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Church Policies and Procedures: Part A- The Concept

Transition from Bylaws to Policies and Procedures can be difficult to understand and implement. Most all church bylaws contain forms of policies and procedures written in “bylaws language” and mostly hidden from any active use.

Policies defined: Policies are usually a general statement that relates to the church’s (congregation’s) position on a particular subject. A policy is a managerial decision that defines the church’s attitude on a matter ahead of time before such information is needed. Policies coincide with the routine operations of a church.

Procedures defined: Procedures are the means for which a policy will be implemented and how a policy will be effectively carried out. Procedures are usually developed by administration with sensitivity to the desires of the church once the policy has been set.

Values for Having Policies and Procedures
  • Helps implement a church’s goals, mission, purpose and priority statements.
  • Serves as an organizational aid and a management tool.
  • Useful in producing consistent, coherent and compatible decisions for church leadership to do good Kingdom work.
  • Helps identify and delegate responsibilities for quality and protection.
  • Assists in training new personnel and enlisted leadership.
  • Provides a positive and clear quality of the planning and budgeting process.
  • Helps with accountability to making or routine decisions.
  • Offers a rationale for explaining decisions that are made.
  • Helps focus any debate on the basic principle or policy behind specific decisions rather than on details – thus reducing controversy during church business meetings.
  • Reduces areas of possible risk to staff, volunteers and the congregation.
  • Helps the church to be better stewards of time, talent, and resources.
Policies and Procedures are an extension of the Bylaws and are considered and equally important document to the church. However, the Articles of Incorporation and the Bylaws will always take precedent over a Policy and Procedure Manual.
Robert Grant

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