5.1 Attendance & Absences
5.3 Training, Resources, & Development
5.4 Use of Personal Property
5.5 Use of Church Property
5.6 Building Usage
5.7 Vehicle Use & Driving Records
5.8 Grievance Procedures
5.1 ATTENDANCE & ABSENCES
Because you are a volunteer rather than an employee at NAME OF CHURCH, attendance may seem like a sticky issue to discuss. If you simply don’t show up to fulfill the ministry service you’ve agreed to, the church can’t really “fire” you because you don’t work for pay.
And yet of course, the church can fire you in a way. We need reliable people to fulfill the ministries and programs of the church—the people we serve are depending on all of us. If you have excessive absences beyond the scope of this guideline, you may be immediately relieved of your volunteer duties. See Section 6 of the handbook for more details about termination and resignation. We expect no less commitment from our unpaid workers than our paid employees.
So attendance — whether it is for training meetings, fellowship times with ministry team members, or during your scheduled time of serving — is a commitment you must make, and then take seriously. Again, the people you serve are depending on you.
Some absences will likely be necessary. You may get ill, injured, or may be called out of town for business or personal reasons. If you know in advance that you will not be able to serve during a time you are scheduled, or that you cannot attend a scheduled meeting, be sure to inform your team leader as soon as possible. Additionally, ask for a list of other approved volunteers who might be able to substitute for you if you don’t already have such a list. Then make every effort to find your own substitute or to “trade” scheduled service times with another volunteer. Finding a replacement is primarily your responsibility, not your team leader.
If your absence is caused by an emergency, inform your team leader or ministry coordinator immediately. You should still make an effort to search for a replacement, but under some circumstances, your leadership servants may desire to pray and serve you and your family during your absence. We will not be intrusive but want you to know that we deeply value you during this particular season of life.
If your team leader notices a pattern of absences, he or she may follow up to see if something besides illness seems to be the real reason you are not serving. Do not consider this a confrontation. Your team leader — and all the leadership of the church — have two primary concerns. One is for the people who may be left out if you are unable to serve. The other is for you. Perhaps you are not in a place of ministry that “fits” you. If this is the case, your team leader and ministry coordinator can work to plug you into a place of serving that better matches your gifts and skills.
In fact, this is an area where you should be proactive. Rather than avoiding a ministry task that you feel uncomfortable performing, go to your team leader and ask about other needs in the church. There are bound to be plenty of other places to serve, and there’s bound to be one that fits you perfectly.
As a representative of the church and God, volunteers should exhibit a neat and well-groomed appearance. NAME OF CHURCH strongly encourages you to avoid radical departure from conventional dress or personal grooming. Examples include: short dresses or skirts, tank tops, short shorts, casual t-shirts, and flip-flop footwear.
Of course, guidelines of this type are very subjective and the church generally expects you to take pride in your appearance and to strive to project a positive image when representing the church and the Lord.
One biblical guideline to follow is 1 Corinthians 10:23-24:
“ ‘Everything is permissible’—but not everything is beneficial. ‘Everything is permissible’—but not everything is constructive. Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others.”
If your team leader determines that the average church attender might find your dress inappropriate, or feels that your clothing might be a safety concern for yourself, co-workers, or those you are serving, you may be asked to wear more appropriate clothing the next time you serve in your ministry position. In some rare instances, you may be asked to go home to change.
5.3 TRAINING, RESOURCES, & DEVELOPMENT
Supplies & Equipment
- Each classroom will be supplied with basic materials, such as paper, markers, crayon, glue, scissors, etc. Additional or replacement supplies are in the Sunday School Supply room. If you deplete an item or it gets low, please contact the Supplies Coordinator
- For additional needs, please use the Supply / Equipment Request Form and give it to the Supplies Coordinator. These forms are located _______.
- To coordinate the use of the computers or the video machine, please complete the Supply / Equipment Request Form well in advance.
- Ministry resources (references, resource books, as well as magazines and related articles) are located in our church library.
Audio Visual Equipment
- Sign up for the requested equipment on the sheet located DESTINATION. Between the time the equipment leaves the room until it returns, it shall be the responsibility of the ministry’s team leader.
- Please make sure all necessary repairs and damages are reported to the church office immediately.
- Instructions for the use of the equipment are posted on each device for your convenience.
Off-Site Training Events
Faith Community United Methodist Church desires that volunteers be equipped to fulfill the duties described in their ministry position descriptions. In addition to training you’ll receive as a volunteer of the church, it may also be appropriate for the church to provide additional in-service training.
Outside training will be subject to these conditions:
- Attendance at conferences, educational meetings, and workshops will need to be approved by your team leader and/or the pastoral staff member responsible for the area of ministry where you are serving.
- Volunteers can attend conferences as funds allow, including registration and reimbursement for lodging, meals, and travel. If you are interesting in attending a conference related to your area of ministry, submit an estimated cost to your supervisor who (along with guidance from the pastoral staff member responsible for that area of ministry) will determine the value of the conference and how much of the cost the church can cover.
- Volunteers who attend conferences, seminars, or other outside training should be prepared to share highlights of what they learned with other volunteers serving in their ministry area during training or team meetings.
- Our librarian is ______________ who may be reached at Library@GreenvilleFaith.org
- We accept books, videos, and financial donations and the library ministry team reserves the right to be selective in our acceptance. If a book is denied, the library ministry team will contact the one who donated the resource. If a resource is donated without an owner being specified and is not accepted into our library, the resource will be donated to a charitable organization such as Salvation Army or Goodwill Industries.
- Ministry coordinators, team leaders, and pastoral staff are invited to place resources for team members and ministry participants in our library system. Such resources can be indexed and placed in our general shelves or placed on temporary reserve.
- General Shelves – permanent archives
- Temporary Reserve – placed in the library for a specified period of time. May be useful to lend out to members for a season but the owner desires to have it returned to their personal shelf at an appointed time.
- Check-out Policy
5.4 USE OF PERSONAL PROPERTY
In church service, it’s not uncommon use personal belongings to supplement the supplies you use to fulfill your ministry. For example, you might bring items to decorate ministry spaces such as classrooms and common areas. Please make sure that all such items are prominently marked to prove your ownership.
While your work as a volunteer may require that you use personal property in your area of ministry, NAME OF CHURCH suggests that you not bring large sums of money, jewelry, or other valuables with you during your times of service. The church cannot be responsible for personal property that is stolen, lost, damaged, or destroyed.
If you find personal belongings that another person has lost on church property, please turn them in to your supervisor or to the church office. Unless an item seems to have great monetary value, all lost items not claimed within approximately 60 days will be donated to a local charitable organization such as Goodwill or Salvation Army.
5.5 PERSONAL USE OF CHURCH PROPERTY
While it’s very likely that you’ll be using church property, supplies, materials, etc., during your volunteer ministry, it is wise to take care not to use these items for your personal use. For example, does it really hurt to make a few photocopies? Most of us don’t realize that if everyone in the church just makes a few copies each week, the expense for paper, toner, and service calls on the photocopier will quickly accumulate.
The same is true of other items around the church. It is easy to think that if you are a faithful financial giver to the ministry of the church it won’t hurt to consume these items for personal use. But this practice can lead to poor stewardship both on the part of the volunteer and for the church.
Instead, carefully walk that fine line between ministry use and personal use. If it helps, keep a log of what materials you are using. Certainly, make use of logs and inventory restocking lists around the church (for photocopying or in the Sunday school supply room, for example).
Similarly, if you purchase something for ministry use with personal funds, submit a reimbursement form (see page 7-12). While it might be easier to “just donate” that item to the church, it’s a better model of stewardship for the church to fully account for all income and expenses; this practice also helps those responsible for budgeting make sure they are adequately funding these areas, as they can build their budgets on actual uses and expenses.
5.6 BUILDING USAGE
It is exciting to have a church that is used as frequently as our own. As we live in community we must be mindful to respect others who use our shared space. Therefore it is critical that we leave the facility cleaner than when our group first arrived. If you borrow something or rearrange the room, it is the responsibility of the leader to insure that everything is returned to its proper place.
- Calendar dates for all church activities should be cleared with the church office to avoid the scheduling of conflicting activities or meetings
- The practice of scheduling through the church office should be followed even if the event does not involve the use of the church facilities or equipment (i.e. off-site youth event)
- No church groups are to schedule or setup up for activities during worship services
- It is suggested that retreats held away from the church are to conclude so that people may fully participate in worship services
- In the event of cancellation of any activity, the church office is to be notified immediately
Doors & Lighting. The event coordinator should walk around the building to insure all exterior doors are locked and all lights are turned off (including bathrooms).
Heat. The Trustees shall hold an annual in-service day for congregational leaders. Only those who have been certified by the Board of Trustees shall be able to adjust the heating/cooling
Equipment. If your ministry borrows equipment from another room, it is your responsibility to return it before leaving. Instructions for how to use the TV, VCR, and DVD are affixed to the device.
Kitchen Usage. The following guidelines are to be observed by everyone who uses the church kitchen and kitchenettes so that it will always be clean, presentable, and available for scheduled use.
- All kitchen use must be scheduled through the church office with a minimum of a two (2) week notification. Usage Request Forms are located within the church office.
- Contact the church office or staff member to reserve the kitchen
- Wash and dry all utensils after use and store them in their designated places
- Empty and wash all coffee urns
- Dispose all bags, bottles, boxes, trash, and recyclables
- Dishes brought into the kitchen should be returned to their proper owners and not stored in the kitchen
- No kitchen equipment is to be taken from the church premises
- Clean up all spills on the counters and floors immediately
- Sweep the floors and wash all countertops before leaving
- Report any malfunctioning to the church office immediately
- Please mark staples (napkins, cups, coffee, etc.) for either general consumption or a designated ministry. General consumption items may be used by church members and as supplies are depleted, a note should be given to the church office so items may be replenished in a timely manner.
- Call __________ at ____ – ______ if you have any questions.
- All food and beverages will be thrown away if not appropriately labeled by a specific ministry. Please mark designated food items accordingly:
- Ministry Team
- Team Leader
- Date items will be consumed
- No left over foods are to remain in the refrigerator after your ministry event. Items in the refrigerator beyond a team’s consumption date (iii) will be unapologetically removed
- Clean up all spills in the refrigerator
- Clean off all grease and spilled foods from the top of the stove
- Clean up all spills in the oven
- Be certain that the oven and all burners are turned off
- The exhaust fan should be turned on while cooking, especially during service
- All lights and exhaust fan should be turned off
- Launder used towels, washcloths, etc. and return to the appropriate drawers within one (1) week.
- Confirm that the kitchen (floor, counters, equipment) are indeed cleaner than when you and your ministry first arrived.
- All garbage should be bundled and removed to the dumpster with new bags inserted into the cans. If the garbage bins were moved, they should be returned to their original position. The janitor is responsible to insure an adequate supply of bags for general use.
- Insure all tables and chairs are returned to their original positions
- Any damage should be reported to the church office or appropriate staff member within 24 hours.
- Confirm all doors are locked upon your departure.
5.7 VEHICLE USE AND DRIVING RECORDS
This policy affects any individual who may need to drive a vehicle owned by Faith Community United Methodist Church or use a personal vehicle while conducting church business or ministry. Prior to driving a vehicle, the following information needs to be on file in the church office:
- Driver’s license number, expiration date, and any restrictions.
- A record check with the Bureau of Motor Vehicles (see page 2.7 for information on background checks).
- Proof of insurance, if your personal vehicle is used for church business or ministry.
All information about the driving records of volunteers will be kept confidential. It is your responsibility to keep information up-to-date, including reporting to your supervisor any moving violations or changes in driving status within five days of the violation or change.
If a volunteer accumulates more than two moving violations in any vehicle — personal or church-owned — it will be up to the church’s insurance carrier to decide if the volunteer can continue serving in that particular ministry position.
Some ministry positions may require a commercial driver’s license in addition to a clean driving record. Some positions may also require additional background checks (such as when you’re providing transportation for children or teenagers).
Safe driving practices, speed limits, and other driving laws must be observed at all times. The church isn’t responsible for fines incurred by volunteers while driving a church vehicle or a personal vehicle while on church business. Volunteers must report accidents, no matter how minor, to the police before leaving the scene of the accident.
Mileage for use of your personal vehicle will be reimbursed at the current rate allowed by the Internal Revenue Service.
- Vehicle Maintenance. The maintenance of the church vehicles will be the responsibility of the Trustees.
- Scheduling. Use of church vehicles is scheduled through the church office. There is to be no unscheduled use and out of town use requires prior approval
- Keys. Keys are to be obtained from the office secretary during office hours. If the building is closed, the keys should be left under the driver’s seat and locked inside the vehicle. Under no instance should the driver retain the keys.
- Food & Beverage. Eating and drinking is strictly prohibited in the vehicles
- Litter. Please remove all litter upon returning the vehicle to the designated parking stall
- Use. The church vehicles may be used for transporting equipment or materials only if that use does not cause excessive wear or damage to the interior of the vehicle. The seats are not to be removed without prior approval
- Damage or Malfunction. Report any damage or malfunction to the church office within 24 hours of the vehicle’s return
- Expenses. Vehicle expenses for out of town trips are the responsibility of the sponsoring group
- Loaning. Church vehicles are not to be loaned to individuals or other organizations
All drivers must be at least 21 years old for all events sponsored by our church. Students age 16-18 are permitted to drive to and from the church as they remain in the care of their parents. However, for an extended event like a high school lock-in, a Student Authorization form (7.8) must be completed. The leader at registration then collects the student’s keys, rolls the form in the key chain, and locks all keys in the office. Upon the student receiving their keys, the student must sign out on the form thereby releasing the student from our responsibility. Absolutely no students are permitted to drive at any time during a sponsored event unless accompanied with written permission from the driver’s parents and any other parents whose child is authorized to ride with the minor.
5.8 GRIEVANCE PROCEDURES
While Faith Community United Methodist Church hopes that every ministry experience is a positive one, we also recognize that volunteers may become dissatisfied. This can occur because of strained relationships with fellow volunteers, your relationship with your supervisor, disagreement with the church’s practices and policies, or other conditions related to your ministry.
The church encourages you to work toward quick resolution of these kinds of situations, which usually don’t go away with time. In fact, these kinds of difficulties typically get worse, eventually deteriorating to a degree you might feel that your only option is to resign.
The following steps are based on Matthew 18:15-16:
“If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over. But if he will not listen, take one or two others along, so that every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.”
—Matthew 18:15-16, NIV
- With an attitude of love and care, speak directly to the person who has offended you. Try to explain the facts as well as your feelings about the situation in a calm manner that is free from accusation or blame. Often, you can diffuse the situation and clear up conflicts during this step because you communicate to the other party that you truly desire to work out the situation.
- However, if the other person doesn’t agree regarding the offense, or you can’t work out your differences privately, bring the matter to your supervisor’s attention. Make sure the supervisor understands that the problem is affecting your service. If you haven’t already put the matter in writing, be sure that your supervisor does so. The supervisor should arrange a meeting between you and the other party.
- If you don’t feel satisfied with the answers that your team leader or ministry coordinator provides (or if you feel uncomfortable discussing the problem with these individuals, for example, because the problem is with your supervisor) you can approach a pastoral staff member or a member of the church governing board to accompany you to discuss the problem with the other party involved.
If the grievance remains unresolved, you should put your concern in writing and present it to the senior pastor or the chair of the church governing board that will convene a meeting with all of the parties to discuss the grievance and work toward a resolution.