YOUR CHURCH has defined and implemented certain employment classifications, categories, and staff designations as needed for the administration of certain benefits, work schedules, work rules, etc. Each staff member should be aware of their classification, category, and/or staff designation at the time of employment with the church. Employment classifications and staff designations for each staff position are documented via the Job Description. Job Descriptions exist for all church staff positions and are available to all staff via the Management System document library. Employment categories are documented via the staff member’s employment offer letter. Questions about employment classifications, categories, or staff designations should be directed to the staff member’s ministry area leader or the Executive Pastor.
Depending on position, a staff member is classified as either Nonexempt or Exempt from federal and state wage and hour laws. A Nonexempt staff member is entitled to overtime pay under the specific provisions of federal and state laws. An Exempt staff member is excluded from specific provisions of federal and state wage and hour laws. Exempt or Nonexempt classifications may only be changed via the Job Description, approved by the Executive Pastor.
In addition to being classified as Nonexempt or Exempt, a staff member also belongs to one of the following employment categories:
A staff member is in the Regular Full-Time category if they are regularly scheduled to work the church’s full-time schedule.
A staff member is in the Regular Part-Time category if they are regularly scheduled to work less than 40 hours per week.
The above categories also apply to Temporary or Intern staff. A Temporary full or part-time staff member has an employment relationship with the church, but is assigned to work on an irregular or unpredictable basis.
An Intern full or part-time, paid or unpaid is a staff member whose employment with the church is for a specific purpose and with a strict term or duration. Typically an Intern is completing a degree or other educational requirement(s) and is employed by the church to that end. Interns receive offer letters signed by the Executive Pastor that specifically outline the purpose of the internship as well as its term, rate of compensation (if any), etc.
Staff members also fit into one or more staff designations, depending on the position and leadership level in the organization. These designations include: Preschool Staff, Administrative Staff, Support Staff, Ministry Staff, Senior Staff, and Executive Staff.
Preschool Staff includes all staff working in the church’s mid-week preschool program. In most cases, Preschool Staff are nonexempt, regular part-time staff members. Preschool Staff are employed on an “annual renewal” basis and are not eligible for church benefit programs. The annual renewal is accomplished via annual offer letters, signed by the staff member and the Executive Pastor. Offer letters are kept in the staff member’s personnel file.
Administrative Staff includes those church staff members who are in positions defined as “administrative” in duties and responsibilities. These positions include but are not limited to Administrative Assistant, Executive Assistant, Office Manager, Bookkeeper, etc.
Support Staff includes those church staff members who function in a ministry support role but are non-ordained and generally not considered to be functioning in a ministry leadership capacity. These positions include but are not limited to Visual Media Producer, Producer, Production Assistant, Technical Director, etc.
Ministry Staff includes those church staff members who function in ministry positions, including ordination. Ordination is accomplished via a letter that is written and signed by the Senior Pastor and kept on file in the staff member’s personnel file. Staff members ordained prior to employment with the church should provide documentation as such for inclusion in their personnel file. As “ordained ministers,” Ministry Staff perform the sacraments (baptism, communion, weddings, funerals, etc.) and are eligible for certain federal income tax benefits, such as housing allowance and the ability to opt out of Social Security. Therefore, the church does not pay half of a Ministry Staff member’s FICA as it does non-Ministry Staff members.
The Senior Staff is a subset of the Ministry Staff and is considered to be the highest level of leadership other than the Executive Staff and Leadership Team. Senior Staff members report directly to the Executive Pastor and are also under the routine oversight and guidance of the Senior Pastor. Senior Staff members are also ordained ministers and are eligible for certain tax benefits as described above.
The Executive Staff includes both the Executive and Senior Pastors. The Executive Staff is the highest level of church leadership other than the Leadership Team. The Executive Pastor reports directly to the Senior Pastor and the Senior Pastor is under the oversight and support of the Leadership Team as outlined in the church’s By-Laws. The By-Laws are available to everyone via the Management System. The Executive Staff is also considered to be the corporate “officers” as outlined in the church’s Articles of Incorporation.
For simplicity in documenting and communicating policy, Ministry, Senior, and Executive Staff may be referred to collectively as Pastoral Staff.
In some cases, a church staff member may simultaneously be in more than one staff designation. For example a Senior Staff member is also considered to be a Ministry Staff member. The Preschool Director could be designated as both a Preschool Staff member and a Pastoral Staff member. In cases such as these, specifics related to certain benefits, work schedules, and work rules will be established at the time of employment or assignment, depending on the circumstances.