Congregational Policies and Procedures - An Overview

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Congregational bylaws, which lay the foundation for the congregation as a legal entity, are augmented by other documents that guide the day-to-day operations and decisions of the leaders and members of the congregation.


Policies are voted on by the board of trustees with input from the affected committees, staff or ministry program teams. Policies might include limitations on building use, the number of signatures needed on checks of certain amounts, safety, no-smoking policies, limitations on alcohol use, acceptance of earmarked funds, staff hiring, how to handle conflict or disruptive persons and how the congregation operates as an employer.


Procedures describe best practices (at least at the time that they were written) or might just serve to help a congregation with it's institutional memory of how something was done in the past. These are easily changed or updated by the affected governance committees or ministry teams.