any site must contain a disclaimer that indicates that such content does not represent the views of PHBC and is your personal opinion.
Failure to responsibly engage the social media policy may result in disciplinary action up to and including termination.
Civil or Criminal Disobedience
The Bible teaches that rebelling against governing authorities is rebellion against what God has instituted. Therefore, PHBC believes employees need to submit to the authorities. However, in very few cases, it may be necessary for a Christian to be obedient to God rather than man. Careful thought needs to be given toward proper behavior in such situations. Employees are expected to uphold the law. If an employee violates the law in a way that has a detrimental impact on their ministry or that of the church, that employee must report the violation or potential violation to the Church Administrator or Senior Pastor. Such situations, after thorough review, may result in disciplinary action up to and including termination.
On occasion, a representative from the media may contact an employee regarding a ministry issue. No employee is to give media interviews without prior approval of the Senior Pastor or Church Administrator. If contacted by a representative of the media, employees should forward any inquiries to the Senior Pastor. The policy will ensure that accurate information will be given for those matters that are appropriate for public knowledge. All written or verbal inquiries regarding the work performance of present or former employees or written or verbal request for employment recommendations should be directed to the Church Administrator.
(To view the Organizational Chart, please see the PDF at the bottom of this webpage.)
The following definition has been established to standardize terminology and provide common understanding in our reference to employees:
Managerial Staff—Either full or part-time persons that are hired to fulfill the staffing and equipping of leaders for the work of ministry and/or assist in the management and completion of duties by the Support Staff. Such employees may also be charged with developing and casting ministry direction, directing, coaching and shepherding, managing the assets of the church in accomplishing the mission and vision of the ministry and teaching lay leaders of individual ministries. Such employees include Pastors, Ministers, the Church Administrator, and the Facilities Manager. Managerial Full-time Staff employees are considered salaried exempt employees.
All pastoral team members are considered to be dual status independent contractors subject to IRS tax code for ministers and the additional terms of their employment shall be subject to the contractual agreements executed between said staff and the Administrative Deacons.
Support Staff: Either full or part-time persons that assist the pastoral team and other related ministries of the church, i.e. Administrative Assistant, Custodial, Maintenance, etc. Support Staff employees are considered hourly non-exempt employees.
Employees are given a job description at the time of employment to review and sign. A job description summarizes your duties and responsibilities and gives you important information about your new job. Please read and study your job description carefully and discuss it with your supervisor if you have any questions.
The church reserves the right to revise and update your job description as it deems necessary and appropriate.
The church requires all Pastoral and Ministerial team members to continue their formal educational training through conferences, seminars, and further schooling. Funds have been established in the budget for this purpose and each team member is expected to attend at least one conference per year and as the budget permits. Conferences, continuing education or seminars will be allotted up to ten days including one Sunday away from PHBC annually.
All Pastoral and Ministerial team members are encouraged to maintain a visitation ministry in their respective areas of service so that they are in constant contact with the membership.
Background Checks and Drug Testing
PHBC heavily relies on the godly service of its employees to conduct the work of the Lord in this local body. Thus, it is necessary to ensure the integrity of those who serve in such capacity through the use of thorough background screening and drug testing. Drug testing at the time of publication is optional. Mandatory background screening must be completed for all current and future employees. Additionally, any intern, volunteer, or potential employee particularly charged with the contact, care, or supervision of children is also mandatory.
The scope of such background screening may include but is not limited to criminal checks, sex offender checks, driving record checks, and other judicial or other public record checks. Such screenings may take place at any time, including pre and post-employment or volunteer work.
If in the process of conducting checks something is found to be of concern, the Senior Pastor and Church Administrator will make a decision as it relates to the person’s continued or proposed service at PHBC.
Performance reviews will be completed each year during the third quarter for all paid staff. More frequent reviews may be given to newly hired individuals and to those who have been promoted during a given year. Special performance reviews of an employee may be conducted at any time when the staff member’s performance, good or bad, warrants special consideration.
Each performance review will be conducted to encourage two-way communication between employee and supervisor(s). The objectives of the annual review is to discuss past employment goals and ministry effectiveness, share future goals and determine the best ways for each employee to maximize their effectiveness in assisting PHBC in its mission of “helping people find and follow Jesus Christ.”
- The Administrative Deacons will conduct reviews of the Senior Pastor and Church Administrator. The Senior Pastor and the Administrative Deacons will conduct reviews of the exempt employees with the exception of the Facilities Manager.
- The Church Administrator and the Administrative Deacons will conduct the review of the Facilities Manager.
- The Church Administrator will conduct annual reviews of all non-exempt employees.
The first sixty days of employment shall be classified as a probationary period for non-exempt employees and exempt managerial staff. The first six months shall be considered a probationary period for non-exempt Pastoral and Ministerial staff. Periodic performance reviews will be written to evaluate the employment relationship during this probationary period. Employees may be terminated, without warning and for any reason, at any time during the probationary period. At all times, including the probationary period, employees are considered at will, and nothing in this policy should be construed to modify the at-will status.
Probational Employment Period—Pastoral and Ministerial Staff
Except for the Senior Pastor, all members of the pastoral team shall be called to candidate by the joint decision of the Senior Pastor, Administrative Deacons, and Deacon Board. After acceptance by a vote of the congregation, the first six months shall be a probationary period. This shall be a time for closely observing the minister’s work, securing the most effective adjustment, or terminating the employment if performance does not meet the required standards. During this provisional employment period, the team member does not have the right to appeal dismissal, which would be given by the Senior Pastor and the Administrative Deacons.
Parma Heights Baptist Church encourages an open channel of communication for the expression of employee concerns. There may be circumstances where an employee has unsuccessfully attempted to resolve concerns or complaints. Every effort should be made to resolve difficulties and misunderstanding based on Scripture. Consequently, the grievance procedures to be followed are based on the Matthew 18 principle. With the exception of sexual or other illegal harassment, each step must be taken before proceeding to the next level. If you have a concern, follow these procedures:
- “If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over.” The first step is to go directly to the person with whom you have a concern. Attempt to resolve the matter without involving other people.
- “But if he will not listen, take one or two others along, so that every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.” The next step is to take the matter to the Church Administrator. If the problem involves this individual, you should contact the Senior Pastor.
- “If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church.” If, after you consult the Church Administrator the matter is still unresolved, you may take your complaint to the Deacon Board. The Board will meet within two weeks of receiving a written request for a hearing. The Deacon Board is the final arbitrator in resolving complaints or concerns.
Specifically for Grievances with the Pastoral and Ministerial Staff. The Senior Pastor is responsible to maintain harmony among the team. If differences arise among the team, the Senior Pastor will be responsible to resolve such differences. If differences arise between the Senior Pastor and a member of the team which cannot be resolved, an appeal may be made to the Administrative Deacons. The Deacons will then have the authority for resolving any difficulties or problems among the Pastor and the team. Any attempt to use other members of the congregation for support of one’s position will automatically result in termination of employment.
There is one exception to the first step of resolution. An employee who believes that he or she has been the victim of harassment has a duty to report it immediately to the Church Administrator.
When taking an issue to the Administrative Deacons, be aware that the employee is not entitled to have an attorney present at the meeting. This process for resolving conflicts is conciliatory in nature and is intended to resolve issues within the body of Christ.
Separation from Employment
When an employee ends employment with Parma Heights Baptist Church, the procedures listed below should be followed:
All employees who voluntarily resign from PHBC are requested to give at least ten working days’ notice, excluding any vacation days, of their intention to terminate employment. Written notice should be given to the Church Administrator and Senior Pastor.
Support Staff and Facilities Manager are expected to meet with the Church Administrator for an exit interview. Pastors and Ministers are expected to meet with the Senior Pastor and/or Administrative Deacons for an exit interview.
During the exit interview, employees will complete any necessary paperwork. The Business Manager will advise employees of benefit issues and other issues that relate to separation.
Employees shall return any ministry-owned materials and equipment, such as the employee handbook and any off-site documents, keys, equipment or supplies. Upon termination of employment, all access to the computer systems and the building shall end. Vacation time will be paid to an employee separating from employment in accordance with the vacation policy. An employee’s termination date shall be the last day of employment in which the employee was present and working. Unless otherwise prohibited by law, benefits shall cease on the employee’s termination date.
The Administrative Deacons shall determine compensation regarding an annual salary, hourly wage, and the amount. Annual reviews shall be made and monetary increments considered based on cost of living, work performance, and the church’s financial condition. The scriptural basis for compensation is for the church to support their paid staff adequately and expect them to be very productive. “…for the laborer is worthy of his hire” (1 Tim. 5:18).
On each payday you will receive a pay stub reflecting the pay earned the two weeks prior to the payroll week. Payday is normally every other Tuesday of the year.
Payroll Tax Deductions for Pastoral and Ministerial Staff
Pastors and Ministers are exempt from mandatory income tax withholding and subject to self-employment tax. Eligible employees wanting to participate under this IRS rule need to complete a Pastor’s Income Tax Withholding request. Such election passes the responsibility for withholding to the employee since such income is now considered self-employment income for income tax and social security tax purposes. Such employees may elect to withhold taxes by self election and simply need to inform the Business Manager of an amount to be withheld.
PHBC requires the use of direct deposit for its employees. Employees must submit a direct deposit bank account so that payroll funds can be distributed by the most efficient and least costly means. Any exceptions to the direct deposit requirement must be approved by the Church Administrator.
Payroll Time Cards
Hourly employees are responsible for completing time cards. These must be submitted on a biweekly basis to the Business Manager.
Hourly employees should report all time actually worked and indicate vacation, sick, or other time away from the office.
Parma Heights Baptist Church is required by law to make regular deductions for taxes imposed by government units. These deductions must be made from all paychecks, and the amounts deducted are turned over directly to the applicable government units. Additionally, PHBC will make certain deductions from your paychecks at your request, i.e. IRA, annuity, credit union, etc.
Under the Social Security Acts, your yearly taxable earnings are reported to the Social Security Board, and your benefits are computed upon them. Parma Heights Baptist Church is required to deduct the tax on your salary. The amount deducted is sent to the federal government for credit to your account.
By January 31 of each year, PHBC will provide a W-2 statement showing the total amount of your taxable earnings in addition to all deductions taken from your pay during the previous year.
Medical Insurance Benefit
All full-time employees qualify for health care coverage through the church’s carrier (family or individual). A co-pay of ten percent of the monthly premium is paid by the employee, which is deducted each bi-weekly pay period. Information regarding the nature of coverage can be secured from the Business Manager.
Medical and Dental insurance is provided through various programs to include medical and major medical coverage. Managerial staff shall be eligible for coverage immediately upon their employment. Other newly hired full-time employees are eligible for medical insurance after two weeks of employment.
Insurance plan specifics can and do change annually. Employees are encouraged to examine the plan carefully every year during Open Enrollment.
Beginning in 2015, PHBC will add a Health Savings Account (H.S.A.) benefit that would enable pre-tax contributions to go into an account that would be used to pay medical and dental expenses using pre-tax income. To encourage participation by employees, PHBC will provide matching dollar for dollar for contributions up to $750 for individuals/$1,500 for families. This benefit is subject to annual approval by the Administrative Deacons.
Annually the Open Enrollment period for employees is June 1 through July 1, or when a life change event occurs.
All employees upon reaching the age of 65 are required to enroll in Medicare once they become eligible and must notify their employer of their eligibility. Upon reaching age 65, PHBC will become a secondary payer of medical benefits to the extent that the law allows.
The church will contribute two percent of the non-exempt employee’s cash salary to a non-tax retirement account of the employee’s choosing during the first year of their employment. This contribution will increase one percent per year to a maximum of five percent per year.
Retirement benefits shall begin six months after employment for all employees.
For exempt employees, the amount paid shall be the rate established by the Administrative Deacons on the basis of cash salary, housing (or rental value), and utility allowance.
Vacation time may be used for vacation, personal business, or additional sick leave once the allotted sick days have been exhausted. Vacation time may be used for scheduled absences and should be scheduled and approved by the employee’s supervisor. Non-exempt employees and the Facilities Manager need to have vacation time approved by the Church Administrator at least 24 hours in advance.
Scheduled days off for Pastoral Team members shall be scheduled and coordinated by the Senior Pastor to insure adequate professional staff is available for ministry. The only exceptions are times of the denominations regional and national conferences. The approved vacation schedule for the current calendar year will be furnished to the Administrative Deacons. Consideration for the number of Sundays off during vacation should be given. Number of years of service will be based on a calendar year beginning January 1.
The time of the Senior Pastor’s vacation shall be coordinated and scheduled with the Administrative Deacons.
In order that employees derive the fullest benefits desired from vacation, the employee must take at least one week of eligible vacation in consecutive days if at least ten days of vacation time has been earned. An employee may use vacation and holidays together to satisfy the “one week of vacation” requirement. No cash payment will be given in lieu of vacation time.
Dates of vacation for all employees shall be recorded in the personnel files. Accrued vacation must be taken within the designated calendar year and may not be carried over unless prior approval has been obtained from the Administrative Deacons.
Sick leave may be used only for health care appointments, personal illness or the illness of a close family member. A close family member includes a parent, child, or spouse of the employee or a parent or child of the employee’s spouse. Accumulated sick leave will not be paid to employees when they leave employment with PHBC.
Sick leave may be accumulated up to ninety days.
If an employee exhausts all sick leave and is subsequently ill, the employee will generally be required to use available vacation time or personal days. Unless the illness qualifies under the Family and Medical Leave Act, employees are generally not permitted to take unpaid time for illness when vacation time is available.
While vacation time can be used for illness once sick leave has been exhausted, an employee may not use sick leave for anything except personal illness, the illness of a personal family member, or for a qualifying Family and Medical Leave Act event.
Eligible employees that have been actively employed for twelve months and worked an average of 25 hours a week are eligible for Medical Leave. Eligible employees may request Medical Leave under FMLA but total leave cannot exceed twelve weeks per year.
The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) entitles eligible employees of covered employers to take unpaid, job-protected leave for specified family and medical reasons with continuation of group health insurance coverage under the same terms and conditions as if the employee had not taken leave. Eligible employees are entitled to:
- Twelve workweeks of leave in a twelve-month period for:
- the birth of a child and to care for the newborn child within one year of birth;
- the placement with the employee of a child for adoption or foster care and to care for the newly-placed child within one year of placement;
- to care for the employee’s spouse, child, or parent who has a serious health condition;
- a serious health condition that makes the employee unable to perform the essential functions of his or her job;
- any qualifying exigency arising out of the fact that the employee’s spouse, son, daughter, or parent is a covered military member on “covered active duty;” or
- Twenty-six workweeks of leave during a single twelve-month period to care for a covered service member with a serious injury or illness if the eligible employee is the service member’s spouse, son, daughter, parent, or next of kin (military caregiver leave).
Eligible employees requesting leave must make a written request for leave thirty days in advance if the event is foreseeable and as soon as possible for unforeseeable events.
Upon completion of leave granted under FMLA, employees will be reinstated to their original position or equivalent position for which the staff member is qualified with equivalent pay, benefits and other terms of employment. If a returning employee is medically unable to perform in the same capacity when he or she left, PHBC will do its best to transfer the employee to a position with the most suitable work, if available.
PHBC allows an excused leave of up to twelve weeks for the birth or adoption of a child. Within the twelve weeks, PHBC provides two weeks of paid time off, specifically for a Parenting Leave. In addition, any unused vacation days, sick days, and personal days may be used. When all accrued time off has been used, the remainder of the excused leave will be unpaid. PHBC will pay the employees’ portion of their church provided health insurance premium (if applicable) during the entire time off. Employees will not be eligible to receive holiday pay during such leave or accrue vacation time. If possible, the employee should arrange the leave or anticipated leave at least thirty days in advance so that the supervisor can properly cover the duties of the employee. Any Parenting Leave runs concurrently with the Family Medical Leave Act.
Parma Heights Baptist Church will grant vacation, sick leave and personal leave on January 1 of each calendar year in accordance to the following schedule:
Full-Time Employees Non-Exempt
|Vacation||Sick Leave||Personal Leave|
|1-5 years||Two weeks||One day per month||Five days per year|
|6-14 years||Three weeks||or a max. of 15 days||(non-accumulative)|
|15+ years||Four weeks||Annually|
Full-Time Exempt Employees
|Vacation||Sick Leave||Personal Leave|
|1-4 years||Three weeks||One day per month||Two days per year|
|5-9 years||Four weeks||or a max. of 15 days||(non-accumulative)|
|10+ years||Five weeks||annually|
Part-Time Non-Exempt Employees
|Vacation||Sick Leave||Personal Leave|
|1-5 years*||Two weeks||5 days*(employees working
less than 20 hrs/week)
|One day* (working less
than 20 hrs/week)
|6-14 years||Three weeks||10 days* (working more
than 20 hrs/week)
|Two days* (working more than
|15+ years||Four weeks||same as above|
*(based on average hours worked per week)
Part-time employees will receive holiday pay if the holiday falls on a day they would normally be scheduled to work, to equal the average number of hours of their workday.
Jury Duty and Court Subpoenas
Serving on a jury or testifying as a witness when called is a civic duty, and as such is fully recognized and supported by Parma Heights Baptist Church. The following policy governs the amount of time off and method of payment while serving on jury duty or testifying as a witness.
It is the employee’s responsibility to notify the Church Administrator as soon as a formal notice regarding jury duty is received. This will allow him to arrange for coverage during this time period, if necessary. Employees scheduled to work while serving on jury duty should return to work after being excused from jury duty.
When an employee is subpoenaed, advance notification should be made through your supervisor. Appearances in court under subpoenas and/or out of civic responsibility (such as an eyewitness) will normally be considered excused time with pay. Time for appearance in court for personal business will be the individual employee’s responsibility. Normally, vacation days will be used for this purpose.
When a death occurs in the family of an employee or the spouse of an employee, PHBC will provide funeral leave. Pay will not be granted for any day in which the employee is otherwise compensated (such as a paid holiday) or for any day the employee would otherwise not have been at work. Funeral leave is provided as follows:
|Spouse, child, parent, parent-in-law||Up to 3 days|
|Grandparent, grandchild, sibling||Up to 2 days|
|Aunt, uncle, niece, nephew||Up to 1 day|
Employees may use, as necessary, the maximum number of days granted under this policy. If additional time is needed, employees may use personal days or any available sick or vacation days. Vacation time or personal days may be used to attend funeral services of persons not included in this funeral leave provision.
The Administrative Deacons may approve individual exceptions.
General Leave of Absence
Parma Heights Baptist Church recognizes that there may be times when an employee needs to be absent from work and the time is not covered by vacation, sick leave or family and medical leave. Under such circumstances, an employee may request a leave of absence without pay. If you need to be absent for five or more working days, you must submit a written request to the Church Administrator before beginning the leave, stating the reason for the leave. Any leave of absence that is approved must be reported to the Administrative Deacons and Chairman of the Deacon Board.
All general leaves of absence must be approved in advance by the Church Administrator or Senior Pastor. In the event the Senior Pastor is requesting a Leave of Absence (LOA) the leave must be approved by a majority vote of the Administrative Deacons. An initial approved leave of absence cannot exceed thirty days.
Before an approved leave of absence, specific arrangements must be made to continue the various benefit programs such as group health plan. PHBC has no obligation to provide holiday pay, vacation benefits, etc. during an approved leave of absence. Performance reviews may be deferred for a period equal to the length of the leave. General leaves of absence are unpaid leaves.
A general leave of absence may be granted for a personal, medical, or other purpose. PHBC is under no obligation to grant a general leave. A general leave does not guarantee holding the position open, since it may be necessary to fill the position. If you do not return to work at the end of an approved leave, you will be considered terminated.
A leave of absence does not affect your continuity of employment. Your original date of employment remains in effect.
If you are absent for more than five working days without an acceptable reason, such as verified sickness, vacation or authorized leave of absence, you will be considered as having voluntarily terminated your employment.
Travel Expense Reimbursement
Mileage allowance for the use of private automobiles necessary for conducting church business will be reimbursed. The rate per mile will be reviewed annually and set by the Church Administrator. Other reimbursable expenses will include air, rail, or public transportation, lodging, meals, parking fees, tolls, and other miscellaneous expenses. These will be reimbursed only if they are serving in an official capacity. All expenses stated above must be approved for payment by the Senior Pastor or Church Administrator. The Chairman of the Deacon Board approves the Senior Pastor’s expenses.
Books and Supplies Expense
Pastoral and Ministerial staff are able to purchase materials used for the edification of their ministries. Such purchases are subject to funds allocated in their budget for such use. Books that are to be used for one’s own library will be the responsibility of each minister. Magazines, periodicals, other expendable items and supplies will be furnished by the church.
Cell Phone Reimbursement
PHBC will provide a monthly cell phone allowance to full-time employees whose job performance and regular duties would benefit from being supplied with a personal cell phone. Compensation is determined through the advisement of the finance committee and approval of the Administrative Deacons. The amount may vary based upon position and responsibility and budget amount availability.
Administrative Services and Use of Office Equipment
Ministry Assistants are employed to assist the pastoral team and carry on the necessary duties to maintain the church’s ministry. Work must be submitted in proper time to be included in their normal work schedule. Other services must be coordinated through the pastor’s secretary. Any personal use of office equipment or supplies by any member of the team is to be reimbursed.
Pastoral and Ministerial Housing Allowance
Full-time Pastors and Ministers who own or rent their home are not required to pay federal income taxes on the amount of their compensation that their employer designates in advance as a housing allowance, to the extent that the allowance represents compensation for pastoral or ministerial services, is used to pay housing expenses, and does not exceed the fair rental value of the home (furnished, plus utilities). Housing related expenses include mortgage or rent payments, utilities, repairs, furnishings, insurance, property taxes, additions, and maintenance. If a home is being purchased, the down payment may also be included in the housing allowance. It is incumbent however, on the pastor or minister to ensure that they file the necessary tax forms to the IRS for proper allowances to be credited and for the pastor or minister to consult their own personal tax professional for proper accounting.
Annually the pastor or minister applying for such allowance should submit a detailed worksheet on the allowance accounting to the Administrative Deacons for review and approval.
In addition to the individual Job Description, there is a deeper commitment to ministry. The following covenant is necessary to develop spiritual unity among the church staff.
We commit ourselves to unfailing loyalty to each other, where we will never criticize each other in front of other individuals. If we hear such criticism, we will defend one another to the best of our ability, but also share that criticism with each other in private; we will not seek to provoke negative feelings on anyone’s part, but will support one another in a spirit of love and prayer.
2. Professional Competence
We know that each person on the church staff has been trained professionally for ministry and will respect that professional competence in his or her particular field of ministry, offering helpful suggestions when the situation warrants.
We commit ourselves to be totally honest with one another in sharing both joys and frustrations and will not let hurt feelings or irritations go undiscussed. We commit ourselves to resolve any differences as soon as they arise.
4. Moral Integrity
We are committed to upholding the Bible’s teaching describing Christian moral stands. Inappropriate conduct includes, but is not limited to heterosexual activity outside of marriage, homosexual or lesbian sexual activity, sexual harassment, use or viewing of pornographic materials or websites, sexual abuse or improprieties toward minors as defined by Scripture and Federal or State law.
5. Collegiality of Spirit
We affirm the Scripture’s teaching, “Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves.” (Rom. 12:10). All of us share together in the responsibility of ministry and work, as well as in the satisfaction of a job well done. No team member will try to exert himself above another, be in competition with one another, or seek to gain favor from the congregation or groups above the rest. We will draw on each other’s resources and will seek each other’s counsel as a part of confirming God’s direction in our respective areas of ministry.
We commit ourselves to be on time and, unless very unusual circumstances arise, we will honor those commitments to each other and to the congregation.
7. Respect for Each Other’s Time
Recognizing that there are many pressures relating to ministry, we will respect each other’s time and do everything possible to meet deadlines so as to not put undue pressure on church staff.
8. Personal Devotional Life
We will maintain a “quiet time” of personal devotions on a daily routine for our own edification and walk with Christ.
I have received, read, understood and affirm the Parma Heights Baptist Church Personnel Policy & Procedures Handbook that includes Our Theological Foundations, and Team Covenant.
I further affirm and enter into this Covenant of my free will and promise to uphold all of its policies and the Mission and Vision of Parma Heights Baptist Church.
Employee Name (printed) Date