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 2007 Kids Volunteer Handbook of Grace Covenant Church of Austin, Texas.
Welcome to your new position at Grace Covenant Church. The staff and lay leaders of the church are excited about your gifts and skills, and we look forward to your service as part of the church’s ministry team.
At Grace, we sincerely believe that God equips all believers to serve in ministry. In 1 Peter 2:9, God calls His followers “a royal priesthood;” 1 Corinthians 12:1 says that “God gives (spiritual gifts) to each one, just as He determines.” We sometimes use the term “volunteers” as a convenient way of referring to those who serve, but what we’re really talking about is people who lovingly respond to Jesus’ call to serve in His ministry.
Therefore, it’s important to keep in mind that during your service at Grace Covenant Church, you’re representing both our congregation and the Lord as you live out every aspect of your life. As you minister to others here, as well as in your private life away from church, you should be striving toward living in a way that serves as an example to others of your own deepening relationship with God.
Section 1: Introduction
Kingdom Kids exists to minister to children ages 0-6th grade. The purpose of this ministry is to help introduce children to Christ, mature them in Christ, and disciple children to live a life that reflects the image of Christ. In short, our purpose is to raise up children that Know Christ, Grow in Christ and Live like Christ.
The mission of Kingdom Kids is to equip every child to be a minister.
Statement of Faith
1. The Holy Scriptures
We believe in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments as the verbally inspired Word of God. Inspiration is God’s superintending of human authors so that, using their own individual personalities, they composed and recorded without error His revelation to man in the original autographs. All Scriptures are authoritative and without error in any category of knowledge, including science and history, and are of supreme and final authority in all matters about which they speak. We believe the Scriptures are to be interpreted in a literal and normal way. This means to consider history, grammar, context, and harmony with other Scriptures as guidelines for interpretation. We believe that the Holy Spirit guides the believer to understand the Bible. We believe that God’s revelation to man is complete, and that He speaks to man primarily through the Scriptures (Matt. 5:18; John 10:35; 2 Tim. 3:16-17; 2 Pet. 1:20-21; Rev. 22:18-19).
2. The Godhead
We believe in one Triune God, existing in three persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, eternal in being, identical in essence, equal in power and glory and having the same attributes and perfection (Deut. 6:4; 2 Cor. 13:14).
3. The Alienated Condition of Man
We believe that man was created in the image and likeness of God, but that in Adam’s sin the race fell, inherited a sinful nature, became alienated from God, and is totally unable without God’s grace to regain its former position (Gen. 1:26, 3:1-24; Rom. 3:23, 5:12; Eph. 2:12).
4. The Person and Work of Christ
We believe that the Lord Jesus, the eternal Son of God, became man, without ceasing to be God, having been conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary, in order that He might reveal God and redeem sinful man. We believe that He accomplished our redemption through His death on the cross as a substitutionary sacrifice. We believe that our redemption and salvation is guaranteed to us by His literal physical resurrection from the dead (John 1:1, 14, 18; Luke 1:35; Rom. 3:24-26, 4:25).
We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ is now in heaven, exalted to the right hand of God, where, as His people’s High Priest, He fulfills the ministry of intercession and advocacy. (Heb. 1:3, 3:1, 7:23-25, 9:24, 12:2; 1 John 2:1-2).
5. The Personality of the Holy Spirit
We believe the Holy Spirit is a person who convicts the world of sin, righteousness and judgment. He also, in the present age, regenerates believers in Christ, baptizes them into the church, the body of Christ, indwells them permanently, seals them unto the day of redemption, bestows spiritual gifts upon each one, and fills those yielded to Him (John 3:8, 14:16, 15:26-27, 16:7-15; 1 Corinthians 12:4-11, 13; Eph. 4:30, 5:18).
We believe that salvation is a gift of God in grace and is received by man through personal faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, whose precious blood was shed for the forgiveness of our sins (John 1:12; Eph. 1:7, 2:8).
7. The Eternal Security of the Believer
We believe that all those who have genuinely put their trust in Christ as Savior and Lord have become new creations in Christ and are kept eternally secure by the power of the Holy Spirit and the intercession of Jesus Christ (John 10:27-30; Rom. 8:1, 29-30, 38-39; Eph. 4:30; Heb. 7:25; 1 Pet. 1:5).
8. The Church
- We believe that the Church is the universal bride and body of Christ. This body is composed of all “born again” believers in Christ, regardless of denominational affiliation or church membership (1 Cor. 12:4-27; Eph. 1:22, 5:23-30).
- We believe that the local church is an assembly of professed believers in Jesus Christ who have the privilege and responsibility to voluntarily join together in one locality for the purpose of equipping each believer to be obedient to God through vital, personal and corporate experiences: with Him, in His Word, with one another, and in evangelism.
- We believe that the local church is God’s primary means of leading people to Christ and presenting each believer mature in Christ (Matt. 16:18-19, 28:18-20; Acts 2:37-47).
- We believe that the Lord Jesus instituted the ordinances of baptism and the Lord’s Supper to be observed by all believers until His return (Matt. 28:19-20; 1 Cor. 11:23-26).
9. The Second Coming of Christ
We believe in the personal imminent coming of the Lord Jesus Christ for His own, the Church, and His subsequent pre-millennial return to earth to set up His Kingdom (Zech. 14:4-11; 1 Thes.1:9-10, 4:13-18; Rev. 20:6).
10. The Eternal State
We believe in the bodily resurrection of all persons. Believers are to be resurrected to enjoy eternal life with God and unbelievers to experience judgment and then eternal suffering apart from God (John 5:28-29; 1 Cor. 15:52; 1 Thes. 4:16; 2 Thes 1:7-9; Rev. 20:4-6,21:1-8).
11. The Responsibility of Believers
We believe that all believers should seek to walk by the Spirit, not bringing reproach upon their Lord and Savior, and that separation from sinful pleasures and practices is commanded by God (Rom. 12:1-2; 2 Cor. 6:14, 7:1; Gal. 5:16, 25).
We believe that it is the obligation of every believer to witness by life and by word to the truths of Holy Scripture and to seek to proclaim the gospel to all the world (Acts 1:8).
We believe that it is the responsibility of all believers to remember the work of the Lord in prayer and to support it with their means as the Lord has prospered them (1 Cor. 16:2).
We believe that Scripture teaches that the local church shall have the priority in our giving (Acts 2:37-47; 1 Cor. 9:11, 16:1-2).
Open Door Policy
Kingdom Kids encourages all volunteers to provide input and suggestions concerning the ministry area in which they serve, as well as the overall operation and programs of the church.
Your input and suggestions will likely receive the timeliest attention and action if you initially bring your comments to the individual you report to. This first step of providing input is especially vital in situations where you have a problem with the person you report to. However, if for some reason that results in inaction or you don’t receive a response, you should approach the Children’s Pastor or any church leader —either an Executive Pastor or an Elder—to discuss your concern or suggestion.
This open door policy is important to increasing the quality of the church’s ministries, as well as for correcting problems that may exist in processes or relationships within areas of ministry. The church welcomes all input by volunteers, who should sense the freedom to voice any comments or concerns without fear of retribution or reprisal. We know it can seem difficult to initiate such conversations, but Jesus told us directly (for example, Matthew 18:15) that we should take the initiative to resolve such things.
As a volunteer serving Kingdom Kids and reaching out to those beyond the church, you agree to have the basic qualifications found in 1 Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:7-9: be “above reproach” so that the world will see, hear, and respond to the grace of Jesus Christ; and you agree to seek a careful, exemplary Christian lifestyle to encourage other believers and strengthen the church.
You desire and agree that the following statements describe your character as a Christian who desires to serve others and, therefore, covenant with the Lord that:
- I have made a commitment to Jesus Christ as my Lord.
- I will serve in harmony with the policies and statement of faith of our church.
- I support the church with my time, money, and loyalty, including participating in the ministries and worship services on a regular basis.
- I am known for a dedicated Christian life, according to the standards of God’s Word, and I purpose to put any sin out of my life so that my influence to others might be helpful and not a hindrance (Rom. 14; 1 Tim. 3; Titus 1).
- I am committed to unity, church teamwork, and biblical respect for church leadership (Phil. 2:1-4; Heb. 13:7, 17).
- I recognize, accept, pursue, and hold in highest regard the biblical instruction concerning family and marriage responsibility (Eph. 5:22-6:4; Col. 3:18-24; 1 Pet. 3:1-7).
- I will not use my volunteer ministry position to further my own interests.
- I will serve in my designated area for the period agreed upon and use my Bible and approved curriculum to prepare lessons in line with the beliefs of Grace Covenant Church.
- I will respect the privacy of the people I serve, and hold in confidence information obtained in the course of my service.
- I have received and will abide by the policies and procedures stated within the Volunteer Handbook.
Section 2: Orientation
Ministry Connection and Placement
Kingdom Kids generally follows these guidelines when it comes to inviting volunteers to serve in the ministries and programs of the church.
- Potential volunteers will attend the church for six months before they can serve as a leader with children or youth. In some cases, as determined by ministry or program leaders, potential volunteers may serve with an already approved volunteer leader.
- All potential volunteers will complete a Volunteer Application, Ministry Covenant, and Spiritual Gifts Inventory.
- Potential volunteers will be interviewed informally and a ministry position that matches the volunteer will be found. The church desires to recruit and place volunteers according to their skills, talents, experience, and spiritual gifts so that volunteers find meaningful ministry opportunities that enrich their lives.
- Potential volunteers who desire to work with children and youth will be required to undergo a background check. All information related to background checks will be held in strictest confidence.
New volunteers will undergo an orientation to acquaint them with the church’s guidelines and procedures, their ministry position descriptions, and their working relationships.
As part of the orientation, you’ll receive a copy of this handbook, which contains the church’s guidelines for serving as a volunteer; you’ll be asked to sign a “Statement of Acknowledgment” noting that you’ve received and that you understand the material contained in the handbook. As mentioned earlier, you’ll also be asked to sign a Ministry Covenant.
You will typically be oriented to the specific area of ministry you’ll be serving in, as well as helping you understand processes and relationships within that area of ministry. In addition, you will talk through your ministry position description so that you understand the duties you’ll fulfill as a volunteer. The goal is to help you succeed as you give of your time, talents, and gifts to serve others.
A Kingdom Kids’ volunteer is described as any teacher, worker, or other person who serves in Kingdom Kids, including activities such as Sunday morning programs, AWANA, childcare, athletic activities, retreats, camps, lock-ins, etc.
Kingdom Kids uses ministry descriptions so that both volunteers and the church know what is mutually expected, and so that the volunteer can be held accountable to fulfill the responsibilities of the ministry position.
A ministry position description summarizes your duties and responsibilities and gives you important information about your area of service. Your ministry position will be provided and may be found in the Kingdom Kids Ministry office. Please read and study it carefully and discuss it with staff if you have any questions.
Please note that the church reserves the right to revise and update your ministry description from time to time, as it deems necessary and appropriate. Of course, if you’re currently in a position, you’ll certainly be informed about any changes; staff may also ask you to help evaluate revisions and improvements to your ministry position.
Kingdom Kids does keep files on volunteers. Your file is considered to be confidential information and only ministry staff has access to your file. Even that access is limited—only on a need-to-know basis. Of course, you may request to view your own file at any time.
Volunteer files typically contain the following types of personal information:
- Application for volunteer service.
- Spiritual gifts testing and inventories.
- Ministry position descriptions.
- Letters and other records of affirmation/appreciation.
- Documentation required by local, state, federal, and/or private regulatory agencies, including items such as background checks (such as for volunteers who work with children or teenagers).
Volunteers at Grace Covenant Church who work with children and youth (and other vulnerable groups) must submit to various screening procedures. The primary type of background check includes a Texas Department of Public Services Criminal Records Search.
In some cases, the church will perform a national database check. This searches electronic criminal files and record databases of government agencies, including sexual offenders’ registries. Manual records of some records may also be needed in states or counties that don’t keep electronic records.
A Social Security number search verifies an individual’s name, state, and last three addresses; this prevents people from providing false identification.
The results of all screening procedures are kept in strictest confidence. Most of these procedures include certain rights for you as a volunteer, such as disclosure of the results.
Kingdom Kids is strongly committed to recruit and equip volunteers for all levels of ministry positions, according to their skills, abilities, talents, experiences, and spiritual gifts. Our church follows the guidelines established by federal Equal Employment Opportunity laws. We treat all volunteers equally without regard to race, color, gender, national origin, veteran status, or mental or physical disability.
This is important, even if you have no concerns about your own opportunities, because as a volunteer you need to remain alert to avoid words or actions that could be seen as racially, sexually, ethnically, or disability based. All workers are entitled to be treated with respect, and the church won’t tolerate disrespect for personal dignity.
Of course, this policy isn’t simply motivated by legal or policy guidelines. The Bible clearly says that every Christian can do ministry in some way! Each person has important work to do in the church, regardless of age, gender, education, or any other perceived “difference.” Consider these verses:
For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. (Eph. 2:10)
If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully. (Rom. 12:7-8)
Clearly, all Christians have God-given abilities, skills, passions, and gifts that God desires us to use to build up the body of Christ and to glorify God. Whether your ministry is big or small, whether you serve in front of crowds or complete your duties with no one else around, God has a place where He wants you to serve. And He has built the church so that others also have places to serve as well. Every position and every person carrying out a ministry deserves your respect.
Americans With Disabilities Act
Kingdom Kids encourages and wholeheartedly accepts people with disabilities to serve in volunteer positions. The church works to comply with the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) by taking the following actions:
- Considering all individuals with disabilities for ministry service using the same criteria that are used for volunteers without disabilities.
- Considering volunteers with disabilities for supervisory roles using the same criteria that are used for individuals without disabilities.
- Taking steps to make church facilities barrier-free and accessible, according to appropriate state and federal statutes.
- Making scheduling and other adjustments to reasonably accommodate volunteers with disabilities.
- Educating other volunteers that individuals with disabilities who serve as volunteers in the church should not be discriminated against.
Section 3: Behavior
Personal use of the telephone may not be a big issue if your ministry position only requires an hour or two of service at one time. However, if your position calls for longer hours with less frequency, using the phone might become more of a concern.
Generally, volunteers are discouraged from making personal calls on church telephones, except in the case of emergency.