Friday, August 24, 2018

Hey Fletch … I am the XP at a restart church. We have made staff and organizational changes in order to reach our community for Jesus Christ. We just hired a staff member whose spouse works with a parachurch organization. She is requesting an office at the church. I have a number of concerns about giving her an office, such as nepotism, favoritism, and Workers’ Compensation issues. 

It appears that I am the only one in leadership with theses concerns. Two questions: First, am I overly concerned about this issue? Second, if the leadership approves of the spouse having an office, can you suggest some enforceable and sensible boundaries?

DRF—There are lots of issues to work through and you have raised many of them. What kind of procedures does the church need to consider others to use an office space? Will there be insurance or security issues? For example, if the parachurch ministry works with kids and the leader had minors in the church office, are you liable in a case of sexual abuse? You need some policy and procedures in place so that giving the office does not show favoritism. 

You should be concerned about these things, so I wouldn’t say that you are overly concerned. Others may not have the fiduciary sense that you do, so they don’t see the issues. What does the board think? Is this squarely in line with the mission and vision of the church? Is there a term and a time for reconsideration? None of these issues are insurmountable, but they need to be worked through.