XPastor tries to help churches by providing some of the essentials for running a church—items like job descriptions, employment applications, review forms and policies. Below is the Employee Manual of Northwest Bible Church of Dallas, Texas from November, 2000.
Welcome to the staff of Northwest Bible Church. You are important to the overall mission of the Church, and we trust that you will find your employment both pleasant and rewarding.
The purpose of this Personnel Manual is to:
- Establish and maintain a uniform system for managing personnel matters.
- Comply with applicable employment laws.
- Provide the standards, terms, and conditions of employment with Northwest Bible Church.
It is further intended, by adoption and periodic amendment of these policies and procedures, that this Manual will serve as a guide for Northwest Bible Church employees in their routine work activities and relationships. Serving as an employee of a church is in many ways unique from other types of employment. While the benefits and responsibilities outlined in this handbook are common to most occupations, there are added elements in a church setting. Employees are expected to live and conduct themselves in a manner pleasing to our Lord. This expectation creates a work environment that is void of the language, jokes, ridicule of Christianity, etc. that is common in many work settings. We believe it makes Northwest Bible Church a nicer place to work.
The church and all its employees recognize that all employees are hired at-will, meaning that they may quit their jobs at any time, for any reason. Similarly Northwest Bible Church may conclude a relationship at any time, for any reason. All terms and conditions expressed in this Personnel Manual are for informational purposes only and are not to be understood or construed to constitute contractual terms and conditions of employment. The Church reserves the right to modify this Personnel Manual at any time and may modify and amend any and all terms and conditions of employment as the Church deems appropriate. We hope that you will be pleased with the benefits and responsibilities outlined in this handbook, and that your employment here will be long and fulfilling.
Authority of the Policy
The policies contained in this Manual have been approved by the Elder Board and carry the full authority of Northwest Bible Church. All staff members, in all situations, will follow them. The Senior Pastor or Executive Pastor must approve any variations from these policies.
Administration of the Policy
Any questions regarding the carrying out of these policies will be referred to the Human Resources Assistant. The policy interpretation of the Human Resources Assistant, in consultation with the Minister of Administration, will be considered final.
How You Were Selected
You were selected to work as a member of the staff because you had indicated an interest in employment here, you have the skills necessary for your particular job, and both you and those responsible for hiring sought God’s leadership in your selection. The Church seeks to employ the best-qualified candidates for existing vacancies. An effort is made to seek out those employees who have had good work performances in previous jobs and are conscientious and apply themselves in their work. Your attitude and spirit at work are vitally important.
The Founding Years—In January of 1951, a small group of families, with S. Lewis Johnson as pastor, began meeting together as the Independent Presbyterian Church of Dallas. During the founding years, our church had three pastors: S. Lewis Johnson (1951-1954), Robert Ferguson (1954-1957), and John McComb (1959-1965). During the interim, prior to the call of Pastor McComb, both Dr. Howard Hendricks and Dr. Don Campbell served as interim pastor. Under the leadership of these men, the congregation grew to a size of 250 members. Portions of the present property were obtained in 1953 and 1962. The current Chapel building was constructed in 1955. In 1954, the church’s Doctrinal Statement was modified and simplified from the original Westminster Confession. Infant baptism was no longer required. We believe that by water baptism a believer is publicly identified with his Savior; that the mode should be a matter of the individual’s choice; and that infants of believing parents may be dedicated to the Lord, but not baptized. The church’s name was changed in 1955 to Northwest Presbyterian Church (Unaffiliated). In 1958, the church began a missions program by supporting George and Dora Winston in Belgium, Helen McKinney in Honduras, and Walden Howard in the United States. Northwest Presbyterian experienced another transition when, after a six-year pastorate, a portion of the congregation left with Pastor McComb to form a splinter congregation. Lou Schneider was called in 1966 to serve as pastor.
The Transition Years (1996-1974)—Under the ministry of Pastor Schneider, the congregation and ministry grew from an average attendance of 150 to over 650. The refurbishing of the Chapel building in 1970 and the construction of the CE Building and Gym in 1973 enabled larger numbers to gather for worship and instruction. With the growth came expansion of staff and ministries. In February of 1967, the church adopted the Faith Promise Plan as its approach to raising missions support. The favorable response of the body enabled an increasing outreach through the NBC missionary family. In March of 1971, our church’s name was changed to Northwest Bible Church. Pastor Jim Rose was called in August of 1975 to fill the vacancy left by Pastor Schneider’s resignation.
The Growth Years (1975-Present)—Over the past years, NBC has experienced growth on many fronts. The size of the congregation has expanded from 650 to its present size of an average of 1,800 in the two worship services. The ministries of NBC under Pastor Rose (1975-1987), Pastor Yohn (1989-1990), and Pastor Clark (1992-1998), Neil Tomba (2001- present) have greatly expanded both within the body and in outreach to our community.
Our missions family has grown to 57 missionary families serving in 23 countries around the world. The physical size of the campus has expanded to meet the demands of ministry with the addition of an auditorium in 1978, a Family Life Center in 1989 and the opening of a new Worship Center and a Preschool Building in the summer of 1998.
Employment Policies Equal Opportunity
Northwest Bible Church’s employment policy is to provide equal employment opportunity for non-ministerial positions to all qualified employees and applicants without regard to race, color, sex, age, or national origin. Ministers may be single, married, or divorced, male or female. Pastors must be male, married or single, and meet the biblical classification of the Elder. It is the desire of the Church that all employees are committed Christians, and this commitment is required for most positions. All employees with a “high level” of public contact (ministerial, professional, administrative, secretarial, and clerical positions) must be in agreement with the Church Doctrinal Statement and must indicate that agreement in writing annually.
Definitions of Employment Status
Full-time—Full-time employees work 30 hours or more per week. Only full-time employees are entitled to benefits of the Church, as outlined in the Benefits section.
Part-time—these employees regularly work less than 30 hours per week.
Exempt (salaried employees)—these employees are paid a fixed dollar amount per pay period and are not hired for specific hours.
Non-Exempt—these employees are paid for specific hours worked. They are paid hourly for actual time worked and compensated for extra time worked.
Classification of Staff
The staff is classified according to the following categories: Ministerial Staff are exempt employees hired as official “Ministers” and “Pastors” of Northwest Bible Church and given the title “Minister” or “Pastor.” Support Staff are all non-ministerial employees. They include six categories:
1. Custodial Support Staff consists of the staff who keeps the facilities clean and ready for church functions.
2. Food Service Support Staff is made up of those who prepare meals and clean the kitchen facilities for church functions.
3. Maintenance Support Staff includes those persons who assist in keeping equipment working properly.
4. Office Support Staff maintains the support functions of the administration, education, music, pastoral, and media ministries of the church.
5. Security Support Staff is responsible for the safety of those attending functions in the church buildings. This staff is responsible for securing the buildings when they are open for meetings.
6. Seminary Intern Staff consists of those persons attending seminary and working part- time. These staff are supervised by their respective department head.
Generally, staff meetings are held every Wednesday of each month for Ministerial Staff. Part time Ministers are required to be present at the meetings on a rotating schedule. An all-staff luncheon is generally held the third Tuesday of each month. Attendance at the appropriate meetings is required of all full-time employees and encouraged for part-time employees.
Introduction Period for New Employees
The introductory period for new employees lasts up to 90 days from date of hire. During this time, you have your first opportunity to evaluate the Church as a place to work, and your supervisor has the first opportunity to evaluate you as an employee. As during your regular employment, you and the Church each have the right to terminate employment without advance notice and without cause. The introductory period involves frequent evaluation of performance. Upon satisfactory completion of the introductory period, you will become a regular employee. All staff members, regardless of classification, status, or length of service, are expected to meet and maintain church standards for job performance and behavior.
Important events in each employee’s history with the Church will be recorded and kept in the employee’s personnel file. Applications for employment, employment tests, salary information, performance reviews, change of status records, commendations, and corrective action warnings are examples of records maintained. Information contained in an employee’s or former employee’s personnel file or which pertains to any employee reference is not to be given to any unauthorized individual. Upon your request and with your supervisor’s approval, you may set up a time with the Human Resources Assistant to review the content of the file. The records may not be photocopied nor have any portions removed. You may submit any written supplement you feel appropriate for the file.
You will receive a performance appraisal from your supervisor on or near six months of employment. Thereafter, your performance will be formally evaluated on an annual basis. The performance appraisal under the practice developed by the Executive Pastor and along with your supervisor is to discuss your overall performance and summarize both formal and informal performance discussions held throughout the review period. It will review your strengths and also point out ways to improve your performance.
Should you decide to leave the Church’s employment, please notify your supervisor in writing of your intentions as soon as possible. It is required that you give at least two weeks notice, four weeks for Ministerial Staff. Failure to do so will result in your forfeiting earned, but unused, vacation pay. Employees who leave the employment of the Church, regardless of circumstance, without having completed 12 months of continuous service, will forfeit vacation pay. An exit interview will be conducted by Human Resources. All church property must be returned (i.e. keys, charge cards, books). On return of these items, arrangements will be made to issue your final paycheck.
Wage and Salary Policies General Wage/Salary Policies
Your salary is based on several factors including education, work experience, and responsibilities of the position. All salaries follow a salary guide based upon national surveys. We have various ranges in Minister/Support Staff. Each employee has an opportunity to increase his or her salary by merit raises or promotions. Job descriptions are evaluated annually, and salary increases are based on performance and not solely on length of service or cost of living. The Executive Pastor reviews and approves staff recommendations for salary adjustments. Your salary, like your personnel records, is a confidential matter between you and your supervisor and should not be discussed with other employees or unauthorized individuals. If you have any questions about your pay, please consult your supervisor. All Ministerial and some Professional Administrative staff are exempt from overtime pay.
Overtime Pay and Compensatory Time
Hourly employees are eligible to receive overtime compensation at the rate of one and one-half (11⁄2) times their regular rate of pay for hours worked in excess of forty hours each work week (Wednesday through Tuesday), in accordance with applicable State and Federal fair-employment laws and regulations. When given practical advance notice, employees will be expected to work overtime when the job requires it. Failure to work overtime (unless excused) is cause for dismissal.
For Support Staff, various payroll deductions are made each pay period to comply with Federal and State laws pertaining to taxes and insurance. There are some, such as those governed by Federal and State Garnishment laws, which are involuntary. Deductions will be made for the following: Federal Income Tax, withholding Social Security (FICA), and other items designated by the employee. At the end of each calendar year, you will be supplied with your Wage and Tax Statement (W-2) Form. This statement summarizes your income and deductions for the year. If you have any questions regarding these deductions, please contact the Payroll Department.
Receipt of Paycheck
Paychecks will be issued directly to the employee’s bank by mandatory direct deposit, and the paycheck stub will not be issued to anyone other than the employee, unless the employee authorizes such in writing. Terminated employees will receive their final paycheck by direct deposit after their exit interview and keys and other issued property have been turned in to the Human Resources Office.
The normal work year consists of 26 pay periods. Employees are paid every other Tuesday. The pay period begins on Wednesday and ends on Tuesday. Hourly employees are to turn in time sheets with their supervisor’s signature to the Human Resources Department every Wednesday by noon.
Employee Benefits: Pay and Time General Provisions and Applications
Northwest is committed to providing the best, most equitable and cost-effective benefits for its employees. Likewise, employees should recognize that the total cost to provide the benefit program described herein is a significant supplement to each employee’s pay, and should, therefore, be viewed as additional compensation, paid in various benefit forms, in their behalf. When employees work a regular scheduled workweek of less than full-time, 30 hours, benefits will not be applicable. Benefits costs have risen sharply over the years, particularly in the area of insurance plans. These include such mandatory benefit plans as Workers’ Compensation Insurance and Social Security, whose rates are controlled by law rather than competitive insurance providers. Discretionary benefits are those selected and controlled by the Church based on such consideration as cost, operational efficiency, and desirability of benefit provision. Where costs of discretionary insurance benefit plans exceed the Church’s interest, ability, or willingness to pay the full premium rate to maintain the benefit, employees may be required to share in the cost to continue the insurance plan coverage. The Church reserves the right to add, eliminate, or in other ways modify any discretionary benefits described herein or attached to this Manual where and when it is deemed in the Church’s best interest to do so. Under most circumstances, there will be ample opportunity to provide employees with advance notice of such modifications and to consider the effect of the decision.
Employees and the Church are required to contribute toward Federal Social Security benefits from the first day of employment unless, as an ordained minister, they have applied for and received government-approved exemption. Social Security is not deducted from the paycheck for Ministerial Staff, and Ministerial Staff are required to pay all Social Security taxes on their own. Social Security (FICA) is deducted from all paychecks for Support staff. The Church pays the employer’s share for Support Staff. Both the employee’s and the Church’s contribution rates are established by law and represent a percentage of earnings. Social Security provides four basic benefit provisions consisting of retirement income, disability income, death benefits, and entitlements. These are subject to individual circumstances too detailed for explanation here. Booklets explaining these details are available at your nearest Social Security Office.
Income Tax is deducted from all Support Staff paychecks according to the IRS tax schedule based on income earned and deductions claimed by the employee on his/her Form W-4. Additional taxes may be withheld if requested and need to be indicated on the W-4. Income Tax is not deducted from Ministerial Staff paychecks unless requested by the minister and indicated on his/her W-4. Ministerial Staff are responsible to file their own Income Tax payments when a tax liability is due.
Contributions are made to the Northwest Bible Church Employees Retirement Plan for eligible employees of the Church. This retirement plan is a Defined Benefit Plan, and its assets exist as a separate trust fund apart from the Church. Employees become eligible for the plan when they reach thirty (30) years of age and have worked two (2) consecutive calendar years of a minimum of 1,000 hours in each year. Employees are 100% vested in the plan when they are both eligible and have been an employee for seven (7) years, with a minimum of 1,000 hours in each year. The actual benefit to be paid at retirement is based on several factors including the employee’s Social Security benefit. A statement of each employee’s projected benefits and actual accrued benefits to date will be distributed annually. Northwest Bible Church adopted a Retirement Income Account Plan in 1997 with Variable Annuity Life Insurance Company (“VALIC”). This plan allows you to invest your money in different funds and can be done through a payroll deduction. The Church matches fifty cents on the $1 up to 1% of salary.
A vacation day is any day (except holidays, sick days, etc.) authorized for an employee to be absent from work with full pay. Vacation days are given on an accrual system to active full-time exempt and non-exempt employees, based on the following schedule:
Years of Service Support Staff Ministerial Staff
0-4 10 days 3 weeks
5-9 15 days 3 weeks
10-20 20 days 4 weeks
20 + 25 days 5 weeks
Part-time staff is given the following vacation:
- Part-time Ministers: 2 weeks.
- Part-time Support Staff: 1 week-based on hours worked.
Any number of available vacation days may be taken by the proper arrangements with approval from your supervisor and with backup personnel available. All employees must wait until the 90-day introductory period is over before any vacation days are given.
The Church offices and buildings are closed on the following days. These are considered paid holidays for all regular full-time employees:
Holiday Date Observed
New Year’s Day January 1
Good Friday Friday before Easter Sunday
Memorial Day Last Monday in May
Independence Day July 4
Labor Day First Monday in September
Thanksgiving Day Fourth Thursday in November
Thanksgiving The day after Thanksgiving
Christmas Eve December 24
Christmas Day December 25
Floating Determined each year
Regular part-time employees will receive holiday pay if they are normally scheduled to work the day on which a holiday falls. When it becomes necessary to schedule work on a recognized holiday, the personnel concerned will receive an alternate day off or extra pay. A holiday which falls on Saturday will be observed on the preceding Friday; a holiday which falls on Sunday will be observed on the following Monday. Any holiday that occurs during an employee’s authorized vacation period entitles him or her to an extra day to be taken consecutively with the vacation or taken before the end of the vacation year. Holiday pay will not be received if an employee is on a leave of absence for any reason.
Active full-time non-exempt employees will accrue and be entitled to sick time (an absence from work due to personal illness). Paid sick time accumulates at the rate of one-half day per month of employment, but is not available to a new staff member until completion of six months of employment, at which time three days are immediately available. An employee must be on the payroll the first working day of the month to accrue sick time in order for the month to count toward time accumulation. Employees will be paid at their regular pay rate for sick time taken. If an employee has accumulated more than six days at the end of any one church fiscal year, they will be paid for the excess over six days on the first payroll of the next year at their current regular pay rate. The six days remaining will carry over to the following fiscal year. Illness within the immediate family (spouse, child, or parent) requiring the presence of the staff member will be treated the same as illness of the staff member.
The following conditions must be met in order to receive pay for sick leave: Staff members must promptly report to supervisor by telephone the cause of absence due to illness or injury. If absent for five or more continuous working days, a doctor’s release is required before returning to work and receiving sick pay. A staff member who becomes ill or injured while on vacation will be paid only for the vacation. Should the incapacity continue after the vacation period, sick pay may commence. Sick pay will not be in addition to compensation provided by the Church in the form of insurance or Workers’ Compensation. The Church may, in such situations, pay the difference between such compensation and the amount required to assure the staff member of full pay for the period involved under sick pay. No sick time accrues during any type of leave of absence. Any sick time accumulated in excess of six days will be paid at termination. An employee will not be paid for sick time accumulation of six days or less. Any employee who uses sick days for purposes other than illness, disability, or non-job injury is subject to disciplinary action or termination.
Other Paid Time Off
Bereavement: All full time employees are entitled up to three days off with pay in the case of the death of an immediate family member. Immediate family is defined as spouse, child, parent, brother, sister, spouse’s immediate family, and grandparents. Your supervisor must be contacted promptly if a death in the immediate family occurs. This type of absence is not considered for purposes of determining overtime. The supervisor may extend the number of allowable days off, depending upon circumstances; however, any extension will be without pay.
Jury Duty: Staff members are encouraged to carry out their civic responsibility for jury or witness duty when called and may serve without loss of pay. Regular full-time or regular part-time staff will receive regular pay in addition to jury or witness fees. Report for jury duty as required and advise your supervisor of the expected length of time to serve. If excused early, you are expected to return immediately to Church duties. Upon completion of jury or trial witness duty, confirm to your supervisor the length of jury duty performed, which will entitle you to be paid in addition to amount paid to you by the court. Verification of jury duty may be required.
Employee Benefits: Insurance and Other Disability Insurance
The Church provides disability insurance for all active full-time employees. The insurance pays benefits of 60% of basic monthly earnings, up to a maximum of $5,000 per month. The benefits begin ninety (90) days after the disability prohibiting work is incurred and continue as long as the employee is totally disabled up to age 65.
Northwest Bible Church pays the entire amount of the Workers’ Compensation insurance premium that provides benefits to employees who experience injury or illness in connection with Church employment. Eligibility automatically begins on the first day of employment. State law governs benefit entitlements. When an employee is injured at work, the employee and supervisor must immediately complete an injury report form and submit it to the Human Resources office, regardless of how minor the injury is.
The Church provides personal medical insurance for all full-time active employees. The current plan is an HMO Choice Plus plan administered through United Health Care. Individuals become eligible for the plan at the beginning of the first month after they are hired or promoted to full-time status. The Church currently pays the entire cost of insurance for employees. Employees may elect to add their qualified dependents to the plan through a payroll deduction of $15 per pay period for one dependent and $30 per pay period for two or more dependents. The Church pays the remaining insurance costs for dependent coverage. Any dependents for whom coverage is not elected at the time of eligibility must qualify medically if the employee wishes to add their coverage at a later date. Upon termination of employment, employees may elect to continue their medical insurance under the Church plan for eighteen (18) months according to the guidelines of COBRA. The employee must pay the Church the entire cost of the insurance for the employee and his or her dependents, plus an administrative fee, by the first of each month.
All full-time employees are eligible to be covered for dental insurance under UDC Dental Care Plan, which the employee pays for through a payroll deduction at cost. For more details as to deductibles and covered expenses, consult your Dental Plan Manual.
Employees enrolled in the Church Medical Insurance plan receive $30,000 of Life Insurance as part of the benefits included in the plan. Upon termination of employment, an employee has the option of converting the life insurance to a personal policy. Additional Life Insurance benefits are available under the Northwest Bible Church Employees Retirement Plan for employees eligible to participate in it. Those benefits are sixty (60) times the employee’s current monthly pension benefit.
At the level of Minister or above, Sabbatical Leave is allowed.
Leave of Absence
Medical—a full-time employee who has had at least one year of continuous employment with the Church may make an application for a medical leave of absence. Determination of the date an employee shall discontinue work and the length of the medical leave will be a joint decision by the employee, his/her physician, his/her supervisor, and the Business Office. The medical leave of absence will include all unused allowable sick leave as well as unused earned annual vacation time. To complete the medical leave, leave without pay may be granted. Leave without pay for periods of one month or more shall proportionately reduce the yearly allowance for annual vacation and sick leave. The Church will continue to provide the regular health and life insurance coverage for the employee during the medical leave of absence. Should the employee be declared medically disabled and eligible to begin receiving disability insurance benefits, he or she would be terminated as an employee, and all benefits would cease.
The position occupied at the time of the commencement of the medical leave of absence may or may not be the position that would be available at the conclusion of the medical leave period.
A medical leave of absence may be granted for an employee to care for the medical needs of a family member as well as his or her own personal medical needs.
Non-Medical—a full-time employee who has had at least five years of continuous employment at the Church may make an application for a non-medical leave of absence. Determination of the date an employee will discontinue work and the length of the leave will be a joint decision by the employee, his or her supervisor, and the Business Office. The maximum allowable length of the leave will be one year.
The leave of absence will include all unused allowable sick leave as well as unused earned annual vacation time. To complete the non-medical leave, leave without pay may be granted. Leave without pay for periods of one month or more will proportionately reduce the yearly allowance for annual vacation and sick leave and the employee must reimburse the Church each month for the cost of health and life insurance coverage at the COBRA rates. Failure by the employee to reimburse the Church for the insurance promptly each month will result in termination of the employee. The position occupied at the time of the commencement of the non-medical leave of absence may or may not be the position that would be available at the conclusion of the leave period.
Standards of Conduct Confidentiality
Some of the work done by Church employees is confidential. Discussing confidential material with individuals who are not employees or employees who do not have a need to know the information is prohibited.
Personal Appearance Standards
Employees are expected to present themselves during working hours in attire that is appropriate to their position and the nature of work performed. Employees having personal contact with visitors and Church members must dress in a manner appropriate to a professional business employee. Good taste and professionalism are expected. One should be particularly conscious of maintaining dress, grooming, and hygiene standards that present the image desired by and consistent with the doctrine of the Church. Employees who are in doubt or have questions about the specific personal appearance standards in their work area should consult with their supervisor. Any employee who appears for work in a manner that does not conform to Church standards may be required to return home to correct the situation, and the period of absence will be treated as unpaid leave.
Telephones are provided to add efficiency and to expedite Church communication. Personal calls of non-emergency, non-essential nature are discouraged and must be brief and to a minimum.
Employees are cautioned that the Church does not condone, nor assume any liability for, the practice of lending or borrowing money, or anything of monetary or personal value, between employees. Employees who voluntarily participate in such activity, or create these obligations, do so at their own risk. Employees have the right and obligation to report any un-ethical matters to their supervisor, Minister of Administration and Executive Pastor.
Absenteeism – An employee who is absent from work is responsible for promptly notifying his or her supervisor, either in person or by phone. Notification from someone other than the employee is permitted only when the employee is physically unable. Failure to notify the proper authority of an absence from work for three consecutive workdays will be considered a voluntary resignation.
Tardiness – Each employee is expected to be at his place of work and ready to work at starting time and to work until quitting time. Habitual tardiness or leaving early will be subject to disciplinary action and possible termination. You are asked to contact your supervisor each time you need to leave early or a tardy occurs or is anticipated.
It is the policy of Northwest Bible Church to maintain a harmonious, pleasant, and positive work-place environment, and thereby makes work relations an enjoyable experience for all. It is believed that this objective can best be achieved by establishing specific standards of undesired conduct that are likely to result in disciplinary action, and to make them known openly and frequently to employees. Examples of misconduct and unsatisfactory performance that may result in disciplinary action and/or termination:
- Destruction of, damage to, or unauthorized removal of Northwest Bible Church property or personal property of others.
- Inefficient or careless performance of job responsibilities or inability to perform duties successfully.
- Failure to promptly report a work-related injury or accident.
- Negligence or any action that results in injury to an employee, self, Church member, or visitor, or that endangers the health or safety of others.
- Intentional falsification of records required in the transaction of the Church ministries or business.
- Unauthorized signing of another employee’s time sheet or recording the time for another employee. Both employees may be subject to disciplinary action.
- Irregular attendance, repeated tardiness, unreported or unexcused absence, abuse of sick leave, overstaying a leave of absence without written authorization.
- Insubordination, including refusal or failure to perform assigned work or to follow instructions of authorized personnel; rude or discourteous conduct.
- Possessing or being under the influence of narcotics or drugs.
- Sleeping while on duty.
- Making malicious, false, derogatory statements or gossip that may damage the integrity or reputation of Northwest Bible Church, its ministry, or its employees.
- Misrepresentation or withholding of pertinent facts in securing employment.
- Improper use of Church telephones, email, or internet.
- Abuses of break time and/or lunch periods.
- Accepting gratuities or tips.
- Distributing or posting information that is detrimental or in conflict with the general interest and beliefs of the Church.
- Use of Church vehicles without prior approval, or unlawful operation of said vehicle.
- Possession, display, or use of explosives, firearms, or other dangerous weapons while on duty or on Church property.
- Encouraging or engaging in any work stoppage, slowdown, walkout, cessation of work, or any other activity designed to restrict or delay the ministry, operation, and services offered by the Church.
- Directly or indirectly, either for one’s personal benefit or for the benefit of any other person or organization, revealing any confidential Church or employee information.
- Discriminatory conduct or actions against any other person. Violation of any policy, rule, procedure, or practice established by the Church.
- Acts of moral turpitude or actions that bring disgrace to the ministry of Northwest Bible Church.
Internal Dispute Resolution
Each employee is required to address problems and concerns with his/her position, job description and work environment to her/his supervisor. If the supervisor does not adequately settle the issue, then the employee may jump one level above his/her supervisor. This is the final level for the vast majority of dispute resolutions. Example: an administrative assistant has a dispute with her/his minister; the first step is to discuss the issue with the minister and attempt to resolve the issue. If the issue is unresolved, the administrative assistant may take the issue to the department head.
Types and Progression of Discipline: Depending on the nature and circumstances of an incident, discipline will normally be progressive and bear a reasonable relationship to the violation. The types of discipline that may occur are as follows in general order of increasing formality and seriousness.
Verbal Reprimand: A verbal statement by the supervisor to an employee, usually pointing out an unsatisfactory element of job performance, is intended to be corrective or cautionary. A verbal reprimand informally defines the area of needed improvement, sets up goals for the achievement of improvement, and informs the employee that failure to improve may result in more serious actions such as probation.
Written Reprimand: As the next level of discipline, the supervisor will issue a written reprimand, with approval of the department head. A copy is sent to the Executive Pastor, Minister of Administration and the Human Resources office for placement in the employee’s personnel file.
Discharge: Employees should be aware that their employment relationship with Northwest Bible Church is based on the condition of mutual consent to continue the relationship between the employee and the Church. Therefore, the employee or the Church, unless bound by a written agreement, is free to terminate the employment relationship at will, with or without cause, and at any time. Recommendations to discharge an employee are to be made to, and authorized by, the employee’s supervisor, the Minister of Administration, and the Executive Pastor.
Time off for severe weather will occur only if Church officials declare the day to be a “severe weather” day. Determination of severe weather days is not up to individual supervisors. An employee not reporting for work due to weather conditions on days not declared a severe weather day may take a vacation day with his or her supervisor’s approval if such days are available. Employees reporting to work late due to severe weather conditions will be allowed a 2-hour grace period for reporting to work, if a severe weather day has been declared. Employees reporting to work before the conclusion of the grace period will receive a full day’s pay. Those arriving after the conclusion of the grace period will be paid for actual hours worked. If a severe weather day is declared after employees have reported to work, employees will be permitted to leave early with pay for a full day’s work.
Northwest Bible Church will not tolerate sexual harassment of employees either on or off Church property. A valid complaint of sexual harassment may lead to appropriate and strict disciplinary action, including termination. Sexual harassment involves not only unwelcome touching and demands for sexual favors, but also any unwelcome sexually-oriented behavior or comments that create a hostile or offensive work environment. Sexual harassment from supervisors, co-workers, members, building service personnel, or others who visit the Church must be reported immediately to your supervisor or Executive Pastor. The report should be made promptly to the appropriate person but only that person. He or she will pursue the matter immediately and all efforts must be made to protect the privacy and confidentiality of the individuals involved.
Leadership Lessons from General Ulysses S. Grant
“Help prevent your people from turning into bureaucrats by regularly reminding them that your organization’s rules and regulations are designed to provide guidance to intelligent human beings who use their heads, and are not intended for slavish obedience by automations.”
1.01 Employee Policies and Procedures
This church will employ the number of support staff to support the staff, Elders, and activities of the church where volunteer assistance is not practical. Responsibilities will be functionalized by specific ministry within the church. The pastors shall have authority to hire support staff as needed, as allowed within the approved budget.
Organizationally, all staff will report to their supervisor in the Elder approved Organizational Chart.
A job description must have been developed for each position prior to the initial interview of a potential staff member for this position. The contents of the description must be clearly explained and understood by the individual prior to him/her being hired for the position. A copy of the approved job descriptions will become part of his/her personnel file.
- Background Check
- Aptitude tests as needed
- Computer Literacy
- Financial Aptitude
- Myers/Briggs Type Indicator
- Questions for the Interview
- Approved Job Description
- Peacemaker Brochure
- Doctrinal Statement
- Employee Handbook
- Proposal Letter
The Board of Elders has unanimously agreed that Northwest Bible Church be a “Partner in Peacemaking” with Peacemaker Ministries.
Any claim or dispute arising from or related to employment shall be settled by mediation and, if necessary, legally binding arbitration in accordance with the Rules of Procedure for Christian Conciliation of the Institute for Christian Conciliation, a division of Peacemaker Ministries (complete text of the Rules is available at www.HisPeace.org). Judgment upon an arbitration decision may be entered in any court otherwise having jurisdiction. The parties understand that these methods shall be the sole remedy for any controversy or claim arising out of this agreement and expressly waive their right to file a lawsuit in any civil court against one another for such disputes, except to enforce an arbitration decision.
Northwest Bible Church believes that the Bible commands Christian organizations to make every effort to live at peace and to resolve disputes with employees in private or within the Christian church (Matthew 18:15-20; I Corinthians 6:1-8). Therefore, the church desires to settle issues by biblically-based mediation and, if necessary, legally binding arbitration.
Employee Signature: _____________________________________
Supervisor Signature: _____________________________________
Executive Pastor Signature:_________________________________
Financial Chain of Command
Each employee must see as his right and obligation to report any financial irregularity to his/her supervisor; if the supervisor does not adequately address the issue and the employee is not satisfied with the answer, then the employee must address both the Minister of Administration and the Executive Pastor. Northwest has never had a breech of financial integrity and we desire to stay above board. Every employee is the “eyes and ears” to financial integrity so that we are above reproach (bring any questions to the interview and initial agreement).
Employee Initial: __________________
Executive Pastor Initial: _____________
Sexual or Racial Harassment
Northwest Bible Church will tolerate no sexual or racial harassment. This includes inappropriate humor, comments, or physical contact. Each employee must see it as his right and obligation to report any behavior to his supervisor and th