Employees go to work with the intention of doing a good job. Knowing what the specifics of their job is helps them to do just that. Ministries create systems to help manage employees and the church job description is part of that system.
Employees need to know what is expected of them and who to go to with questions or concerns. Job descriptions are tools that can help guide employee performance and dictate daily activities.
Churches have limited resources so it is important to only pay for salaries that support the overall strategy for achieving the mission.
When creating a job description, there are a few questions that should be answered.
7 Questions to Consider When Writing A Church Job Description
- What is it that we are trying to accomplish? So in other words what is the purpose for having this position?
- Why are we trying to accomplish this?
- What are the specific job responsibilities?
- Who is the best person to perform these duties?
- Who is the best person to supervise this function?
- What strategic objectives do these duties support?
- How do these tasks get us closer to achieving our mission?
Answering these questions helps to ensure that the job is intentional in that it supports the overall strategy of the organization.
Let’s go through an example. Let’s say your church is experiencing some growth and managing your volunteers has become a function that you feel now needs a paid employee.
Your church has a core value of excellence and customer focus and one of your strategies is to develop a strong volunteer base to help fulfill the mission.
Considering this scenario, let’s go through these 7 questions and try to answer them.
1. What are we trying to accomplish?
We are trying to create an environment that provides processes and systems to support our volunteers and to make them feel valued for what they contribute.
2. Why are we trying to accomplish this?
We know that the church cannot function without volunteers and we recognize the importance of investing in our volunteer workforce.
3. Who is the best person to perform these duties?
Identify the necessary job skills for the job. This step will help when trying to pinpoint the best candidate for the position.
For example, the job candidate should have:
- strong organizational and people skills
- experience in a volunteer role
- understand the mission and values of the organization
- technical skills should include strong computer skills
- proficient knowledge of Microsoft Office
- able to learn volunteer management software
4. Who is the best person to supervise this function?
Every church is structured a little differently so determine who the best person would be to manage this position.
Since volunteers fall under the responsibility of the (insert position title) this person should report to the (insert title).
5. What are the job responsibilities?
To answer this question, get a few people in the room who understand the need for this position, and just make a list of responsibilities that line up with strategy.
- Create a process to recruit, schedule and train new volunteers.
- Develop volunteer application process.
- Create volunteer training program.
- Develop volunteer reward and recognition program.
- Develop volunteer feedback process.
- Develop a volunteer review process.
- Create a volunteer file management system.
6. What strategic objectives do these duties support?
This position supports the strategy of developing a strong volunteer base to support the mission.
7. How do these tasks get us closer to achieving our mission?
It requires lots of volunteers to achieve the mission and this position will help to manage those necessary volunteers.
Make Job Descriptions Relevant
Managers need to constantly review job descriptions to keep them relevant for the employee’s role.
Take the following proactive steps to ensure that employees are spending their time on those things that contribute to fulfilling the mission.
Update job descriptions annually.
Job descriptions must stay current to ensure time spent doing the job is contributing to the mission. To do this, review and update job descriptions at least annually.
This update results from having a conversation between the manager and the employee about job responsibilities and how they support changing strategies.
What may have been important a year ago may no longer be necessary for achieving the mission today. Employees appreciate when outdated tasks are removed from their job description – particularly when new tasks are added to support a changing strategy.
Observe what employees do every day.
It’s the manager’s responsibility to know what employees do every day and to make sure that what they’re spending their time on truly reflects their written job descriptions.
I’m always amazed when I ask managers what their employees do every day to hear the response, “I don’t really know.”
This response is often out of frustration. A good starting point to rectify this situation is simply to ask employees to list everything they do.
This exercise will often shed some light on those things that rob employees of valuable time. Learn what those time wasters are and eliminate them.
Incorporate employee goals into the job description.
Churches should have a mission and a strategy to steer day-to-day operations. You implement strategy with organizational and departmental goals. Divide departmental goals among employees to spread the responsibilities for achieving goals and incorporate those responsibilities into daily job tasks.
Churches have the responsibility of managing the resources that God has provided them. Taking these steps can ensure that resources spent on salaries, and that what employees are spending their time doing, legitimately contributes to fulfilling the church mission!