What Should a Church Policy & Procedure Manual Contain?

by Wanda Thibodeaux - Updated August 21, 2018
Church exterior

Like a business, a church needs to stay organized to run efficiently. Part of this organization is the creation of a good policies and procedures manual. Regardless of the denomination for which the manual is created, a good policies and procedures manual will dictate clearly how the church is supposed to operate.

Administration, Leadership, Personnel

Church employees may include the worship leader or pastor, librarian, secretary and technical assistants, as well as maintenance personnel. Each of these employees needs guidelines in terms of what their specific duties are and how they are to conduct themselves while on the job. The manual should dictate how these employees are hired, how much they are paid, when and how their performance should be reviewed, how conflicts are to be resolved and what steps will be taken to ensure employee privacy and rights. This is probably the most important part of the manual, because all behavior will be based on these guidelines. This section should be created first.


Churches receive donations and contributions over the course of a year. They may need to pay mortgages on the church property and have other expenses such as wages and insurance on church vehicles. Because these expenses dictate much of what a church is able to do in terms of ministry, list exactly how all types of money need to be handled and what the projected budget for the year is. For example, how will you track contributions? Who writes checks and pays the church bills and payroll? Will there be any fund-raisers?

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Include a section about how the ministry itself is to run. For example, will there be both a contemporary and a traditional service? If there is more than one pastor of equal standing, how will you determine who leads each service? The answers to these questions should provide a decent explanation of what someone can expect to see at a service and thus have the potential to set you apart from other religious organizations.


Include one or more sections that cover considerations such as property the church owns and what to do in the instance of medical or other emergencies. Quote any relevant laws or denominational recommendations that may be binding, such as how to handle or when you are required to file a vandalism or abuse report. Also include a mission statement with goals and objectives.

About the Author

Wanda Thibodeaux is a freelance writer and editor based in Eagan, Minn. She has been published in both print and Web publications and has written on everything from fly fishing to parenting. She currently works through her business website, Takingdictation.com, which functions globally and welcomes new clients.

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