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,