Help with Church Use Policy

Discussion in 'Pastoral Ministries' started by Artimaeus, Aug 31, 2003.

  1. Artimaeus

    Artimaeus
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    Our church would like to develop a ploicy about who and/or what groups or individuals can have use of the church building and for what purposes. I would appreciate any suggestions or resources which y'all would consider helpful.
     
  2. Dr. Bob

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    Do you have that much demand for you church facility? That seems odd.

    I agree, though, that a policy is needed. For instance, we allow folks to use our church for weddings and receptions.

    $100 for use of auditorium (we give $25 to janitor for cleaning
    $100 for use of kitchen/reception hall (we give $25 to janitor for extra work)

    Running into big problems with a $12k sound system and having someone there to run it for a "rental". Also, having the building open for wedding rehearsal, early for set up, flowers, etc all mean SOMEONE [read: pastor] being there a lot of extra time.

    Good to think about this all BEFORE a problem arises. Afterward :eek: is too late!
     
  3. computerjunkie

    computerjunkie
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    My church is rather large, so we do have "church use policy" defined.

    We have a whole policy book just for weddings! It includes the charges to use the worship center or fellowship hall or atrium or parlor, as well as general information about what is and is not allowed (i.e., marriage between a man and a woman, drinking, smoking, rice, etc.). Any church member, or immediate family, may use the church for a wedding. The charge includes payment for a sound guy and facilities clean-up.

    We have a BSF (Bible Study Fellowship) group that uses our church weekly. We have a Boy Scout troop who uses it occasionally. We have receptions, birthday parties, music recitals, and occasionally youth groups from out of the area use the gym for overnight stays.

    We do charge a fee for all of these (except the BSF group). The fee covers paying the facilities guys to be available for room setup, and church open up and lock up if the event is not held during the normal hours our church is open. We generally request a deposit, in addition to the normal charge. The deposit is returned after the event, assuming there is no property damage.

    The lady who does our calendar is the initial contact. If she has any questions about who the group is, or for what purpose they are requesting use of the building, she goes to the senior associate pastor who makes the final decision.

    Of course, being the Baptist church that we are, the "church use policy" book goes through the Properties Committee before final approval! :D

    This may be waaaaaaayyyyyy more info than you had in mind, but maybe it will give you some things to think about as you come up with guidelines for using your church! [​IMG]
     
  4. Pastor Larry

    Pastor Larry
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    Our policy is that church use is permitted only for active members in good standing. That eliminates a whole lot of problems right off the bat. Underneath that requirement are things that fit into what we are tryign to do as a church and things that we can condone in good conscience. For instance a unmarried girl became pregnant and her mother wanted to hold a baby shower at the church for her. I met with this girl and her boyfriend for marriage counseling. After a few sessions, they made it clear that they had no intent of living God's way. At that point, we decided that as a church, we could not honor this single mother who was determined to live in open and direct rebellion against the commands of God. We told the mother she coul dnot use the building.

    Our belief is that our church building ought to be used for things that the church would condone and encourage, things that we would honor.
     
  5. Deacon

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    Spend an hour or two doing a Google search. You would be surprised how many organizations post their policies on the net.

    Don't limit yourself to looking at Baptist sites. I've picked up great information and even manuals that were posted on some sites.

    The suggestions above are great but alway use a disclamer that the pastor has the final word. Sometimes there are very good reasons for 'breaking the rules' about church use.

    Rob
     
  6. Artimaeus

    Artimaeus
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    Thanks guys, those are the kinds of things I am looking for. We are a small rural church but we still have the same sort of problems that larger churches have, just less frequent. Fees are not really a concern but activities which might reflect poorly on our stewardship of God's facilities have only recently even been asked about. We would like to be consistent and not unnecessarily alienate members who might have an expectation of using the church for things that really are inappropriate. We don't want to become a community center as some of the other churches in our area are.
     
  7. showard93

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    Our church and Fellowship building can only be used by members of our church. Our Pastor did let a church use our church for baptism and he asked them to not do certain things because he didn't allow it from his members and they did just the opposite so he stopped it all.
     
  8. GODzThunder

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    The only problem with "renting" out the Church building to non-Church members or even active members for that sort is the mess some of them can leave. To solve this our Church charges $50.00 to non-members and nothing to active attending members of three months stnading AND charge a deposit of $150.00 which is given back upon seeing that the building is clean and taken care of.
     
  9. Hardsheller

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    I once pastored a church in a suburban area that arrived at a totally different approach to stewardship of property than what I see here.

    They were convicted that God had given them 17 acres in the middle of a growing part of town in order to be a witness to the community. They were also convicted that to open up their building to the community would expose the ministry of the church to a wider audience.

    Several organizations had training meetings in our building. Prison Fellowship, Inc., A neighboring nursing home, etc. There were regulations on what was acceptable behavior and what was prohibited but there was never a charge for using the building. Most organizations cleaned up and some even made financial donations for the use.

    The benefit came when employees of those organizations who were non-christians had a crisis in their lives. That church they had their training in was the only church in town they had ever been in. Who do you think they called?

    Folks, remember this. When the Lord comes for his Church - Non Christians who couldn't use the facilities are then going to "OWN" the buildings. :D
     

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