To Columbus Baptist Church Family and Friends
This Columbus Baptist Church Policy Manual is the product of our church’s traditions and judgments about how we may best fulfill our ministry and organize our lives for fruitful service. It covers the wide range of programs and activities of a dynamic church community.
We recognize that there is always a risk of too many rules and procedures that may stifle creativity and a vigorous adventuresome spirit, as well as the Holy Spirit’s promptings. We also know, however, that there is effectiveness and freedom in clarity about the way we organize our church life and fulfill our individual calling as part of the Body of Christ.
Policies are always subject to review. The congregation is urged to suggest ways in which we can enhance our life together. Policies may need adjusting or even abolishing if we find they are counterproductive or disabling. Therefore, we invite constructive criticism of these policies and suggestions concerning areas not addressed.
Because policies are always reviewed by our church, and the church is free to adjust and adapt them to new circumstances or priorities, the policies set forth in this manual are only a statement of current policy. They are subject to change at any time by the members of this church acting in accord with our congregational government and the procedures of the bylaws. No policy set forth herein is a promise or guarantee, nor is any contract right created by this statement of current practice.
We urge our church family, staff and friends to familiarize themselves with these policies, especially those that affect areas of their own church participation, ministry or interest. These policies are not merely formal abstract legal clauses, but statements of how we can best work, worship and ministry together in this family.
Rev. David Webb, Pastor
Policy Manual Table of Contents
Section A: Organization and Structure
Section B: General Church Policies
Section C: Personnel Policies (Employee Handbook)
Section D: Financial Policies
Section E: Preschool/Child/Youth Protection and Ministry Policies
Section F: Pastoral Staff Policies
Organization and Structure
1.00 Primary Governing Documents
The core governing documents of the church which set forth its basic structure, leadership and core beliefs are the constitution and the bylaws. These do not normally contain the detailed procedure set forth in this policy and procedure manual, but do provide the larger context of duties and responsibilities. Policies and procedures adopted by this church must not be inconsistent with provisions in these core documents.
Membership is not merely an organizational status, but a spiritual relationship with this body of believers. The policies and procedures regarding membership, and the rights and duties of such are set forth with some particularity in the bylaws. Since members often are not aware of such provisions, they are set forth here as well.
Section 1. Eligibility.
The membership of this church shall be composed of persons who have confessed Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord, who have been baptized by immersion, and who have been received by majority vote of members present and voting and given evidence of regeneration by the Spirit of God. A statement of faith or recommendation from another church is not sufficient evidence of regeneration. Evidence of regeneration will be substantiated through the membership process, and personal interaction with the leadership of the church. The requirement of immersion baptism may, on recommendation of the pastor and consent of the deacons, be suspended in cases of physical impossibility or severe hardship.
Section 2. Admission of Members.
A person may become a member in one of the following ways:
a. The membership of this church shall be composed of persons who have given evidence of regeneration by the Spirit of God, who have been baptized by immersion, and who have subscribed to the church covenant, articles of faith, and constitution of this church. The person must then be received into membership by vote of the body.
b. A member of another Baptist church may be received by vote of the body upon promise of a letter of transfer from the church where membership resides. The applying member will be in a watch-care status until the letter of transfer is received from the other church.
c. Anyone who has been a member of a Baptist church and as consequence of particular circumstances has lost that relationship or is not able otherwise to promise a letter of transfer, may be received into the fellowship of this church upon statement of faith satisfactory to the membership by vote of the church.
d. Anyone who is a member of another denomination, who wishes to join this Baptist fellowship may do so following the guidelines of a,b,c above. After an affirmative vote of the body, the applicant’s former church will be contacted and informed of the action.
e. Applications for membership under circumstances other than those stated in a,b,c,d above will be considered by the church in conference and the decision will be final.
Section 3. Procedure.
Any person desiring membership in this church may present himself as a candidate in response to the invitation at any worship service. The pastor will meet with the candidate to acquaint him with the bylaws, covenant, statement of faith, and programs and policies of the church and to examine evidence of regeneration. After receiving his affirmative commitment to the responsibilities of membership in this church, the pastor shall present the applicant to the church, and upon the majority vote of the members present and voting, he shall be accepted in accordance with the constitution. The applicant may choose to confer with the pastor before presenting himself to the church as a candidate for membership; if so, he may be received immediately by the majority vote of the church. Candidates over the age of 16 will remain in watch-care status until completion of the New Members class.
Section 4. Rights of Members.
a. Voting. Except as may be otherwise provide in the bylaws every active member is entitled to vote at all elections and on all questions submitted to the membership.
b. Holding Office. Except as otherwise set forth herein, every member is eligible for consideration by the membership as a candidate for elective offices in the church. Watch-care members are not eligible as candidates for elective offices.
c. Records. Members shall have access to the principal records of the church including minutes of its governing body and principal financial reports. However, consistent with Baptist doctrine and practice, these rights shall not include the right to review or inspect individual donor records or personnel files.
Section 5. Inactive Members
As stated in the By-Laws and according to Scriptural responsibilities of the office of Deacon, Deacons shall at all times regard themselves as servants of the church and maintain spiritual and fraternal relations with all members of the church. Each Deacon shall be entrusted with the care of a certain number of individuals/families within the congregation. For those persons who, without good cause, begin to be absent regularly or cease to participate in the life of the church, their deacon shall seek to make personal contact and determine the reasons for their inactivity and encourage them in their relationship with the church. In the event such persons cannot be contacted, or the persons indicate a desire to be placed on an inactive roll, or the deacon believes an inactive status would be appropriate, the deacon may recommend to the pastor those persons to be placed by an inactive roll. If the pastor comes to the same conclusion, after sufficient investigation, he may make such recommendation to the church. The church by majority vote may then place such persons on the inactive roll. Persons on an inactive roll shall not be entitled to vote on any matter before the church. Persons may be removed from the inactive roll and return to the regular church roll by congregational vote initiated by a request of the member to the pastor and deacons.
Section 6. Termination of Membership.
The methods of terminating the membership status of a member shall be as follows:
a. By Letter. A letter of transfer to unite with another church may be issued, upon request, to another church for any member of this church who is in good standing. All such applications must be passed upon by the church to which transfer is requested.
b. Removal from Roll. Upon receipt of reliable information that a member has united with another church, this church shall terminate the membership status of the member and the clerk shall remove the member from the roll.
c. By Exclusion. In the event of persistent breach of a member’s covenant vows, the membership, after due notice and opportunity of hearing, and every possible kindly effort to make such action unnecessary, may upon majority vote terminate the membership status of a person in this church for reasons it considers sufficient to warrant such action. Any church discipline shall be exercised in accord with the principles and practices mandated in Matthew 18 with a primary view to the ministry of reconciliation and restoration.
d. By Personal Request of the Member. Any member shall be removed from the roll and the membership status of that member terminated upon request by that member to the pastor or the deacons.
3.00 Officers and Leadership
3.01 General Officers
We believe that all are called to ministry and gifted by God for each one’s calling. Among those gifts are those of leadership, both paid and volunteer. The church bylaws set forth the principal leadership of the church including general officers such pastoral staff, deacons, treasurer and other financial officers, clerk and those with specific leadership in ministries such as Sunday School, mission groups, and specialized ministries.
Much of the work of the church is carried forth by committees – short and long term. The bylaws authorize the church to create such committees and determine their composition and duties. Such groups as are created by the church are then identified with their composition and duties in the committee handbook made available to all the members. This is meant to be a working document that not only guides committees and their members, but so that the whole church may identify areas of ministry and responsibility.
3.03 Conflicts of Interest Policy
A. Basic Policy.
Those in positions of church leadership shall recognize the trust that is placed in them as stewards of the resources and ministries of the church. They shall act in the exercise of their duties and leadership with the best interests of the church as the first priority, and prayerfully exercise their best judgment in providing that leadership on behalf of the church. No church staff member, officer or leader shall use his or her position, or knowledge gained through their roles, in any manner that creates a conflict between the interest of the church and its ministry and his or her personal interests. In order to comply with both legal and spiritual principles, and to avoid any appearance of impropriety, church leadership must be sensitive to potential conflicts of interest, and comply with the provisions of the Conflicts of Interest Policy of this church.
B. Procedures in the Event of Potential Conflicts of Interest
The church recognizes that not all potential conflicts of interest are inappropriate, and some actually are in the best interests of the church, as when the church purchases supplies or property from a church member or leader who has a financial interest in the business or property. To assure, however, that such transactions comply with conflicts of interest principles and avoid any appearance of impropriety, the following procedures shall be observed:
1. Disclosure of Interests: Whenever a church leader may have a financial or other personal interest in a proposed transaction, he or she shall disclose such interest prior to the church’s consideration of the transaction. Such disclosures should be made in writing to the church body involved in the transaction, and such disclosure documents maintained by the church.
2. Non-Participation in Decisions: The church leader who has such a personal interest shall not vote on whether such a transaction is approved, make motions on the matter, or execute documents formalizing the transaction. Such non-participation shall be documented in minutes of the body acting on the proposed transaction.
4.00 Organizations/Ministries of the Church
A portion of the church’s program is carried forth in organizations of the church such as the Sunday School, women’s and men’s mission groups, children and youth organizations, short-term special ministries. Each of these may establish their own policies and procedures which govern their own special efforts, albeit, none of these policies or procedures shall stand in contradiction to the church’s bylaws, policies and procedures. In some instances, the mission and leadership of such groups may be set forth in the bylaws.
5.00 Church in Conference (“Business” Meetings)
5.01 Role of Members
As a congregationally governed church, the major decisions of the church are made by the congregation meeting in regular or special sessions. Members are urged to accept their responsibilities as members to participate in these sessions and bring their gifts of discernment, wisdom and judgment to the process of governing the church.
5.02 Regular and Special Called Meetings
As set forth in the bylaws, regular congregational business meeting are held on the third Sunday of each month. Special meetings may also be called under procedures set in the bylaws, and members being properly notified. Specific rules and procedures regarding meetings, voting, quorums and related matters are set forth in the bylaws of the church.
General Church Policies
1.00 Property Matters
1.01 Real Property Titles and Ownership
All church real properties shall be held in the name of the church, and their disposition and use subject exclusively to the decisions of the congregation made in accordance with the congregational government of the church as set forth in the governing documents of the church including its constitution and bylaws.
1.02 Mortgages and Encumbrances
The real properties of the church may be encumbered only with the express consent of the congregation acting in business session.
1.03 House and Grounds Committee Duties
The responsibility for assuring the church’s interests and purposes are preserved and its policies observed in regard to the real property of the church is vested in the House and Grounds Committee which shall assure that a maintenance and inspection program established as required by the church’s insurance policy.
1.04 Trustees Duties/Insurance Requirements
The Trustees shall ensure titles to properties are properly recorded, title insurance secured, and all properties are adequately insured. In conjunction with the House and Grounds Committee, they shall secure professional insurance advice and secure/maintain adequate insurance coverage for real property, general liability, business auto, and other coverage appropriate to the ministries of the church, and sufficient to provide coverage for liabilities arising from the ministry of members and staff, both volunteer and paid. Not less than 2,000,000 in liability coverage shall be included.
1.05 Property Inventory
The House and Grounds Committee shall maintain and continually update, an inventory of all church real and personal property, dates of acquisition and cost, any warranties and manuals, any registration or other identifying numbers and where appropriate, assure the attachment of tags or markings identifying the property as church property.
The House and Grounds Committee shall not less than annually, physically inspect all church properties owned or used by the church for any unsafe conditions, and shall report to the church their findings and recommendations for action. In conducting this review they shall consult available property and inspection guidelines which may assist in their assessment. In the event they report any such unsafe conditions, they shall assure that repairs or other appropriate action is taken promptly, and re-inspect within thirty (30) days to assure the property condition has been rectified. They shall also take immediate steps to warn and otherwise protect persons from injury from any discovered defect. The committee shall maintain records of its inspections, reports and corrective actions taken by themselves or others whether volunteers, employees or independent contractors. Other committees and officers or personnel shall also report to the chairman of the House and Grounds Committee or senior staff any conditions they believe may present a hazard or risk of injury.
The House and Grounds Committee shall establish a system of regular maintenance of all church properties and equipment, and maintain records of such maintenance.
The House and Grounds Committee shall in consultation with staff assure the development and use of detailed regular housekeeping tasks lists and procedures to assure that those responsible for custodial and housekeeping duties have clear guidelines covering responsibilities both for building and grounds regular maintenance.
1.09 General Safety Policies
A. Safety Coordinator
The House and Grounds Committee shall appoint a church member as Safety Coordinator who shall oversee the safety policies and procedures of the church, assure their implementation, and make recommendations for enhanced policies and procedures.
B. Accident Policies
1. The church shall assure the prompt availability of first-aid supplies in all church facilities.
2. The church shall provide first-aid and CPR training for church staff and leaders, especially those who work with children and youth. The church shall have available the names and means of contacting persons with medical assistance skills.
3. The church shall prominently post the contact numbers for police agencies, medical assistance, ambulance service, poison information offices and other appropriate persons or agencies.
4. Accidents shall be promptly reported to all appropriate persons including the church’s insurance carrier.
5. The Safety Coordinator and those present shall assure that the Accident-Incident Report Form is promptly completed.
6. The Safety Coordinator and appropriate staff and committees shall investigate all accidents, and take or recommend such steps as they think appropriate to minimize future risks, and review as well the church’s response to the accident and any ways to enhance the response.
C. Fire Safety
1. Fire extinguishers shall be available and maintained, as well as other appropriate fire-fighting equipment.
2. Staff (paid and volunteer) shall have adequate training covering fire safety, evacuation, and the use of alarms and equipment
3. Special inspections shall insure that fire hazards are avoided, including care in the storage of flammable liquids, improper use of extension cords or electrical equipment.
4. An evacuation plan shall be in place, including the posting in all facilities of exit directions, and clear signs and functioning exit doors. Evacuation training shall be provided all staff and teachers, including fire drills when appropriate.
5. The Safety Coordinator shall assure the church is in full compliance with fire regulations, and shall seek the counsel of fire department personnel, and insurance company recommendations.
D. Safety Training
The Safety Coordinator shall assure that all staff and church leaders have adequate safety training and appropriate refresher training in many dimensions of safety for personnel and those who utilize the facilities of the church.
1.10 Security/Safety of Participants
A. General Measures
The House and Grounds Committee shall develop and recommend to the church specific measures to provide security for church facilities and those involved in the church’s ministry. The committee shall regularly review the security measures in place and make recommendations to the church. Entry security policies and systems along with internal security measures shall be regularly reviewed and implemented as needed.
B. Personal Safety and Security Review
The House and Grounds Committee shall annually, as well as whenever concerns are expressed or the church requests, review the security of the building and grounds for persons using, entering or leaving the facilities, and assure that appropriate personnel, locks, lighting, security and other systems and procedures are in place to assure to the extent feasible the safety of all those who participate in the life of the church and come on its premises. They shall make a written record of any recommendations, steps taken and responses to specific concerns expressed by persons of the church body.
1.11 Use of Church Personal Property
A. Church Vehicles
In accord with the church-vehicle policy set forth herein and below, church vehicles may not be loaned or used in any way except for approved church purposes with approved drivers.
B. Other Church Property
Persons requesting short-term and limited use of tables and chairs for non-church, off-premises events shall complete a property request form noting the property to be used, and event for which it is to be used, the dates of such use, and the person responsible for its timely return. The House and Grounds Committee shall review any such request, assure that such use would not conflict with a needed church use, and that such use is appropriate, and grant or deny the request. Where such use may be permitted, factors to be weighed in granting approval of such use will be whether the event includes members of the church, the duration of such use, the event for which the property will be used, and any disruption to normal church activities and maintenance. The use of church-owned powered equipment such as lawnmowers, tractors, snow blowers, computers, audio-visual equipment such as projectors will not be authorized except in very special circumstances. Kitchen equipment may be borrowed by church members. Arangements for borrowing kitchen equipment are to be made through the church office. All borrowed equipment is to be listed on sheet in kitchen and is to be returned as soon as possible and clean. Any loss or damage is the responisibility of the borrower and is expected to be repaired or replaced promptly.
1.12 Prohibited Activities on and Uses of Church Property
The following policies govern impermissible uses of church property:
A. Smoking is not permitted in any church facility or within 30 feet of any entrance.
B. The use or possession of alcoholic beverages or illegal substances on church property is prohibited.
C. The use of R- or X-rated videos or other rated materials is prohibited on church property.
D. The posting of signs or materials on walls in church hallways and foyers is prohibited except with specific approval of the pastor or other designated staff.
E. The use of church properties for commercial purposes is prohibited.
F. The use of church properties in support of political candidates in any election is prohibited.
G. The use of church property by any non-church group or for a non-church activity is prohibited except where approved according to procedures established by the church.
H. The serving of food or dining is permitted only in designated areas.
I. Pets are not permitted in the church at any time except as part of an approved educational or other program activity of the church.
1.13 Policy on Non-Church Uses of Facilities
A. General Policy on Non-Church Use
The church seeks to serve the community at large and to assist families in the church in family events requiring facilities such as church fellowship hall. Thus, so long as not in conflict with church activities or policies, certain church facilities may be used by approved community groups and local families.
B. Specific Policies
1. Church properties may only be used in a manner and for purposes consistent with the Christian mission of the church, its federal tax-exempt status and property tax exemption. The facilities may not be used by groups in opposition to the church’s Statement of Faith or in a manner that is in opposition to Biblical principles. Requests for use of the facilities for non-church sponsored events shall be reviewed by the pastor and in certain cases, by other staff and church leadership, in relation to consistency with church policy and principles.
2. Any use by persons, whether members or non-members for non-church organized or sponsored activities must be approved under the policies of the church as provided herein or in other policy provisions, and scheduled on the event calendar through the church secretary.
3. Non-church groups may use the facilities on a donation basis. Each group is responsible for their own clean-up. If the church facilities are not cleaned after use, a bill for $50.00 will be sent to the group through the person making the reservation.
4. Any church affiliated organization (Sunday school, WMU, Associational meetings, etc.) may use the facilities at no charge. Each group is expected to clean facilities after use.
5. Church members may use the facilities at no charge. It is expected that the facilities will be cleaned after the event. In the case of a wedding, arrangements may be made with the custodian, including any fee he may charge, for him to clean after the event. If the facilities are left uncleaned, and previous arrangements were not made with the custodian, a minimal fee of $50 shall be billed to the person making the reservation.
6. Non-members may use the church facilities for weddings, rehearsals and receptions at a charge of $50. It is expected that the facilities will be cleaned after the event. Arrangements may be made with the custodian, including any fee he may charge, for him to clean after the event. If the facilities are left uncleaned, and previous arrangements were not made with the custodian, a minimal fee of $50 shall be billed to the person making the reservation.
7. The church secretary shall maintain an official calendar noting scheduled church events as well as approved non-church events. All arrangements for use of church facilities must be made during normal office hours and are on a first-come first-serve basis. When charges are appropriate, those charges are to be paid when the reservations are made. Reservations are not considered valid until all fees are paid.
8. Facility-use policies shall be reviewed annually by the House and Grounds Committee who shall make such recommendations as they believe appropriate to the church. The church shall have final authority to adopt and amend policies.
9. The church reserves the right to require the payment of fees, deposits, fees to cover janitorial services as the nature of use and church policy may require. In certain contexts of use the church may require evidence of insurance.
C. Prohibited Uses
1. No use of the church facilities may be made for commercial purposes, for partisan political efforts, or by organizations that advocate laws or policies directly contrary to the doctrines and beliefs of this church.
2. No smoking or use of alcoholic beverages shall be permitted in any portion of the church’s facilities.
3. Church policy generally prohibits the serving or consumption of food in certain facilities including the sanctuary.
1.14 Special Types of Property
1.14A General Cemetery Policy and Management
1. Cemetery Committee
The Cemetery Committee shall be charged with upkeep, maintenance, operation and preservation of the church cemetery.
2. Committee Duties
Regularly review cemetery operations and recommend policies and actions to the church regarding the operation and upkeep of church cemetery.
3. Limitation on Powers
The Cemetery Committee shall have no power without express authorization of the church to convey, mortgage or otherwise dispose of property except the allocation of cemetery plots in accord with the established procedures of the church.
1.14B Church Parking Lots
The House and Grounds Committee shall assure that markings on the parking lot and reserved handicap signs are in good order and properly displayed.
The use of church parking lots shall be limited to persons on church-related uses or by groups previously approved and reserved through the church office. The parking lot shall not be used for business or political activities.
3. Other Uses
Use of the church parking lots for other than parking is prohibited except by prior written permission. Neither church groups nor others may use the parking lots for other activities such as games, skateboarding, rollerblading and similar activities. Because of the risk of potential injuries, this policy shall be strictly enforced by notice in the parking lot advising improper users, and advising parents of improper use by their children when necessary.
1.15 Church Land Rented to Others
In the event any church real property is leased, rented or use permitted in any form by other persons or groups, the House and Grounds Committee, staff and officers shall assure that the use is lawful, that the users maintain insurance coverage for damages or liabilities arising from their use or possession, and that the use is not inconsistent with the values, beliefs and mission of the church.
The Finance Committee shall secure professional insurance advice and assure that adequate insurance coverage is obtained including property, general liability, business auto, appropriate to the ministries of the church, and sufficient to provide coverage for liabilities arising from the ministry of members and staff, both volunteer and paid. Not less than $2,000,000 in liability coverage shall be included.
2.00 Kitchen Use
Fellowship Hall / Kitchen Usage Policy
The church has provided this facility and furnishings for your enjoyment. Please abide by the following guidelines. Our major concern is cleanliness and safety. Furnishings and equipment are church property and are not to be taken outside the facility without prior approval. Decorations should be limited to tables and shelves. Please do not mar, deface or make holes in walls. Please do not use tape on doors, walls or windows.
1. Schedule use of the Fellowship Hall/kitchen with the church office. Provide date, time, group, point of contact and phone number.
2. Using group is responsible for:
• Checking out keys from the office, or make arrangements to open facililities.
• Setup of tables, chairs, and equipment. Please do not use unfamiliar kitchen equipment without prior instructions.
• Cleanup (cleaning supplies in kitchen)
• Thoroughly clean kitchen area/stoves/counter tops, etc.
• Wipe off all tables/chairs with damp cloth. All garbage should be taken outside and placed in dumpster.
• No leftover food or drink items to be stored in refrigerator or freezer. Throw items out or take home. Don’t leave them to accumulate.
• Items for church groups should be properly identified and stored.
• All dishes/pots and pans/utensils to be placed in their proper place.
• All dish towels/potholders/cloth items to be cleaned (at church or taken home) and returned to their proper place.
• Return tables, chairs and equipment to the previous locations in the Fellowship Hall. Return extra tables and chairs to classrooms, as appropriate.
• Inspection of the area by a responsible group member.
• Lockup of all doors in Fellowship Hall/kitchen. Ensure the entire church is secure.
• Return keys to the office, if required.
3.00 Weddings Policy
It is our desire that your wedding be the happiest experience possible and that it be all God designed it to be. God created man and woman and intended the two to be joined in marriage, so that each might give to the other what each lacked alone. Because we desire to live within God’s principles for marriage and are committed to building strong marriages, the following are the guidelines governing marriages in this church:
A. Not Being Unequally Yoked. The church believes that Scripture (2 Corinthians 6:14-16) prevents a pastor from marrying a Christian to a non-Christian.
B. Divorce. We will consider remarriage where a biblically allowed divorce has occurred (Matthew 5:31-32). A minimum of twelve (12) months must have elapsed since the divorce became final. In cases where one or both parties have been divorced twelve (12) months or longer, the pastor asked to perform the ceremony must decide, in light of Scripture, whether or not to perform the ceremony (Mark 10:2-12; Luke 16:18; Matthew 5:31-32; Matthew 19:1-9). No pastor will be asked to perform a ceremony against his personal convictions.
C. Premarital Sex. Couples who are living together, or who are involved in a physical relationship, will need to separate and remain abstinent until marriage (1 Corinthians 6:13-20; Ephesians 5:3).
D. Pre-Marital Pregnancy. In case of pre-marital pregnancy, the marriage may or may not be performed depending on the maturity of the persons involved and other considerations. The final decision to perform the ceremony will be determined by the pastor asked to perform the ceremony.
E. Officiating. Weddings held on church facilities are officiated by pastors from the church. Guest pastors may participate in the wedding at the discretion of the officiating pastor.
F. Pre-Marital Counseling. Pre-marital counseling through the officiating pastor is required or by attending a program approved by the officiating pastor.
G. Music. The atmosphere of the ceremony is established by the music. All music should be part of the worship experience. Because a wedding is a service of worship, secular music is typically not appropriate. Final approval of music is the responsibility of the officiating pastor. The church may provide musicians for the ceremony. Guest musicians must be approved by the officiating pastor.
H. Scheduling and Procedures. Persons planning a church wedding should contact the office and pastor to discuss the church wedding policies, and schedule counseling and use of facilities. Church policies regarding use of the facilities should also be reviewed.
I. No wedding shall be performed by any staff of the church, whether on or off church property, that is not in accordance to biblical standards of one man and one woman and in accordance with the church’s statement of beliefs. No wedding, that is not in accordance with these standards, shall be performed on any church property.
4.01 Transportation and Vehicle Policy
A. Authorized Drivers and Driver Policies
Policies regarding drivers of church or non-church vehicles for church-sponsored activities.
1. The church shall require the completion of information forms for all persons driving church vehicles or non-church vehicles on church-sponsored programs and activities. The driving records of all staff and volunteer drivers operating church-owned vehicles shall be checked. No person may drive a church-owned vehicle or drive a non-church vehicle on behalf of the church who has had more than one moving violations or accident within the last year, or any reckless driving conviction or DWI/DUI charged or convicted within the past five (5) years, nor have records prior to three (3) years evidencing a pattern of irresponsible driving.
2. No persons under twenty-five (25) or over the age of seventy-five (75) may operate a church-owned vehicle, or drive a non-church-owned vehicle where the church is responsible for or arranges the transportation.
3. All drivers of church owned vehicles must be approved by the church and listed with the insurance company. All drivers must be in possession of a valid drivers license for the type of vehicle being driven
4. Drivers shall be instructed on safety procedures for passengers entering or exiting the church vehicle. Such procedures shall be established, communicated and observed.
5. Trips exceeding 300 miles require the addition of a second authorized driver.
B. Other Transportation Policies
1. The House and Grounds Committee shall establish a regular and documented maintenance program for all church vehicles.
2. Parents must be advised of and approve any transportation of their children in borrowed vehicles by non-church staff or volunteer drivers. Such approval may be a blanket approval for transportation within twenty-five (25) miles of the church. There must be a separate and specific authorization for travel beyond twenty-five (25) miles or into any other state.
3. A regular inspection and record system shall be established and implemented for each use of a church-owned vehicle including a log of each trip, purpose, driver, number of passengers and notation of inspection and indication of any problems with the vehicle or incidents with passengers or others.
4. Church owned vehicles shall only be used for church related activities. Use by another church or association must be granted by the leadership of the church. In this event, only a church approved driver may drive the vehicle.
5. When youth or children are present, an adult other than the driver must be present. An additional adult besides the driver must be present on any van or bus, whether church-owned or borrowed, when transporting more than seven passengers.
6. An incident-report form for any accident or injury associated with the vehicle whether involving an accident or not shall be completed by the driver.
7. Non-owned vehicles used in any church activity involving out-of-town transportation to have passed a current inspection, and evidence must be provided of insurance coverage.
8. The church shall secure a business automobile insurance policy to cover damages to any church vehicle, injuries and damage to the property of others.
9. The House and Grounds Committee shall establish a code of conduct of youth/children who are passengers on church trips, and parents and drivers shall be advised of the policy. A copy shall be kept in each church-owned vehicle.
10. Church vehicles shall have appropriate emergency equipment on hand including safety warning lights, first-aid kits and flashlights. Procedural guidelines for drivers and adult supervisors in the event of a problem shall be established, including emergency numbers for church personnel or parental contacts.
11. Each group using a church owned vehicle is expected to remove all trash after the trip.
12. Seat belts must be present and worn at all times by all passengers.
13. Transporting hitchhikers or unauthorized passengers is prohibited.
14. Unattended church vehicles shall be locked at all times.
15. Current vehicle registration cards and insurance information shall be kept in all church vehicles.
16. All these transportation policies shall be communicated to all persons involved in church transportation operations.
The church is committed to respecting all copyrights and prohibits staff or volunteers from any forms of copyright infringements. Church-owned copy machines; computers, tape duplicators, sound-recording devices or any other forms of duplicating or reproducing equipment should not be used to copy or reproduce any forms of copyrighted materials for ministry or personal use. All staff are expected to understand and encourage compliance with this policy.
The church shall post on all photocopiers the following statement:
U.S. Copyright laws protect the rights of copyright holders and limit or prohibit copies being made of copyrighted materials including books and music. The making of illegal copies on this machine is prohibited by the church. In the event of any uncertainty about whether any copying is proper, please contact the pastor or Inez Jackson.
7.00 General Computer Policy
7.01 General Policies
A. The Nominating Committee shall recommend and the church appoint a Computer-Technology Director charged with recommending action in regard to the development and implementation of appropriate computer technology and policies governing the same in the ministry of the church.
B. All computers on which church data are stored shall be owned by the church, which retains all rights to such data, and full access to the church computers and their data as set forth in the personnel policy.
C. An inventory shall be kept of all computer hardware and software, and all hardware shall be identified with appropriate markers.
D. Computer file systems and passwords shall be utilized which recognize the confidentiality of certain records and assure only authorized persons have access to sensitive material.
E. An appropriate system for maintenance of computer systems and enhancements through upgrades of hardware and software shall be established.
F. Virus protection software shall be installed and systems in place for its upgrade and frequent use.
G. The Computer-Technology Director shall recommend appropriate steps to assure that the computers and their data are protected against electrical anomalies, surges or interruptions in service.
H. Computer data files shall be annually reviewed, and data no longer essential in the ordinary operations shall be deleted, and where appropriate, those files stored in external media secured appropriately.
I. Computers no longer used by the church must have their memories effectively cleared before disposal of any type to assure that data is not inadvertently accessible to purchasers or others who acquire the computer or its parts.
7.02 Website Policy
A. Management/Purpose Issues
The Computer-Technology Director shall have responsibility for developing, controlling, monitoring and managing the church’s website. The committee may, with the consent of the church and as the budget so provides, contract out certain technical services related to website maintenance so long as final control remains with the church and the privacy and security of data is preserved. The Computer-Technology Director may also, with the consent of the church, contract with such professionals as may be required in establishing or expanding the capacity or scope of website church communications.
2. Nature of the Site
The website shall serve as a means of communication to and from members, friends and guests about the church, its ministries and activities. Its purposes are membership enhancement and services, outreach and evangelism, and sharing vitality of Christian life and the church. It shall also provide means for church members and others to communicate with staff through e-mail links.
The church shall reserve its copyright on its site contents by providing the following: “This site and all material contained in this site are protected by copyright. This includes text, graphics, logos and images. Permission is granted to download materials from the site for personal, noncommercial use. The images of people or places used on this site are either owned by the church or used with permission, and use by others is prohibited.”
B. Content of Site Policies
1. Use of Links to Other Sites
The site shall include links to other sites offering denomination information, religious news, Bible study materials, church resources, world mission sites, and other ministries compatible with this church’s ministry. No link shall be provided to any site whose materials would be objectionable and inappropriate for children, nor to any site whose express doctrines and beliefs are contrary to the core convictions of this church.
The site shall contain this statement regarding such links: “As a courtesy, this site may offer links to other websites. The church has not reviewed every page of every website that might be linked, and is not responsible for, nor necessarily agrees with all the contents of other sites. Users who find materials on any linked website objectionable should report the same to the [email protected] We will evaluate the appropriateness of the link.”
2. Church policy shall prohibit any of the following on its website:
a. The website shall not contain any commercial website links or any other commercial advertising.
b. No copyrights or trademarks such as logos or artwork shall be displayed on the site without the permission of the copyright holder.
c. The website shall comply with the church’s nonprofit status by avoiding support for or against candidates for public office during elections.
3. In regard to confidentiality and security concerns, the website shall conform to the following policies:
a. Security and nondisclosure policies shall be communicated on the site itself.
b. Users shall be advised that confidential information should not be sent to any response option or e-mail link within the site.
Any communication or material you transmit to this site by electronic mail is not necessarily secure and will not be presumed to be confidential.
c. The site shall have security measures in place to protect the loss, misuse and alteration of any information under the church’s control. All servers, network hardware, and storage devised will be housed in monitored, secure and limited access locations. Data will be stored in an encrypted fashion, and access to outside persons is not permitted.
d. The church is committed to the privacy of persons who visit the site. The names or addresses, e-mail or otherwise, obtained from persons who volunteer to provide such on the site, such as signing in a visitor’s guest book, would not be made available to third parties, sold, or otherwise distributed beyond the church. On-site registration forms may be utilized to allow users to provide contact information such as their name and e-mail address, as well as demographic information. Such information is never sold or disclosed to any third person or other organization and only disclosed as may be required by law.
e. The church is committed to insure that persons will not be able to use information on the site for purposes which pose a risk to others, especially children. For this reason,
1) The site will not use any full names of children nor provide any identifying information (name, address, school) with any image of a child, faces or addresses of children.
2) No maps or directions to members or to staff members’ homes shall be provided.
3) No member’s name, phone number or e-mail addresses shall be provided without their permission.
4) If there is an interactive component that allows persons to ask questions and receive e-mail responses, requests from children will be dealt with consistent with this policy: “We will only use the online contact information such as e-mail to respond directly to a child’s request on a one-time basis only, and the child will not be contacted or re-contacted further for any other purpose without the parent’s consent.”
1.00 Personnel Policy Responsibility
The Personnel Committee shall make recommendations to the church in matters of adoption of personnel policies and an employee handbook, hiring, employee compensation, discipline and termination of employees, but the church retains final authority in all these matters.
1.01 Personnel Committee
A. The Personnel Committee shall be responsible for making recommendations to the church on personnel policy, and when such policies are adopted by the church, to assure they are communicated to the church, staff and employees, are understood, and posted where appropriate and observed. The committee shall review such policies regularly, assure that it stays informed about changes in legal duties, and make recommendations to the church, staff and employees that assure a lawful, healthy and effective work environment.
B. The Personnel Committee shall assure annual employee-performance reviews, be available to address employee concerns, and assure prompt response to employee communications about unhealthy, dangerous or improper working conditions. They shall be available to consider any concerns regarding sexual harassment or other inappropriate conduct toward employees.
C. The committee shall assure that proper records are maintained for all employees.
D. The committee may assign supervisory duties and other responsibilities to senior staff such as the pastor so long as it retains final authority and properly oversees the personnel process, and hears any appeals, charges or concerns.
2.00 General Principles and Foundations of Personnel Policy
The church shall adopt and implement a comprehensive Employee Handbook containing personnel policies affecting employees. Such policies shall be consistent with the biblical and spiritual commitments of the church and comply with applicable federal and state law. It shall evidence a recognition of the value of those who serve the church as employees, and biblical recognition of the value of work, and the responsibility of the church to treat all employees with honor and respect.
2.01 The Employee Handbook
The Employee Handbook with its personnel provisions is an expression of the current operating policies and procedures of the church, and is subject to change at any time through the procedures of the church as set forth in its bylaws and other documents. The church is charged with periodic review of all the policies and procedures set forth herein, and may prospectively change these policies and procedures. Thus, while the church is committed to operating within its policies and procedures, these may be modified from time to time. Thus, this manual is not a contractual promise to hold in force these specific policies and procedures. This handbook is not to be construed as a guarantee of continued employment or specific benefits. The church reserves the right to revise this handbook at any time. Employees are responsible for becoming familiar with new policies or procedures. No oral statements or representations can in any way change or alter the provisions of this handbook. This handbook cannot, however, anticipate every situation or answer every question about employment at the church. The church shall make every reasonable effort when policies and procedures are modified, to advise those affected of the changes.
As a matter of faithfulness to biblical principles, the church shall not practice or condone discrimination against persons based on their race, color, ethnicity, national origin or age. This commitment derives from biblical teachings, from the example of our Lord, the command of the Great Commission and the witness of the early church in breaking down barriers of race and ethnicity.
2.03 Hiring Consistent with Spiritual Character
We will, consistent with our calling and character, reserve employment and volunteer workers to those who share our Christian faith and commitment and can thus further our mission. This, too, is consistent with our commitment to spiritual integrity and faithfulness to biblical admonitions. It shall be the employment policy of this church that a condition of employment at this church is a personal faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Workers should maintain an active membership in a local Christian church and their lifestyle should be consistent with biblical teachings. Applicants shall be asked to affirm their Christian commitment and provide information on their current church involvement. The lifestyle expectations apply to conduct both on the job and outside the workplace, and are governed by biblical teachings as understood and applied by this local church. The lifestyle expectations shall be those solely as determined by the church in the exercise of its spiritual discernment.
3.00 Sexual Harassment
This church is committed to providing a work environment for employees and volunteers in keeping with Christian principles and free of unlawful harassment and any other inappropriate harassment even if not covered by law. Church policy prohibits sexual harassment and harassment because of race, color, national origin, ancestry, physical or mental disability, medical condition, marital status, age, or any other basis protected by federal, state or local law, ordinance, or regulation. This church’s anti-harassment policy applies to all persons involved in the operation of the church and prohibits unlawful harassment by any employee or volunteer worker of the church, including supervisors and co-workers. Prohibited unlawful harassment because of sex, race, ancestry, physical or mental disability, mental condition, marital status, or age, includes, but is not limited to, the following behavior:
A. Verbal conduct such as epithets, derogatory jokes or comments, slurs or unwanted sexual advances, invitations or comments;
B. Visual conduct such as derogatory and/or sexually-oriented posters, photography, cartoons, drawings or gestures;
C. Physical conduct such as assault, unwanted touching, blocking normal movement or interfering with work;
D. Threats and demands to submit to sexual requests as a condition of continued employment, or to avoid some other loss, and offers of employment benefits in return for sexual favors; and
E. Retaliation for having reported or threatening to report harassment.
Any employee or volunteer who believes that she/he or another employee has been subjected to any form of unlawful harassment should register a complaint to her/his supervisor, the senior pastor, chairman of the Deacons or the chairman of the Personnel Committee. The complaint should specify the name(s) of the individuals involved (including any witnesses) and a description of the specific conduct complained of as sexual or other harassment. The church will immediately undertake an effective, thorough, and objective investigation and attempt to resolve the situation. If the church determines that improper conduct, whether unlawful or improper, even if not unlawful, harassment has occurred, effective remedial action will be taken commensurate with the severity of the offense. Appropriate action will also be taken to deter any future harassment. The church will also take appropriate action to remedy any losses that may have occurred as a result of the harassment. The church will not retaliate against any employee for filing a complaint and will not knowingly permit retaliation by any other employee or elected official.
The church encourages all employees to report any incidents of harassment forbidden by this policy immediately so that complaints can be quickly and fairly resolved.
3.02 The Sexual Harassment Complaint Process
The individual has the right to decide how to deal with harassment. If you believe you are being harassed, you should speak up or your lack of action may be interpreted as acceptance. Incidents of harassment should be documented. Keep a written record of the incident(s) including what the harasser did and said, who saw what, your response and to whom you reported anything. You may decide to proceed informally or you may decide to initiate formal action immediately, or later if the informal procedures are unsuccessful.
Not all incidents of harassment require formal complaints to deal when the situation and may be resolved in an informal manner. Sometimes an exaggerated response to a misinterpreted action can cause great pain and turmoil out of proportion to the incident.
Informal resolution options:
1. When you feel you are being harassed, communicate your disapproval and objections immediately to the harasser, either personally or in writing, and request the harasser to stop.
2. If the harassment does not stop or if you are not comfortable with addressing the harasser directly, you may take your concern to the Senior pastor or chair of the Personnel Committee for discussion and advice. All conversations with the Personnel Committee Chair or pastor with respect to allegations of harassment are to be kept confidential.
You may register in writing or otherwise, a complaint of sexual harassment and request the Personnel Committee or a special committee it appoints to investigate the allegations. They will examine the allegations through interviews with you and any witnesses and the alleged harasser. The investigating committee will then determine as best as they can, whether any sexual harassment has occurred and its severity, frequency and the appropriate manner of dealing with the harassment, if in their opinion the allegations are founded. This may include obtaining the apology of the harasser, suggesting counseling and/or education for the harasser, informal or formal reprimands, and disciplinary procedures including possible termination in cases so warranting. If it is determined that, in their opinion, no harassment has taken place, the confidentiality of all parties should be maintained.
If this church is an employer covered by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, an employee may bring a complaint directly with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission which will investigate the allegations. The Commission investigates and may prosecute complaints of harassment in employment. Any employee who believes that prohibited harassment has occurred or who believes that retaliation for resisting or filing a complaint has occurred may file a complaint with the appropriate federal agency. The nearest offices for the federal agencies are listed in the telephone book.
4.00 Hiring, Training and Supervision of Employees
4.01 Hiring Processes
The Personnel Committee shall implement a comprehensive hiring process for all employees that assures an appropriate hiring process including recruitment, applications, interviews, reference and background checks, and disclosure to applicants of the faith, mission and expectations of the church. The extent of any testing, references and background checks will be adapted to the nature of the position.
All new staff or staff transferred to new duties shall be provided with orientation and training in connection with their responsibilities. This training should include full familiarity with the policy and procedures manual of the church and its Employee Handbook. The nature of the responsibilities will affect the scope of this training, with special training emphases where the task involves financial systems, working with children, operation of motor vehicles, food service, sanitary systems, etc.
Employees shall be informed of who has supervisory authority and responsibilities and the duties that entails. Such immediate supervisors are responsible for directing the employee’s activities, establishing priorities, giving counsel to employees on-job performance, and being involved in periodic performance reviews. Employees shall be advised about to whom complaints may be made regarding supervisor misconduct.
5.00 Performance Review
The Personnel Committee shall assure an annual comprehensive performance review which documents areas of achievement and special competence and excellence, as well as areas of substandard performance, expectations for improvements and benchmarks for assessing such improvement. These shall be documented as provided in the Employee Handbook.
6.00 Discipline and Termination
The Employee Handbook shall contain specific and detailed provisions for disciplinary action in regard to employee misconduct or failure to adequately perform the assigned duties. Supervisors shall be informed of the procedural requirements in such discipline or termination.
7.01 Central Role
The church recognizes the primary role volunteers play in the many ministries of the church, including responsibilities often held by employees in other organizations. These duties include a wide range of positions, some involving the highest levels of trust and responsibility such as financial involvements, working with children and youth, informal counseling, teaching and ministries within and without the church facility.
7.02 Appropriate Screening, Training and Supervision
The church shall implement specific systems for appropriate screening, training and supervision based on the nature and context of the volunteer’s work.
7.03 Special Risk Contexts
The church shall be especially sensitive to volunteers whose activities are of a nature and context involving dangerous conditions or of special risks. Among these are persons who operate vehicles owned by or on behalf of the church, who handle or have access to substantial funds, who work with infants, children or youth, and similar contexts. The church shall develop specific measures to assure the competence and reliability of such volunteers. They want to assure that their backgrounds do not suggest any undue risk. Information forms, releases and background or reference checks shall be utilized when appropriate to the nature of the duties. Appropriate forms shall be developed or adopted for this process.
With volunteers as well as employees, the church shall assure appropriate training, supervision and periodic performance review.
1.00 General Principles
1.01 Biblical Principle of Stewardship
Columbus Baptist Church recognizes the biblical and legal principles of stewardship of all financial resources and the challenge to invest the resources God provides with faithfulness, wisdom and vision.
1.02 Biblical Means of Financial Support of the Church
Columbus Baptist Church believes the principal means for the financial support of the ministry of the church in its local as well as global witness is the gifts of tithes, offerings and labor of God’s people who are challenged to give generously and joyfully as God has prospered them, recognizing that they are stewards of all that God has given them.
1.03 Mission Commitment
Columbus Baptist Church believes that its financial resources should be prudently invested not only in a local ministry in and through the local church, but in mission outreach across the community, nation and world. Mission support both through cooperative giving to mission programs and locally developed missions shall form a prominent part of the financial allocations of the church.
1.04 Responsible Systems of Management and Control
A. Accounting Systems
Columbus Baptist Church, as a matter of proper stewardship, shall implement appropriate financial systems to assure compliance with legal obligations, sound financial management, and prudential systems of accountability and control. Computer accounting software will be utilized to record, track, reconcile and report the finances of the church. This software supported by appropriate financial policies will assure that the church assets are accounted for, that gifts are allocated to appropriate accounts, that disbursements are made by check based on approved bills or obligations and allocated to the proper accounts, and that regular financial reports are made to the appropriate committees and leadership, and that internal and external controls are in place to insure the accuracy of the church’s records.
B. Internal Controls
Columbus Baptist Church will maintain policies and procedures that insure separation of functions, checks and balances, and proper documentation and records, including, but not limited to the following: Individual A—prepare checks, Individual B & C—sign checks, Individual D—open statements. Individuals A, B, C or D shall not participate on the counting committee. The persons who are authorized to sign checks are: the Treasurer, Assistant Treasurer, and a church Trustee. Authorization for disbursements comes from the adopted budget which authorizes routine expenditures such as operating expenses, salaries, general and miscellaneous supplies, utilities and other line items of the budget. The Treasurer and Assistant Treasurer only have authority to act within the scope of the church’s authorization.
2.00 Governing Bodies and Key Personnel
2.01 Congregational Authority
Consistent with our Baptist congregational polity, the congregation as a whole shall have final authority over the financial affairs of Columbus Baptist Church including the adoption of a annual budget, adopting financial policies which shall guide its elected and paid leadership, and the application and interpretation of those policies. In furtherance of the diversity of gifts and ministries, the congregation through its policies and procedures may assign many responsibilities to its leaders, committees and staff, but retain final authority.
2.02 Finance Committee
The Finance Committee shall oversee the financial affairs and policies of Columbus Baptist Church and carry out the directions of the church in the financial area. It has oversight and responsibility for reviewing the budget, evaluating the on-going financial status of the church, providing guidance to the church’s elected financial officers, and proposing and assuring compliance with financial policy. The committee is responsible for the proposing an annual, comprehensive budget that covers the ministries, administrative, and practical needs of the church.
2.03 Financial Officers
Columbus Baptist Church shall elect annually such financial officers as may be essential to fulfill the financial management needs of the church including a Treasurer, Assistant Treasurer and such other officers such as a Financial Secretary as may be appropriate. Columbus Baptist Church shall for each officer establish their duties, and assure they function within the financial policies of the church.
2.04 Responsibilities and Duties – Church Secretary as Financial Secretary
The Financial Secretary position is primarily to receive and record records of the funds that come into the church treasury. The responsibilities of the Financial Secretary are as follows:
1. To work according to the guidelines established by Columbus Baptist Church.
2. To receive and record the records funds received into the church treasury from whatever source.
3. To establish a procedure to collect and record money received through methods other than the regular offering, including money received through the mail.
4. To prepare a monthly financial account report to be presented and recorded in the minutes of the monthly church conference.
5. To prepare a quarterly financial account report of all existing bank account balances to be presented and recorded in the minutes of the monthly church conference.
6. To prepare an annual financial account report of reconciliation and balances of all existing bank accounts to be presented and recorded in the minutes of the monthly church conference held in January of each year.
7. To produce individual charitable-gift receipt summaries of all donations received during a calendar year and mail within two weeks of the end of that year.
8. To be accountable to the congregation through the designated committees, elected officers, and paid staff leadership.
9. To receive monthly statements from vendors and write checks to pay bills accordingly.
10. To write payroll checks, report and pay all withholding and matching taxes.
2.05 Responsibilities and Duties – Treasurer
The treasurer is responsible to disburse all funds received into the church treasury in a responsible and organized manner in accord with the policies and procedures established by the church. The responsibilities of the treasurer are as follows:
1. To disburse all money contributed to the Columbus Baptist Church budget, keeping accurate records of how money is spent.
2. To prepare accurate monthly financial reports indicating the financial well-being of the congregation.
3. To work according to the guidelines established by the church.
4. To participate in and report regularly to the appropriate committees and officers and monthly conference meetings.
5. To assure there are adequate records documenting the assets of Columbus Baptist Church for insurance and other purposes.
6. To make recommendations for the investment of excess funds.
7. To insure that all church property is appropriately covered by insurance for casualty and liability losses.
8. To insure that all governmental taxes, reporting forms, and regulations are met on a timely basis.
9. To be accountable to the congregation and its committees.
2.06 Responsibilities and Duties – Assistant Treasurer
The Assistant Treasurer shall assist the Treasurer as needed and carry out the responsibilities of the Treasurer in his/her absence.
2.07 Counting Committee
The Nominating Committee shall recommend to the congregation for election sufficient members of a Counting Committee which may include the Deacons, members of the Finance Committee and members at large, to insure that not less than two are available on all occasions at which funds are to be counted. Funds received through Sunday School or other such occasion may only be counted and recorded by the Counting Committee. The Treasurer, Assistant Treasurer and Financial Secretary may not be included on the Counting Committee. The counting team on any given occasion shall perform double counts on all receipts and utilize counting sheets to report their counts. Each counter shall sign the counting sheet reports.
2.08 Counting Processes
A. Two members of the Counting Committee, assigned via alternating weekly schedule by the Treasurer, shall immediately after any church service at which an offering is taken, count the offering together.
B. All loose cash shall be counted and recorded on the tally sheet and the amount and date recorded on a separate empty envelope.
C. All loose checks shall be recorded on the tally sheet and on an empty envelope with the donor’s name, date, amount and the word “check”.
D. Offering envelopes shall be opened, the amount of the cash or check verified with any amount stated on the envelope, correcting or recording amount if necessary, make notation on the envelope whether the gift is “cash” or “check,” and assure the donor’s name and date is clearly marked on the envelope. Ensure any designated gifts are also marked on envelope and recorded on tally sheet. (Ensure amounts for general funds and designated funds are recorded separately so “double counting” does not occur.)
E. The empty envelopes shall be collected by the Financial Secretary as a basis for recording donor gifts and as a backup for accounting records.
F. All checks shall be stamped on the back “For Deposit Only.”
G. The tally sheet(s) shall be reviewed for accuracy by both counters, identifying donor names, cash, check, general fund and designated fund totals and a grand total. Each tally sheet is to be dated and signed by both counters.
H. A deposit slip is to be prepared, slip and funds sealed in bank provided envelope, and deposited immediately either in night deposit or by bank teller.
2.09 Audit Committee
The Audit Committee shall consist of not less than three persons nominated by the Nominating Committee and elected by the church. The committee shall conduct or arrange for an annual audit of a type and nature the church deems appropriate. The scope of any audit shall assess whether the financial policies and procedures are being adhered to. In the event of outside auditors, they shall recommend to the church such person(s) or auditing firm, and assist the audit, and review with the auditors any findings and recommendations. The committee shall convey the report of the auditors to the Columbus Baptist Church leadership, officers and the congregation.
No officer, elected or paid leadership of the church shall have any authority to act for the church in any financial matter except where expressly authorized. No officer, paid or elected leader may without express authorization enter into any loan agreement, encumber any property or otherwise bind the church to any contract or financial obligation except as directed by the congregation.
The church may require the bonding of any elected or paid staff who handles the funds of the church.
3.01 Budget Process
A. The budget proposal shall be prepared by the Finance Committee with assistance of the Pastor, and preparation shall begin no later than the first of October.
B. The Finance Committee shall annually request each department, person or committee with budget line items, to evaluate their programs and submit a budget request to the committee. Each request shall be evaluated by the Finance Committee before adding it to the budget proposal.
C. The proposed budget shall be distributed to the membership during the church conference in November for review and presented presented for adoption during the annual conference in December. Church members may amend the proposed budget when the budget is presented during the annual conference in December.
D. The proposed budget shall consist of planned expenditures to include, but not limited to: salaries and benefits, utilities, repairs and maintenance, any debt retirement, church programs, administrative expenditures and projected mission support based on a percentage of the offerings and income.
3.02 Budget Publication
On adoption, the budget shall be published and made available to all church members. Financial status reports to the membership shall be structured to reflect the budget, and actual receipts and expenditures reported in the budget categories.
3.03 Effect of Budget
The budget shall constitute the limits of authority for the elected and paid leadership to expend funds and establish the basic categories of accounting. The treasurer or other leadership shall have no authority to expend funds except where authorized by the budget or separate congregational authorization.
A. If the Finance Committee determines there is a cash flow problem or other factors requiring financial restraint, it may impose temporary spending limits in one or more categories, and/or recommend to the church specific budget adjustments.
B. Any major expense items – those exceeding ($500)—even though it is in the budget—may not be expended without notice to and approval of the Finance Committee, to assure that sufficient funds are available immediately to meet that and other needs.
C. As a guiding principle, excessive spending in any line item (more than 10% per month), must be approved by the Finance Committee to assure that sufficient funds are available immediately to meet that and other needs.
3.04 Budget Changes and Adjustments
A. Proposed budget changes during the fiscal year must come from the Finance Committee or from other committees or members. All such proposals from other committees or members must be first presented to the Finance Committee thirty (30) days before they are presented to the congregation so that the Finance Committee may make informed recommendations regarding any such proposal. The Finance Committee is responsible for making all proposed changes to the budget presented in church conference. The Finance Committee cannot refuse to present a committee’s or member’s recommendation, but may present it with disapproval.
B. With the approval of the Finance Committee, budget reallocations within subcategories of major ministry areas such as Sunday School, youth ministry, and property maintenance, may be made between line items when sufficient justification is found. However, such internal adjustments may not increase the basic church budget or the budget for any major ministry area.
C. In an emergency, with the consent of two-thirds of the Finance Committee and the Pastor and Deacons, the church may expend funds beyond the budget for any line item up to $1,000 for operational contingencies, and up to $5,000 for emergency repairs. This provision is intended only to be utilized when the need is sufficiently compelling and there is inadequate time to secure congregational approval. When this authority is utilized, the Finance Committee shall advise the church of its action in the next congregational business meeting.
3.05 Fiscal Year
The fiscal year for all church finances shall run concurrent to the calendar year.
3.06 Borrowing Authority
Only the congregation meeting in a regular or specially called meeting with notice may approve the borrowing of any funds from any source, including internal special-designated, reserved or investment funds.
4.00 Handling of Church Receipts and Funds
4.01 Receiving, Counting and Depositing Funds
The Finance Committee shall develop a comprehensive written set of policies and procedures for the reception, counting, recording and depositing of offerings and gifts whether through the general offerings or by mail or other means. The policies and procedures, as aspects of the overall financial management systems, assures appropriate internal controls through checks and balances, separation of functions and systems which can assure the membership of the integrity of the system and those who handle and safeguard the finances.
4.02 Non-Cash Gifts
The church recognizes that non-cash gifts of many kinds are very important in the ministry of the church. The policies set forth here are intended to assure that such gifts are appropriately used by the church and to guide donors in their giving priorities.
A. Gifts of negotiable securities will, unless the Finance Committee finds special circumstances, be welcomed and be sold immediately.
B. The church in conference or through a committee given the authority, must agree to the receipt of real property, and the Finance Committee and other appropriate committees may make recommendations to the church regarding the acceptance and use of such a gift.
C. Gifts of other items for the use of the church must be approved by the appropriate committee or person who would utilize such property in the ministry of the church. This is to assure the property is appropriate for the intended use, and that the donor will also be aware of the intended use of the donated item.
D. All gifts become the property of the church, and their use and/disposal is at the sole discretion of the church, except where the donor has subjected the gift to a specific designation accepted by the church.
E. For all gifts of objects accepted by the church, a donation receipt letter will be sent to the donor in a timely manner for tax purposes.
4.03 Receipting Rules
Contributions of non-cash property
Receipts for non-cash gifts must describe the gift given. No dollar value of the gift given shall be included in such a receipt/letter. Thus a gift of a car or real estate should note the gift given with specific detail that might be relevant to its value, but it is the donor’s responsibility to justify any tax-deduction value claimed on tax returns.
Gifts of property exceeding a value of $5,000
For gifts of property the aggregate value of which exceeds $5,000, the donor must obtain a qualified appraisal and attach it to his/her tax return in which the deduction is claimed. The appraisal summary must be on Form 8283, signed by the charitable organization, such as the church, and attached to the return. If property received by the church requiring Form 8283 is then sold or otherwise disposed of within two years, the church must file form 8282 within 125 days of its disposition, and a copy provided to the donor.
4.04 Approving Financial Accounts
The church may establish the following accounts:
• General Fund
• Building Fund
• Memorial Gifts Fund
• Missions Fund
• Benevolence Fund
• Endowment Fund
The church may also establish such other special and designated accounts as it may deem appropriate.
4.05 Funds Policy
All accounts or funds created by Columbus Baptist Church or by any church entity must (a) be approved by the church in conference, (b) be subject to annual reporting requirements, (c) be under the oversight of the Treasurer and Finance Committee, and (d) provide a means of recording, securing, depositing and reporting approved by the Finance Committee.
Some miscellaneous funds created by a group within the church may NOT be official church funds in which case there will no official receipting or reporting within the church. Funds not processed through the church’s financial officers are not official church funds, and donations to such funds are not qualified charitable gifts for tax purposes. These funds should in most cases be for limited and short-term use such as a temporary fund for an outing or a social-events fund of a class. No bank or other financial account may be established under the name of the church unless approved by the church and unless the funds are subject to the usual financial processes established by the Finance Committee.
4.06 Deposit Accounts
The church may establish such bank and other accounts for the deposit of funds as shall be appropriate. Designated Funds shall be receipted and disbursed through separate ledger accounts. The church treasurer shall maintain one or more separate accounts for all designated funds.
4.07 Allocation of Gifts to Funds and Accounts
Except where the donor has expressly designated otherwise or the receipts have been received for special funds or causes, all receipts shall be credited to the General Fund.
4.08 Designated Funds Policy
A. The church may establish such designated funds and accounts as may further the ministry of the church, and shall for all such funds assure separate accounting and reporting.
B. No designated funds shall be received by the church except where the church has approved or established the fund and its related project or activity. Gifts with some unapproved designation shall be returned, or may at the discretion of the Budget and Finance Committee be held conditionally until the church can assess whether it wishes to establish such an approved designated fund.
C. Members wishing to give designated funds should consult with the pastor or other leadership to request the church’s consideration of their preferred designation and any alternatives.
D. Designated funds shall be restricted solely for the designated use and may not be diverted to other purposes without the written authorization of the donor.
E. The treasurer and/or Finance Committee shall provide an annual report to the church on the status of all designated funds including new receipts and expenditures.
F. Whenever feasible and appropriate, the Finance Committee shall advise donors when their designated funds have been used.
4.09 Benevolence Fund Policy
In furtherance of Columbus Baptist Church’s ministry exemplified in our Lord and his teaching to give to those in need, the church Benevolence Fund shall be a resource for meeting special financial needs that arise in our community and church. Any church member may make recommendations regarding situations calling for assistance, but the specific use of such funds is subject to the control and discretion of the Deacons serving as/or the Benevolence Committee. No person, either in the community or the church, may receive benevolence funds on a regular basis which may be construed as support.
4.10 Mission Project Fund Policy
Columbus Baptist Church may from time to time establish a Mission Project Fund to receive designated gifts in support of a church-approved mission project. Such approval shall assure the project is consistent with the purposes and ministry of the church, has appropriate leadership, and has a realistic budget. The church will accept gifts to such mission projects so long as the gifts are not designated for particular individuals but for the project broadly. A Mission Project Committee shall be elected, and with the Finance Committee shall have final authority over the specific allocation of the gifts toward elements of the project costs.
4.11 Memorial Gifts and Fund
Memorial gifts with donor-controlled designations can pose problems because they may specify projects or elements not approved by Columbus Baptist Church. Therefore:
A. The Finance Committee and treasurer shall establish a Memorial Gifts Fund for receiving and accounting for designated gifts in memory/honor of members and others associated with the church or its friends.
B. The Finance Committee shall establish appropriate policies on the use of such memorial gifts and authorize expenditures of the funds for purposes it deems appropriate. The committee may identify priority projects or ministries toward which it will allocate such gifts. While specific interests of donors will be considered, the committee retains the authority and responsibility to use the funds in a manner appropriate to the purposes of the church. Final authority always remains with the congregation. All gifts are received subject to this principle.
C. A Book of Memorial Fund Gifts shall be maintained by the committee that will register memorial gifts to the church. The following information will be included in the book: the name of the person in whose memory/honor the gift is given, the date and occasion for the gift if applicable, the name(s) of the donor, and a description of the gift. When the funds are used, a note may be made in the book as to the use.
D. Where Memorial Funds are used to purchase a tangible asset, the committee may recommend to the church that a memorial marker be placed on the object noting that it was made possible by the Memorial Fund.
4.12 Memorials Committee
If the need arises, Columbus Baptist Church may elect a Memorials Committee of not less than three persons. The tasks of a Memorials Committee shall be as follows:
A. To establish procedures and policies in regard to memorial gifts and related projects to assist families in choosing items that best support priority church ministry projects and help redirect unneeded or undesirable gifts.
B. To prepare an inventory of potential memorial projects and regularly review and update the list and submit it to the church annually for approval.
C. To publicize the existence of the approved list of needs and opportunities to members and friends of the church. Projects can be in memory of a loved one who has died or in honor of a loved one who is still living.
D. To supervise the receiving, recording and disbursement of all memorial gifts.
E. To keep an accurate record of all memorial-gift money received and distributed by the Memorials Committee through the church financial secretary.
F. To supervise the sending of thank-you notes for all memorial contributions.
G. To approve the disbursement of memorial gift fund money at its discretion through the church treasurer.
4.13 Investment Policy
The chair of the Finance Committee will appoint a chair and two other committee members to form the Investment Committee. The function of this committee is to make recommendations to the Finance Committee to insure the safe and prudent investments of unrestricted funds while continuing to fulfill the operational obligations of Columbus Baptist Church and its purposes. Authority for selecting investment options remains with the Finance Committee subject to the review and ultimate authority of the congregation.
The principal means for the support of the ministry of Columbus Baptist Church is through the tithes and offerings of its members, whose stewardship is a dimension of discipleship. Any special fundraising activities by the church or any of its divisions or programs must be approved by the church in conference, based on a written proposal noting the nature of the proposed fundraising activity including the target audience, place and time, the financial goal, the proposed use of the funds, and who will be conducting and supervising the event including accountability for the funds. No fundraising event shall use the name of Columbus Baptist Church or its ministries without the approval of the congregation/members.
5.00 Handling Disbursements
5.01 General Procedures
The Finance Committee shall establish specific written policies and procedures for the handling of disbursement of funds, assuring ample internal controls. Such systems shall assure that (a) disbursements are properly authorized by the congregationally approved budget or other approval process set forth in the church bylaws or policy manual, (b) that adequate records are maintained to support the appropriateness of each disbursement through such documents as purchase orders and invoices, (c) that multiple persons are involved in the processes of authorizing payments, preparing checks and signing checks, (d) that multiple check signatures are required on all disbursements, (e) that the specific duties of financial leadership, paid or elected, in regard to disbursements are clearly set forth.
The disbursement system shall be integrated into a general accounting and bookkeeping system recommended and overseen by the Finance Committee and authorized by the church.
5.02 Authority to Expend Funds Outside the Budget
The Finance Committee may not authorize expenditures outside the budget without approval in church conference. Any committee or member may present a project in conference, but any project requiring funds outside the approved budget must be presented with a plan on how to acquire such funds. It is recommended that such plan be developed in conjunction with the Finance Committee and Pastor before presentation to the church in conference.
5.03 Non-Employee Payments
The church shall file Form 1099 MISC for each person to whom it pays $600 or more annually in rents or payments for services.
5.04 Employee Reimbursement Policy and Procedure
A. Consistent with ISR regulations for an accountable expense reimbursement policy, and the church’s desire to confirm to these requirements for the benefit of the church and staff, the church shall adopt and implement an expense reimbursement policy whereby ministers and other staff may receive advances for, or reimbursement of, expenses to the extent provided for in the current budget if and only if the following conditions are met: (1) the expense has a stated business purpose related to the church’s ministry, (2) the minister or staff provides written detailed substantiation of the expenses, normally on a form provided by the church, within sixty (60) days, and (3) any excess reimbursements are returned within 120 days. Further, any advances must not be made more than thirty (30) days before the expected expenses, nor in excess of a reasonable estimate of those expenses. An accounting and substantiation of expenses must be made within sixty (60) days and the return of any excess advance fund within 120 days.
B. The Finance Committee shall recommend for church approval a budget included as a component of the annual budget and account for advances and/or reimbursement as staff employment/ministry church expenses arise.
C. The Personnel Committee shall adopt a written specific expense reimbursement policy that shall include guidelines on what expenses are considered appropriate—for example when the church would consider air travel appropriate, limits to tourist-class fares, and any limits on costs of meals reimbursed such as a maximum amount for meals per diem.
D. The Finance Committee shall establish and implement the specific procedures for submission of requests for reimbursement, required substantiation documentation, and procedures for expense advances and reimbursements, consistent with the requirements of an accountable plan as described by applicable IRS regulations. The procedures shall include the appropriate forms and identification of persons authorized to approve advances, reimbursements or process forms.
E. The treasurer shall monthly process approved reimbursements and approved advances and record such on the books of the church and retain records to establish conformance with the accountable plan standards of the IRS.
F. Reimbursements for incidental items purchased for church use by church members shall be processed provided the purchase was previously authorized by the church.
5.05 Housing Allowance
(See Policy Section on Pastoral Staff)
6.00 Financial Reporting
6.01 Financial Reports
The treasurer and such other officers as may be necessary shall provide financial reports at each congregational business meeting. A comprehensive written financial report and accounting of the previous year’s revenues and expenditures shall be presented to the membership at the first church conference of the new fiscal year and a summary published in the Columbus Baptist Church’s bulletin on that conference meeting date. This report will include comparisons of actual revenues and expenses compared to budget figures.
6.02 Access to Financial Records
Members shall have access to the principal financial reports of the church including budgets, periodic financial reports, annual financial reports and reports from auditors. Members shall not, however, have access to individual donor records, except records of their own giving. Such individual donor records shall be confidential and available only to those who must have the information to carry out their assigned duties. Members shall have access to records showing the disposition of designated funds.
6.03 Other Financial Reports
Columbus Baptist Church as an employer is subject to many state and federal labor, withholding, and other tax laws. The Finance Committee or an appointed representative shall annually or as needed carefully review the church’s duties of reporting and complying under these laws, and if necessary, consult financial and legal advisers.
The following is a list of common reporting and filing requirements that often affect churches—most related to employment and/or financial dealings.
IRS Form 8274 Social Security and Medicare tax for church employers
IRS Form 4361 Relates to Social Security and ministers
IRS Form 941 or 941SS Forms are for the reporting of city, state or federal tax withholding. If the church is exempt from Social Security, 941SS is to be submitted.
IRS Form W-4 Form pertains to all employees and some minister employees
IRS Form W-2 Statement of earnings
IRS Form W-3 To the Social Security Administration and, in some instances, to the state
IRS Form 1099 MISC. Issued to self-employed individuals indicating sums paid
IRS Form 1099 INT. Issued to anyone paid interest of more than $10 in a calendar year
IRS Form 1096 Transmittal form for all 1099 forms
IRS Form 8283 Submitted to the IRS for donations of non-cash items in excess of $500 or less than $5,000. Read it carefully.
IRS Form 8282 To be completed by the church only if non-cash items are sold.
IRS Form 8300 If a church (or any other ministry) receives $10,000 or more in cash in any business or trade transaction
(e.g., rental of property or a parking lot), it would need to be reported on Form 8300. This reporting is NOT required for charitable contributions.
IRS Form I-9 The Immigration and Naturalization Service requires this to be on file for every employee.
IRS Form 990 A church is not obligated to fill out and return this form.
IRS Form 990T A church that receives $1,000 or more in gross income from an unrelated trade or business must file this form. (Unrelated Business Income obligations are discussed below.)
6.04 Document Retention Policy
Columbus Baptist Church through its officers and staff shall retain permanently the following records and documents: Articles of Incorporation, church bylaws, titles to property, insurance policies, membership rolls, stock certificates and transfer lists, minutes of church business meetings (church-in-conference), annual financial reports, audit reports, copyrights and trademark registrations, church newsletters, Sunday bulletins, legal correspondence, tax returns and working papers, retirement and pension records, and such other documents whose permanent retention is required by congregational action. These documents shall be maintained in a fireproof and secure location under the control of the church.
The following records shall be retained for a period of ten years in a secure location: All church financial records and statements (bank statements and records, checks, contribution statements, vendor documentation, purchase orders, housing allowance designations), accident reports, personnel records (applications for employment, terminated employee records, expired contracts, personnel files, payroll records), property documents (appraisals, expired insurance policies, tax or other financial matters), contracts and agreements, wills of deceased donors, federal/ state/local filings, insurance documents (accident reports, claims [after settlement], expired policies, safety reports), expired trust agreements.
The Audit Committee shall conduct or arrange for an annual audit of a type and nature the church deems appropriate. The scope of any audit shall assess whether the financial policies and procedures are being adhered to. In the event of outside auditors, they shall recommend to the church such person(s) or auditing firm, assist the audit and review with the auditors any findings and recommendations. The committee shall convey the report of the auditors to the church leadership, officers and congregation.
8.00 Special Financial Matters
8.01 UBI Policy Statement:
The treasurer and Finance Committee shall be familiar with the basic provisions of Unrelated Business Income regulations, and shall file federal and state tax returns in the event such income exceeds $1,000. In the event of reportable UBI, The treasurer and and/or Finance Committee shall advise the pastor, deacons and other leadership so that the church may assess its policies and practices in this regard.
8.02 Special “Love” and Other Special Offerings Earmarked for Individuals
The Finance Committee and other elected leadership and staff shall familiarize themselves with the provisions of the Internal Revenue Code in regard both to earmarked gifts generally and especially where gifts are solicited to be given to specific individuals. Where such gifts may be made, but would not qualify as charitable gifts for tax purposes, donors will be so advised and the church will not issue receipts or letters of acknowledgment unless they note such gifts are not qualified charitable gifts.
8.03 Loans to Staff
Loans shall not be made to staff from church funds or secured by any church asset.
Protection and Ministry Policies
1.00 General Policy and Commitment
The Children and Youth are the future of Columbus Baptist Church and are an integral part of our congregation. We are committed to supporting the youth of the church in spiritual growth with our Lord, providing opportunities to fellowship with each other and minister to the community.
2.00 Policies on Leadership Selection, Screening and Training
Recognizing the highest priority that must be given to assuring that those who work with children and youth be carefully chosen and effectively trained and supervised, the church shall assure a thorough process of screening, training and supervising all who work in these ministries.
All staff and volunteers are required to familiarize themselves with the children-youth protection policies as adopted and published by the church, and set forth in the church policy manual. Those policies establish, among others, the following obligations of all staff:
- To abide by the policies established by the church.
- To report to the pastor or other official of the church any violations of any of these policies and procedures by staff, volunteers or others.
- To abide by public-reporting laws in the case of incidents of suspected child abuse or neglect, reporting to the county director of Department of Social Services promptly.
- To understand that any staff or volunteer will submit to a background check in December of every year.
- To understand that violations of policies may result in discipline including dismissal and/or criminal investigation.
To participate in annual staff training on the church’s protection policies and child abuse and neglect issues.
2.01 General Qualifications for All Leadership
Every volunteer and staff person who works with children or youth shall:
- Confess Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior
- Adhere to the affirmations of faith of the church
- Be a member in good standing
- Be hired or approved in accord with the policies and procedures of the church
- Evidence the skills, attitude and Christian maturity appropriate to the ministry
- Agree will submit to a background check in December of every year
- Have no history of being an abuser or criminal record inconsistent with the ministry task
2.02 Training Programs
A. Mandatory Training
Training sessions shall be held not less than annually. Sessions shall be held for all volunteers who work with children and teens to educate them on the policies and procedures for insuring safety and reducing the risk of abuse. Specific training shall be provided by our Pastor or the Children/Youth Director in regard to specific policies in the volunteer’s area of ministry.
B. Training content shall include all the following:
1. Church policies and procedures
2. General “abuse” matters
• What is abuse?
• Signs of abuse: physical, emotional, sexual
• What conduct is inappropriate?
• Reporting duties to state and church
• Staff and volunteer screening procedures and purpose of these measures
• Hearing preschool/children/teen “reports”
• Legal (civil and criminal) consequences of misconduct
• Where to get help
2.03 Training Records
The committee shall retain records of training sessions including leadership, program components, and attendees.
3.00 General Safety and Health Issues
The Children Youth Committee shall review the church’s ministry, giving special care to issues of safety and health for the children and youth.
3.01 Recreational Facilities (playgrounds, play areas etc.)
Recreational Facilities (playgrounds, play areas etc.)
The Children Youth Committee shall assure that there are assigned responsibilities for oversight and implementation of procedures and operations involving all recreational facilities, and set forth the duties of those responsible in regard to inspections, supervision, records, and incident reports of injuries and accidents.
B. Prohibited Activities
The Children Youth Committee shall expressly prohibit certain activities such as skateboarding in areas where such would pose a risk to others using the property. Use of Alcohol or tobacco products are prohibited.
C. Safety Standards for Facilities and Equipment
Facilities and Equipment utilized for children or youth activities will be appropriately maintained and in good working order. Broken toys or unsafe items should not be utilized. Facilities issues should be immediately reported to a member of the House and Grounds Committee.
D. Children/Youth Intro sheet
Each Child or Youth should fill out an Intro Sheet listing the minor’s name, parent or guardian name and phone number, any known allergies, or special instructions.
3.02 General Safety and Health Policy
A. Phone Access: There shall be access to a telephone on the premises and a cell phone available off the premises when minors are on a trip. Important phone numbers needed in a medical emergency shall be posted prominently.
B. First Aid: A first-aid kit shall be available in class rooms and on outings. Children Youth Director shall be trained in first aid and other emergency skills such as CPR and dealing with choking.
C. Accident Log: A logbook shall be kept in an official place to record all accidents.
D. Fire Safety: All adults working with preschool, children and youth shall be trained in fire safety, including exit routes and alternatives. Fire extinguishers should be available and regularly checked. Smoke detectors should be installed and batteries regularly checked. Regular fire drills should be held.
E. Emergency Preparedness: All adults shall be trained in procedures to follow in case of a tornado, hurricane, earthquake, terrorist threats or other emergency situations.
F. Infectious Diseases: Children or staff with infectious diseases shall not participate in the group until medical personnel clear them.
G. Allergies and Sensitivities: Children/Youth Intro sheet will alert adult workers to any special limitations or allergies a child may have, especially to foods such as peanuts and special sensitivities such as to bee stings.
3.03 Premises Control – Access, Departure, Etc.
A. Premises Control: Children shall not be allowed to leave the premises unsupervised. They shall not be allowed to wander around the church facility or be alone especially when going to the bathroom.
B. Departure of Children: Arrangements shall be made for children and teens to return to their homes after the activity is over. Children shall not be permitted to go home alone. Children shall not be permitted to leave the premises without their parents’ permission.
C. Drop-Off of Preschoolers and Children: Preschoolers and children are never to be left in a classroom unless two unrelated adults are present. If there are not two adults present, parents may wait with their child or take the child to another room or office where two or more adults are present.
D. Pick-up of Preschoolers and Children: For all preschool children, unless special provision is made otherwise, a parent must come to the room and pick up their child/children from the classroom. Authorization for independent release may be given by signing a release for children in first and second grades. Third and fourth graders may be released independently after class.
3.04 Off-Site Events
A. Any off-site events with preschoolers and/or children must be approved by the Children Youth Committee, based on a detailed submission of the plans, supervision, travel arrangements and parental involvement/approval process.
B. One-day, but not overnight, off-site events by the youth group, but within the county or adjacent county must be approved by the youth ministry leadership. They shall provide for sufficient supervision, adult transportation, and otherwise comply with church policies. Off-site youth events involving travel beyond adjacent counties or involving overnight stays must be approved by the Children Youth Committee which shall assure adequate supervision, appropriate facilities and chaperones, adult transportation and use of consent forms.
C. Consent Forms: Parents must sign a consent form when children or young people are taken on trips or activities off the premises (not in the church or regular meeting place). Consent forms shall note the nature of the activity, type of transportation provided, contact numbers for the supervisors and sites of activities. Parents shall also be asked to authorize emergency medical treatment, provide information on special medical or dietary needs, and provide telephone numbers where a parent or others may be contacted in an emergency, and other information appropriate to the activity.
3.05 Medical and Emergency Policies and Procedures
A. First Aid
First-aid supplies and equipment should be available in each classroom.
B. Incident Reports
An incident/accident report form should be completed each time an accident or health issue occurs. This form shall be completed by the person in charge who is present and turned in to the office immediately. Extremely minor injuries requiring only emotional comfort or a simple Band-Aid need not be written up but shall be communicated to the parent or guardian.
Staff, paid or volunteer, shall never administer any medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, without the written consent of the parent! In special circumstances where church workers must administer medications, it must be only where there is written authorization with specific instructions on the medications, timing and dosage. Staff shall record in a log any medications given, noting child, medicine, dosage, time and person administering.
D. Bodily Fluids
Caution must be exercised when dealing with bodily fluids. Due to the increased risk of the spread of disease, bodily fluids must be promptly and safely disposed of and the area properly cleaned. Leaders must wear protective gloves. Leaders must adequately wash after contact with body fluid of any kind. This should be done routinely, even when no health risk is perceived. Disposable materials soiled by blood must be placed in a plastic bag. Soiled clothing will be returned to the parents in a plastic bag. If a child has come in contact with the body fluids of another child, the parents of that child should be notified.
E. Medical Issues and Emergencies
1. Consent/Information Forms
The parent or legal guardian shall be encouraged annually to fill out a parental consent certification and medical authorization form for each child who will be participating in the ministries of the church. A copy of the forms should accompany any activity that takes place outside the church facilities.
2. Guidelines in Case of Serious Medical Injuries/Emergencies
In case of a serious emergency involving broken bones, convulsions, fainting, loss of consciousness or other serious injury, the following guidelines shall be observed:
• Keep calm and keep children and the injured as calm as possible.
• Do not move the injured child.
• Speak calmly, reassuring the child.
• Send a fellow teacher for help. Never leave the injured child.
• The person in charge shall call 911 after assessing the situation and give the information and directions as needed.
• As soon as the leadership is notified, the co-worker should return to help in removing other children in the area from the scene of the accident.
• The person in charge (staff member) will locate the parents and advise them of the condition of the child and procedure suggested by medical personnel.
• Leaders will refer to the child’s parents for details of preference of hospital and doctor.
• In case the child is transported to the hospital, a leader will accompany the child, especially if the parents cannot be located in a timely fashion.
• As soon as possible, the teacher needs to return to his/her group to see that the other children remain calm and reassured.
• An incident/accident form should be written as soon as possible with specifics of medical personnel recommendations and name of hospital to which the child was taken.
F. Wellness Policy
Because kids get sick and readily transmit illness to each other, CBC recognizes the following “Signs of communicable illness that would be reason to exclude the child from participation include”
• A fever (100 degrees or more in the armpit, 101 degrees orally, or 102 degrees rectally)
• Severe coughing
• Two or more episodes of vomiting within the past twelve (12) hours
• Red eye with white or yellow eye discharge, until twenty-four (24) hours after treatment
• Yellow or green nasal discharge
• Scabies or lice
• Chicken pox or a rash suggestive of chicken pox
• Other undiagnosed rashes
• Open skin lesions
• Tuberculosis, until a physician states the child is not infectious
• Strep throat, until twenty-four (24) hours after treatment begins
• Pertussis, until five (5) days after antibiotic treatment
• Hepatitis A, until one week after onset of illness or jaundice
• Impetigo, until twenty-four (24) hours after treatment
Any child on antibiotics should have been on the drug for at least twenty-four (24) hours before coming to an activity.
3.06 Special Emergencies – Fire, Weather Emergencies
Leader Guidelines in Case of Fire or Fire/Smoke Alarm
In the event of fire or fire/smoke alarm, take the following immediate action. Do not wait for confirmation of a fire.
• Line up students by the door and take a head count.
• Close windows and doors as you leave and if possible take your class attendance or sign-in sheet with you.
• Know your exit route as posted in the classroom and quietly and calmly lead students out by proper exit.
• Proceed to a grassy area away from the building and off any roads. Once you are clear of the building, take a head count and/or attendance.
• Return to the building only after the “All Clear” has been sounded.
• Do not dismiss any students from outside.
• For the safety of the children, parents may NOT get their child/children before the class has left the building. Parents must show their ID to claim their child and sign out on the sheet.
Leader Guidelines in Case of Tornado Immediate Threat
In the event of a warning that there is immediate risk of a tornado, take the following steps immediately:
• Assemble all the children and then lead them to an inside wall on the lowest floor.
• Guide the children to crouch on the floor facing the wall, bent over with hands on the back of their heads.
• Keep away from glass doors and windows.
• Do not return to the classroom until advised by other church staff or leaders that the risk has passed.
Pastoral Staff Policies
The call, election and termination of pastoral staff are in part set forth in the bylaws. Other policies are included herein.
1.00 Pastoral Staff Employment Relationships
1.01 Pastoral Staff Employment Policies
The church shall establish and set forth appropriate employment policies in regard to the pastoral staff, adopt them as an aspect of the calling of a pastor, and annually review such policies. Such policies shall not constitute a contract and are subject to modification by the church at any time.
1.02 Identification of Pastoral Staff
The Personnel Committee shall make recommendations as a mater of general policy, and in individual calls, as to what staff members shall be classified as members of the “pastoral” staff, giving recognition to the church’s biblical and theological views, and the employment law implications of such classifications. The church shall also, in that process, identify and set forth in writing those persons whose classification, ordination status and church practice are authorized to perform the principal rituals and ceremonies of the church, including the performance of weddings.
2.00 Pastoral Staff Ministry Review
2.01 Annual Review
The deacons or the Personnel Committee shall not less than annually develop and implement a process of ministry review with each member of the pastoral staff. This review shall seek in collaborative and constructive ways to assess ministry strengths and areas of weakness or concern, and seek to identify means to enhance effectiveness in ministry and in the pastor’s growth in all dimensions of life and work. Where appropriate, priorities may be mutually set, and means developed for addressing problems or concerns.
3.00 Ministerial Staff Benefits and Related Policies
3.01 Reimbursement Policy
A. Authorization for Reimbursements.
In addition to the salary provided all employees including the pastor, the church will reimburse them for auto, travel and professional expenses considered ordinary and necessary for them to carry out their duties with a fixed limit as set forth in the annual budget. If actual expenses are less than this sum, the difference will not be paid as additional salary or other benefit.
B. Compliance with IRS Regulations
Consistent with IRS regulations for an accountable expense reimbursement policy, and the church’s desire to conform to these requirements for the benefit of the church and staff, the church shall implement an expense reimbursement policy whereby ministers and other staff may receive advances for or reimbursement of expenses to the extent provided for in the current budget if and only if (1) the expense has a stated business purpose related to the church’s ministry, (2) the minister or staff provides written detailed substantiation of the expenses, normally on a form provided by the church, within not less than sixty (60) days, and (3) any excess reimbursements are returned within 120 days. Further any advances must not be made more than thirty (30) days before the expected expenses, nor in excess of a reasonable estimate of those expenses, and an accounting and substantiation of expenses must be made within sixty (60) days, and the return of any excess advance fund within 120 days.
C. Church Reimbursement Systems
The financial officers shall establish a clear system including appropriate forms for employees to submit expenses for reimbursement. Such a system should include requirements for necessary documentation such as receipts where possible. The system may also require that certain expenses would require prior approval and others more routine, such as monthly pastoral car mileage, would not require such.
The church may also provide that in certain circumstances the church would advance expense account funds, subject to necessary post-expenditure accounting and return of any unused funds.
3.02 Pastoral Housing Allowance Policy
The Finance Committee shall annually request of those who qualify for a “Housing Allowance” the submission of estimated housing expenses, satisfy itself that the total does not clearly exceed the fair-market rental value of the furnished home plus utilities, and recommend to the church prior to next tax year, a sum to be designated in that next year as “Housing Allowance.” The church shall vote on such recommendation and record it in its minutes.
3.03 Policy on Church Loans to Pastoral Staff
The church, consistent with its exempt status and legal obligations regarding the use of its funds, shall not make loans or otherwise act as security for loans, to members or staff.
4.00 Sexual Exploitation
This church is committed to a community in which members, friends, staff and volunteers can worship and work together in an atmosphere free of sexual harassment, exploitation or intimidation. All persons should be aware that the church condemns sexual misconduct and sexual exploitation in any form and such is prohibited by church policy. Misconduct of a sexual nature within the life of the church not only is a personal tragedy, but it also undermines the moral mission of the church today to speak to a culture whose sexual mores and preoccupation in media are risking our very culture and the foundations of marriage and family life.
All persons engaged in the ministry of this church whether ordained clergy, ministerial or lay staff members, or volunteers are responsible for knowing the possible impact of their words and actions in ministering to the emotional, mental, and spiritual needs of persons who come to them for help or over whom they have any kind of authority. Sexual misconduct or exploitation of others by anyone engaged in the ministry of this church is sinful, unethical and unprofessional behavior with tragic consequences for families and the community and will not be tolerated. Because the ministry of the church often deals with individuals who are emotionally and psychologically fragile or otherwise personally vulnerable, it is imperative that those engaged in the ministry of this church maintain their own commitment to biblical sexual standards, and to their psychological, emotional, and spiritual health and that they have appropriate preparation for helping those individuals they seek to serve in ministry.
In addition, this church has always recognized that those who are chosen for ordained ministry bear a particular responsibility to pattern their lives according to Jesus’ example. Not only are our leaders regarded by the faithful as examples of what a Christian life should be but any moral offense by clergy or laypersons entrusted with pastoral and educational ministries is especially hurtful because it betrays that trust committed to them by the church to nurture and care for every member.
Any staff member who engages in sexual misconduct as set forth in Scripture is subject to discipline including dismissal. Any persons, staff or volunteers, who engage in sexual misconduct with persons to whom they are ministering in positions of leadership and trust such as counseling, group leadership, teaching, team leadership, mission group leaders, youth counselors and similar capacities will be subject to removal from those positions. Similarly, persons whose relationships in such contexts become inappropriate and risk abusing positions of leadership will be counseled regarding their conduct and may be removed from their positions.