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
- Start 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
- Executive Pastor // First Christian Church
- I love the percentages on this role description … quick way to speak to “numbers people” about how much effort they should be putting into various areas.
- Associate Pastor // The Meeting House
- This church listed it’s need for people to be aligned with it’s message, mission, ministry strategy and denomination right up front. If it’s important to you – list it!
- Regional Lead Pastor // The Meeting House
- Check out the end of this job description … love how it defines the number of specific types of “events” that need to happen because of this persons leadership.
- General Services Supervisor // Iglesia Cristiana De La Palabra De Dios
- Job description for an executive pastor role in a spanish church.
- Campus Pastor // Christ Fellowship
- Check out how they define their S.E.R.V.E. methodology for developing leaders.
- Administration Officer // Cornerstone Church
- This role calls out that this role needs have a positive customer service approach. So great to see a church defining that as a value!
- Campus Pastor // Christ Journey Church
- This description rightly distinguishes between spiritual gifts, core competencies and skills. Great conversation starter in the interview!
- Executive Pastor of Ministries // Christ Journey Church
- Great starting point for senior leaders who aren’t the lead pastor of a church.
- Campus Pastor // Northridge Church
- Love how simple and straightforward the various aspects of this complex role are labeled.
- Executive Director of Campus Development // Life Church
- If your church gets beyond two locations … you need someone like this.
- Campus Core Team // Life Church
- A fantastic package that shows how an entire staff team at a multisite church campus works together. So good!
Creative Services Job Descriptions
- Worship Leader // Destination Community Church
- This role description starts with a strong emphasis on the “Ephesian 4” encouragement that leaders should build others up and release them. Love it!
- Small Group Coordinator // First Christian Church
- Super clear in just one page … love that it talks about spiritual gifts, talents and personality traits!
- Church Communication // KingdomCity
- Possibility one of the clearest presentations of how church communications fits into the over all strategy of the church.
- Media Pastor // First Christian Church
- I like that this role description defines who the person works for but also defines who the person works closely with!
- Worship Pastor // First Christian Church
- First Christian lists a bunch the nitty gritty about benefits on their roles. So helpful for people considering working with the church!
- Music Coordinator // The Meeting House
- Love how this role starts with a “message leads” statement … to help the music folks understand their place in making the service great!
- Tech Director // The Meeting House
- This is an über-tactical role … check out how straight forward they’ve made the list of what needs to happen on a Sunday morning. Almost a check list!
- Worship Pastor // Christ Fellowship
- Check out how this church balances it’s various creative programming elements right within the job description!
- Worship Leader // Gretna United Methodist Church
- The core competencies are well thought out and provide great definition for this person.
- Organist/Choir Director // Gretna United Methodist Church
- This is from the same church as the one above … interesting to see how they are defining their two approaches to musical worship within their church!
- Pastor of Worship & Media // Bethany Church
- This job description also includes Key Performance Measurements … super important stuff that the team member will need to focus on. Make it clear!
- Vocalist // Hillsong Church
- Check out how specific Hillsong gets with it’s team members about what they expect. So great!
- Audio Engineer // Coast Hills Community Church
- This role describes a support audio engineer … fascinating to see how this role is laid out!
- Camera Operator // Coast Hills Community Church
- Love that this role has “constant improvement” built right in … reviewing service video footage immediately after the service!
Family Ministry Job Descriptions
- Children’ Ministry Coordinator // The Meeting House
- This is a 10 hour a week role and they do a great job defining where they want those 10 hours invested.
- Early Childhood Coordinator // Christ Fellowship
- Great framework for a part-time Children’s Ministry role.
- Children’s Ministry Coordinator // Christ Fellowship
- Great example of a campus Children’s ministry role.
- Student Ministry Pastor // Christ Fellowship
- This job description starts with character first … such a great place to start!
- Student Ministries – Administrative Associate // Valley Church
- This role support two student ministry pastors … check out how they clearly split the time between the two areas.
- Youth Pastor // Reimage Church
- Loved that this job description lists serving the student ministry leadership & parents before students. Focus on points of leveraged effectiveness!
- Worship & Student Pastor // Epic Community Church
- This role description starts out with a great discussion of their organizational values. Great way to start!
Discipleship & Small Group Job Descriptions
- Small Groups Director, Marriage Ministry & Database Manager // First Christian Church
- Check out the “Why does FCC have a marriage ministry?” for a great ideas on how to connect vision with execution.
- Pastor of Adult Ministries // Christ Fellowship
- This is a campus specific discipleship role that received direct authority from the Campus Pastor but is influenced by the central staff function. Check out how they define that dance!
- Congregational Care Pastor // Christ Fellowship
- Looking for a way to frame up what “pastoral care” staff members do? Check out this job description for some great ideas!
- Volunteer Placement Coach // Christ Fellowship
- Love how progressive this church is … assigning staff time to get people placed in the right volunteer roles!
- Pastor Of Global Mission // First Baptist Concord
- This is an exhaustive job description! It starts with a clear explanation of the church’s global mission strategy … great to get on the same page right up front!
- Director Of Community Mission // First Baptist Concord
- FBC does a great job defining the ministry area right up front in their role descriptions.
- Director of Outreach // Valley Church
- Check out how this church describes the place the “outreach” plays in reaching unchurched people. Love it!
- Director of Discipleship // Salisbury Church
- Love that this description calls out that their team needs to have a “kingdom-eye” … a focus on outreach.
Volunteer Job Descriptions
- First Connections in UpFront // Crossroads Church
- Although this document is just two pages long it gives a solid outline of what is required of various “guest services” roles … love that priorities are clearly outlined for each role.
- High School Roles // Christ Fellowship
- This one page describes a series of roles at a weekly high school event. Love the conversation style this is written in!
- Student Ministry Protégé // Christ Fellowship
- Why call it an internship when protégé sounds so much better!
- Children’s Ministry Role Descriptions // Faith Covenant Church
- This few page report attempts to define a series of roles and the amount of time investment is required in each of them.
- Outreach Leadership Team // First Baptist Concord
- Description of how an outreach leadership team functions together!
- Greeter // Shelter Rock Church
- Love that this job description starts with the “why”!
- Meals Prep Team // Shelter Rock Church
- Such a practical way to love their community. So great seeing them building some structure around it!
- Community Group Leader // Shelter Rock Church
- Describing this sort of role within a church can be difficult … Shelter Rock did a great job to get it to one page!
- Host Team Members // Reimage Church
- First impressions matter … this church took time to define what success looked like for all their roles with the team that makes first impressions!
- Compassion Coordinator // The Meeting House
- Great to see this church’s passion for “doing compassion well” with this role!
- Greeter & Head Usher // Northridge Church
- These roles start with a clear description of what sort of environment they are trying to create with their first impressions team. So good!
- First Impressions Team // Lead Greeter, Greeter, Central Host // Ridge Church
- Love the intentionality of how these roles all hang together!
Church Administrative Job Descriptions
- Church Administrator // Iglesia Cristiana De La Palabra De Dios
- A church admin job description in Spanish. I’m sure it’s pretty amazing! 🙂
- Events Setup // Christ Fellowship
- This is a super clear, one page description for this hourly tactical role!
- Campus Coordinator // Christ Fellowship
- Great insights for administrative staff that work at a campus in a multisite church.
- Bookshop Coordinator // Cornerstone Church
- This job description includes the financial compensation right in the write up … this is standard in the marketplace but church’s don’t typically do that. I think it’s great because it helps candidates consider if it’s even workable right up front.
- Campus Pastor Ministry Assistant // Christ Journey Church
- Check out how this role is “limited” to three outcomes … often administrators are pulled in a million directions and this sort of clarity helps them define what they are doing.
- Multisite Administrator // Life Church
- If you are looking for some ideas on how to define a job description for an admin team member who support campus expansion … this is a great place to start.
Download All the Job Descriptions in One File!
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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.
Luz! (rhymes with tooth!)
Thanks for dropping by. Appreciate you and the service you provide.
unSeminary friends … check out http://www.hirefly.com to see more about what Luz does. 😉 We’re using her service right now for a Campus Pastor role.
Do you have any resources for “org charts” for congregations?
I’ll put that in the hopper for a future resource.
Whoa. This is #EPIC. I may need to bookmark this one… 😀
[…] 9 Lessons on Effective Church Job Descriptions (& 59 FREE Samples!) Might want to bookmark this one… […]
[…] Birch shared, “9 Lessons on Effective Church Job Descriptions.” Check this out if you are trying to clarify roles, role expectations and descriptions. The […]
This is fantastic. Thank you for taking the time out to source this information. Very helpful!
This has been so useful for conversations about current employee job descriptions & potential rewrites! Thanks for numerous insights!
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.
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