The first question we might ask about policy making in the church is “why?” — Why should a church need to make policies? We could respond that:
- Policies can help prevent many problems and conflicts from arising.
- Policies can help save you time by not having to deal with the same type of situation over and over.
- Policies can help you be a better steward by giving careful attention to how resources are used.
- Policies can help you treat all members fairly and with dignity.
- Policies can help by providing some accountability.
- Policies can help by providing some guidelines for future decision-making.
- Policies can help you more consistently serve with quality or excellence in what you do.
- Policies can help protect the church from legal problems and assist in managing any risks.
Notice the above wording: “can” help. Policies will only help if they are “good” policies and if they are properly implemented. They will not help if they’re on paper only.
All of these reasons are true, but we can step back further into the church’s purpose to love God and love people, the Greatest Commandments according to Jesus.
According to 1 Corinthians 13:7, love “always protects.” Our Church Purpose therefore provides objectives for policy-making:
1) We want to make sure God is glorified. We love Him so much we want to protect the glory of His name through our church or ministry.
The objective is not to be legalistic in our relationship with Lord but rather, because we love Him, we want His name lifted up and not marred by what we do.
2) We want to make sure people are provided for and safe. We love people so much that we want to protect them from harm and disunity.
The objective is not to control or manipulate people into conforming but to guide and look after their welfare.
Start any policy making by asking these questions:
- What kinds of policies are needed to meet these objectives?
- What kinds of policies will be counterproductive to meeting these objectives?