The purpose of this policy is to establish and communicate certain limitations to the authority of the Senior Pastor as set forth by the Board of Elders.
The Senior Pastor is empowered with the responsibility and authority necessary to conduct the church’s day-to-day affairs, including establishing a strategic plan to achieve the “ends” of the organization as defined by the Board of Elders. To this end, this policy includes general constraints and limitations which define the functional and operational boundaries of the Senior Pastor’s responsibility and authority under the supervision of the Board of Elders.
As with all policies and other documentation contained in the Management System, all ministry area leaders must ensure the details of this policy are known and followed by all paid staff and ministry area volunteers. The primary responsibility for this policy rests with the Board of Elders.
No programs, activities, or teachings that contradict or undermine Biblical doctrine may be implemented.
No individual may be appointed to or permitted to continue in a position of leadership whose behavior is contrary to Biblical values as determined by the Senior Pastor and the Board of Elders.
The Senior Pastor may not cause or allow conditions, procedures, or decisions that are unsafe, undignified, unnecessarily intrusive, coercive, or that fail to provide appropriate confidentiality or privacy related to any congregant.
- No application forms that elicit information for which there is no clear necessity.
- No methods of collecting, reviewing, transmitting, or storing member information that fails to protect against improper access to the material elicited.
- No facilities that fail to provide a reasonable level of privacy.
- No failure to establish with members a clear understanding of what may be expected and what may not be expected from the church.
- No failure to provide sufficient weekly worship services to accommodate the needs of the congregation.
- No failure to establish programs to ensure the spiritual growth of church members.
The Senior Pastor may not cause or allow any unsafe, unfair, undignified, or unlawful treatment of staff.
- No staff may be hired who are unwilling to endorse the mission, vision, core values, beliefs, etc. of the church.
- No staff who are unwilling to become a member of the church or who, through their lifestyle or doctrinal position, are ineligible for church membership may be hired.
- No staff member may be retained whose conduct is contrary to Biblical values as determined by the Senior Pastor and Board of Elders.
- No budget in which the cost of salaries and benefits exceeds X% of the total budget.
The Senior Pastor may not cause or allow any practice, activity, decision, or organizational circumstance that is unlawful, imprudent, or in violation of generally accepted personal and professional ethics, including the following:
- No decisions, procedures, behaviors, or conditions with members, attendees, donors, vendors, business partners, or the local community that are undignified, intrusive, rude, or that can be construed as a conflict of interest.
- No unreasonable exposure of the organization to claims of liability.
- No failure to protect information, files, and intellectual property from loss or damage.
- No ownership transfer of any real property without prior approval of the Board of Elders.
The Senior Pastor may not cause or allow the development of fiscal jeopardy or compromised fiduciary responsibility, including the following:
- No five-year period without at least one external audit. The church’s next audit should be conducted by or before 20XX.
- No accounting procedures contrary to generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP).
- No significant church assets left unprotected, inadequately maintained, or unnecessarily risked.
- No borrowing of funds without prior approval of the Board of Elders.
- No loss of funds due to inadequate control procedures.
- No unbudgeted expenditures without written approval from the Board of Elders. Approval of an unbudgeted expenditure requires a majority vote of the Board of Elders. (This policy does not apply to unfavorable budget variance, addressed via monthly reporting and Senior Pastor oversight.)
The Senior Pastor may not allow the Board of Elders to be uninformed about any Biblical, business, financial, employment, or other issues actually or potentially under its authority and oversight. The Senior Pastor will …
- Report promptly actual or anticipated noncompliance with any Board of Elders guideline or policy.
- Advise the Board of Elders if, in the Senior Pastor’s opinion, the Team is not in compliance with its guidelines and/or policies.
- Submit Board of Elders reports or other monitoring data required by the Board of Elders in a timely, accurate, and understandable manner.
- Notify the Board of Elders of anticipated adverse media coverage, threatened or pending lawsuits, or allegations of significant staff failures to live up to employment standards.