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Ten "Commandments" for Writing Better Letters

All Purpose Letter Writing Outline

Tips For Using This Book

Table of Contents

Chapter 1
Letters to Members of All Ages

Chapter 2
Letters to Other Members

Chapter 3
Letters to Nonmembers

Chapter 4
Letters to Church Staff

Chapter 5
Letters to the Community

Chapter 6
Letters to the Media

Chapter 7
Letters to Vendors

Chapter 8
Letters for Special Occasions

Chapter 9
Letters of Acceptance, Confirmation, Invitations, & Refusal

Chapter 10
Letters to Raise Funds

Chapter 11
Letters to Colleagues

Chapter 12
Letters of Policy & Doctrine

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Chapter 11 Letters to Colleagues

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It is only logical that a minister will have to communicate on various issues to colleagues and superiors. These model letters will help the minister to communicate a competent and positive image necessary for productive interactions with ministerial colleagues.

11-1 / To Community Pastors about Inquiries & Requests: For Participation in Community Service

This year, I am in charge of planning the community Thanksgiving service, and I was wondering if you would care to participate. It is to be held at Faith Memorial Church on DAY, MONTH XX, at 7:30 PM

At this point, I need someone to give the call to worship, the Scripture reading, and the closing prayer. If you would be interested in doing any of these, please contact my office as soon as possible.

We are anticipating a large crowd and a meaningful service. I do hope you can join us.

11-2 / To Community Pastors about Membership Transfer

NAME has asked to unite with Community Church, and therefore has requested that we contact you in order that his/her name be removed from your church roll.

We are pleased to receive NAME into our fellowship, and are certain that he/she will be an asset. Thank your for your prompt compliance with his/her desire to transfer membership.

11-3 / To Community Pastors about Problems: Confrontation between Youth

In this touchy situation, the pastor takes care not to insinuate any blame while urging the recipient to join with him in getting the conflict resolved. While the tone is serious, it has underlying optimism that things will work out.

I recently became aware of a situation of which I feel sure you would want to be informed. At the city wide youth rally last week, NAME from our church became involved in a fight with NAME and NAME from your congregation. The result was a broken nose for NAME.

At this time, I do not know exactly what started this confrontation, although I am certain that it was not entirely either side’s fault. I am attempting to get to the bottom of this unfortunate situation. Perhaps you will want to do the same. The parents of all these boys have been notified about the fight.

Whatever caused the problem is really not the main issue in my eyes. I find settling a disagreement in this way to be totally unacceptable, particularly in the context of a Christian event like the rally. This is not the kind of witness I want to present to the city.

Please call me at your convenience so that we can discuss what action should be taken at this point. I am convinced that as believers, we can work out this problem in a way acceptable to all involved.

11-4 / To Community Pastors about Relocation: Of Sender

I would like to inform you that as of MONTH XX, I will no longer hold the position of pastor at Community Church. Having decided to go back into teaching full time, I accepted an offer from Trinity Bible College to serve as professor of New Testament. My family and I will be relocating to that area sometime during the month of MONTH.

As pastor here, I have had the opportunity to work together with you on a number of occasions. I would like to thank you for your cooperation with me, and also for your support and friendship. You share my desire to extend the Gospel to those who have not heard it, and I appreciate that.

Although I look forward to the new challenges that await me, I will miss many aspects of the work here, and particularly the people, like you. I pray that God will continue to richly bless your ministry and your church as you work for Him. May I ask that you make welcome my successor and help him in his adjustment to his new position? I am confident that I can depend on you.

11-5 / To Community Pastors about Welcome

Welcome to CITY! As you begin your ministry at Faith Memorial Church, I pray that God will guide and bless you.

Several times in the past, Community Church has joined with your congregation in hosting a speaker or concert. It is my hope that such ventures will continue. There are many people here who need to know the good news about Jesus, giving us great opportunities to reach out. May we unite with the other local pastors in doing the work that He has called us to do.

I look forward to meeting you soon. In the meantime, I hope that your adjustment to your new responsibilities will be smooth, and that your family’s relocation will be as easy as possible.

11-6 / To National Denominational Officers about Introduction: Of Sender

Greetings in the Name of the Lord!

I am pleased to have recently been ordained in the denomination, and am looking forward to a long and good relationship with you. Already, I have heard many favorable things about how the leadership in the church really cares about each individual pastor and makes every effort to help him.

In addition to my position as pastor at Community Church, I do some writing for Christian magazines. I have been asked to write a brief history of the denomination for MAGAZINE NAME and I would like to ask for your assistance.

In the five years that I have been submitting manuscripts for publication, I have sold over thirty of them to Decision, Leadership, Key to Christian Education, and others. I enclose copies of several of my published articles. Also, I have attended two nationwide Christian writers’ conferences, and am active in a writers’ club which meets in this area.

My wife NAME and I met at UNIVERSITY NAME, from which I received a degree in journal ism before going on to seminary. We have been married for four years.

Now that I have told you a little about myself, I would appreciate it if you could forward some information to me about our founder and the early years of his ministry. I have a MONTH XX deadline for this article, so I need your help as soon as possible.

Thank you again for anything you can send me. If you want to check out my credentials any further, feel free to contact my bishop, NAME, or my seminary advisor, NAME, ADDRESS.

11-7 / To National Denominational Officers about Problems: Lack of Cooperation with Sender’s Member

One of the members of my congregation, NAME, is in the process of writing an article about homosexuality for publication in a national Christian magazine. As part of his re search, he is contacting a number of denominational headquarters to discuss this issue with some of the leadership of various churches. Although he has tried to reach you on several occasions, he has had no success.

Might I ask for your cooperation in this matter? I realize that you have a great deal of responsibility in your position as general supervisor of the denomination, and that you are extremely busy. However, what Mr. NAME wants would only take ten minutes on the phone. A faithful member of our church, he is trying to do his job well, and I know his motivation is to bring glory to Christ through his writing. His credentials as a writer and as a believer are excellent.

In addition, I feel that his including our denomination in his manuscript would give us some favorable publicity. I do hope that you can cooperate with him; it would mean much to both him and myself.

11-8 / To National Denominational Officers about Reports: Attendance

Enclosed you will find Community Church’s Monthly Report.

Church Monthly Report


Church Code Number 0000

Community Church





Church Ministry Record

Church Services Day Time Average Attendance AM Sunday 10:30 AM 612 PM Sunday 7:00 PM 402 Midweek Wednesday 7:00 PM 367 Christian Education Sunday school Sunday 9:15 AM 246 Youth Fellowship Thursday 7:00 PM 56 Men’s Ministries Prayer Breakfast Saturday 7:30 PM 95 Monthly Meeting Tuesday 7:00 PM 146 Women’s Ministries Bible Study Tuesday 10:30 AM 39 Monthly Meeting Thursday 7:30 PM 165 Evangelism Approximate number of calls made through visitation outreach: 79 Decisions for Christ: 41 Water Baptisms: 12 Church Membership Previous Month: 897 New Members: 59 Deaths/Withdrawals: 23 Total Members: 933 Active Members: 701 Inactive Members: 232 Date of last membership meeting: MONTH XX, 200X. Date of last council meeting: MONTH XX, 200X. 11-9 / To Other Denominational Pastors about Introduction: Response

Thank you for your recent letter introducing yourself. I am delighted to have you as a welcome addition to our conference, and I am certain that you will find our denomination to be a framework in which you and your ministry may blossom.

Concerning your question about area resources, I can offer you little help in the areas of substance abuse or domestic violence. You might want to contact NAME, ADDRESS, pastor of the CITY Community Church, who has worked in these areas for some time.

As far as fighting pornography, I have been quite involved in this for the past several years. After organizing a local group called NAME I served as president for the first year and now am on the board of directors. I have also been asked to serve on a state task force studying the results of pornography, and I have done extensive research into the problem, its effects, and possible solutions.

With this background, I do a good bit of speaking on the subject, and would be more than willing to come to your city if you are interested. Another possibility is that I could forward some information to you. Please let me know what you want.

Again, let me say how pleased I am to have you join the denomination and also our conference. In my eighteen years in this area, I have received nothing but encouragement from the denominational officers with whom I have worked. I am confident that you will have the same experience.

11-10 / To Other Denominational Pastors about Inquiries & Requests

Since many might not be familiar with the difficulty of adopting a healthy infant nowadays or with the concept of private adoption, this letter goes into a good bit of detail. Another less personal way to handle some of it would be to include a brief résumé of the couple. In that case, the pastor’s letter would be one of recommendation and perhaps a short explanation of private adoption.

I am hopeful that you will be able to help me with an important request.

A couple in our church, NAME and NAME, are looking for a baby to privately adopt. Perhaps you know that adopting an infant these days is extremely difficult, due to the small number given up for adoption. These dear people have been trying for over three years to bring a child into their family through adoption, but they have had no success. At this point, they are turning to their brothers and sisters in Christ to help them.

Maybe you have an unwed mother to be in your congregation or you know of one. Has she considered private adoption? Legal in our state (and almost all others), it is handled through a lawyer with no agency involved. The adoptive parents pay for the mother’s medical expenses as well as the legal costs, and the birth mother has the assurance of knowing her child will be brought up in a loving Christian home by parents who very much wanted him/her.

The NAME s have been active members of our congregation for eight years, during which time they have been involved in youth ministry, teaching adult Sunday school, and serving on the church council and several committees. I feel they have a stable marriage, good jobs, financial security, and l can highly recommend them as excellent prospective parents.

If you know of anyone who might be willing to consider giving up a baby for adoption, or you would like more information about private adoption or the NAME s, please contact me. This couple has gone through a difficult time waiting for God to bring them the desire of their hearts. I believe it is very much in order to seek the child for them within the Body of Christ; as we minister to each other’s needs, we are all helped. Thank you for your consideration.

11-11 / To Other Denominational Pastors about Membership Transfer

Recently, we were saddened to lose NAME and NAME as active members of Community Church, due to their move to CITY, STATE. However, they have informed us that they now desire to unite with your fellowship in their new location.

We are pleased that they have found a church with which they feel comfortable, and we trust that they will prove to be a blessing to you as they have been to us in the past. This letter officially terminates their membership with us, and we gladly leave the NAME s in your hands, trusting that their joining with you will advance the Gospel.

11-12 / To Other Denominational Pastors about Recommendation: Giving a Favorable One

The letter writer’s enthusiasm shows through here. Note how the candidate’s achievements both in the classroom and in her personal life are highlighted.

I understand that you are considering Mrs. NAME for the position of teacher at your nursery school. I would highly recommend her.

Mrs. NAME served as our teacher for three year olds for a period of four years. During that time, she demonstrated a deep love for children, sensitivity in dealing with parents, and ability as an educator. She is innovative and dynamic in the classroom, and she patiently and skillfully handles each situation in a flexible manner. In addition to being popular with the children, she is well liked by the rest of the faculty.

Perhaps more importantly, Mrs. NAME is a committed Christian who has been a faithful servant to her Lord for a number of years. She is truly an example of how to live for Jesus. Although she taught full time at the school, she was also quite active in the church, singing in the choir, leading a youth Bible study, and serving as an officer in the women’s group. Had she not relocated due to her husband’s transfer, she would continue to be employed by us.

If you have any further questions, I would be happy to discuss them with you.

11-13 / To Other Denominational Pastors about Relocation: Of Recipient

I recently heard that you are being reassigned to Community Church in CITY, STATE. Congratulations on your new assignment! I am certain that it will prove to be a challenging and rewarding experience for you.

Naturally, lam sorry to hear that you will be leaving our area. I have enjoyed working with you on the projects we have done together, as I have been encouraged by your friendship.

May God continue to guide you as you pursue new fields of ministry, and may He bless your life richly. If ever I can be of any service to you in your new location, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

11-14 / To State/District Denominational Officers about Recommendation: Request For

We are considering the application of Rev. NAME for the position of youth pastor at Community Church. Would you please forward to me any information you have on his years as youth pastor at Community Church in CITY, STATE? We are particularly interested in knowing the following:

1. His relationship with the senior pastor: Was he cooperative and supportive? Did he tend to get problems out in the open or keep them inside?

2. His relationship with the district: Was he active in district youth activities and did he encourage participation of the youth? Did he seem to uphold the beliefs of the denomination? Is he well regarded in the district?

We have already received a reference from the senior pastor he served under, and so far, we believe that he might be the one for the job. Nevertheless, several board members wanted more information from a source outside of the church where he previously ministered. There fore, we would appreciate your response as soon as possible.

11-15 / To State/District Denominational Officers about Reports: Financial

Here is our monthly financial statement as you requested.

Community Church Financial Report

Checking Accounts Beginning Balance ______________


Tithable to District

Church offerings ______________

Sunday school offerings ______________

Bequests & Gifts ______________

Total ______________


Missionary offerings ______________

Special offerings/visiting speakers ______________

Building Fund offerings ______________

Bible college offerings ______________

Designated Fund offerings ______________

TV Ministry ______________

Music Ministry ______________

Tape Ministry ______________

Total ______________

Grand total of all incomes ______________



Church Extension Tithe ______________

Bible Colleges ______________

Camp Offerings ______________

Local benevolence ______________

Total ______________


Loan payments: principal/interest ______________

Property insurance ______________

Taxes _______________

Equipment and Furnishings ______________

Church Facilities ______________

Rent _______________

Utilities ___________________

Telephone ______________

Building Improvements ______________

Maintenance ______________

Total ______________


Children, youth, adult ministries ______________

Sunday school ______________

Radio & TV programming ______________

Office operation ______________

Advertising ______________

Church vehicle operation and maintenance ______________

Church vehicle insurance ______________

Total ______________


Sr. pastor salary ______________

Other salaries _______________

Payroll taxes ______________

Personnel insurance ______________

Retirement/social security ______________

Allowances ______________

Staff housing ______________

Total ______________


Designated Funds ______________

Visiting Speakers (honoraria and expenses) ______________

Other _______________

Total ______________

Grand total of expenses ______________

Ending Balance ______________

Total of above two amounts ______________


Name and address of bank ______________

Beginning balance ______________

Deposits ______________

Interest added to savings ______________

Withdrawals ______________

Ending balance _______________

Combined Checking and Savings Balances by Department:

Church _______________

Sunday school _______________

Children, youth, adult ministries _______________

Convention fund _____________________________

Building fund ______________

Total combined balances ______________


Accounts payable ______________

Property and notes ______________

Total ______________

11-16 / To State/District Denominational Officers about Welcome: To New Supervisor

Congratulations on your recent appointment as our district supervisor! I am delighted to welcome you to our area, which I am confident you will find to your liking. In this district, there are plenty of devoted pastors, dedicated church members, and enthusiasm for the Lord’s work. We are eager to press on with it under your leadership.

I enjoyed a good relationship with your predecessor Rev. NAME, and I am anticipating developing the same sort of relationship with you. With your extensive background in ministry and administration, you will certainly add much to the district.

Again, let me welcome you and add that if I can do anything to help in your adjustment to your new position, don’t hesitate to call. I look forward to meeting you and your family in the near future.

Copyright © by Stephen R. Clark. All rights reserved.