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 t