Post COVID Worship Practices

August 18, 2020

Webinar Transcript

- Well good morning, I'm Lee Wright from the Baptist State Board of Missions. And we're going to be talking about personnel matters today, and I hope this is very, very helpful to you. I do want to go ahead and begin to talk about some things that I think will be helpful to you, and that is that we have some resources for you. And first resource I do wanna mention is and that stands for Church Compensation Services. And you'll find a number of different things there. You'll find the Salary Study. And by the way, no Salary Study was done this year 2020. The Salary Study was to have been conducted of course by GuideStone and tabulated by Lifeway. But the Salary Study would have been happening between March and May. The worst of the coronavirus and us being kind of grounded so to speak and all the things that we would be doing. But so there is no Salary Study, but the one that is there was the 2018 study and it was adjusted for inflation for 2019. And so that's a really good resource there. But if you'll go to, and if you'll click on Church Administrator Resources tab, you'll find the notes for today's presentation and you can print those out for yourself or just look to them for future reference. Also at, there is a page called Safe. So There you can find a lot of different resources. You can find resources on doing background checks, and there are many different things that you can do. We do have a question here. You said at another conference that personnel should be treated equally in regards to the benefits offered. Do these benefits include paid time off? Is this the case for salary and hourly staff? Let me just go ahead and address that one and we'll talk about it. Should they be treated equally? Now there are certain things that you may discriminate on, and sometimes that can get to be a complicated matter. But I believe that for the most part, we should treat our staff the same. So if you have a benefit that's all offered to all employees who work 40 hours a week or more, then you should offer it to all. For example, one that you would discriminate on is, you might offer a benefit for sabbatical. And if you're going to offer sabbatical, that would be for your ministerial employees. You can offer such things as retirement, health insurance, disability insurance, group term life insurance, things like that. And I think the best practice is to offer that to all of your full time staff. Now, many churches offer some degree of benefits for their part time staff. And they might want to do that such as part time staff may receive vacation, but it would be prorated. So two weeks vacation would be at the hours that they normally work. But I think that is a best practice. It's not always something that is required legally. So let's go back to resources. So is one resource, and there you can find other kinds of resources. A new one is, and you will find recorded videos there and some of the kinds of things that we're doing today in webinars. And many of them have to do with discipleship and Sunday school and things of that nature, but we will be having some of the things like today. Today will be posted there in a few days. Here next is my contact information,, 549-1383 is my cell phone number. And then 334-613-2241 is my direct line. That last one is the easiest, 334-613-2214 because if I'm not here in the office, it will be forwarded to my cell phone. Now, the resources GuideStone and, it has some very good resources on compensation planning and then Click on the archive, then 2018 and then finances. There you'll find some financial recordings, video recordings. They're about 20 minutes long and they'll be helpful to you. So before we begin, we need to look at a couple of different facts. And one is, we all need to understand that pastors, ministers or ordained ministers have a dual tax status. They are employees for all federal purposes and they're self-employed for social security purposes. Now this has to do a whole lot with our taxes, but it also has some things to do with other employment kinds of issues that we'll be talking about as we go along. Being self-employed for social security purposes means that withholding is not required. They may pay their own quarterly tax estimates, but they may also ask to withhold from their paycheck if the church is willing to do so. They may receive a housing allowance, these ministers, but they must pay their own self-employment tax. So we need to all understand that and understand the tax status of ministers and how that affects some of the other personnel issues. So one of the things, one of the key principles here is this. We think about compensation, we should avoid the lump sum approach. It should be a system of, we pay for business expenses, we reimburse for those. That'd be one thing. Another thing is we provide benefits. And then third, we provide salary. And for the ordained minister out of that salary, they can ask to have housing allowance. And then that housing allowance is approved by the church. So those are some very basics that we all need to understand before we move on into other personnel matters. Now, I want to mention, the first thing is the work of the committee. Today's webinar is for pastors. It's for people on a personnel committee. It's for other church leaders in your church. And so here are the things that we're going to talk about today. We're gonna talk about employment procedures. We're gonna talk a little bit about salary planning. We're gonna talk about benefits. We're gonna talk about personnel services, legal requirements. And then your role if you are a personnel committee member or chairman, your role as an advisory role, your role to supervise support staff and perhaps some of the ministerial staff. We're gonna talk about those kinds of roles. Now, before we get into that and delve into that, you're gonna think of yourself as one who evaluates staff. But I also want to encourage you. And this is just my opinion. This is not anything official or anything like that. But my opinion is I believe that you are to also to be an advocate for the staff. Help to encourage them. Help to encourage them before the church and to speak highly of them and to give them encouragement and be an advocate for them. One of the things that I look at is I look at the different leadership in the church, there's nobody else to do that. At least not on official basis. So I think you should think of that as part of your work as well. As we go along, there are page numbers mentioned in this presentation and you may want to contact Linda Hicks in our office and ask for a copy of our book on personnel, and you can get that. And it has more detail than what amount we'll be sharing today. So one of the things we'll be looking at is how many staff do we need first of all? And as we think about that, we can think about, what's not getting done? What are we not doing well? How are we assimilating new people? Are we doing a good job of that? Are we developing new leaders? Is our church growing? Are we keeping members? Are we seeing members go out the back door? And so those are the kinds of questions we need to ask about in order to think about, do we need more staff? Now typically, growth is most probable when the ratio of members to staff is 100:1 or lower, plateau is probable when that number is 101 to 150:1 and decline is most probable when that number is 151:1 or higher. And so consider the age of the church, consider the family make-up, consider the ages of your families. What is the average age of your church members? That would be interesting for you to know. Consider the number of ministry. So the programs of the church and how those speak to how many ministerial staff do we need. And so ministerial staff by attendance, by church attendance, if the worship attendance is 200, you should have an additional full time program staff. Now notice the note at the bottom, this does not include the pastor nor does it include the music staff, minister of music or and pianist for example. So you would need one full time program staff in addition to the pastor administer music. And now that full time staff at attendance of 200, that might be one full time person in addition, it might be two part time people or three part time people, but you're going to have that equivalent there. This is just a ballpark thumb kind of rule of thumb, sort of thing to get you into the ballpark of what you might need. As we think about what we need in terms of number of staff, we need fewer if we have a young church, fewer if we have a large debt, there you can't have a tremendously large staff. If we have few senior adults, we might need fewer staff, fewer deaths. And if the church is built largely around the ministry of the pastor, you would need fewer staff. You would need more staff if it's an older church, older members. You could afford more staff if you had no debt. And if you had a pluralistic membership, less traditional families, those would be reasons to have more staff. So what positions do we need? In the 1950, some cities were 30% youth. Wow. And I can remember when the average age of a church that I served was about 32, meaning we had a tremendous number of youth and children. But today's population in Alabama is such that there's only 8% youth, 12% children and 6% preschool. Now back in the 50s when that was true that 30% were youth, after having a pastor and a minister of music, the normal thought was, well, now we need a youth minister. And today that might not be the case. You might not need a youth minister as your next position to call. You may need some other ministerial position. You might need a combination type position of something. Some of our churches as that third position need a senior adult minister, but they're looking to call a youth minister instead. But we need to look at what is our real need and what is the need here at our location and with our makeup and with the population that we find around us. Now concerning minister assistance, the churches use three different styles, a traditional assistant, a task based ministry or a blend of the above. Traditional assistant was one-on-one, one ministry assistant to one minister. And I almost never see that anymore. The typical might be that the pastor has a ministry assistant, but most of the rest of the ministerial staff shares ministry assistants. A blended might be 3/4 time to one minister and to one full time minister staff. A task based ministry might be a halftime to one minister. And so the ministry assistant has many other tasks to do perhaps some things on financial records or from that, or minute your attendance records or your membership records in addition to serving a minister as a ministry assistant. So there's all kinds of different styles. I see more and more direction that we have fewer ministry assistants per minister staff. Now, one of the big questions is how much staff can we actually afford? And so spending on staff, it averaged 47% in 2006, but this was studied in 2018 and it's now at 51%. So somewhere between 45 and 50% in the larger churches is about typical range of how much we're spending on staff. It can be up to 80% in smaller churches and at 300 members, 50% is a place to kinda begin to consider. You'll find there again, that spending on staff can be a little bit more when there is no debt. It is forced to be quite a lot less when there is debt. And so what about salaries? We didn't think about the median household income is the least that you should provide your ministerial staff. And in 2017, it ranged from 29,000 in Wilcox County to 78,000 in Madison and Limestone Counties. 55,500 is the average in all of Alabama. And actually now it's just a little bit more than that. So you should pay each minister at or above at least 75%. Now this would be staff ministers at 75% of the pastor's starting salary. And then associate ministerial staff should be based on a similar percentage of the ministerial staff starting salaries. And those associate level might be like a youth minister for example. And so we need to be paying adequately. And I do want to mention that just because average income in Wilcox County is 29,000, you certainly would not pay a full time minister 29,000 in that county because when you think about your ministerial staff, you're not just pulling from that one county, your source for ministers is at least the whole state and actually perhaps the whole Southeast. It might even be a larger territory than that to seek out ministerial staff. Now we need to think about what is salary and what is not salary. And so first of all, we don't want to do the lump sum. We don't want to have, here's X number dollars, you divide up however you want to. That causes a lot of problems. It causes tax problems. It causes the minister to pay more than they should in taxes, but also is confusing. And so you shouldn't be doing it that way and this should be avoided. Now there's three financial areas, salary and housing, protection benefits and ministerial expenses. And also if you look at the Salary Study that we have at, you'll find that it's divided into two of those sections and the ministerial expenses are not listed there. Those are gonna vary by church and vary by location, and that one is not listed, but the other two are listed in the Salary Study. So as we divide those out, thinking about a salary, doing it correctly, cost the church nothing, but doing it wrong, costs the minister a lot. And so we wanna do this right. So in this, we have all these different things in terms of expenses concerning a minister's salary and benefits and business expenses. So salary and housing make up the salary. The benefits include such things as life insurance, accident insurance, disability insurance, medical coverage, retirement, things like that. And then expenses would include such things as auto and conference expense, books, continue education and ministry of hospitality. Now, I do wanna mention that something has changed dramatically in 2018 and that is that these expenses right here can no longer be just an amount of money that you give to the minister. It must be an accountable reimbursement system or it's taxable money. So the minister would turn in an expense report showing the date, place, purpose and number of miles. If it has to do with a receipt such as going to a conference or buying a book for sermon preparation for example, then he would turn in that receipt as a part of that business expense report and get reimbursed. So these are our three areas, salary, housing is one, benefits is another down at the bottom and then business expenses is another. Now the church should consider the business expenses as a separate from salary, it's not compensation. It is doing business as a church, and this is just what it costs to do that. So if we're going to create a new position and I think I'll pause here, I noticed that I've got one other question that came in. And so when you refer to full time employees, you're talking about employees working 40 hours or 30 hours. So that's a great question. I'm glad that you brought that out, Tammy. The usual definition of full time for everything else except healthcare, the normal definition is usually 40 hours. That definition is custom. It's whatever you want to define it as. You could define full time as 36 hours, you could define full time as 32 hours or 30, however you want to define it. And usually that definition of full time has to do with some of the benefits. It has to do with vacation time. It has to do with sick leave. It has to do with those types of things. Now you're right, Tammy. For healthcare, that definition must be 30 hours a week or more. So we're gonna talk about that in a few moments about healthcare. But some churches have enough employees that they're required to provide healthcare. And if they're required to provide healthcare, then they must provide that healthcare for everybody who works 30 hours a week or more. So that's a great question. An important question. And we'll look at that a little bit more in a little while. Now, if we want to create a new position, we're going to look for heavy workloads. We're going to look for growth in the church or community. We'll look at things not being done. Or we're gonna look at the loss of a valued worker as we think about creating new positions. This is an area where the church can dream some. Dream about ministries, dream about what God wants us to do. And perhaps that could be an additional reason that we might look in a new position. And then we want to write good job descriptions for those positions. A good job description should be helpful to the minister and should clarify the important parts of the job. The job description should be the basis of the evaluation when that happens. And so you want to provide clarity to keep the main thing, the main thing and always keep that before us. And so we want to have the responsibilities outline in a simple format, but also then detailed after that. So a simple outline of the responsibilities for a pastor would include preaching/teaching ministry, the pastoral care ministry and administration. And when I talk about administration here, I'm not talking about running the copier or things like that, making sure we've got enough copy paper for the copier. I'm not talking about those kinds of things. Administration is leading the organization. Making sure that we're developing leaders, making sure that we have people in place to do the work of ministry, making sure that we have people train to teach and also lead others and lead others to follow Christ as well. So administration is administering the organization. That's the picture there. So that's a short three topic outline there, preaching/teaching, pastoral care, administration. Dr. Hoff used to always talk about that you always have to be competent in those kinds of areas. Now he said that pastors are going to, they're gonna get an A or an A plus in one of them, they might get a B in another one and for all of us, all of us have a weakness of one that we're not as good at as the others and so we want to major on that one that we're best at, but we also wanna help prop up the one that we're not as good at. Propping that up might be learning more about it. It might be making intentional efforts to become better in that area. And it also might be developing some leaders who will help support that in terms of church leaders. A job description for a youth minister. My good friend and person that I love for so many years, Keith Lomas, shared this one with me. He said, "I think of it as a three legged stool. My ministry with and to the youth, my ministry to the parents and my ministry to lead the teachers and the youth leaders. All three of those aspects are important." I did youth work when I was really young in ministry and I just thought of it as the ministry with the youth. Never thought about that I should also lead the teachers and help them to grow in how they teach God's word and to grow as a disciple and to help the youth to grow. I didn't really think of my job with the parents to lead them to understand how to lead their youth and understanding the Bible and following the Lord. For a discipleship pastor, that person is an administrator, that person is a growth agent, that person is an educator and that person is a minister serving the needs of people in the church and ministering to them. So it's good to divide it into three or four big picture items and then to fill in details. Some of the job descriptions that I used to see were a list of 20 items and none were given more importance than the other. It was just a long list of... It seemed like you could never get it all done. But if we think about key areas, then we notice what to focus on. And then from the job descriptions, if you are on the personnel committee, you're gonna be one who will be called upon to evaluate staff. And so from the job description, that is our basis to evaluate. The performance reviews is a time to recognize achievement, set goals and objectives. It is a time to deal with some potential problems and to recommend a merit increase for a valued employee. It can enhance the employee, encourage him, help him to be even more productive. So it should be based on the job description for clarity. And now if you've never evaluated pastor and in some churches, the personnel committee is involved in that, in some churches, not. If you've never done it before, one of the things that I like to see is a self evaluation. The pastor self evaluates and probably with the deacon officers. Many churches use the deacon officers in this manner because they are the other spiritual leadership portion of the church. The pastor is the spiritual leader. Deacons are also spiritual leaders. And so a self evaluation and the discussion and feedback from those deacon officers. I saw that work well. Sometimes pastors feel very reluctant about being evaluated by perhaps a personnel committee. And sometimes that is done in churches. So y'all need to talk about it and find what works best for you. But for ministerial staff, often the pastor evaluates and then the committee also discusses that evaluation with the personnel committee. Sometimes both are involved. The pastor always should be involved to some degree even if the committee is going to perhaps take the lead in that. One of the things that we have at the State Board of Missions, we have an evaluation every year. Out of particularly like that day that were evaluated, but we all kinda agreed, but yet it's good. Even though I don't particularly like that day, I know that it's good for me. I know that it's good for me to be evaluated and to take a look at what I've been doing and how I might be able to improve. And the State Board of Missions uses this outline for the evaluation. Positive spirit, punctuality, presence, productivity and progress. I know that every year, I'm going to be evaluated on those five things. I as an employee of State Board of Missions, I'm never surprised. I'll always know what it's gonna be. There's no surprise where I might think, "Oh, I didn't know I was supposed to do that." I'm always knowing of what is going to be done at my evaluation. And that's a help to me. It's helpful to know what's coming. So as we evaluate, we're gonna look through this very, very quickly because you may order the book and find it there. But overall ministry main items of the minister's work, teacher, preacher, worship leader. Thinking about that type of aspect, how is the study and preparation, how are the spiritual insights in practical applications. That the minister is effective planner for worship and effective leader for worship. Think about pastoral care, that it's timely and helpful in a crisis, it's available when needed, it provides effective counseling. The pastor can maintain confidentiality, is a good listener and provides comfort to those in need. Under leadership, the minister demonstrates initiative, recognizes opportunities and forms of vision and inspires others. The minister can be flexible and creative, effectively analyzes the congregation and communicates well spoken and written in both those two ways and projects a good Christian role model. Under administration, the minister is effective in developing programs and ministries, plans and prioritizes the work effectively, ability to develop volunteer and lay member forces, demonstrates skill of delegation and prepares well and conducts effective meetings. Work skills, freely and effectively conveys information and ideas, demonstrates good judgments, communicates in an open and direct way, demonstrates respect for individuals regardless of their background or culture. Then we look at such things as teamwork and judgment and dependability, job knowledge, supervisory responsibility, stewardship, leadership and personal development. That would be a good basis for an evaluation. Now, I heard this many, many years ago and I've always thought about it, the Pareto principle. It's the 80/20 rule. Pareto's principle says that 80% of our results come from 20% of our work. One of the lessons that we can learn from this is don't just work smart, work smart on the right things. Another way to say this is keep the main thing, the main thing. A good performance review can be beneficial to the minister and the church in keeping the main thing, the main thing. Now, I wanna take a pause for just a moment. So you as the personnel committee members and pastors, you would be taking a look at personnel, about what are some good things that we need to be doing as a church, what is our vision as a church, what our job descriptions that we can develop that will meet that. And then how can we evaluate our staff towards those job descriptions and towards those things that we're trying to accomplish as our vision for the church. But sometimes things don't work well. Unfortunately it doesn't always work the way that we'd like for it to. And unfortunately, sometimes there is conflict involving a staff member. And so I had an interview that I interviewed Dale Huff many, many years ago and he gave me, it was just amazing. He rattled these things off the top of his head in just a few minutes without ever really having to think very hard about it. He was just so brilliant and is so brilliant. So he came up with this deep principles during difficult times and times when it's possible that somebody might need to seek employment elsewhere. So number one, there should be no surprises. If we've got a really tough discussion, if we've got a staff member that there are problems, there should be no surprise whatsoever. Tell the staff member the situation, tell him honestly about the needed areas of improvement. If resignation or termination appears certain, be honest about that. Explain honestly the anticipated steps. So there should be no surprises. Now this should be at first, it should be one person, probably the pastor. If it is the committee, then the chairman of the committee probably to just go in a private conversation and tell him very honestly what the needs are, what the needs are for improvement, what's not going well and just be totally honest about that. Number two, and this is if things are not going well, Dodge Huff said, "Use a carrot and stick. Seems manipulative, but do so in a way to persuade and in a way to be open and honest." So if it is as a point of this person probably needs to resign, then you might say for example, as an example, if you will resign, we will do our best to do X for your severance. And to be very, very helpful in terms of severance for example. Number three, keep the discussion to the main three or four complaints. Don't give a laundry list of 10 or 20 things that you're dissatisfied about this employee. And usually if we'll keep it to the main things, he will go away from that discussion, understanding that here's three things that I must improve or I need to resign. If we give him a laundry list, he'll be confused about what's most important. But the other thing is he'll go to friends and say, "You know what they complained about. They complained about that I didn't tuck my shirt in or whatever. They didn't like the way that I combed my hair." So those kinds of things can get to be really sort of petty and small, but we need to stick to the main things not the smaller details. Number four, we must follow the bylaws. We must follow the bylaws. If you are in a situation that the bylaws, you want to violate the bylaws, don't do it. But instead, if you have to then change the bylaws. We've got to follow the bylaws. If you don't follow the bylaws, you could get your yourself and your church into a lawsuit. And one of the top five things that get churches into court have to do with employment disputes. So you don't want to do that. So you must follow the bylaws. Number five, be fair and at the same time be full of grace. Your process can be more important than the product. So let's say that you have a person, they're not performing well at all and you say, "I think that you need to consider resigning and here are the reasons." But if you treat that person unfairly, if you treat them harshly, they're going to tell some of their friends in the church and their friends are gonna change sides. They might have been totally in agreement with you then. This person is not doing a good job and needs to go. But if that person's not treated fairly, they'll defendant them instead. And so you want the church congregation to feel that you were full of grace in the way that you handled the situation and that that person had every opportunity. Number six, it takes six months or longer to find a place of ministerial service. These days probably a good bit longer than that, especially in our days of the coronavirus. And so severance should be generous and should be based on that fact. Number seven, utilize important key leaders in the church. Make sure that you have the support of the key leaders. And that's very, very important especially in a time where this might be a controversial thing. Number eight, recognize that other people are not where you are. Perhaps you've been dealing with this for a year or more and it's getting frustrating to you that you've tried to help to automize things that need to be done and need to be done better or differently and they don't seem to be happening. But other people in the church don't see that. And they're not where you are. And so you want to be full of grace as you speak and as you speak in front of others. So just realize that. And no matter how many people understand that this person is not doing a good job and may need to resign, there will be people in the church who think that that's the best person that ever lived. And so you just got to realize that other people are not in the same place where you are. Number nine, and this one is extremely important. Do not mislead the congregation, don't mislead them. And so let's just take worst case scenario. Let's take the worst thing that can happen. Let's say that this person who is on the ministerial staff and let's say that this person and I'll take worst case scenario. Let's say this actually isn't the worst case. Let's say this person had an affair in the church. Now worst case scenario in my mind would be child sexual abuse. But let's just say this person had an affair. Well, oftentimes that person, we don't want to tell what happened. And the person involved says in their resignation letter, I'm leaving for personal reasons and they are very misleading. And then we're very misleading. And then the congregation is very frustrated that they never knew what happened. Now, we don't need to go into detail about that, but that person should be given the opportunity to tell the truth. That person should be given the opportunity to tell the congregation that I had a moral failing and therefore I'm resigning. So that there's no misunderstanding. One thing to do concerning this point is it's good for your pastor or your chairman of deacons to say to this person, "You need to tell the truth. And if you don't tell the truth, we're going to tell the truth. We're not gonna mislead the congregation. And so we're not gonna tell all the detail, that's not our desire, but we will not mislead the congregation. And so we're not gonna say that something didn't happen when it did. We're not going to mislead them. We're going to tell the truth." And you may need some guidance in that. Guidance of spiritual wisdom of others like deacon officers, could be other pastors who helped to give you some advice, could be advice from the Leader Care office of the State Board of Missions in terms of how to word those such things. Number 10, the time to vacate the office. If we do go down that road and it ends up in termination or resignation, time to vacate should be as short as possible, but reasonable. And even as they leave, you want to treat them with grace. All right, so hit that difficult one. Let's looks some at employing practices and okay, I was just looking to see if we had any questions while we're at it. So let's start with some employment practices. If you're going to be calling a ministerial staff member say a youth minister, an associate pastor, here is an outline for that. It is a wonderful opportunity. It's an opportunity for a spiritual experience with blessings of knowledge of the church and faith development and bonding as a group. So as a committee comes together, let's say you're looking for administerial staff position. You're probably going to involve the personnel committee, but you might involve someone in the organization. For example, if you're calling a youth minister, perhaps you're going to utilize some of the key youth ministry leaders. If you're calling someone to be the minister of music, then perhaps some of the key music people in place. But one of the things you need to think about, very first thing is the role of the pastor in the work of the committee. Now I've seen that done many different ways. I've seen it where the pastor went out and found the candidate, interviewed the candidate, then presented the candidate to the committee to interview. Seen it done that way. I've seen it done where the committee did all the work and brought, say for example, three names to the pastor and said, these are the top three and give us your input in this and the one that you believe that we should pursue as the number one candidate. So I've seen it both ways, but the key here is that you need to define the role of the pastor and how he's gonna be involved in this work, which style he's going to do. But then ultimately the pastor should have veto power in this. He's the one that's gonna have to work with this person on a daily basis. He's the one that's gonna have to deal with this person if there's any mess ups along the way. And so you want the pastor to be involved and to have veto power in the work. This committee should have a bond of confidentiality. They should do that because this is funny thing to be. As I think about that as football coaches are hard, it's all over the news. What universities are the search committee looking at for their coach and that they're gonna bring, and then they bring a coach and you find out about what coaches want you to go to what university and things like that and that's all over the news. But it doesn't work that way in church work and in ministry. And if it's found out the other church that a particular ministry seeking a new place, a new church home, then that church, the church where he is right now, could become very angry at him and it could be very difficult on him. And so your committee wants to be very, very confidential. When they report, they can talk about where they are in progress. They can talk about process. They can talk about the process of going through, but not individual names that they're considering. So you want to be confidential. And then you do want to report periodically to the church and you need to be unanimous. You want to be unanimous so that when this person is called, they have a good study backing of key leaders in the church as they begin their ministry. So next step, we wanna develop a profile. You do a self-study of the church, gather information about the church and about our community. What are our statistics and think about that. In fact, Mickey Crawford of the State Board of Missions can help you with some statistical profiles of your church area. Another thing that you'll want to do is develop a profile of your minister. So you would develop a basic job description and you would determine the expectations. What about age, what about education, what about experience and one, do they need to be married? Now, let me mention about age as we're gonna talk about later on down the road. We are prohibited from discriminating on the basis of age. But that has to do with our support staff, that does not have to do with our ministerial staffs. We can discriminate in terms of ministerial staff. So, we would think about what kind of profile of a minister are we looking for. And that last one need to be married. Now let me give you an example. If we're looking for a youth minister and we're looking at some candidates of youth ministers who are 23 years of age, is it gonna matter if they're single? Well, in a lot of churches, it would. They've got 18 year old high school senior that might want to date that youth minister if that youth minister is single. And so it's just part of the things that we're gonna consider and think about and know before we get much farther. Our next step after we develop a profile, then gather resumes. And there are many sources, LeaderCare and Church Health, Directors of Missions, schools, colleges and seminaries. And so we've got a lot of opportunity right here in Alabama for you to consider ministers from schools here in Alabama. Other ministers might be a source of reference and church recommendations. Gather the resumes. Number three, gather further information. And then among top ones that we might consider, we'd want to run references. And we'd want to narrow it down first to about 10 and then narrow it down to three. And then out of the three, then you would select one. This is the one that we're going to, we feel God's leadership in this, we're going to pursue this person. So we contact the perspective minister, consider only one person at a time. If you've tried to consider more than one person at a time, number one, it becomes confusing. But number two, you compare the two people and this one is a better speaker. This one conducts himself better in the pulpit. This one does this better. You begin to also look at appearances. And what we're really looking for is who is God's man for our church. And by considering only one person at a time that helps us in thinking and praying about them. If it's possible visit his church. Now if this person is minister of music at another church and you're looking for a minister of music, you're gonna probably stick out like a sore thumb, but it is important for you to go. If this person is the church administrator at another church, you might want to visit him, perhaps even during the week at his church because seeing him on Sunday morning might or might not give you information about him. So a visit of his church is good if it will be helpful to your work. As you interview the minister for the first time, present the job description, discuss expectations. You're going to talk about salary probably on a second interview. And so you would interview and then step five would be to present this person to the church. You present the person to the church, you look at the vote, what is required, what kind of notice is required, what do the bylaws say and be sure that you follow all those procedures. Now, there are some important principles that we need to consider. Number one, the pastor must be involved and must have veto power. Talking about a staff minister, minister of youth, minister of music, discipleship pastor, associate pastor, so forth. You consider one person at a time, visit him on his home turf, interview him and ask questions about his life, his ministry, his leadership style, his philosophy of ministry, abilities, experience, so forth. Now I use the term philosophy of ministry. If he's new in ministry, that might be a tough one for him. He's been around a long time. He'll be able to articulate that. But when you ask him about philosophy of ministry and he's a little confused, just say what to you is very important in your ministry. What do you see yourself doing and how do you picture yourself involved in ministry and let him talk about that. What is your vision for ministry, for your ministry and help him to work through that. Now if he's married, number five, if he's married, his wife must be present during the day interview. That's a must. You're going to pick up on some insights by having the spouse there. You're gonna pick up on insights. Your people are going to see and see her facial expressions, see that she's with him in ministry and backing him in ministry. And what about the possibility of moving? I've known a situation where the minister wanted to come and excited about coming and as the wife was involved in the interview, it was a little bit evident that she loved where they were and did not really want to move. So things like that can happen and you can pick up on some insights, very, very important insights. And she may share some insights about her spouse that you would need to know as she sees his abilities and giftedness in ministry. Number six, write out in detail the considerations of call salary, fringe benefits, vacation, expectations about when he starts and things like that. Go over the job description, explain it, leave nothing to chance. Then number seven, you invite him to your church, meet with various committees and leaders at a suitable time. And then you would want to check. Now checking references would be done as you narrow down say, when you have a list of 10, check references. But when you get down to the one, there you're gonna wanna do a background check and credit report and things like that for each prospective minister. And then you'll wanna do screening criminal background check, driver's license check if he might drive a church vehicle, credit check and check references. Don't overlook this step. A lot of churches do overlook that and they really should not do that. I thought this was a very good technique for some additional methods. Go to a restaurant. And this is one of those interviews where you take and you'd wanna bring your spouses as well. How does he treat his spouse? How does he treat the server? And I thought this was very fascinating. Then I found this. Charles Schwab executive notice that the server ahead of, notified the server ahead of time to mess up the applicant's order to see how he would react to those mistakes and how he would treat the server. Go to the restaurant, invite spouses. They pick up on things that you might miss. This is another one. Look at his car. Does it look like an episode of the "Hoarders?" And so think about things like that. How does he open the door for his spouse to get in the car? Things like that, that you can pick up on, which are his personal kinds of habits and organizational methods. After the call, welcome the new ministry, provide your policy manual, go over the church programs and ministries, provide brief church history, introduce all the staff, tour the building, tour the community. Things like that. On page 88 of the book that I mentioned, and you can obtain a copy of that by calling or emailing Linda Hicks at the State Board of Missions. So you'd want to ask him during the interviews about salvation, about call to ministry, about his family life, his philosophy of ministry as I said earlier, about ministry if we're looking for say a youth minister or children's minister, asking them questions about, what about your ministry to parents? What about your ministry to the teachers and leaders in our youth ministry? And have him articulate that. What is his leadership style? What's his experience? What's his relationship with employers? And how does it work with his partner in ministry with his spouse? Okay, I don't see any other questions as of right now. I do want to mention to you that Doug put on here, the PowerPoint is available for download and he's given that link. I mentioned it earlier, but with the link, you can just click directly on it. Compensation Planning Guide is an excellent source in this and also the Layman's Salary Study. Those two are great resources and both of them talk about compensation planning, talk about compensation planning in terms of number one, have business expenses and reimburse accountably for those business expenses. Number two, have a system of benefits, whatever benefits your church can provide, then provide those and have it written in a manual about what benefits that you provide. And then number three, here's how we do salary and housing. And you'll present to us an estimate for housing if it's an ordained minister and then the church will approve that estimate for housing. And then section seven, we want to develop a personnel manual. And the main thing that I wanna say about personnel manual is do not copy another business or church. I see this all the time. And sometimes we could even get ourselves in trouble by copying another business or church. Other charities are subject to laws, the other churches not. Other charities have to do a report to the IRS each year called a 990. And churches do not have to do that. So you wouldn't want to have some reference to something in your policy manual. That's something that we don't have to do. Also some businesses and especially government agencies have different laws. I saw a policy manual one time that was 60 pages long, and it had been copied from a government agency. And it mentioned in it comp time. And comp time is not legal for us as a church to do. You will have as a part of one of the laws that we're gonna talk about in just a little bit, you will have a workweek, a defined workweek, seven day period and then you look at the hours that employees have worked. Now we're talking about not ministers, but we're talking about support staff. You're gonna look at the hours they work and did they exceed 40 hours a week. And if they did exceed 40 hours during that workweek, you must pay them overtime. Comp time is not an option. And what we refer to as comp time, it's possible to do within that seven day period, but not beyond that seven day period. Also another thing that I saw, governments have to put out contracts for bid. I've had many churches think that they had to put out a contract for bid and they're not required to. So we've gotta be careful about copying things from others. Now your policy manual, you'll want to include some things in it. You'll want to include just a brief explanation of their employment status. Is this an exempt worker or a non-exempt worker? And those who are not exempt, that means that they're not exempt from the Fair Labor Standards Act. And that means that they would be subject to overtime pay if they were to incur overtime more than 40 hours a week. And they would have to be paid time and a half. However, we will also wanna put in that policy manual that either some statement about we highly discourage overtime and you may only work overtime with the consent of your supervisor or something of that nature. We'll want to include some orientation to the church. We'll want to include policies about vacation and sick leave and sabbatical. And some churches are doing this in a different way called paid time off and it's just simply PTO. And PTO may be used however you decide to use it. It includes both sick leave and vacation leave. PTO has advantages and it has disadvantages. One of the things about PTO is it encourages your employees not to lie. If they want a personal day and feel like they need a personal day, they don't have to call in sick and say, oh, I'm so sick and have this fake cough over the phone. So it has some advantages. The disadvantages of PTO is that people think of it as vacation time. And so they use it all for vacation and they don't keep enough of it for what if I get sick? What if I use all my PTO in the first 1/4 of the year and then I get sick later. Now, what am I going to do? So like I said, it has advantages and it has disadvantages. One thing that we do recommend at State Board of Missions is that for ministers, you base their vacation days based on their years of Southern Baptist service. So you would not want a minister to come to your church, having 20 years of experience and have to go back to, I only get two weeks vacation. So that's one thing we recommend. You'll want to state about your accountable reimbursement policy and what they do to get reimbursed. And then also in your policy manual, you'll want to state the benefits provided such as retirement and how does that work. Is it a matching, about health insurance, about life and disability and the different benefits that you may provide. I wanna say that for Bi-vocational Pastors, for example, the average Bi-vocational Pastor in Alabama receives about $19,000 in income and about $1,500 in actual benefits provided by the church. Now, most of that's probably some retirement contribution that the church provides. But then as you get into larger and larger churches, by the time the attendance is about 150, then the pastor often has a good set of benefits. And then as the church gets larger, then those benefits are likely to include such things as health insurance and a full array of benefits. And you can see that in the Salary Study. Not that the actual benefits are stated which ones that particular church has, but the amounts that the church spends on benefits is there in Salary Study. So in your policy manual, you'll want to state that. Having a good policy manual also keeps you away from going back to the old package approach or lump sum approach if you have all that stated in writing. Now we need to spend some time on this section and I have a feeling that we're going to have a few questions on this. There are some legal issues that you as pastor, you as committee, you as other church leadership, you need to know about. And so we're not gonna do them all, but we're going to just kinda hit the highlights on some of the main legal issues. If you want to, you may wanna take just a little standup break and move around a little bit, but I'm gonna move on and you might want to type in your questions in the Q and A section right now. So one of the things we need to think about as we think about legal issues is that we want to do proper screening and proper supervision of our employees. We want to do a good job in both because we could be accused of negligent hiring, and then we could be accused of negligent supervision. Now, one of the worst places that we see these two things is if there's a case of child sexual abuse. That the church did not do its due diligence in terms of hiring that person and they did not properly supervise. So as we do hiring, you'll want to ask questions very carefully. You'll want to take a look at those references and ask them questions. You'll want to do good background checks and all the things that you should be doing. In regards to negligent supervision, in terms of minors, anybody working with minors, we want to observe a two-adult rule, that there are two adults present and that we understand some of the things that are possible. We understand about child sexual abuse. And so therefore we're holding each other accountable and that we should not have a case where an adult is left alone with a child. We want to have windows in the doors are open doors such that it's easy for others to see in the room. We want to have child sexual abuse awareness training and to understand how it happens. How does a predator select and groom their victims? We need to understand that so that we can be aware and watchful. We need for ministers, they need to have a group of counseling policies. Such things as limited counseling, such things as not being alone with a counseling, that somebody is present and nearby, perhaps the door open, perhaps a window in the door, also perhaps say an assistant who is nearby and may not hear actually what's being said, but hears voices and knows what's going on. And then third thing that we could be accused of is negligent retention. We knew there was a problem with this person. We knew that this person did something that they shouldn't have done, but we kept them on anyway. Now some basic labor laws. First, the Age Discrimination and Employment Act. A church that employees fewer than 20 is exempt from this age discrimination law. But you do want to be observant of it anyway so that you would not do something that you could face a lawsuit. So this mainly has to do with support staff. You can discriminate concerning age, concerning a minister but not concerning support staff. Equal opportunity, Civil Rights Act of 1964 says that we will not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex or national origin. Now and this involves 15 or more employees for at least 20 weeks a year and includes part time. But churches are exempt from the prohibition against discrimination on the basis of religion. And the Supreme Court upheld this in 1987. However, this summer, the Supreme Court grouped sexual orientation in the definition of sex. So right now it's a little bit unknown how the courts are going to interpret this. It could possibly affect the hiring of support staff, not ministers, but support staff. And there are some things that we should consider regarding this. Jim Swedenburg did a section in the Administrative Guidelines webinar that was done a few weeks ago. And you can look at that webinar and see a further explanation of this and what could possibly happen as we move forward into the future. But it is something that you'd need to be basically aware of in regards to the hiring of your support staff. The next law is the Fair Labor Standards Act. We must pay at least minimum wage. We must pay time and a half for hours over 40 worked in a seven day look back period. Notice that I underlined the word worked. So if a person, let's say we have a holiday on Monday and then the person worked 40 hours in the other four days. So they would be paid for 48 hours of work, but they only worked 40. So it would be at regular rate. But if they actually worked 48 hours in a week or if they worked 41 hours, if they work 43 hours, then the extra one or three or eight hours would have to be paid at time and a half. So it's hours actually worked. You may not give comp time except in the same seven day workweek. And actually that's not comp time. I could have put that in quotation marks that it's not the real definition of comp time. Salaried employees are covered just as hourly. So we're talking about non-exempt employees. People who are not exempt from the Fair Labor Standards Act. And so let's say for example, that you have your church secretary salary and that person works 42 hours one week, you still got to pay two hours of time and a half. That person is still a non-exempt worker. And this also has to do with volunteering among our paid staff. Here again, I'm not talking about ministers, I'm talking about support staff. An employee may not volunteer for the same job they're paid. So for bookkeeper, should not be treated both as a paid employee and unpaid volunteer bookkeeper for the same institution. A church secretary should not be paid on staff, but volunteers as church clerk. Church clerk has the same duties. And so you'd need to pay for that if the church secretary is the church clerk. And the act also requires that males and females are paid the same for the same work. Now, there are exempt employees. The exempt employees are ones that you would not pay overtime to. If they worked more than 40, they would still get the same pay. And so they are people who are executive, administrative or professional. And Department of Labor has a further definition of those. But the main thing we need to understand in the church is in order to be exempt, you must work in one of these positions and you must also be paid $684 per week. But in the case of ministers, ministers are exempt even if they don't make $694 per week. So the ministers are exempt employees no matter what. In most churches, ministers are your exempt employees, everybody else's non-exempt. And so people who are not your ministers, those would be ones who'd be subject to overtime pay. Now, when I say ministers in this definition on .3 on this slide, I'm talking about people who have a ministerial job description. I'm not talking about ordination. I'm talking about people who've administered job description and that could include minister children, minister youth, associate pastor, even if they're not ordained ministers. Now there are a couple of exceptions that might be typical in a church. One exception would be for example, the daycare director, somebody who supervises others. Now the daycare director for example, would have to supervise others, which that daycare director probably does and also be paid $694 a week. And so a daycare director might be exempt and making that much money. A daycare director might become non-exempt because of the reason they still supervise other people, but they don't make that much money per week. Next, you need to think about some things like medical insurance. And the real definition of medical insurance as a benefit is a group policy. So back in 2015, group medical insurance continued to be a benefit that was tax-free. Other paying for individual policies was no longer tax-free. In fact it was prohibited, but then the exception was it, but if you do it, it's taxable income. Now a group might be as few as two people with, for example, with GuideStone and GuideStones doing some great work in terms of group medical insurance for small, very, very small groups. A group is often a good choice. And often you can get a really good price with GuideStone, very small groups. They are doing a really good job with that. You're only get this question a lot. Is our church required to provide health insurance? And you're only required to do it if you have 50 full time equivalent employees, that's the only time you have to. But for many churches, it is a good benefit that the church can provide. Now the Affordable Care Act prohibits discrimination in favor of the higher paid employees. But this has not been enforced yet because they did not write the regulations at least to this date. But it is something to keep in mind that perhaps if you provide health insurance for ministers, but you don't provide health insurance for your full time support staff, who work 40 hours a week or more or 30 hours a week or more, your church could be sued about that. There are some alternatives now. And for years, churches and other businesses have wanted to provide a reimbursement for health insurance. They felt like they could not afford to pay the full price of health insurance. And so they wanted to provide a health insurance reimbursement. And there are two alternatives now. One is called the QSCHRA, Qualified Small Employer, HRA are Health Reimbursement. You must treat all the employees working 30 hours a week or more, the same. So let's say that you can't afford health insurance, but you want to reimburse them $5,000 towards their health insurance. Then that would be possible to do under the QSCHRA. However, you do have to have a written plan. You have to do it correctly. You cannot leave out those other employees who've worked 30 hours a week or more. And then as of 2020, there's another one called the individual coverage HRA. Individual coverage HRA, you may reimburse for health insurance. This one has a little bit more flexibility than the QSCHRA. But if you want to look into those, if you feel like we can't afford the full price of health insurance, but we do want to help them in a nontaxable way, then these are two things you might want to look into. Another going back to talking about laws and that health insurance was too, but specifically about laws. We are under OSHA, Occupational Safety and Health Act. And now you can invite OSHA to do a safety inspection, but how do we come in contact with OSHA? Does it happen real often? But it mainly happens in terms of custodial work. And possibly the happening... Here's what might happen. You might have a custodial employee who is mixing the cleaning chemicals improperly and get some kinda chemical burns. Another way that OSHA will come into your church and do some kind of evaluation and maybe give you a slap on the wrist, might be that you don't have your safety data sheets for those cleaning products and then for safety procedures. So OSHA does not enter into your church for inspection often, but over your custodial things. That's one of the main ways that they might get involved in and do a check of your church. The immigration law, you do have to do I-9 for all employees including the ministers. And so you should have in your church file, you don't send these anywhere, but you should have an I-9 on all your current employees filed away. And you can find that at And it just makes sure that you've got employees who are legal to work in the US. You should retain these records for three years, a minimum of three years or one year past termination whichever is greater. And keep these in a separate file. Now, Alabama law requires E-Verify. E-Verify is an electronic means to do basically the same thing as I-9. But you do it online, electronically, you get a response back and so you know that this person is legal to work in the United States. The Family Medical Leave Act. This is for 12 weeks of unpaid, notice that unpaid leave for family and medical emergencies. And it keeps the health insurance in place. And you would get your old job back or an equivalent job with equal pay. It is required for employees of 50 and greater. So for the vast majority of our churches, it is not required. However many churches do a policy that's patterned after the Family Medical Leave Act even when it's not required. You don't want to put in your policy. We follow the Family Medical Leave Act because what if some day that becomes a paid leave as a requirement. So you would want to just state what your policy is without actually mentioning the act. Now, we've got something brand new this year, brand new for 2020 and it is called the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. You can find it at, And so this one is part of the Family Medical Leave Act. It's only in effect for 2020. It goes away December 31st. This is for all employers with under 500 employees. That includes all of us as churches. It's not one of the kinds of laws that says for 20 or more employees, it is all employees where the employer has fewer than 500 employees. It includes full time and part time employees. And you as a church must pay for these particular occasions that I'm about to mention. So you can find it at, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. So you must provide two weeks of paid sick leave at the employee's regular rate of pay, where the employee is unable to work and is experiencing COVID symptoms and seeking medical diagnosis. You must pay two weeks of paid sick time at 2/3 the employees rate because the employees is unable to work because of bona fide need to care for a family member subject to quarantine. So those are two occasions where you've must pay. Another one is up to an additional 10 weeks of paid expanded family medical leave at 2/3 the employee's regular rate of pay where an employee who's been employed for at least 30 days is unable to work due to bona fide need for leave to care for a child whose school or childcare provider is closed or unavailable due to COVID-19. So this is brand new. It is scheduled to go away December 31st. Do y'all have any questions about the Family Medical Leave Act? If so, please chat those in and we'll be glad to talk about it. The next law that we need to know about is workers compensation. Workers comp is required when the church has five employees, that includes full time and part time and it does include ministers. So if you had a pastor, a minister of music and a minister of youth and two nursery workers that work two hours a week and are paid nursery workers, you would be required to provide workers comp. So includes full time and part time. And so if you don't have five employees, you've got three employees for example, we would recommend to you that you secure a workers comp because if something should happen, you would have to pay what workers comp would have paid. Now you're gonna pay the insurance based on the work category, how dangerous is this work? And then based on the amount listed on your W-2s and 1099s. So and in other words, how dangerous is the work and how much money did they get paid. And that's how the workers comp premium is calculated. So we would recommend to you that you get workers comp even if you're not required. Well, to mention just quickly, termination. If that's a reality and about to happen, should not be a surprise. The discipline should be documented, have a witness present and you should provide two weeks pay at least. In some circumstances, you would want to provide more than that and you would want to pay for any unused vacation. You're not required to pay for unused sick leave, but you would want to pay for unused vacation. Got a couple of questions. Do you have a policy document for how to handle employees that have COVID symptoms, but not yet tested or suggested protocol on how to handle these situations? The State Board of Missions has a policy that we have in place. And if you'll email me, I will email that to you. Basically, what we've been told is that if you feel sick, stay home. Every day that we come in to work, our temperatures checked. And of course, if we're not feeling well and if especially, if we have those kinds of symptoms, we are supposed to stay home. Here at State Board of Missions, we've been very, very careful. And in fact, we've got 1/2 of our employees on two days and the other 1/2 on two days and the rest of the time, we're working from home. And that way, if someone should become ill with coronavirus, we will not have to quarantine a large group of people. It would only be quarantining a few people. So now as far as not yet to be tested, receive results, that is in place as well. That if you feel ill and you've not yet been tested, you should stay home. And of course, you've heard that from the governor and from the health officials of Alabama, that when you are tested, you should stay home until you receive your results and be quarantined during that time period until you receive results. But if you will email me, I'll send you the policies that we have utilized here at State Board of Missions. We've been very, very cautious and doing a very good job in that area. We've got another question. If an employee has sick time accrued, should that be used before the family CRA comes into play? We have recommended that employees use their own sick time first. They'll be paid their full salary and so forth. Now Tammy, I do need to check one thing and if you'll email me so that I'll be reminded of your email. I do need to be reminded that two week period, they might be able to take according to the law, but I'll check on that. I'm not certain about that. But here at the State Board of Missions for the regular Family Medical Leave Act, and we are required to do it because we do have 50 employees, it is in our policy that they would take their regular sick time first before applying that. But Tammy, please do email me and I will verify that about the new law and how it would affect taking sick time. Good question. That's a great question. Very important question. Like I said, Jim did in his policies, his Administrative Guidelines webinar, he did more work in that and what it says. Okay, all right. There are some frequent grounds for a lawsuit, frequent grounds for a lawsuit. Like I mentioned before, Richard Hammer notes that employee conflicts is often a reason that a church ends up in court. But first of all, it's not based on the termination, is not based on conduct specified in the personnel handbook. That another way to end up in court, that you violated a procedure in the manual, that you violated something in law or defamation or invasion of privacy could be some of the key areas that you would end up in court. We've got to do our payroll taxes correctly. One of the things that I do a lot has to do with taxes and ministers taxes and church taxes. And I do see that many churches do not do this correctly. But federal law specifies that any corporate officer, director or employee who's responsible for withholding taxes and paying them can be liable for a penalty in the amount of 100% of such taxes owed that they've, ones that amount have been withheld or paid over to the government. And so you've got to do this correctly and be cautious about being careful for your payroll taxes to be turned in. Another thing on the legal end that we need to know about is that we must maintain personnel files that must contain these things. A W-4 form, that's the withholding form. And for a minister, they could write on the top of it, do not withhold. Remember ministers, that's an option. But this is how the employer obtains the employee Social Security Number and how the employees given indication to the employer that's gonna let them know how much to withhold. I do want to mention to you, there's a new W-4 out. It's not very hard to do. And it does simplify the process a little bit. But if you have employees who have multiple incomes in the household, say the employee and spouse both work, they're gonna check a box and you need to make sure that they check that box. If they don't check that box, then it's going to treat that employee as the only breadwinner. and the other spouse is gonna be treated as the only breadwinner and they're not going to have near enough withheld out of their paycheck. The A-4 is the Alabama withholding form, and you can get that at, and that lets you the employer know how much to withhold from their check for Alabama taxes. The I-9, you can find that at and that needs to be completed and kept on file. The E-Verify is something you do online. And so you got it And Alabama has made that process simpler for small employers at Now notice on that website that it does not have a www. If you type in www, you won't go anywhere. So notice that website. And then there's a New-Hire form, the Alabama Department of Labor, New-Hire form Now the first three must be kept on file. If you've never done this before, you would keep those on file and get those obtained now. And then the last two are the only two that are actually sent anywhere and they're sent online and you would only do the last two, number four, number five if you actually had a new employee. So you must maintain the personnel file. Other labor laws. One is sexual harassment. Employees should understand this and your insurance company will be able to provide some help for you. They should be able to... Employees should be able to understand the procedure for reporting situations and employers must take those complaints seriously. Churches, another thing we need to understand is that churches are excluded from the following, COBRA, that's the Insurance Continuance, Federal Unemployment Tax and the Alabama Unemployment Tax. Now, during this coronavirus, church employees have been able to receive unemployment. And that was part of the federal law. That federal law is only in effect for 2020. And so when 2020 is over, then it will go back to regular Alabama law that churches are excluded from unemployment unless the legislature changes that law to include churches. So during this time, church employees have been able to be covered by unemployment and receive unemployment benefits if they were laid off. The child labor law is an important one. And under the child labor law, work permits are no longer required, but instead and it used to get the work permits from the school. But in its place, employers are required to obtain a Child Labor Certificate in order to employ minors. And you can find that at Often get questions from churches and they want a teenager to work in the nursery for example. And I'm just using this as an example. So I'll ask them, "Well, how old is that teenager?" "15." They'll tell me. And I'm not gonna go into the other considerations about teenagers working with children and preschoolers, but just concerning the labor law. So then the next question I'll ask, "So they're 15. When do you have them work?" "Oh, Sunday morning at 11 and Wednesday nights. And we made it seven." And so I'll say, "Well, did you know that that 15 year old can't work past seven on a school night?" And they're totally unaware of that. So you've got to be aware of the laws, those 14, I mean, 15 and 16 year olds, 14 and 15 year olds can only work three hours a day and not pass seven on a school night. Now on say a Saturday, they could work a full eight hours, but when it's a school night, they are very, very limited in how much they can work. The 16 year old for example, could work till 10 on a school night, but not past 10. But if we're going to employ minors, we must know the law and must know what they can do and what they cannot do. And then as we wrap it all up, we'll want to work as a team. We'll want to build team more. The concept of these are not just employees. They are team workers and we work together as a team. And you as pastor, you as personnel leaders, y'all can help to build a team concept and to build the idea of them working together as a team. People should not feel and especially in a church, they should not feel that they're just putting their hours in. They should not feel that it's just a paycheck and I'm serving my time watching the clock. They should feel like this is important ministry and I'm a part of that. I'm a part of the ministry of our church and I'm an important team member in all that we do. So you as committee and you as pastor, you'll want to help make that happen and develop that kind of thing. I always admire what Chick-fil-A does and how they train even teenagers. They train teenagers to have a wonderful work ethic and a wonderful way of responding as a team member. And they have a wonderful way of teaching even teenagers, how to work with the public and how to treat the public with kindness and respect. And so we can learn a lot from them and from that organization as well as many, many other organizations as we think about the concept of teamwork and building a team concept. I think that we're through with the presentation, but I wanted to ask and see if you have any questions. I think that we have dealt with the questions that we have so far and email me if you've got another question. Doug, I think for just a minute, I'm going to stop sharing my screen. And I think Doug, if it's all right with you, we'll just open it up and you can type in a question or if you even want to unmute your microphone and you may unmute your microphone and you'll be able to do that to even ask a question verbally, if you would like to-

- [Doug] No need to, use a hand raise and then I can get them to unmute. They won't be able to unmute it until I do that. So if you want to use the hand raise, if you want to ask a question, then we'll unmute you from end.

- All right, thanks Doug. I had forgotten about they needed to raise their hand. But do so either way, by the Q and A or by raising your hand either one, and we'll be glad to deal with any questions that you might have. All right, okay, Martha asks, "Will you please show us the book?" I don't have a copy of it in here. It would take me a minute to go get it, but it is the personnel book. You can contact Linda Hicks at and she'll be glad to send you a copy of that book. It's also got a sample policy for your church and the policy statement is a little bit on the long side, but I do think there's a good sample that you can take and use the parts of it that you feel like that you need. I was talking about policies a little bit earlier. I think that for a policy manual for a church for the employees should not be any more than 10 pages. And that's about how long this one is. I think that one's slightly long, so it could be six, seven, eight pages and that would probably be enough to do the job. But that's one of the features of the book that you don't have in the outline that we've done today is that it does have a sample policy manual. All right, I think that we have dealt with our questions. So as we conclude today, I'm gonna lead us in prayer and then we'll conclude. Thank you so much for being with us today. Thank you for your participation. Thank you for your questions. We had some great questions today. Thanks so much. Let's have prayer. Father, thank you for today and thank you for a good participation and good discussion questions and help us to be wise in all that we do. Help us to build our staff as a wonderful team, a spiritual team that we can change lives, that we can see the gospel advance, that we can see people come to know Christ and that we can do ministries that will affect the lives of people in our community and around the world, in Jesus name. Amen. Thank y'all so much. See you soon.