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 Employee Handbook from Wildwood Church in East Moline, Illinois.
Thank you for your commitment to our team!
My desire is that the time we spend working together at Wildwood is challenging and rewarding. My hope is that you find Wildwood to be your favorite place to work!
It is a privilege to work together with people who share a common faith in Jesus Christ and a common commitment to the purpose of our church. I am grateful for the professional competence and loyalty each of our staff demonstrates to God and His work through Wildwood.
This handbook gathers helpful information regarding the way we do things at Wildwood. It is a combination of grease and glue … grease to lubricate our relationship and skills to joyfully work together; glue to keep us united and all going in the same direction as a team.
My prayer is that our work and ministry at Wildwood be God-honoring, effective, fulfilling, stretching and fun!
The purpose of Wildwood Church is to build people up in their faith, equip them to serve, and win people to Christ until we multiply by planting churches.
Based upon this purpose, we choose to abide by the church covenant contained within the Articles of Faith.
What You Can Expect From Wildwood
Wildwood Church believes in creating a harmonious working relationship between all employees. In pursuit of this goal, Wildwood Church has created the following employee relations objectives:
- Provide an exciting, challenging, and rewarding workplace and experience.
- Select people on the basis of skill, training, ability, attitude, and character without discrimination with regard to age, sex, color, race, national origin, marital status or a disability that does not prohibit performance of essential job functions.
- Review wages, employee benefits and working conditions regularly with the objective of being competitive in these areas consistent with similar ministry practices.
- Provide vacation, sick leave and holidays to all eligible employees.
- Provide eligible employees with health and retirement benefits.
- Assure employees, after talking with their supervisor, an opportunity to discuss any issue or problem with the Executive Pastor, the Senior Pastor or, if necessary, the Board of Elders.
- Take prompt and fair action of any complaint which may arise in the everyday conduct of our ministry, to the extent that is practicable.
- Respect individual rights, and treat all employees with courtesy and consideration.
- Maintain mutual respect in our working relationship.
- Provide buildings and offices that are orderly and safe.
- Keep all employees informed of the progress of Wildwood Church, as well as the ministry’s overall goals and objectives.
- Promote an atmosphere in keeping with Wildwood’s Purpose and Covenant.
What Wildwood Expects From You
All church employees and ministry volunteers are expected to work with the highest standards of Christian conduct. This includes personal integrity, honesty, discipline and Christ-like language. You are expected to maintain positive Christian attitudes and actions towards fellow employees, members of the Wildwood family, and guests. An employee’s demeanor is reflective not only of his/her personal character but reflects upon Wildwood Church and the atmosphere of ministry Wildwood wishes to set.
Confidential information is to be kept confidential. It is the policy of Wildwood that matters relating to members’, attenders’ or visitors’ personal lives will not be made a matter of public discussion or disclosure; nor will the general operations of the office or financial affairs be discussed outside the working environment. Gossip, murmur and complaints are inappropriate for Wildwood employees and ministry volunteers. Disputes, conflicts and differences of opinion will be handled within staff and/or supervisory reporting relationships or through disciplinary actions.
Open Communication Policy
Wildwood Church encourages you to discuss any issue you may have with a co-worker directly. If a resolution is not reached, please arrange a meeting with your supervisor or supervising pastor to discuss any concern, problem, or issue that arises during the course of your employment. Any information discussed in an open communication meeting is considered confidential. Retaliation against any employee for appropriate usage of open communication channels is unacceptable. Please remember it is counterproductive to a harmonious workplace for employees to create or repeat office rumors or gossip. It is more constructive for an employee to consult his/her supervisor or supervising pastor immediately with any questions.
Public and Wildwood Relations
The reputation of Wildwood greatly depends upon the quality of the relationships between Wildwood, our staff, members, attenders and the general public. Peoples’ impressions of Wildwood and their interest in getting involved in this ministry are greatly formed by the people who serve here. In a sense, regardless of your position, you are Wildwood’s ambassador. The more goodwill you promote, the more people will respect and appreciate you and the ministry of Wildwood Church.
Below are several things you can do to help give a good impression of Wildwood:
- Act competently and deal with people in a courteous and respectful manner.
- Communicate pleasantly and respectfully with other employees at all times.
- Be careful to follow up on questions promptly and provide professional replies to inquiries and requests.
- Take great pride in your work and enjoy doing your very best, as unto the Lord!
Outside Employment and Activities
In general, Wildwood does not seek to interfere with staff member’s off-duty activities. Employees may hold outside jobs or be involved in outside business, educational, community, political and charitable activities as long as they continue to meet established performance standards and such activities do not impact ministry interests, consume Wildwood Church resources, or create conflicts of interest. Employees are expected to devote full attention and energy to their employment at Wildwood.
In the above instances, Wildwood employees should make clear at all times that they are acting on a private, personal basis and not as part of Wildwood Church. Supervisor approval should be sought if any doubt exists regarding the appropriateness of employee’s involvement in outside activities.
However, Wildwood cannot tolerate off-duty conduct that impacts negatively on the church, either in terms of an employee’s individual work performance or the ministry interests of the church, including its reputation.
We encourage all employees to bring forward their suggestions and good ideas about how Wildwood can be made a better place to work, our operations improved, and our service to members and the larger church community enhanced. When you see an opportunity for improvement, please discuss it with your supervisor. She/he can help you present your idea to the attention of the individuals who will be responsible for possibly implementing it.
Whatever you do, put your whole heart and soul into it, as into work done for God, and not merely for men—knowing that your real reward, a heavenly one, will come from God, since you are actually employed by Christ. …” (Col. 3:23-25, Philllips Version)
Although we hope and pray our employment relationship together will be a long and rewarding one, our policy provides that all employees who do not have individual, written employment contracts for specific, fixed terms are considered employees-at-will. Thus, employment may be ended by Wildwood Church without notice, at any time, and for any reason, with or without cause. Employees, likewise, may terminate employment at any time, for any reason.
Employees may receive information about Wildwood Church or its employees, volunteers, contractors, and agents which is confidential in nature. This might include, but is not limited to, financial activities, compensation and benefits, giving records, business plans, and leadership decisions. Employees will not communicate such information in any way to a third party, and will not use such information in any way that is not directly connected with the duties and responsibilities of Wildwood Church. All requests for confidential information, including reference requests, should be referred to the church secretary or the Executive Pastor.
Interaction with the media about matters concerning Wildwood must be coordinated and consistent. The purpose of this policy is to provide a method for the consistent and considered release of official information.
It will be the policy of Wildwood Church that the Senior Pastor will be the spokesperson for the church on all matters of publicity or official comment external to Wildwood Church. No employee will originate or release any news which is concerned with the policies, doctrines, procedures or finances of Wildwood for use in the newspapers, radio, television or any other medium of communication. If you receive questioning related to such matters, refer the individual(s) to the Senior Pastor. If the Senior Pastor is not available, refer them to the Executive Pastor.
All church staff are ultimately responsible to the Senior Pastor, but the immediate reporting relationships are as follows:
Full-Time Called Pastoral Staff
All pastoral staff report to the Senior Pastor or the Executive Pastor.
Interns will be assigned and report to one pastoral staff member. In the accomplishment of specific tasks, pastoral interns will work in conjunction with or directly for other pastoral staff members.
Full and Part-Time Support Staff
Supervision of the non-pastoral staff has been delegated to the Executive Pastor. In the accomplishment of specific tasks, non-pastoral staff will frequently work in conjunction with or directly for a pastor.
Employment and labor notices are posted near employee gathering places as required by law. These notices summarize the rights of employees in employment and list the names and addresses of the various government agencies that may be contacted in the event that any person believes he or she has been discriminated against.
Pastoral staff is primarily responsible for seeing that Wildwood’s employment policies are implemented, but all members of the staff share in the responsibility for ensuring that by their personal actions the policies are effective and apply uniformly to everyone.
Any employees, including pastors, involved in discriminatory practices will be subject to termination.
Employees are encouraged to share the responsibility in keeping the facilities clean and neat at all times. Please report any problems in this regard to a custodian or a Building Committee member.
All Wildwood employees have the right to work in an organization free of discrimination, harassing conduct, and unwelcome sexual advances or requests for sexual favors. Whether on the job or off, verbal, physical or other communication or conduct by an employee, supervisor, church attendee, or vendor which harasses, disrupts, or interferes with another’s work performance or which creates an intimidating, offensive, or hostile environment will not be tolerated. All types of harassment whether based on sex, race, age, disability or other protected class are unacceptable work behavior and expressly prohibited.
Examples of Harassment
Harassment may include conduct (both overt and subtle) that demeans another person or shows hostility toward an individual because of a protected characteristic. Examples include but are not limited to: teasing, unwelcome advances, leers, repeated requests for a date, inappropriate touching, pinching or patting, practical jokes, offensive or lewd remarks, inappropriate personal questions, showing or posting inappropriate written material, pictures or cartoons, and offensive use of internet, email, voice mail, and other communication systems. Harassment may exist when:
- Submission to such conduct is made an explicit or implicit term or condition of employment.
- Submission to or rejection of such conduct is used as a basis for an employment decision affecting an individual.
- Such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment.
Employees who believe that they have been harassed or who have questions regarding this policy should immediately contact their supervisor, or the Executive Pastor. Other employees and/or supervisors who observe or suspect harassment are required to immediately, and without investigating, report such incidents. Questions and complaints will be investigated promptly and as confidentially as possible, with the objective being resolution of the matter. Employees should feel free to raise their concerns or make complaints. Retaliation for making a report, whether actual misconduct occurred or not, will not be tolerated.
Suspected Misconduct, Dishonesty and/or Fraud
Like all organizations, Wildwood Church is faced with the risks that come from wrongdoing, misconduct, dishonesty and fraud. Wildwood must be prepared to manage these risks, and their potential impact, in a professional manner.
What is Misconduct, Dishonesty, and/or Fraud?
For purposes of this policy, misconduct, dishonesty, and fraud include but are not limited to:
- Acts which violate Wildwood Church’s Standards of Conduct Policy within this employee manual.
- Theft or other misappropriation of assets, including assets of Wildwood, our customers, suppliers or others with whom we have a business relationship.
- Misstatements and other irregularities in company records, including the intentional misstatement of the results of operations.
- Forgery or other alteration of documents.
- Fraud and other unlawful acts.
Wildwood Church specifically prohibits these and any other illegal activities in the actions of its employees, managers, pastors, and others responsible for carrying out the organization’s activities.
It is the responsibility of every employee to immediately report, without investigating, suspected misconduct or dishonesty to the Executive Pastor or Senior Pastor. Supervisors, when made aware of such potential acts by subordinates, must immediately report such acts to the Executive Pastor or Senior Pastor. There will be no retaliation against any employee or other reporting individual because that individual, in good faith, reported the suspected fraud.
Due to the important, yet sensitive nature of the suspected violations, effective professional follow-up is critical. Supervisors, while appropriately concerned about “getting to the bottom” of such issues, should not in any circumstances perform any investigative or other follow-up steps on their own. All relevant matters, including suspected but unproven matters, should be referred immediately to those with follow-up responsibility.
Responsibility and Authority for Follow Up and Investigation
All investigations of alleged wrongdoing will be conducted in accordance with applicable laws and church procedures through the Board of Elders.
The Senior Pastor and the Executive Pastor have the primary responsibility for all investigations involving Wildwood Church and its various subsidiaries, unless the matter is completely turned over to the Board of Elders. The Board of Elders will create an investigative team.
Properly designated members of the investigative team will:
- Have free and unrestricted access to all company records and premises.
- Have the authority to examine, copy and/or remove all or any portion of the contents of files, desks, cabinets, and other storage facilities (whether in electronic or other form) without the prior knowledge or consent of any individual who might use or have custody of any such items or facilities when it is within the scope of investigative or related follow-up procedures.
- Report back to the Board of Elders, Senior Pastor and Executive Pastor regarding the status of the investigation. Appropriate action will then occur with the individuals involved. Actions may range from no action to termination, and/or criminal charges.
- Neither the existence nor the results of investigations or other follow-up activity will be disclosed or discussed with anyone other than those persons who have a legitimate need to know in order to perform their duties and responsibilities effectively.
- All inquiries from an attorney or any other contacts from outside of the church, including those from law enforcement agencies or from the employee under investigation, should be referred to the Executive Pastor, unless the Board of Elders has taken full control of the situation. In that case, all contacts should be referred to the Chair of the Board of Elders.
Wildwood Church is confident that as a result of the mutual selection process undertaken, your employment will prove to be beneficial to you and to Wildwood. We look forward to having you join us.
Wildwood carefully selects our employees through written applications, personal interviews and reference checks. After all available information was considered and evaluated; you were selected to become a member of our team!
This selection process helps Wildwood find and employ individuals who are concerned with good stewardship of their gifts and skills and who desire to actively contribute to the ministry at Wildwood.
Employee Background Check
Prior to becoming an employee of Wildwood Church, you were subject to a background check. A comprehensive background check may consist of prior employment verification, professional reference checks, education confirmation and criminal history.
Wildwood may conduct a pre-employment criminal check on those applicants for positions that may involve close, unsupervised contact with the church community or the general public. When appropriate, the criminal record is checked to protect Wildwood’s interest and that of its employees, members and the public.
Wildwood Church reserves the right to require a prospective (has employment offer) or current employee’s participation in a health examination to determine their ability for performing the essential job functions. All such health exams shall be paid for by the church.
Your first ninety (90) days of employment at Wildwood Church are considered an Introductory Period. This Introductory Period will be a time for getting to know your fellow employees, your supervisor, pastoral staff and the tasks involved in your job position, as well as becoming familiar with Wildwood’s ministry. Your supervisor will work closely with you to help you understand the needs and processes of your job.
This Introductory Period is a “getting acquainted” time for both you, as an employee, and Wildwood, as an employer. During this Introductory Period, Wildwood will evaluate your suitability for employment, and you can evaluate Wildwood as well. Please understand, however, that completion of the Introductory Period does not guarantee continued employment, as employment is always at-will. You are free to terminate your employment at any time, with or without reason, and Wildwood may choose to terminate your employment at any time, with or without reason.
At the end of the Introductory Period, your supervisor will discuss your job performance with you. This review will be similar to the job performance review that is held for regular full-time or part-time employees on an annual basis.
A former employee who has been rehired after a separation from Wildwood of more than one (1) year will repeat the Introductory Period during their first ninety (90) days following rehire.
Employee’s Withholding Allowance (W-4)
In order to receive your pay in a timely and accurate manner, you will need to complete an Employee’s Withholding Allowance Certificate (W-4 form). Every employee must complete this form at the beginning of their employment as required by the IRS. You have the option to change your withholding status as often as you choose.
Immigration Law Compliance (I-9)
All offers of employment are contingent on verification of your right to work in the United States. During your first week you will be asked to provide original documents verifying your right to work and, as required by federal law, to sign Federal Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification Form. If you at any time cannot verify your right to work in the United States, Wildwood Church may be obliged to terminate your employment.
Employees hired to work on a regular basis for an indefinite period of time are classified as “regular” employees. Such employees may be either full- or part-time.
Regular Full-Time Employee
An employee, whether pastoral staff or non-pastoral staff, who works at least forty (40) hours per week is considered a regular full-time employee. Unless otherwise specified, the benefits described in this Employee Manual apply only to full-time employees. Failure to maintain a workweek of forty (40) hours will result in a loss of benefits.
Regular Part-Time Employee
An employee, whether pastoral or non-pastoral staff, who works less than forty (40) hours per week is considered a regular part-time employee. If you are a regular part-time employee, please understand that you are not eligible for certain benefits described in this Employee Manual, except as granted on occasion by the Board of Elders.
From time to time, Wildwood may hire employees for specific periods of time or for the completion of a specific project. An employee hired under these conditions will be considered a temporary employee. The job assignment, work schedule and duration of the position will be determined on an individual basis.
Normally, a temporary position will not exceed one (1) year in duration, unless specifically extended by a written agreement. Summer employees, interns and seasonal employees are considered temporary employees.
A temporary employee does not become a regular employee by virtue of being employed longer than the agreed upon specified period.
Temporary employees are not eligible for benefits described in this Employee Manual, except as granted on occasion, or to the extent required by provision of state and federal laws. Those temporary employees classified as “non-exempt” (see the section titled “Non-Exempt Employees” below), who work more than forty (40) hours during any workweek, will receive overtime pay.
Persons covered by the overtime provisions of state and federal laws. These employees are required to keep accurate time records, and will receive overtime pay according to state and federal laws.
Note: See Wage and Salary Policies in the section of this Employee Handbook titled “Compensation” for a full description of overtime payment policies.
Persons not covered by the overtime provisions of state and federal laws. These pastoral, administrative and supervisory employees are not legally entitled to receive overtime pay or compensatory time off.
Regular office hours are 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.
Hours of Work
Depending on whether you are a pastoral or non-pastoral, full-time or part-time staff person, your hours may differ from regular office hours.
Full-Time Pastoral Staff
- The regular workweek is at least 5 days (50+ hours) and extends Monday through Sunday.
- Full-time pastoral staff will normally take off one full day from Monday through Friday and frequently part or all of Saturday.
- Each Pastor is expected to keep regular hours, arrange exceptions with the Executive Pastor or Senior Pastor, and keep administrative staff informed of whereabouts and availability during normal office hours.
The regular workweek extends Monday through Sunday. Pastoral Interns will coordinate a schedule with their supervisor.
Full-Time Program and Support Staff
Normal work hours are essentially the same as the regular office hours, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, unless specifically scheduled otherwise and approved by the Executive Pastor.
Part-Time Program and Support Staff
Normal work hours are 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, unless specifically scheduled otherwise and approved by the Executive Pastor.
Standard Work Hours
- A partial day away may not be taken because forty hours have been accrued by skipping lunch hours or working additional hours on scheduled workdays or weekends, (e.g., Employees may not work extra hours during the workweek or begin early on Friday in order to leave early on Friday).
- Hourly employees may not exceed their forty-hour weekly work commitment without prior approval of an Executive Pastor.
- If your position requires work hours outside the established standard, you will be required to meet with the Executive Pastor to address individual issues.
Lunch and Rest Breaks
Generally, full-time nonexempt employees are scheduled to work eight hours daily with a required unpaid thirty minute lunch break. Part-time nonexempt employees who work more than five hours a day will also receive an unpaid thirty minute meal break. Full-time nonexempt employees receive two paid fifteen minute rest breaks in each eight hour day. Full-time employees are allowed to combine their two rest breaks and lunch break for an extended lunch break. Employees who work through rest breaks may not leave work early and will not be paid additional compensation. Exempt employees are entitled to lunch and breaks as is appropriate.
Severe Weather and Emergency Conditions
In the event of severe weather conditions or other emergencies, the Executive Pastor or his delegate may decide to close the building for the remainder of the day. As such, your supervisor or a pastor will notify you as soon as possible. No loss of pay will occur as a result of early dismissal for this reason. Likewise, if you report to work and find that the building is unexpectedly closed due to an emergency, no loss of pay will occur.
If you are part of the custodial staff and your supervisor asks that you remain at work to complete assigned work duties after Wildwood has closed because of severe weather conditions or another emergency, you will be paid at time and one half for the remaining hours that you work beyond the announced closing time.
Any employee who was on a previously approved leave day during a declared emergency shall not be charged leave for the emergency period.
Job Descriptions and Objectives
Each staff position shall have a job description in sufficient detail to give meaningful focus and direction to the activities of each employee. These descriptions shall include “other duties as assigned.”
Each member of the pastoral staff shall also develop annual objectives that relate to and are consistent with the job description and the objectives of Wildwood Church.
Any staff member at Wildwood who participates in the creation of copyrightable works, including new ideas or concepts, musical or dramatic work, messages or books, studies or curriculum, literary material, content and visible elements of a web page, artwork and graphics, video materials, computer programs, and other creative works of every kind and nature will be doing so for the sole benefit and ownership of Wildwood Church, which are made with Wildwood resources, including the compensation for time.
Any right, title, and interest in and to all copyrightable works created within the context of employment with Wildwood belong to Wildwood Church. Creative works used or intended to be used by Wildwood Church, or creative works created with Wildwood resources, will be assumed to have been created within the context of employment, and with Wildwood resources and compensation, unless specifically stated to Wildwood in writing at the outset of the creation of the work that it is being created outside of the context of employment with Wildwood, and is not being created with any Wildwood Church resources. Employees may address their Intellectual Property questions to the Executive Pastor.
Personnel Records and Administration
The task of handling personnel records and related personnel administration functions at Wildwood has been assigned to the Executive Pastor. Questions regarding insurance, wages, and interpretation of policies may be directed to the Executive Pastor.
Your Personnel File
Keeping your personnel file up-to-date can be important to you with regard to pay, deductions, benefits and other matters.
Please be sure to notify the Executive Pastor as soon as possible if you have a change in any of the following items:
- Legal name
- Home address
- Home telephone number
- Person to call in case of emergency
- Number of dependents
- Marital status
- Exemptions on your W-4 tax form
- Professional License
Upon experiencing a family status change, please notify the Executive Pastor within fifteen days for benefit modifications, if necessary.
You may see information which is kept in your own personnel file if you wish, and you may request and receive copies of all documents you have signed. Please make arrangements with the Executive Pastor. Access to the personnel files is limited to the Senior Pastor and Executive Pastor.
Your Medical Records File
All medical records, if any, will be kept in a separate confidential file. Wildwood maintains this information in the strictest confidence and may not use or disclose medical information about an employee without the employee first having signed an authorization form permitting such use or disclosure.
This Employee Handbook is designed to answer many of your questions about the practices and policies of Wildwood Church. Feel free to consult with your supervisor for help concerning anything you don’t understand.
Standards of Conduct
Discretion in the personal, as well as professional lives of the Wildwood Church staff is fundamental to both spiritual integrity and the opportunity for spiritual ministry to the congregation in the service of the Lord.
Paul beautifully states that nothing should be allowed to compromise our integrity in Ephesians 5:1-12, 15-16:
Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
But among you there must not even be a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person—such a man is an idolater—has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient. Therefore, do not be partners with them.
For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord. Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. For it is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret …
Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. (NIV)
In the light of the Word of God and the social and cultural milieu of our day, the following standards are applicable to all Wildwood Church staff. Failure to observe any one or more standard(s) as interpreted by the Board of Elders will be grounds for discipline and may lead to termination.
Standard #1: The personal conduct of staff members shall avoid every appearance of indiscretion, and each staff member shall live a life of personal and spiritual integrity. Patterns of behavior which are morally questionable shall be carefully and meticulously avoided.
Standard #2: When possible, private counseling sessions with members of the opposite gender should occur within the normal office hours of the church, and/or only when other members of the staff are in proximity to the counseling location.
Standard #3: Unmarried staff members shall be diligent in their dating practices to avoid any circumstance that could compromise their Christian testimony and spiritual integrity.
Standard #4: In the event an inappropriate affection begins to develop, the affected staff member shall immediately report such to the Executive Pastor or the Senior Pastor. Such accountability shall insulate the staff member from grievous harm and allow the pastor an opportunity to minister to the staff member with support, care and love.
Standard #5: Wildwood Church staff shall conduct their financial matters in such a way as to honor Jesus Christ, Wildwood Church and themselves, thus living above reproach and avoiding the temptation to compromise their integrity. Excessive debt shall be avoided. Timely payment of obligations shall be the norm. In the event a staff member begins to experience financial disability, such shall be immediately reported to the Executive Pastor or the Senior Pastor to allow the pastor the opportunity to minister to the staff member with support, care and love.
Successful working conditions and relationships depend upon successful communication. Not only do you need to stay aware of changes in procedures, policies and general information, you also need to communicate your ideas, suggestions, personal goals or problems as they affect your work.
In addition to the exchanges of information and expressions of ideas and attitudes which occur daily, make certain you are aware of and utilize all Wildwood methods of communication, including this Employee Manual, bulletin boards, discussions with your supervisor, memoranda, staff meetings, newsletters, training sessions, church bulletin, and ministry email.
Office Management, including purchasing, policies, equipment, space, supervision of staff, etc., is under the direction of the Executive Pastor. All ordering and expenditures shall gain approval by the Executive Pastor.
Personal preferences for handling a pastor’s call should be made known to the secretaries and the pastor’s administrative assistant. Promptness and courtesy should always be the norm in answering and conversation.
The church secretary is responsible for planning the office workload. The secretary will assign projects to other support staff and volunteers as seems prudent. All major projects need to be turned in to the secretary with as much lead time as possible, at least two weeks in advance of needing them, allowing two additional weeks if they require custom printing. Regular projects need enough lead time to guarantee the best possible outcome. Bulletin information is due by Wednesday noon.
Computers, Electronic Mail and Voice Mail Usage Policy
Wildwood makes every effort to provide the best available technology to those performing services for the church. In this regard, Wildwood has installed equipment such as computers, electronic mail, and voice mail. This policy is to advise those who use our office equipment on the subject of access to and disclosure of computer-stored information, voice mail messages and electronic mail messages created, sent or received by Wildwood’s employees with the use of Wildwood’s equipment. This policy, which includes usage of the internet, also sets forth guidelines on the proper use of the computer, voice mail, and electronic mail systems provided by Wildwood Church.
Incidental and occasional personal use of company computers and our voice mail and electronic mail systems is permitted. Wildwood property, including computers, electronic mail and voice mail, however, is used primarily for conducting ministry business. In light of that, information and messages stored in these systems will be treated no differently from other ministry-related information and messages, as described below.
The Wildwood Church email network is a great asset and convenience for communication with our staff as well as our constituents. However, by email’s very nature it is easy to become inundated with extraneous and sometimes unnecessary information. By following these guidelines we will be able to maintain good stewardship of time and authority:
- “Blanket” emails to a large group should be relevant and pertinent to all in that group.
- Emails from other/outside sources should be forwarded only to your personal distribution lists. General staff lists should not receive forwarded stories, jokes, or other personal information.
- Political topics, requests, petitions, chain letters and solicitation for commercial ventures from other/outside sources or staff should not be forwarded, regardless of the “rightness” of the subject matter.
- Copyrighted materials, trade secrets, proprietary financial information or similar materials are not to be sent (uploaded) or received (downloaded) without prior authorization.
- Prayer requests:
- Prayer requests should be limited to those concerning your family, and should be expressed with discretion and good judgment as a “need to know.” However, prayer requests may be forwarded to your personal distribution lists as appropriate. The Prayer Ministry and Prayer Chain are available for all other requests.
- Prayer requests for Wildwood missionaries and church members will continue to be forwarded to the staff.
Since important and time-sensitive information is often delivered via email, inboxes should be checked daily, with an attempt to respond to a question or request within 24 hours. If you will be out of the office for an extended period of time, use the “Out of Office Attendant” function.
Even with the best of intentions, misunderstandings occur. Email is no exception. The following “netiquette” guidelines should be followed when receiving and responding to messages:
- Be concise in your messages. Avoid irrelevancies.
- Avoid flaming (capitalizing whole words that are not titles is generally termed as “shouting”) or the expression of extreme emotion or opinion in an email message. Flaming can generate ill feelings.
- In order to clearly communicate information and intentions when communication seems tense or unclear, consider alternative media. Break the cycle of “send and respond.” Pick up the phone and have a conversation.
Wildwood Church has the right to, but does not regularly monitor email messages. Wildwood will, however, inspect the contents of computers or email in the course of an investigation triggered by indications of unacceptable behavior, or as necessary to locate needed information that is not more readily available by some other less intrusive means.
Although Wildwood provides certain codes to restrict access to computers, voice mail and electronic mail to protect these systems against external parties or entities obtaining unauthorized access, employees should understand that these systems are intended for ministry use, and all computer information, voice mail and electronic mail messages are to be considered as ministry records. Employees will not change their password to Wildwood equipment and software without informing Wildwood and shall not use a password that is unknown to Wildwood or that belongs to another employee.
Wildwood also needs to be able to respond to proper requests resulting from legal proceedings that call for electronically-stored evidence. Therefore, Wildwood must, and does, maintain the right and the ability to enter into any of these systems and to inspect and review any and all data recorded in those systems. Because Wildwood reserves the right to obtain access to all voice mail and electronic mail messages left on or transmitted over these systems, employees should not assume that such messages are private and confidential or that Wildwood or its designated representatives will not have a need to access and review this information. Individuals using Wildwood’s office equipment should also have no expectation that any information stored on their computer—whether the information is contained on a computer hard drive, computer disks or in any other manner—will be private.
The contents of computers, voice mail, and electronic mail, properly obtained for some legitimate ministry purpose, may be disclosed by Wildwood if necessary within or outside of the church.
Given Wildwood’s right to retrieve and read any electronic mail messages, such messages should be treated as confidential by other employees and accessed only by the intended recipient.
Wildwood’s Senior Pastor or Executive Pastor will review any request for access to the contents of an individual’s computer, voice mail, or electronic mail prior to access being made without the individual’s consent.
Any employee who violates this policy or uses the electronic communication systems for improper purposes may be subject to discipline, up to and including termination. Employees shall not disable anti-virus or firewall software. Computers will be configured to automatically scan any material downloaded from the internet.
Children in the Workplace
Employees of Wildwood Church are expected to make provision for appropriate childcare during scheduled work times. While isolated situations may occur where it becomes necessary for an employee’s child to visit the workplace for a limited amount of time, a child should not be brought into the workplace for the convenience of the parent. In the event of illness, sick leave may be used for the purpose of tending to the child (see Sick Leave policy).
Conflicts of Interest
Employees are prohibited from engaging in any activity that constitutes conflict of interest. A conflict of interest includes any activity or transaction that is not in the best interests of Wildwood Church, or from which a staff member receives personal benefit for having conducted the activity or transaction on behalf of Wildwood Church.
Staff members should strive to keep each other informed as to where they are and how they may be reached during office hours. Employees are expected to keep their contact information, both personal and work, updated with Wildwood’s church management software.
There are serious legal ramifications for improper use of copyrighted materials created by others. Wildwood expects that our staff be aware of and compliant with such copyright laws. The basic themes are “don’t steal other people’s stuff” and “give credit when you borrow from the work of another.”
Wildwood Church does not have a formal progressive discipline policy requiring a set number of warnings or counseling sessions. Instead, each case is considered based on its own facts. In the case of misconduct or violation of the church’s policies, immediate termination may be appropriate depending on the facts.
Dress Code and Personal Appearance
Please understand that you are expected to dress and groom yourself in accordance with accepted social and ministry standards, particularly if your job involves dealing with ministry, business contacts, or visitors. A neat, tasteful appearance contributes to the positive impression you make on Wildwood and surrounding communities. Clothing should be conservative and modest clearly contributing to a professional office environment and effective ministry. You are expected to be suitably attired and groomed during working hours or when representing Wildwood Church. When working at the site of a ministry or business contact, please dress appropriately according to their corporate culture.
Personal appearance should be a matter of concern for each employee. If your supervisor feels your attire and/or grooming is out of place, you may be asked to leave your workplace until you are properly attired and/or groomed. Employees who violate the appropriate dress code may be subject to appropriate disciplinary action.
Drugs, Alcohol and Smoking
Being “under the influence” of or the use of alcohol or drugs in the church, on church business, or during working hours is not acceptable in modeling Christian discipline.
The determination of being under the influence can be established by an employee’s opinion, a scientifically valid test, and in some instances, by a layperson’s opinion.
Alcohol. Using, possessing, or consuming alcohol while at Wildwood Church, on church business, or during working hours is strictly prohibited. Being under the influence of alcohol or using alcohol while performing Wildwood business or while in the church is prohibited. Under no circumstances will Wildwood Church pay for or reimburse expenses for the purchase of alcohol.
Illegal Drug. Using, selling, purchasing, transferring, distributing, dispensing, or possessing an illegal drug by any employee is strictly prohibited. The presence of any detectable amount of any illegal drug in or on an employee while on Wildwood premises is strictly prohibited and a determination of being affected by usage or being “under the influence” is not a prerequisite to disciplinary action by Wildwood. Wildwood Church may conduct unannounced searches for illegal drugs or alcohol in Wildwood. Such searches of Wildwood facilities and property can be conducted at any time and do not have to be based on reasonable suspicion. Consent to such searches is a condition of employment and continuing employment.
Smoking. In order to provide a healthy and safe working environment for all personnel, Wildwood prohibits smoking on church property. It is Wildwood’s belief that this protects the rights of both smokers and non-smokers alike.
Employment of Relatives
Hiring the best-qualified applicant for any position is Wildwood’s primary objective. To this end, we neither encourage nor discourage the employment of relatives to those presently on staff. Relatives of church employees will be considered under the same arrangement as any other applicant for a position opening and will not receive any preferential treatment. Related employees will not be allowed to work in the same ministry and shall never be placed under the direct supervision of each other. The reasons for this practice are consideration of employee morale, security, and other legitimate business reasons including potential conflicts-of-interest. If a conflict-of-interest does arise or another general performance issue is noted which affects morale, the related employee may be asked to transfer to another ministry or resign. As used in this section, the term relative will include grandparents, parents, children, grandchildren, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, first cousins, in-laws and any members of the employee’s household, whether or not related by blood. The term relative will also include those with a similar relationship which has been established through adoption or remarriage, i.e. stepchild, half-sister, etc.
Expense Reporting and Reimbursements
Employees shall use their own funds or Wildwood Church issued credit card for business expenses. The expense reports are to be signed by the employee and Wildwood will reimburse the employee for reasonable expenses incurred in furtherance of church business after appropriate approval. All expense reports are to be completed and submitted to the Executive Pastor in a timely manner, generally within thirty days of the expense or ten days of the credit card statement and must include original receipts and codes for the expense from Wildwood’s chart of accounts. The Executive Pastor will have his reimbursements reviewed by the Senior Pastor.
If an employee’s work requires travel, it is the employee’s responsibility to make prudent decisions regarding that travel. Wildwood’s objective is to reimburse employees for reasonable and necessary travel expenses incurred during approved travel. It is the employee’s responsibility to ensure that expenses are valid, reasonable, and necessary. The employee is required to report all expenses promptly and accurately with the required documentation. This will help ensure that travel costs are appropriately managed.
Wildwood employees are expected to stay in hotels and motels considered reasonably priced for the area. Rental cars may be used to economically manage travel costs.
As an employee of Wildwood, do not, under any circumstances, respond to any requests for information regarding another employee unless it is part of your assigned job responsibilities. If it is not, please forward the information request to the Executive Pastor.
Property and Equipment Care
It is your responsibility to understand the machines needed to perform your duties. Good care of any machine that you use during the course of your employment, as well as the conservative use of supplies, will benefit you and Wildwood. If you find that a machine is not working properly or in any way appears unsafe, please notify your supervisor immediately so that repairs or adjustments may be made. Under no circumstances should you start or operate a machine you deem unsafe, nor should you adjust or modify the safeguards provided.
Do not attempt to use any machine or equipment you do not know how to operate or if you have not completed training on the proper use of the machine or equipment.
Room reservations must utilize the Wildwood event scheduling process to be accepted. For Wildwood-related programs or events, there is no charge for room use; non-Wildwood programs and events are subject to a room rental charge. All room reservations are handled through the Secretary.
Social Media and Blogging Policy
Wildwood values the potential good that comes from personal web pages, social networking pages, blogs, texting, instant messaging, email and other forms of electronic social networking/communication. Simultaneously, we recognize that misunderstanding, personal offense, hurt, legal exposure and damage to our church community can potentially accompany use of these mediums. The Apostle Paul instructs that “Everything is permissible but not everything is constructive. Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others.” With the principles of 1 Corinthians 10:23-33 in mind, all church employees and lay leaders are to abide by the following communication guidelines:
Ensure Integrity. Your electronic communications should be consistent with the teaching of scripture and the values of Wildwood Church. Don’t say anything online that you wouldn’t say in-person as a representative of the church (Prov. 10:9). If a public dialog gets heated, stop using a public forum and make the conversation private (Matt. 18:15-17). Ministry leaders are expected to have the foresight to anticipate, within reason, how their words and/or actions may be perceived by their audience and to those under their care.
Offer a Disclaimer. When you are in a position of church leadership, people don’t easily distinguish between your personal and professional behaviors. Your name and the church are always linked in people’s minds. As such, all personal web pages, social networking pages and blogs (in which you are personally identifiable) should feature the following disclaimer: “Please know that these are my personal views and not necessarily those of Wildwood Church.” A disclaimer in character limited media might simply read “Opinions own.”
Promote Credibility. Make sure your facts are correct, in proper context and that your positions are justifiable (1 Cor. 13:5-7). Respond to those who disagree in a spirit of love and grace (Luke 6:28-30). Avoid using a “stream of consciousness” writing style (as it can easily be misinterpreted or taken out of context). Do not use electronic communications to resolve interpersonal conflicts that are best handled face-to-face.
Keep Confidences and Avoid Libel. Be extra careful that your communications do not inadvertently share confidential information (we sometimes deal with a lot of confidences in church work). Know that with any public postings you are legally liable for what you say. Laws governing slander, libel, defamation and copyright apply. Outside parties actually can pursue legal action against you for your postings.
Respect the Church and its Staff. Since electronic communications are public (or easily made public), we expect you to be respectful to the church and our leaders, employees, volunteers and members. Any employee who uses electronic communications to disparage the name or reputation of the church, its practices, or its pastors, officers, employees, volunteers or members will be subject to serious discipline, up to and including immediate termination of employment. Staff is to be cognizant of the electronic communications widely distributed by their lay leaders in order to provide guidance and accountability.
Respect Your Time. All time and effort spent on your personal communications should be done on your personal time and should not interfere with your job duties or work commitments.
Respect Our Beliefs. When working for a church, it is important to remember that employment decisions will be made based upon our Christian beliefs. If your personal website displays inappropriate images or reflects personal opinions or lifestyle choices that are contrary to Wildwood’s beliefs or the teaching of scripture, you may be subject to discipline, up to and including immediate termination of employment. For this reason, we encourage you to first seek guidance from your supervisor if you have any questions. Wildwood may request that you temporarily confine your social media commentary to topics unrelated to the church. In rare cases, Wildwood may request that you temporarily suspend your social media activity altogether if it believes this is advisable to ensure compliance with church regulations or other laws.
Limited Expression in Written Words. Remember that written words can easily convey the wrong message. Written words do not have the “non-verbal” channels that accompany face-to-face communication. Missing are body language, facial expressions and tone of voice that can help ensure proper context. As such, re-read everything prior to sending. See if there is any possibility of misunderstanding. Every year the church deals with many relational problems brought on by poor word choices or communications sent in anger/haste. Think before you press “send!”
Church Logos. Do not use Wildwood’s logos/slogans on your communications or reproduce church material without first obtaining written permission.
Communicate as if Your Words are to be Published in the Local Newspaper. A good tool for determining what is correct communication is to behave as if the local newspaper were printing your electronic communication for all to see. If you wouldn’t want your actions/words to be seen on the front page, you may not be handling the situation properly.
Wildwood understands the good that comes from electronic communications and social networking. It is not our desire to create consternation or dampen creativity when it comes to the use of these mediums. At the same time, we recognize the tremendous potential for hurt and misunderstanding that go with these mediums. We trust that by following these guidelines and common sense, you are able to both reap the rewards of electronic communications … and avoid their potential pitfalls.
Solicitations and Distributions
Solicitation for any cause during working time and in working areas should be very limited and not distracting to other employees. The most acceptable way to offer items for sale is to place a catalogue and sign-up sheet on the copier wall during office hours. Please note that solicitation of Wildwood members is prohibited. If you are unsure whether a solicitation is acceptable, please consult the Executive Pastor or Senior Pastor for approval.
The goal of Wildwood’s compensation program is to attract potential employees, meet the needs of all current employees and retain well-performing employees. Our compensation program is built to balance both employee and Wildwood needs.
Wage and Salary Policies
It is Wildwood’s desire to pay all regular employees wages and salaries that are comparable to those of similar ministries in a way that will be motivational, fair and equitable.
Basis for Determining Pay
Several factors may influence your rate of pay. Some of the items Wildwood considers are the nature and scope of your job, what other church and parachurch ministries pay their employees for comparable jobs (external equity) and what Wildwood pays employees in comparable positions (internal equity). It is Wildwood’s goal to have a current job description on hand which broadly defines your job responsibilities.
Semi-Monthly Pay Cycle
Payday is normally on the 15th and the 30th of every month. If the 15th or 30th is a Saturday or Sunday, pay is received on the prior Friday. If the 15th or 30th is a holiday, pay is received on the first previous work day. The semi-monthly pay schedule is made up of twenty-four (24) pay periods per year.
For salaried employees, payment on the 15th and the 30th of the month will be for services performed from the 1st to the 15th and the 16th to the last day, respectively.
Changes will be made and announced in advance whenever Wildwood holidays or closings interfere with the normal pay schedule.
Deductions from Paycheck
Wildwood makes authorized deductions from paychecks in three categories: legally required, employee designated, and employer designated. The statement of earnings and deductions is mailed to the employee’s home each pay period. Included in the statement of earnings and deductions are current and year-to-date totals for deductions required by the state and federal government. These may include, but are not limited to, Social Security, state and federal income tax. Check your statement of earning periodically to insure correctness.
Direct Payroll Deposit
Direct payroll deposit is the automatic deposit of your pay into the financial institution accounts of your choice. See the Treasurer to arrange for direct deposit.
No payroll advances are permitted unless approved by the Board of Elders.
Wildwood pays overtime (1.5 times the hourly rate) for hours worked over forty hours in one week. The work week is defined as Monday, 12:00 a.m. to Sunday, 11:59 p.m. Holiday, vacation and other paid leave will not count towards overtime hours. In an effort to maintain integrity, stewardship and a healthy work/life balance, all overtime must be approved in advance by your supervisor. Only non-exempt employees are eligible for overtime pay.
By law, we are obligated to keep accurate records of the time worked by employees. This is done by time sheets. All non-exempt staff must turn in time sheets to the Secretary by noon on the 11th and 26th of the month. Should the 11th or 26th fall on a weekend or holiday, time sheets are due the next business day after the 11th or 26th. Failure to turn in time sheets in a timely basis may result in a delay in pay.
You are responsible for accurately recording your time. No one other than a supervisor or the Executive Pastor may record hours worked on another’s timesheet. Tampering with another’s time sheet is cause for disciplinary action, up to and including possible termination, of both employees. In the event of an error in recording your time, please report the matter to your supervisor, the Treasurer or the Executive Pastor immediately.
Garnishments and Wage Assignments
In the event that Wildwood is issued a garnishment or assignment of wages for an employee, Wildwood is legally required to deduct a portion of the employee’s wages and forward the required amount to the creditor(s). Questions or concerns regarding the garnishment or wage assignments should be directed to the issuing party.
Confidentiality of Wages
It is important that the privacy of individuals be protected to the fullest extent possible. This includes, but is not limited to staff salaries and issues, as well as, the confidentiality of members and attendees. People seeking information related to staff salaries will need to make a formal request of the Elder Board. The Board will determine if it appropriate to share the requested information. The Board will refrain from discussing employee wages with any individual until that individual has completed a request on a form provided in the church office and the staff member(s) involved have been informed of the discussion and who has requested the information.
Employees and their supervisors are strongly encouraged to talk through job performance and expectations on a frequent, informal basis. Formal, written performance reviews will be completed with the employee’s supervisor at least once per calendar year. These reviews are conducted to provide the supervisor and employee the opportunity for open discussion on a variety of topics including: goals and priorities; employees specific responsibilities, work environment, job performance, employee strengths and weaknesses, and issues that either positively or negatively may be impacting the spiritual, emotional, physical and/or mental health of the employee.
Though the results of the performance review are in no way to be considered a guarantee of any future salary adjustments, these reviews are used as key input in the salary review process and are retained within the employee’s personnel file.
Wildwood is committed to sponsoring a comprehensive benefits program for all eligible employees. A good benefits program is a solid investment in Wildwood’s employees. Wildwood will periodically review the benefits program and will make modifications as appropriate to the church’s condition. Wildwood reserves the right to modify, add or remove the benefits it offers.
Eligibility for Benefits
If you are a full-time employee, you will enjoy all of the benefits described in this Employee Manual as soon as you meet the eligibility requirements for each particular benefit. Coverages are available to you and your dependents as defined in the benefit summary plan descriptions.
Part-time employees are not eligible for benefits.
This benefit is provided to employees with a ministerial license or ordination. These employees may exclude from their taxable income a portion of their compensation designated by the Board of Elders as “housing allowance.” Current law allows that the amount of this exclusion extends to that which in fact is used to pay for housing-related expenses and does not exceed the fair rental value of the home.
The amount of the housing allowance will be determined by the staff member and approved by the Elders during the December Board meeting. New eligible employees will determine the amount of their housing allowance prior to their first day of employment, recognizing that it can be adjusted in a pro-rated fashion by board action any time during the year.
Major Medical Insurance
Wildwood is dedicated to your health and well-being. Generally, you become eligible for coverage on the first day of your employment.
Upon enrolling, you will obtain summary plan descriptions describing your benefits in detail.
Wildwood Church currently pays the premium for full-time pastoral staff and their dependents and funds a portion of their allowable contribution to the HSA accounts and reimburses remaining deductible expenses through an H.R.A.
Wildwood Church currently provides an option for medical insurance for full-time support staff and year-round interns where 80% of the premium costs at the single rate are paid by the church, not to exceed $400 per month. Wildwood does not fund any portion of the HSA.
Application for health insurance will be coordinated through the Executive Pastor. All application forms must be completed prior to the first day of employment.
Government Required Coverage
All employees are entitled to Workers’ Compensation benefits. This coverage is automatic and immediate and protects you from an on-the-job injury. An on-the-job injury is defined as an accidental injury suffered in the course of your work, or an illness which is directly related to performing your assigned job duties. This job-injury insurance is paid for by Wildwood. If you cannot work due to a job-related injury or illness, Workers’ Compensation insurance pays your medical bills and provides a portion of your income until you can return to work.
All injuries or illnesses arising out of the scope of your employment must be reported to your supervisor or the Executive Pastor immediately. Prompt reporting is the key to prompt benefits. All claims must be investigated and verified prior to payment of benefits, but nothing can happen until your employer knows about the injury or illness. Ensure your right to benefits by reporting every injury or illness, no matter how slight.
Although Wildwood will pay for the time lost because of a work-related accident during the remainder of the normal workday in which the accident occurs, Workers’ Compensation payments for lost wages aren’t made for the first three (3) days you’re unable to work (including weekends). However, if you’re hospitalized or off work more than three (3) weeks, payments will be made even for the first three (3) days.
Employees returning to work after being absent due to a work-related injury must report to their supervisor or a designated Wildwood representative prior to beginning work and must bring a medical doctor’s clearance for returning to work.
Because Wildwood does not take a deduction for Unemployment Insurance, if an employee becomes unemployed, this benefit will not be available to him/her.
The United States government operates a system of mandated insurance known as Social Security. As a wage earner, you are required by law to contribute a set amount of your weekly wages to the trust fund from which benefits are paid. As your employer, Wildwood is required to deduct this amount from each paycheck you receive. This deduction pertains to non-pastoral staff only. In addition, Wildwood matches your contribution dollar for dollar, thereby paying one-half of the cost of your Social Security benefits. This matching contribution pertains to non-pastoral staff only.
Your Social Security number is used to record your earnings. Employees are encouraged to protect your Social Security record by ensuring your name and Social Security number on your W-2 Form are correct. You may also want to make sure your earnings statement is accurate each year by requesting a Personal Earnings and Benefit Estimate Statement from the U.S. Social Security Administration by calling 1-800-772-1213 or you may even access them online at www.ssa.gov.
Reimbursable Professional Expenses
Wildwood will reimburse appropriate Professional Expenses that include mileage, conferences, cell phone usage and others to enable our staff to have the ability to serve effectively and efficiently. Details regarding specific reimbursements are included in the Salary Information Sheet or from the Executive Pastor. Professional expenses must be preapproved by the Executive Pastor.
Wildwood has a 403(b) Retirement Plan available to all eligible employees. All regular full-time employees are eligible to participate in the Retirement Plan. Part-time employees who work at least 1,040 hours per year are eligible to participate in the plan. All employees can participate in the form of voluntary employee contributions. Full-time pastors are eligible for a matching contribution from Wildwood up to an amount determined by the Elders. Participation in the Plan begins when the election is made.
Details regarding contributions, vesting, administration, and investments are provided in the Plan Document.
In the interest of maintaining a healthy balance between work and home, Wildwood offers eligible regular full-time employees paid time off. Both paid and unpaid time off may be granted to eligible employees, according to the following leave policies. Please consult the Executive Pastor for further information. Time off is paid using your base hourly rate, excluding overtime compensation, if any.
Regular full-time employees are eligible for holiday pay.
The following holidays are recognized by Wildwood as paid holidays:
- New Year’s Day
- Memorial Day
- Independence Day
- Labor Day
- Thanksgiving Day (the office will also be closed the Friday after Thanksgiving)
- Christmas Day
Note to Pastors: When services or regular church activities are scheduled on holidays, attendance is required unless previously excused. Pastors may be called upon for emergency or special ministry on any holidays or days off.
All national holidays are scheduled on the day designated by common business practice.
In order to qualify for holiday pay, you must work the scheduled workday immediately before and after the holiday. Only excused absences will be considered exceptions to this policy.
If a holiday occurs during your scheduled vacation, you are eligible for the holiday pay. You are not eligible to receive holiday pay when you are on an unpaid leave of absence.
If a holiday falls on your normal day off, you will be given a paid “substitute” holiday to be taken within two weeks of the holiday.
Vacation is a time for you to rest, relax, and pursue special interests. Wildwood provides paid vacation as one of the many ways in which we show our appreciation for your work, knowledge, skills and talents.
Full-Time Pastoral Staff
These staff members’ vacation is determined by the length of service in the ministry and not based upon just the length of full-time service at Wildwood. These staff will earn vacation as follows:
- Two weeks per year for years 1-5 of ministry not to exceed 2 Sundays.
- Three weeks per year for years 6-10 of ministry not to exceed 3 Sundays.
- Three weeks plus 2 days per year for years 11-12 of ministry not to exceed 3 Sundays.
- Three weeks plus 3 days per year for years 13-14 of ministry not to exceed 3 Sundays.
- Four weeks per year for 15 or more years of ministry not to exceed 4 Sundays.
As years of service in ministry are much like serving in a major company, moves from one ministry location to another should not negatively impact considered “tenure” for vacation. The determination of the number of the years to be credited toward length of accumulated service in the ministry prior to being employed by Wildwood shall be made at the time of ministerial call or employment.
Vacation must be approved in advance and coordinated with the Executive Pastor.
Vacation days may not be accumulated from one year to the next.
These staff will earn vacation as follows:
- Two weeks per year for years 1-5 of employment at Wildwood.
- Three weeks per year for years 6-10 of employment at Wildwood.
- Three weeks plus 2 days per year for years 11-12 employment at Wildwood.
- Three weeks plus 3 days per year for years 13-14 of employment at Wildwood.
- Four weeks per year for 15 or more years employment at Wildwood.
Vacation must be approved in advance with your supervisor and coordinated with the Executive Pastor.
Vacation days may not be accumulated from one year to the next.
Wildwood’s Sick Leave provides paid leave for eligible full-time employees who have completed at least ninety days of continuous service. This plan provides for both job continuance and pay in the event of an employee absence for a certain period of time for reasons of illness, injury or disability which are not work related.
Sick leave may be granted for the following reasons:
- Personal illness or injury or the illness or injury of a member of the immediate family. Immediate family is defined as the employee’s spouse, children, mother or father.
- If a member of the immediate family is afflicted with a contagious disease and requires the care and attention of the employee, or when through exposure to a contagious disease, the presence of the employee at his/her job would jeopardize the health of others.
In the event of extended illness, your accumulated sick leave will be used first. Then, if the employee wishes, any unused vacation may be used. A doctor’s certification may be requested for any absences lasting more than three consecutive days. Wildwood reserves the right to request a doctor’s statement at any time. Used sick leave will be recorded in the Time Away Log by the employee.
Falsification of illness is a serious matter that could result in loss of Sick Leave benefits or termination. Unused Sick Leave may not be used for personal time off or as additional vacation. Unused Sick Leave is not paid out upon termination of employment.
Full-Time Pastoral Staff
Sick Leave for pastoral staff will be allowed up to six days annually. Sick Leave can accumulate if unused up to a maximum of ninety days. Sick pay may not be advanced.
Full-Time Exempt Staff
Sick Leave for full-time exempt staff will be allowed up to six days annually. Sick Leave can accumulate if unused up to a maximum of ninety days. Sick pay may not be advanced.
Full-Time Non-Exempt Staff
Sick Leave for full-time staff will accrue one-half (1/2) day per month. Sick Leave can accumulate if unused up to a maximum of ninety days. Sick pay may not be advanced.
Conferences, Seminars, Workshops
Full-time pastoral staff will be allowed time away to attend conferences, seminars or workshops for personal or job enrichment at Wildwood’s expense in keeping with the amounts allowed in the annual budget. Additionally, this may include expenses for the pastor’s wife, if ministry related. Conference, seminar or workshop time away must be approved by the Executive Pastor.
Full-time pastoral staff may be allowed time away to pursue continuing education related to further development of pastoral ministry knowledge and skills. Wildwood may reimburse a portion of the tuition expense where a grade of a ‘B’ or higher is attained. Such reimbursement would be in place of budgeted conference expense for that pastor. Educational time and reimbursement must be approved by the Executive Pastor.
Ministry Outside of Wildwood
Full-time pastoral staff will be allowed time away to lead conferences, seminars, workshops, worship services, etc. Time way from Wildwood for these purposes should be related to the minister’s passion and giftedness and is not to exceed one week per year, and not to exceed more than one Sunday during the first year of ministry at Wildwood. Time away for these purposes will increase by one day for every year served in ministry at Wildwood with additional Sundays away being added every fifth year up to three weeks per year including up to one Sunday per week. Outside ministry expense may be reimbursed by Wildwood. Time away for these purposes must be approved by the Executive Pastor or your immediate supervisor.
Wildwood recognizes that a time of bereavement is a very difficult one for an employee. In this regard, every effort will be made to ensure that the employee is able to attend to family matters.
In the case of a member of the immediate family (for bereavement leave defined as an employee’s spouse, children, parents, brothers, sisters, grandparents, spouse’s children, spouse’s parents, spouse’s grandparents, or other relatives that reside in the employee’s household), the full-time employee may be paid for the absence from scheduled work for a period not to exceed three (3) consecutive work days if the funeral is local or five (5) consecutive work days if the funeral is outside a 150 mile radius.
In the case of death of a relative other than the immediate family, the employee may be paid up to three (3) workdays per year.
The benefit does not apply if the death occurs while the employee is on vacation, holidays, leave of absence or absence for any other reason. Employees who require more days away from work that is allowed under this leave may request vacation time, or a personal leave of absence, subject to the approval of his/her supervisor.
The employee’s supervisor should be notified immediately of the death of any family members or relative as mentioned above.
Bereavement leaves, as defined in this policy, will not accrue or accumulate, nor be paid if unused at year-end or upon termination of employment. Hourly pay for this form of leave will be computed at the employee’s regular rate to a maximum of eight hours for one day. This leave shall not be credited as time worked for the purpose of computed overtime.
Full-time employees who are called to serve on jury duty will receive time off with regular pay for workdays during which she/he continues on jury duty, not to exceed four weeks. Any fees received as a juror may be retained by the employee.
If an employee is called to serve on jury duty at a time that would unreasonable interfere with normal ministry operations, the Executive Pastor may request that the employee seek court approval to reschedule jury duty for a later date that would be more convenient for Wildwood.
Most pastors take sabbaticals. If they don’t get one given to them they create one by changing churches. —Dave Carder
Reason and Purpose of Sabbaticals
The pastoral sabbatical is intended to provide full-time pastoral staff who have served for an extended period at Wildwood with a gift of time away from normal responsibilities and locations to pursue a plan of personal renewal and growth that combines study, travel, relaxation, education and research. The sabbatical is not just a reward for longevity of service and commitment. More importantly, it is an opportunity for those who have given consistently of their life through the use of their gifts to serve the church to refill their own hearts and resources in order that they might continue in effective service to the Lord in this congregation.
The sabbatical is available to all full-time pastoral staff. Eligibility begins after seven completed years of service and would be limited to those who anticipate at least three years of additional service after their sabbatical. If a staff member leaves our staff before taking the sabbatical, there will be no compensation for that unused sabbatical.
Length of Sabbatical
The maximum length of a sabbatical is twelve weeks with the minimum being seven weeks. Time off for a sabbatical will accrue according to the following schedule: One week per year for years completed of Wildwood service. For instance, after seven years of Wildwood service the pastor is eligible for a seven-week sabbatical. The sabbatical needs to be taken at one time. That is, the sabbatical cannot be used in segments to extend regular vacation time. The sabbatical does not affect the annual vacation time which will be normally scheduled. Unused accumulated time will carry over into the next seven-year time period.
After taking a sabbatical, a staff member will again begin to accumulate time according to the schedule outlined above, but that time becomes usable only after seven more years of full-time service at Wildwood.
Priority of Sabbatical
Eligibility is on the basis of seniority and scheduling. The pastor with the most years of Wildwood service is eligible first. No two pastors can be on sabbatical at the same time. A staff member may elect to let others take their place in the line up to allow another a leave that better suits their family or ministry schedule.
Accountability for Sabbatical
A written proposal must be submitted to the Elder Board six months prior to the desired sabbatical date. The proposal for a sabbatical must reflect the purpose stated above and must be arranged in advance with the supervising Pastor and then approved by the Elder Board.
Funding the Sabbatical
In addition to regular salary and benefits, the staff member can apply for additional funds ($250 per week, maximum of $3,000) for tuition, travel, lodging, etc., as these funds apply to the purpose of the sabbatical. These funds will come from the general church budget.
(Adapted from First Evangelical Free Church of Fullerton, California Personnel Policy and seminar by Dr. Dave Carder.
Those serving on the pastoral staff may ask or be asked to lead a mission trip. This request must be approved by the Executive Pastor in advance. Pastors will be encouraged to contribute a portion of a team member’s portion. All other non-personal expenses for the pastor will be covered by the money raised by the team or designated from the Missions Committee budget.
Full-Time Non-Pastoral Staff
Non-pastoral full-time staff will be allowed time away with pay to participate in one mission trip per year.
Provisions to All Leaves of Absence
Except for sickness or emergencies, employees are expected to inform their supervisor and the church of any planned absence from work providing as much advance notice as possible to allow their supervisor to coordinate ongoing work responsibilities. When a planned absence causes conflicts with ministry activities or employee shortages, the staff member may be asked to reschedule their time away.
A request for an extension of a leave of absence must be made in writing prior to the expiration date of the original leave, and, when appropriate, must be accompanied by a health provider’s written statement certifying the need for the extension.
Failure to return to work on the first workday following the expiration of an approved leave of absence may be considered a voluntary termination.
Employees on leave of absence must communicate with their supervisor at least once each month regarding their status and anticipated date to return to work.
Employees who falsify the reason for their absence may be terminated.
General Employee Safety
Wildwood is committed to the safety and health of all employees and recognizes the need to comply with regulations governing injury and accident prevention and employee safety. Maintaining a safe work environment, however, requires the continuous cooperation of all employees.
Wildwood will maintain safety and health practices consistent with the needs of our ministry. If you are ever in doubt about how to safely perform a job, it is your responsibility to ask your supervisor for assistance. Any suspected unsafe conditions and all injuries that occur on the job must be reported immediately. Compliance with these safety rules is considered a condition of employment. Therefore, it is a requirement that each supervisor or supervising pastor make the safety of employees an integral part of her/his regular management functions. It is the responsibility of each employee to accept and follow established safety regulations and procedures.
Wildwood strongly encourages you to communicate with your supervisor or supervising pastor regarding safety issues.
Reporting Safety Issues
All accidents, injuries, potential safety hazards, safety suggestions and health and safety-related issues must be reported immediately to your supervisor. If you or another employee is injured, you should contact outside emergency response agencies, if needed. If an injury does not require medical attention, a Supervisor and Employee Report of Accident Form must still be completed in case medical treatment is later needed and to insure that any existing safety hazards are corrected. The Employee’s Claim for Workers’ Compensation Benefits Form must be completed in all cases in which an injury requiring medical attention has occurred.
Federal law requires that we keep records of all illnesses and accidents which occur during the workday. If you fail to report an injury, you may jeopardize your right to collect Workers’ Compensation payments, as well as health benefits.
Safety is everybody’s business. Safety is to be given primary importance in every aspect of planning and performing all Wildwood activities. We want to protect you against injury and illness, as well as minimize the potential shortage of staffing.
Below are some general safety rules to assist you in making safety a regular part of your work. Your supervisor may post other safety procedures in your department or work area.
Safety is everyone’s responsibility. Remind your co-workers about safe work methods. Start work on any machine or equipment only after safety procedures and requirements have been explained. Immediately report any suspected hazards and all accidents to your supervisor.
Ask for assistance when lifting heavy objects or moving heavy furniture. Bend your knees, get a firm grip on the object, hold it close to your body and space your feet for good balance. Lift using your stronger leg muscles, not your weaker back muscles.
Do not throw objects. Always carry or pass them. Use flammable items, such as cleaning fluids, with caution. Also, stack materials only to safe heights.
To prevent slips and tripping, clean up spills and pick up debris immediately.
Keep aisles and stairways clean, clear and well lighted. Walk, don’t run. Watch your step.
Keep cabinet doors and file and desk drawers closed when not in use. Remove or pad torn, sharp corners and edges. Only open one drawer at a time.
Place ladders securely. Do not stand on boxes, chairs or other devices not intended to be used as ladders.
Keep guards in place at all times. Do not clean machinery while it is running. Lock out all disconnect switches while making repairs or cleaning.
Personal Protective Equipment
Always wear or use appropriate safety equipment as required in your work. Wear appropriate personal protective equipment (e.g. shoes, hats, gloves, goggles, spats, hearing protection, safety harness) in designated areas or when working on an operation that is potentially hazardous.
Do not stand on a wet floor while using any electrical apparatus. Keep extension cords in good repair. Don’t make unauthorized connections or repairs. Do not overload outlets.
Know where fire extinguishers are and how to use them.
Immediately report all injuries, no matter how slight, to your supervisor.
If you are ever in doubt regarding the safe way to perform a task, please do not proceed until you have consulted your supervisor. Employees will not be asked to perform any task which may be dangerous to their health, safety or security. If you feel a task may be dangerous, inform your supervisor at once.
Office areas present their own safety hazards. Please be sure to:
- Leave desk, file or cabinet drawers firmly closed when not in use.
- Open only a single drawer of a file cabinet at a time.
- Arrange office space to avoid tripping hazards such as telephone or other electrical cords.
- Remember to lift things carefully and to use proper lifting techniques.
Maintaining the security of Wildwood is every employee’s responsibility. Develop habits that ensure security as a matter of course. For example:
- Always keep cash properly secured. If you are aware that cash is insecurely stored, immediately inform the person responsible.
- If your work area/office will be largely unattended for more than a brief moment, secure your valuables.
- Know the location of all alarms and fire extinguishers and familiarize yourself with the proper procedure for using them, should the need arise.
- When you leave Wildwood’s premises, make sure that all entrances are properly locked and secured.
All precautions shall be taken to see that activities that take place happen in as safe an environment as possible. Parental permission forms will be utilized for activities that take place away from Wildwood as well as for many that happen on the Wildwood campus.
Should an accident occur, the leaders will provide first aid or call 911 for professional medical care. If the injured person is a minor, the leaders will secure the help of a parent as soon as possible.
A detailed report of the accident will be kept and turned in to the church office within three days of the accident.
Separation of Employment
Wildwood operates under the principle of at-will employment. This means that neither you nor Wildwood has entered into a contract regarding the duration of your employment. You are free to terminate your employment with Wildwood at any time, with or without reason. Likewise, Wildwood has the right to terminate your employment at any time, with or without reason, at its discretion.
Wildwood hopes and expects that you will give at least two (2) weeks notice in the event of your resignation. Any accrued but unused vacation time will be paid out at the time of employment termination.
Insurance Conversion Privileges
Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliated Act (COBRA) of 1985 does not apply to your insurance through Wildwood; however, the State of Illinois has a similar statute that governs your right to maintain insurance coverage in the event of your termination of employment with Wildwood or loss of eligibility to remain covered under our group health insurance program. You and your eligible dependents may have the right to continued coverage under our health insurance program for a limited period of time at your own expense.
At your exit interview or upon termination, you will learn how you can continue your insurance coverage and any other benefits you currently have as an employee who is eligible for continuation.
When and employee’s employment ends, Wildwood would like to conduct an exit interview to discuss your reasons for leaving and any other impressions you may have about Wildwood. During the exit interview, you can provide insights into areas for improvement that Wildwood can make. Every attempt will be made to keep all information confidential.
Return of Ministry Property
Any Wildwood property issued to you, such as computer equipment, keys or ministry credit card, must be returned to Wildwood at the time of your separation. You will be responsible for any lost or damaged items. The value of any property issued and not returned may be deducted from your final pay; you will be required to sign a wage deduction authorization form for this purpose.
Depending on the circumstances, Wildwood may consider a former employee for re-employment. Such applicants are subject to Wildwood’s usual pre-employment procedures. To be considered, an applicant must have been in good standing at the time of their previous termination of employment with Wildwood.
Reinstatement of Benefits (Bridging)
If you were a regular full-time employee of Wildwood with at least twelve (12) months of continuous employment, and are rehired as a regular full-time employee within twelve (12) months of your separation date, you may be eligible to continue your benefits at the level you enjoyed at the time of your termination of previous employment with Wildwood. This policy, however, is subject to the restrictions of the various benefit providers.
This Employee Handbook has been prepared to inform you of Wildwood Church’s history, philosophy, employment practices, and policies, as well as the benefits provided to you as a valued employee.
Some Things You Must Understand
The policies in this Employee Handbook are to be considered as guidelines.
- Wildwood Church, at its option, may change, delete, suspend or discontinue any part or parts of the policies in this Employee Handbook at any time without prior notice as business, employment legislation, and economic conditions dictate.
- Any such action shall apply to existing as well as to future employees.
- Employees shall not accrue eligibility for any benefits, rights, or privileges beyond the last day worked.
- Unless it involves a matter of basic office procedures, no policy in this Employee Handbook may be altered or modified without Board approval. Basic office procedures may be defined by either the Senior Pastor or the Executive Pastor. Any alteration or modification of the policies in this Employee Handbook must be in writing.
- No statement or promise by a pastor, past or present, may be interpreted as a change in policy nor will it constitute an agreement with an employee.
Should any provision in this Employee Handbook be found to be unenforceable and invalid, such finding does not invalidate the entire Employee Handbook, but only that particular provision.
Please note that all references to “Wildwood Church,” “Wildwood” or “church” in this Employee Handbook are defining one and the same organization.
This Employee Handbook replaces (supersedes) any and all other previous Wildwood Employee Handbooks, or other Wildwood policies, whether written or oral.
The early history of Wildwood coincides with the early history of Watertown, both having their origins at the time of the Civil War, long before the city of East Moline was founded. The church was organized in July 1865 by the Rev. S. P. Warren as the First Baptist Church of Watertown. The name was later changed to Watertown Baptist Church. In 1867 there were 22 recorded members.
The original building was located on 19th Street in East Moline. The building was later moved to a site on 20th Street between 2nd Avenue and 3rd Avenue, where it stood until 1942.
In 1936, Rev. David Goodwin was called as pastor, serving until 1970. On July 19, 1942, a new building was dedicated at 2015 2nd Avenue. Extensive remodeling and additions were completed on this building throughout its history. Rev. Paul Hieber served as pastor from 1970 to 1976. In 1972, the church purchased nearly fifteen acres of land on Hubbard Road. During the late 1970s, a picnic shelter with restrooms and showers was built on the new property. Rev. Millard Frauman served as pastor from 1976 to 1977. He was succeeded by Rev. John White, who served from 1977 to 1995.
In June, 1979, the congregation voted to build what is now Wildwood. The facility was 20,000 square feet for an approximate cost of $800,000. Construction began in 1980 and in May of 1981 the church moved to its present location on Hubbard Road and formally changed its name to Wildwood Baptist Church. Rev. R. Scott Boerckel came to serve as senior pastor from 1996 to 2011. Since moving to this present location, a garage was constructed which in 1997 was converted to the youth ministry space. An elevator was added in 1997 to make the facility more accessible for the disabled. In 1998, the lower level was remodeled.
During 2001, the church offices were moved to a mobile home on the property to facilitate remodeling of the office/nursery area of the facility. The remodel was completed in 2002 at a cost of $90,000.
Construction of the Family Life Center was broken into two phases. Groundbreaking for Phase 1 was held on June 2, 2002. The construction was completed in April 2003 at a cost of approximately $1.9 million. Phase 1 included new offices, adult classroom space, temporary youth ministry space, Fireside Room and restrooms. Phase 2 of the expansion project began in May 2005 and was completed for about $970,000. Phase 2 included a high school sized basketball court with athletic floor, walking track, youth ministry space, game room, fitness room, locker rooms, craft room, kitchen, additional adult classroom space, storage and a wood shop. The Family Life Center is approximately 38,000 square feet.
Kyle Powell began as our Senior Pastor in June, 2012.
Over the years, Wildwood has had a rich and rewarding history of proclaiming the Good News about Jesus to the Quad Cities and surrounding communities. A few recent examples include:
- An autumn outreach in which free fun, food, and fellowship were offered to the community. “Roving Evangelists” walked the grounds engaging people in conversations about God. As a result, people accepted Jesus into their lives.
- Upward Basketball and Cheerleading occur annually during the winter months. Devotions are a vital part of each practice and testimonies are given during Saturday’s games. Approximately 1/3 of the children who participate have no church home. There are a number of decisions for Christ each year through Upward.
- “Rock the River” with Franklin Graham was an outreach to the Quad Cities. Many people from Wildwood participated in this event. Through the course of the event, almost 14,000 people attended and hundreds made decisions for Christ.
- Luis Palau, an international evangelist and author, spoke at two Wildwood services. In addition, the Palau Association’s “Livin’ It” ministry of Christian skateboarders and BMX riders was brought to a local mall’s parking lot by Wildwood. More than 4,000 people attended. Many decisions for Christ were made at these two outreach events.
Lives continue to be changed as Wildwood builds, equips and wins people for the glory of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Receipt and Acknowledgment of Wildwood Church Employee Handbook
Please read the following statements, sign below and return to the Executive Pastor.
Understanding and Acknowledging Receipt of Wildwood Employee Handbook
I have received and read a copy of the Wildwood Employee Handbook. I understand that the policies and benefits described in it are subject to change at the sole discretion of Wildwood Church at any time.
I further understand that my employment is at will, and neither I nor Wildwood Church has entered into a contract regarding the duration of my employment. I am free to terminate my employment with Wildwood Church at any time, with or without reason. Likewise, Wildwood Church has the right to terminate my employment at any time, with or without reason, at its discretion. No employee of Wildwood Church can enter into an employment contract for a specified period of time, or make any agreement contrary to this policy without written approval from the Board of Elders.
I am aware that during the course of my employment confidential information may be made available to me; for instance, Wildwood staff or member information, financial data or other related information. I understand that this information is proprietary and critical to the reputable operation of Wildwood Church and must not be given out or used outside of Wildwood’s premises or with non-Wildwood employees. In the event of termination of employment, whether voluntary or involuntary, I hereby agree not to utilize or exploit this information with any other individual or organization.
Computer Software and License
I understand that the unauthorized use or copying of computer software is a violation of the law and Wildwood policy. The Executive Pastor must give authorization prior to an employee installing any software on the computer that is provided for the employee’s use. In the event of termination of employment, whether voluntary or involuntary, disks of Wildwood-owned software will be returned to Wildwood by the employee prior to leaving employment.
Employee’s Printed Name:______________________________
Employee’s Signature: ________________________________
Vier original PDF: Wildwood Employee Handbook