9 Lessons on Effective Church Job Descriptions (& 59 FREE Samples!)

Recently I asked some friends of mine to help me understand how they use job descriptions in their churches and I’ve pulled together those learnings into this post so we can all benefit! I’m so thankful for the churches that answered my questions and for them providing the great examples below as well!

Why Should Your Church Have Job Descriptions?

  • Connects Vision with Execution // A well crafted job description helps your people connect what they are doing with the broader vision of the church. It makes the implicit importance of this role explicit to everyone involved. It provides a clearly thought-out case for your team member how they are investing in the “Big Why” of your church.
  • Reduces Overlap of Responsibility // You know the old saying … “if it’s everyone’s responsibility than it’s nobody’s responsibility” … well crafted job descriptions help define the boundaries between people’s roles in the organization and empower them to take action on what needs to get done. A key to a growing church is to create sustained effort in a small number of directions and job descriptions help keep people focused on those few things.
  • Raises the Value of Volunteers // When you take time to clearly define volunteer roles within your church with job descriptions it gives that role more value and in-turn the people serving in those roles feel a sense of greater ownership. Don’t just write job descriptions for the people who the church pays … but craft them also for your volunteers! In my recent survey of churches about job descriptions I found that growing churches write job descriptions at the same rate for paid staff and volunteer leaders.

7 Keys to Well Written Church Job Descriptions

  • allhandsStart with the Why. // Make sure the job description clearly states why your church exists. Ground the role description in the “big picture” of what drives your organization forward. Take time to show how this role connects to the big picture. Visions leads … and it also leaks. Take time to clearly define why this role is super important to the church. (If it isn’t super important … maybe you should just cut the role?)
  • Define the Reporting Relationships // Clearly outline who this person is going to report to and who will be reporting to them. Often churches have ambiguous reporting structures with staff and volunteers feeling they report to everyone. Take time at this phase to remove that muddiness through clear thinking around authority and influence.
  • Outline Realistic Qualifications // One of the things I’ve noticed over the years is that often the list of qualifications “required” for a role isn’t met by the candidates who are ultimately hired at the church. Make sure this section has realistic past experience and qualifications listed. Obviously we all want to hire people who have been serving for a long time and have lots of great experience but what do we really need to make the role work? If you “overshoot” on this list you will be excluding younger leaders with the potential of making huge impacts in your church.
  • A Word About Titles // Make sure the job title is easily understood both internally and externally to the church. The clearer and more straight forward the better. <PET PEEVE STARTING> Can I be honest? I get nervous about candidates who want important sounding titles. I value people who want simple and straightforward sounding titles. Make your titles sound more humble than the role … avoid making the title sound all fancy. Lofty titles turn off to people … and I think it doesn’t honor the humility of Jesus. Ouch … did I just say that? </END OF PET PEEVE>
  • Update Regularly // Set out a time to regularly review and update the job descriptions in your church. Ask the people who have been serving in the role to make suggestions as to what needs to shift in the description to more accurately describe where the role is headed. In my survey of church leaders I asked them how often they updated their role descriptions and this is what I learned:
    • Monthly – 3%
    • Quarterly – 1%
    • Twice a Year – 9%
    • Annually – 56%
    • Every Other Year – 15%
    • Never – 16%
  • Other Duties As Assigned // Every church leader job description needs language in it that basically says “we all do stuff the we falls outside of our area … there is a ‘get it done’ mindset on our team”. Hopefully you would never have a team member on your team that gets a spirit of “that’s not my job” but if you do this provides a framework to help them anticipate that we just pitch in to make church happen.
  • Be Original! // Avoid the temptation of just copying and pasting a job description from another church and swapping out the names of your programs. Study what other churches do with job descriptions but then be original by writing your own and using language that is unique to you. We’ve provided the samples below to help speed your study not so you can just rip them off for your church! Take some time to communicate what is unique about your church through your job descriptions. (We’d love to see yours too! Link to a couple of them in the comments section!)

Executive & Leadership Job Descriptions

Creative Services Job Descriptions

Family Ministry Job Descriptions

Discipleship & Small Group Job Descriptions

Volunteer Job Descriptions

Church Administrative Job Descriptions

Download All the Job Descriptions in One File!

All of the job descriptions are in .ZIP file in our FREE STUFF section. [Click here to register. It’s FREE.] [Click here login in if you are member.]




  1. Music to my HR ears. Agree especially on start with why, be realistic with qualifications, and be original. I see the opposite of that on a regular basis and it’s clear to me that by following even some of these principles, you can really stand out from the crowd. Thanks for the post, Rich.

    1. Luz! (rhymes with tooth!)

      Thanks for dropping by. Appreciate you and the service you provide.

      unSeminary friends … check out to see more about what Luz does. 😉 We’re using her service right now for a Campus Pastor role.


  2. This has been so useful for conversations about current employee job descriptions & potential rewrites! Thanks for numerous insights!

  3. This is an awesome resource, but I can’t find here or anywhere a sample job description for the Senior Pastor of a multisite church. Tons of emphasis on campus pastors, and good resources for exec pastors. But after a season of drift and reorganization, we need help at the Senior Pastor level.

Leave a Response

Rich Birch
Rich Birch is one of the early multi-site church pioneers in North America. He led the charge in helping The Meeting House in Toronto to become the leading multi-site church in Canada with over 5,000+ people in 18 locations. In addition, he served on the leadership team of Connexus Church in Ontario, a North Point Community Church Strategic Partner. He has also been a part of the lead team at Liquid Church - a 5 location multisite church serving the Manhattan facing suburbs of New Jersey. Liquid is known for it’s innovative approach to outreach and community impact. Rich is passionate about helping churches reach more people, more quickly through excellent execution.His latest book Church Growth Flywheel: 5 Practical Systems to Drive Growth at Your Church is an Amazon bestseller and is design to help your church reach more people in your community.