• Creating A Policy Manual

Posted by: kidhelper on Monday, August 13th, 2012


Creating A Policy Manual

Why have a Policy Manual for your Children’s Ministry? A Policy Manual is a working document that is revised and reviewed annually. It is not so much a final edition, but rather a work in progress. As your ministry grows and programs expand a Policy Manual should be revised and updated to keep pace with the way your ministry process demands.

A Policy Manual is really a collection of the ways you solve ministry problems. It tends to be a systematic presentation of your procedures—how you run your work. When new and veteran volunteers move through your ministry, it is the Policy Manual that tends to unify and clarify the standards by which you operate. It contains your bedrock children’s ministry principles that you review with all your ministry team.

I recommend that you ultimately develop two editions of a Policy Manual—one that you publish for your team and the other one, which becomes your Presentation Policy Manual. Of course, the later one has your teaching notes—that compliments the first one.

However, many who start out in the profession of Children’s Ministry do not have a Policy Manual of any kind. Many churches do not have them. Some churches that do have them do not use them. Your Policy Manual compliments your teacher-training program. We know that we can do more together than any one can do alone. Help your team.

So how does one develop one of these active, but unifying Policy Manuals?

Here are my eight general guidelines that may help you develop yours.

  1. Start Small! A Policy Manual that is too big and complicated will flatly be rejected as unnecessary.
  2. Create an Outline! One way to begin is to outline the areas you might want to cover in your manual. This is a good way to start.
  3. Test Run Early Drafts! Presenting and teaching your policies (a few at a time) to your volunteers will help secure “buy in” and support. The writing is slower, but more deliberate.
  4. Keep It Simple! Your early drafts should be succinct and condensed. Establish a few key policies at first. Then present them a few at a time. This is really the best way of building your Manual.
  5. An Alternative Beginning! If your involvement is limited, just start with the programs that you oversee. Add other policies as your ministry to children expands.
  6. Find Sample Policy Manuals! You can search Kidology or inquire from other Kidmin who might share their Manuals with you.
  7. Involve an Editor! A good Policy Manual needs to read well and use the principles of Desk Top Publishing. Layout is important.
  8. Revise and Update! A good effort here will mean you take the Manual with you in future ministries.
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