There are lot of moving parts behind the scenes of events like this and supporting those moving parts are written policies and procedures.
Within this are decisions for doing things in a certain way to ensure a seamless process, stewardship of resources and ensuring safety for all.
I’ve been out of town for a few weeks and visited a church where the pastor did a great sermon explaining why the church does some of the things they do.
I worked on a church staff for ten years, and could relate to his presentation as he explained to members why some things are done and appealed to members to support church volunteers and employees.
He gave specific examples, like doing background checks on volunteers who work with kids and youth in an effort to keep their kids safe.
He also explained to the parents why the check-in process was so important and that they should appreciate workers that won’t hand their kids off to someone without the parent card.
The pastor did a great job supporting efforts to keep the kids and church members safe with scripture.
The explanation was not threatening and easy to understand. I’m sure there were some people who were enlightened in the service.
As I listened to this message I thought of 3 reasons why church leadership has a responsibility to its members to explain the why behind some internal policies and procedures.
1. Complete Transparency
A church is made of of church leadership, employees, volunteers and members.
Each has a role to play in making church happen.
Members tithe on their income to support church operations, volunteers give of their time and employees facilitate the process.
Being open and sharing information with each group keeps everyone on the same page and eliminates skepticism because of a lack of information.
When leadership shares information about internal operations, they are in essence training church members on not only how something is done, but also why.
When members understand the why, they are more apt to embrace new systems and processes.
For example, a safeguard in children’s church is a well known “two-worker” rule.
This rule ensures that no one is alone with a child at any time. This simple rule eliminates the opportunity for someone who might take advantage of a vulnerable child if left alone.
3. Support Employees and Volunteers
Employees and volunteers do the work of the ministry and are the ones who take the brunt of members who challenge internal processes and procedures.
For instance, an usher my be responsible for keeping an eye on unfamiliar people who enter the building in an effort to ensure safety in the church.
When they are supported from the pulpit their jobs become easier because they don’t always have to be the bad guy and enforce what they have been trained to do.
When someone comes out of a church service where the pastor explained something about a church policy, they will be less likely to challenge those people serving.
Working through our day-to-day responsibilities, we often forget that members and volunteers don’t always understand why things are done or why decisions are made about internal operations.
Taking the time to explain the why through effective church communications can not only enlighten the members, but more importantly, support volunteers and employees.
Do you take the time to explain church policy as it relates to your internal processes?