February 22, 2023

Legal Guidelines of Operation

Bill Wilson

The Lord God is my strength; He will make my feet like hind's feet, and He will make me walk on my high places.

Habakkuk 3:19

During our Assemblies of God Executive Presbytery meeting in November, the AG Legal Counsel strongly recommended these guidelines and practices for all our AG churches. These steps were given to ensure proactive actions in the local, state, and national context and are intended to help protect from frivolous litigations that have become more common.      

  1. Include the affirmation of the AG - 16 Fundamental Statements of Faith in your Church Bylaws.
  2. Include the support of the AG – Position Papers & Purposes in Employee Manuals.
  3. Require all Employees/Volunteers to Sign an Annual Code of Christian Conduct & Agreement. This would include proper sexual conduct.
  4. Provide a well-written Job Description for all Employees/Staff.
    • This would include a purpose statement of the church/ministry.  
    • This would include clear duties and responsibilities of each employee/staff member.
    • Each person would be required to agree to and sign the job description.
  5. Conduct Regular (annually or more) Performance Evaluations/Reviews.   
    • Include measures of spiritual health.
    • Include measuring professional performance.
    • Include measuring relational compatibility with the team and mission.

These proactive steps are intended to show effort and due diligence in working with individuals within your local church or ministry if ever faced with an unfortunate legal challenge by an employee or volunteer. This will also assist in avoiding misunderstandings, miscommunication, and misrepresentation of both the local church and the staff/employees.   

On a personal note, this has been a helpful practice for many years in our ministry. It reinforces that people matter to us, and it also provides an opportunity to have meaningful and productive conversations. The desire is to encourage a healthy, supportive, and Christian work environment.  

Oregon Ministry Network

5745 Inland Shores Way N
Keizer, OR 97303