Staff/Pastor Parish Relations Committee (SPPRC)
The ministry entrusted to this committee is in its name: relations. The SPPRC has the responsibility to build a strong relationship between our staff, our congregation, and our District Superintendent. Church staff includes the pastor, choir directors, organist, administrative assistant, youth coordinator, nursery school director and janitor. Finding a balance between building strong relationships, being disciplined leaders and managing staff day-to-day activities is key to the role of the SPPRC. Strong relationships help build clear communication channels, mutual caring and deep trust among people. This allows the congregation to live out an inspiring, meaningful ministry that forms disciples who make a difference in their community and the world. Good communication always involves two parties and the link is the SPPRC who facilitates the communication among the congregation, the staff and the District Superintendent.
To insure strong staff relationships, the SPPRC builds personal bonds, elicits clear effective communication channels, illustrates mutual caring and instills a deep trust environment with the staff. It is imperative SPPRC members relate well with our Pastor, support staff, congregation and the District Superintendent.
SPPRC has the role of “keeping an eye on the big picture” and maintaining a clear focus toward our vision. SPPRC tends to daily activities so that details are managed and strategies are implemented. This includes holding both staff and congregation accountable for carrying through with plans and promises, and dealing with both celebrations and disappointments inherent to any church.
The SPPRC ministry of relationship building and administration, plus leadership and management, is a major church responsibility and requires individuals who are dedicated, tactful, disciplined, well respected and possess a clear and thorough knowledge and understanding of our church vision, construct and discipleship. Individuals serving on the SPPRC must be engaged in and be attentive to their Christian spiritual development so as to give proper leadership in the responsibilities with which the committee is entrusted.
Our principle duties include:
1. Encouraging, strengthening, nurturing, supporting and respecting the pastor and staff and their families, including advocating for a healthy work/life balance
2. Promoting church unity
3. Conferring routinely with the staff on the success, or lack thereof, of their ministries and their continuing education and spiritual formation
4. Ensuring staff job descriptions are current and annual work contracts are formally agreed to and signed
5. Conducting annual staff evaluations including salary recommendations to church council
6. Conducting a formal annual pastoral evaluation and parsonage survey and submitting to the district superintendent
7. Recommending staff positions to the church council
8. Conferring with the district superintendent about clergy leadership for the congregation
9. Creating personnel, sexual ethics and safe sanctuary policies
10. Supporting and leading the congregation through any pastoral change
11. Consulting on staff issues including housing, vacation, insurance, pension and similar matters
12. Enlisting, evaluating, and recommending annually to the charge conference lay preachers and persons for candidacy for ordained ministry and enlisting potential candidates for missionary service
13. Maintaining a current listing of temporary replacement personnel for the church administrative assistant and the church organist in case of sustained absences, vacations and other time off situations
The SPPRC should be the most diverse group in the church. During their tenure, committee members will develop skills for communicating with church members about leadership and responsibility. There are nine members elected for terms of three years each, in three classes. In addition to the nine elected members, a lay member of the annual conference and a lay leader are members of the SPPRC. These lay persons are exempt from the three year term. SPPRC members should be Christian spiritual leaders who demonstrate regular worship attendance, small group participation, Bible study and regular giving. Due to the confidential nature of many of the discussions involving personnel, SPPRC meetings are “closed” to open attendance.
An effective, faithful and thoughtful SPPRC can make a huge difference in the professional life of the pastor and other staff. As we work together in Christ, you are in the perfect position to offer support and accountability to the spiritual leaders of the congregation, so they in turn are able to guide the congregation toward our vision of making disciples for Jesus Christ.