Some type of “contract” between Christian organizations and their volunteers is becoming a necessity in our times of legal vulnerability. The following is a sample of the type of thing you may want to do to set the boundaries for volunteers within your church or ministry. It protects your volunteers in that it clearly explains their relationship to the organization. It also provides a degree of protection for the ministry or church from misbehavior on the part of of those working within its ministries. This sample covenant can be used by churches which practice formal membership or by those which have none.
AClick edit above to add content to this empty capsule.
Having received the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, and desiring to serve Him through specific ministry, I most solemnly and joyfully enter into covenant with the body of Christ at ________________Church of ________________, _________________.
I therefore promise, through the guidance and power of the Holy Spirit, to walk together with my fellow believers in Christian love; to strive for their advancement in knowledge and holiness; to make a place in my prayers for this church and its ministries; to uphold its doctrines; to serve faithfully in discharging my commitments; and to do my part in maintaining harmony and discipline.
In the case of a difference of opinion among believers ministering together in this place, I promise to avoid a contentious spirit, and if complete agreement cannot be achieved, I will recognize the calling of the leaders to govern this ministry as God may lead them and will submit to their decisions. I recognize that if I cannot in good conscience affirm the doctrinal statement or governing policies of the church, it is my duty to remove myself from any ministry, which may be affected by my views to the contrary.
I further promise to guard the reputation of my fellow believers and co-laborers and not to needlessly expose the details of their lives through my conversation with others. I promise to cultivate Christian courtesy in all my relationships; to be slow to give or take offense, and to always be ready for reconciliation, remembering the words of the Lord Jesus in Matthew 18:15-17. Moreover I purpose, through whatever life may bring, to strive to live for God’s glory.
I understand that this covenant is not a substitute for membership at ___________________________ Church and does not carry with it any member privileges for voting or service outlined in the church constitution.
Signature __________________________________________ Date _____________
(Attach a copy of your church doctrinal statement with signature line, to the covenant)
Composed by Michael Bogart, with acknowledgments to the Baptist Covenant.
The very nature of much of what we do in ministry is that it is often done by people who do not receive payment in the form of money, goods or services. In other words, most of the time, ministry is done by volunteers. Sometimes these volunteers are supervised by paid ministry staff; sometimes they are supervised by other volunteers. In either case, in order for volunteers to be successful in doing the work they are called and gifted to do, those who lead them must ensure that they are properly equipped, trained and motivated.
Equipment. Ministry requires certain facilities and tools. Such things as an adequate and comfortable space in which to do ministry, necessary supplies, technical equipment, etc. are essential to getting the job done.
Training. Much of the time, volunteers are inadequately trained to do ministry. Long term and effective ministry can only occur when people are properly prepared to serve. Conversely, inadequate preparation is a recipe for frustration and possible disaster.
• Volunteers should be given adequate instruction in the whys, whats and hows of the job at hand.
• They need to understand who they are responsible to and how much authority they will have to carry out the details of their assignment.
• Periodic touching base with the ministry team provides opportunity to deal with issues and receive encouragement.
Motivation. While it is true that volunteers do not receive a paycheck for the ministry they do, they must receive some benefit from what they do or they will not serve for very long. Benefits that volunteers may receive (and that leaders can help them enjoy) include:
• A sense of having pleased the Lord by serving faithfully
• Being a valued part of a ministry team and / or church family
• Seeing at least some portions of the work done with excellence
• Appreciation from those they serve
• Occasional “serendipities” (cards, small gifts, doing lunch, get-togethers, etc.)