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Copyright Information

Acknowledgments

Introduction

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 12 Letters of Policy & Doctrine

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Each church offers unique qualities, and these characteristics need to be communicated clearly in statements of policy and doctrine. This allows for a successful match between church and individual, eliminates confusion, and protects against disharmony and dissatisfaction in the body.

To be effective and active members in a church, individuals need to know exactly what is offered to them, and what is expected from them. These letters will help you achieve these ends.

12-1 / To Groups about Availability of Special Services: Nursery

We are looking forward to your congregation joining us for the community Thanksgiving service to be held on Wednesday, MONTH XX, at 7:30 PM

For your convenience, during the service we will be operating both a nursery for babies under the age of two and one for toddlers ages two through five. Each will be staffed by Community Church nursery workers. We hope you will feel free to make use of them.

Thank you, and we anticipate a meaningful joint service as we unite to show our gratitude to our great God.

12-2 / To Groups about Building & Key Use Rules

An established set of guidelines for outsiders who use the church or synagogue is helpful to have in writing. While this example has a cordial tone, it is also clear in exactly what is expected.

Thank you for your recent request to use the church building on DAY, MONTH XX, 200X, for a craft bazaar to take place between the hours of 10:00 AM and 5:00 PM We are happy to grant you permission to do so, under the following conditions:

  • No smoking in the church.
  • Unused areas of the building are to be roped off so that no one goes into them.
  • Food and drinks are not to be taken outside of Fellowship Hall.
  • A certificate of liability insurance must be filed.
  • A fee of $00.00 will be charged to pay for the extra custodian work.
  • No one will be permitted in the church before 8:00 AM or after 7:00 PM on the day of the bazaar.

We would appreciate your cooperation in these matters. May you have great success in your endeavor.

12-3 / To Groups about Church Position on Issues: Nuclear Arms Race

From time to time, issues arise in society that require a clear response by the local church. This helps to clarify for members the appropriate biblical stand and seeks to engage them in the issue as responsible citizens. This letter is an example of one approach.

In light of the current debate about the nuclear arms race in the denomination, we would like to present to you the enclosed proposed resolution reflecting the view of our congregation.

Whereas, as Christians, we believe in peace which brings real freedom to persons of every nation; and

Whereas, as citizens of the Kingdom of God as well as of the United States of America, we pledge proper loyalty to both; and

Whereas, our government, having received God’s blessing, has served us well over the years of its existence; and

Whereas, the U.S. Constitution provides separation of church and state; and

Whereas, the President of this country, congressional representatives, and other elected and appointed officials have the responsibility of providing security and common defense of the United States, as well as the mandate to work for world peace; and

Whereas, the Soviet Union persists in expanding nuclear, strategic, and conventional military forces, the U.S. has the clear responsibility to maintain peace and freedom by deterring such actions; and

Whereas, it is not in the best interests of this nation to have a comprehensive test ban treaty, as long as there is need for nuclear deterrence, thereby requiring a structured test pro gram which will ensure the safety, reliability, and effectiveness of such weapons; and

Whereas, the government has the resources, intelligence, and scientific knowledge avail able to it, as well as the best interests of and the information concerning the mindset and activities of the U.S.; and

Whereas, we have both the opportunity and the responsibility to pray for our government officials as they fulfill their obligations to strive for world peace;

Therefore, be it resolved that Community Church of CITY, STATE commends the President, Congress, and other officials for steps they have taken, as well as will take, to pursue peace through nuclear arms reduction agreements, a test ban treaty, etc., to assure U.S. security and that of the rest of the free world, with the objectives of achieving peace and freedom for people everywhere. Further, be it resolved that as members of this Body and of this nation, we vow to renew our commitment to Jesus Christ and to the United States, lifting up our leaders to God each day in prayer.

We trust that you will take into account our sentiments. Thank you.

12-4 / To Groups about Job Descriptions for Volunteer Staff: Sunday School Teachers

Greetings in the name of the Lord to all Sunday school teachers!

As another year begins, we are looking forward to new opportunities as we strive to bring our students into a closer walk with God. For the benefit of those who have recently accepted their positions, as well as to remind those who have held them for a while, here is your job description:

1. In both your teaching and your personal life, you are to radiate Jesus, so as to minister to the needs of each of your students.

2. You are to attend the monthly teachers’ meetings with the pastor.

3. You are to be at the teachers’ workshops, which will be tentatively held in early MONTH and MONTH.

4. You are to visit each student in his/her home at least once during the fall quarter.

5. You are to commit yourself to spending adequate time to prepare your lesson each week so that the presentation of it will go as smoothly as possible.

6. You are to use as many visual aids, attention devices such as puppets, drama, etc. as possible in order to make your lesson as interesting as you can.

7. Orders for curriculum must be into the superintendent by the first of the month preceding the month the material is needed.

8. If you know you cannot teach on a specific Sunday, you are to find a substitute and contact the pastor a week in advance. If unexpected circumstances arise, please notify him as early as possible. Your students are counting on you being present!

Thank you for your cooperation in these matters. I am certain that by working together, we will see a year of great personal growth, both for ourselves and for our students.

12-5 / To Individuals about Accountability: Of Staff

In answer to your inquiry, the following should clarify our position:

An associate pastor at Community Church is to be accountable to the senior pastor in consultation with the Church Council. He/she shall be elected by the vote of the congregation, with the call to be approved by the district office.

The pastoral relationship between the associate pastor and the church may only be dissolved by the district. He/she may request such action and must also state his/her intention to the Church Council, who will then call a congregational meeting to act on the request. If the congregation and the pastor agree, the district will so move. In cases in which the congregation does not want the dissolution, it may state its case to the district, who will rule one way or the other. Should the congregation wish to dissolve the pastoral relationship, a similar process will be followed.

To summarize, the associate pastor is directly responsible to the senior pastor, in cooperation with the Church Council and the District office.

If you have further questions, feel free to contact my office.

12-6 / To Individuals about Membership Requirements

This fairly informal letter concisely lists the membership requirements in an easy to follow format.

Thank you for your interest in investigating joining Community Church. We have the following membership requirements:

At least ten years of age, evidence of having personally asked Jesus Christ to be Lord and Savior, baptized by water, evidence of living a godly life style, participate in membership classes led by the pastor, and upon their completion, have a private conference with him.

If you feel you can meet these criteria, please contact my office for information about the date of the next series of membership classes.

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

12-7 / To Individuals about Qualifications for Volunteers: Sunday School Teachers

Thank you for your recent inquiry about the possibility of teaching Sunday school. We have the following qualifications:

  • Member of the church,
  • Regular attendance of Sunday school for at least the past year,
  • Attend the basic teacher training seminar and then go to the teachers’ workshop scheduled several times a year,
  • Agree to be at monthly teachers’ meetings held with the pastor, demonstrate a love for the age you will be teaching, be of the highest moral character, living a life style consistent with Biblical standards.

If you feel you can meet these requirements, please contact my office. We are constantly looking for dedicated individuals willing to commit themselves to teaching in our Christian education department.

12-8 / To Individuals about Staff Absences

For your information, the revised policy of staff absences is as follows:

1. Absences due to a death in the immediate family (defined as spouse, child, parent, or other member of household) will result in up to one week’s paid leave.

2. Absences due to a death of a relative other than immediate family will result in up to three day’s paid time off.

3. If an employee is called for jury or witness duty, he/she will be paid for the time off and is permitted to keep any compensation received for such duty. However, if such duty does not require the entire day, the employee is expected to report to the church for work during the remaining hours of the workday.

4. Absences for personal business are permitted if approved by the department head in advance. A maximum of three such days per year will be allowed.

5. In the case of personal illness, an employee has up to ten days sick leave per year. The church office should be notified prior to 8:30 AM on the first day of such absences, as well as on each succeeding day the illness continues. A doctor’s statement may be requested after the third day off. In some cases of serious illness in the immediate family, the supervisor may classify it as personal illness.

6. Leaves of absence will be granted if recommended by the department head and approved by the senior pastor.

Absences, as much as possible, are to be reported in advance to the department head. A week’s notice is preferred, but a minimum of 48 hours is strongly suggested. Unexcused absences will be dealt with by the senior pastor first, then referred to the Personnel Committee of the Session if needed, and finally handled by the Session itself if there are further problems. I hope this is clear to you. If you have any questions, feel free to ask.

12-9 / To Individuals about Statement of Doctrine

Enclosed you will find Community Church’s Statement of Doctrine.

Statement of Doctrine

1. The Bible is the divinely inspired Word of God. It is truth untarnished by any degree of error, it will endure forever, and it is the standard by which all conduct, creeds, and opinions are to be tried.

2. There is one God, the Maker of Heaven and Earth, holy and just, Who is expressed in three equal Persons, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

3. Man was made in holiness but, by his choice, fell into sin, thus resulting in a sinful nature of all, in that each voluntarily go astray and are therefore under condemnation to eternal separation from God.

4. God has graciously provided a way out through His Son, who freely took on human nature, was born of a Virgin, lived tempted in all manner of sin, but remained sinless and died for our transgressions. He rose from the dead and is now enthroned in Heaven.

5. In order to be saved, sinners must personally invite Jesus Christ into their hearts, repenting of their sins and intending to walk in newness of life with the help of God.

6. The Christian who has thus experienced salvation is to persist in personal prayer and Bible study, freely sharing the faith with those around him/her, regularly fellowshipping in a Bible-believing church, and participating in every sort of good work for the advancement of the kingdom of God.

7. In obedience to the Word of God, a believer is to undergo the Sacrament of Baptism, symbolizing the death of the old man and the birth of the new in Christ. The Sacrament of Communion, by which the members partake of the bread and wine in memory of Jesus and His atoning work on the cross, is to be celebrated on a regular basis.

8. The end of the age is approaching, and with it, the personal return of Jesus Christ, the bodily resurrection of the just and the unjust, the everlasting blessedness of the redeemed, and the everlasting torment of the lost.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact my office.

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