Tool Kit for

  • Staff-Parish Relations Committees

  • Pastor-Parish Relation Committees

The S/PPRC has both leadership and management functions in the congregation. Leadership is the role of “keeping an eye on the big picture.” Even in the midst of meetings or crises, the S/PPRC members must never forget they are part of the body of Christ, and they must always be aware of the mission of God’s Church. Management is the role of tending to daily activities so that details are taken care of and strategies are implemented. In other organizations, management functions may be taken care of by a personnel office or Human Resources department. There are some legal and risk management issues for which the S/PPRC has responsibility. The S/PPRC operates under God’s leadership to bring together staff and congregational interests, which includes dealing with both the celebrations and disappointments inherent in any human family and church. (UMC Guidelines, Cokesbury)

Link to Pastoral Transition Webpage


SPRC Leadership Resources

Full description of the PPRC/SPRC from the Book of Discipline of the United Methodist Church 

SPRC Job Description (LINK)  This link from Discipleship Ministries (The General Board of Discipleship) lists expectations, qualifications, and responsibilities of the S/PPR Committee.

Pastoral Transition webpage (LINK) Is your church experiencing a change in pastoral appointment?  Visit the Center for Vitality’s Pastoral Transition Webpage

ARUMC Annual Timeline for S/PPRCs ( PDF)  Timeline of Monthly Meetings: The Bishop and Cabinet expect monthly S/PPRC meetings so that the congregation will be able to stay on mission and healthy.  This outline from the Center for Vitality suggests possible topics and areas of focus for a year’s worth of monthly meetings.

What to include in a Policy Manual for Lay Congregational Staff (Discipleship Ministries PDF)

Church Conflict: A Checklist for Transformation (Discipleship Ministries PDF)

Pastor’s Discretionary Funds (PDF)  Tips for Responsible Handling of a Pastor’s Discretionary Fund by the GCFA Legal Department

Employee or Independent Contractor? (PDF) An important question arises when a church hires, retains or selects a new person to perform a particular job for the church – is the person an employee or independent contractor? Serious tax and other financial consequences may result if a person is misclassified.

Evaluation Tools:


ShareChurch Staffing Resources

Links to ShareChurch resources offered by the United Methodist Church of the Resurrection.  You will need to register to view and download the resources.

Church of the Resurrection Staff Performance Management Tools (LINK) Includes a description of Church of the Resurrection’s performance review process, along with a goals form and reports, staff development resources, and a variety of performance review forms.

Church of the Resurrection Staffing & Hiring Resources (LINK) Contains a description of Church of the Resurrection’s hiring process, sample job description templates, and the staff covenant, along with an interview summary form, tips on interview questions to avoid, a manager’s orientation checklist, and a filled position checklist.

HR Workshop Resources (LINK) Resources from the Leadership Institute 2017 pre-institute workshop “A Practical Approach to Human Resources”.  Includes performance review samples, mission leave and parental leave policis, and a host of other resources.


Book Recommendations on Church Staffing

These books may prove helpful for understanding the role of the S/PPRC and staffing congregations.


Guidelines Pastor-Parish Relations: Connect the Pastor, Staff, and Congregation by Discipleship Ministries (GBOD)

The Pastor Parish Relations Committee (PPRC), also known as Staff Parish Committee, serves a key role in establishing the focus of the pastor, staff, and congregation’s ministry. By advocating for the pastor and staff and helping to interpret their roles and ministries, the PPRC supports and nurtures the whole congregation. This Guieline is designed to help implement and guide the work of the ministry area.

This is one of the twenty-six Guidelines for Leading Your Congregation 2017-2020 that cover church leadership areas including Church Council and Small Membership Church; the administrative areas of Finance and Trustees; and ministry areas focused on nurture, outreach, and witness including Worship, Evangelism, Stewardship, Christian Education, age-level ministries, Communications, and more.

Also available in ebook and downloadable formats.


When Moses Meets Aaron: Staffing and Supervision in Large Congregations by Gil Rendle and Susan Beaumont

With the number of large congregations rising in the U.S., these congregations are increasingly dependent upon a greater number of staff to meet the needs of their diverse collection of members. As leaders of multi-staff teams, senior clergy must play the dual role of both Moses and Aaron–both visionary and detail-oriented leader–in order for their large congregations to thrive. They need to be skilled with the tools of human resource management, while at the same time setting a vision and inspiring both staff and congregation. Unfortunately, until now there have been few resources for senior clergy who lead multi-staff teams. Working without adequate models and tools, senior clergy of large congregations often find themselves with passionate, dedicated staff members who are moving in different directions, competing over limited resources and attention. They end up with questions of how to evaluate the performance of staff and direct their efforts. They find themselves using time, attention, and resources to care for staff rather than using staff as a resource to care for the mission of the congregation. Longtime Alban senior consultant Gil Rendle and Alban senior consultant Susan Beaumont have developed When Moses Meets Aaron to help clergy responsible for several-member staff teams navigate these unknown waters. They have taken the best of human resource practices and immersed them in a congregational context, providing a comprehensive manual for supervising, motivating, and coordinating staff teams. Rendle and Beaumont give both detailed and big picture guidance on hiring, job descriptions, supervision, performance evaluation, staff-team design, difficult staff behavior, and more. Their combined experience in consulting and training with staff and leaders of large congregations proves invaluable in this manual for today’s leadership demands.



 Pastors in Transition

Visit the Pastoral Transition Webpage (LINK)

Resources gathered from the Center for Vitality:

Bishop’s Mission Plan


ARUMC Pastoral Transition Covenant (1 Page PDF)

This covenant was approved by the 2014 clergy session of the annual conference and shares expectations that clergy should have of one another during an appointment transition

Checklist for Pastors in Transition (2 Page PDF)

The checklist should be included in the transition packet that the outgoing pastor gives to the incoming pastor. This list is not meant to be exhaustive, but will help you begin to gather the basics that will help the new pastor during the transition.  This list and the recommended questions are adapted and expanded upon by Dr. Blake Bradford from the excellent resource found in the appendix of Your Best Move: Effective Leadership Transition for the Local Church by Robert Kaylor, Asbury Seedbed Publishing.

Outline of “Baton Passing” Transition Meeting (2 Page PDF)

The included questions on the second two pages are designed for a “passing the baton” handoff meeting between the incoming and outgoing pastor. They may be in writing, or included as part of the handoff meeting and church/parsonage tour. If needed, the SPRC Chair and Lay leader may need to be included in this or a similar meeting.  This list and the recommended questions are adapted and expanded upon by Dr. Blake Bradford from the excellent resource found in the appendix of Your Best Move: Effective Leadership Transition for the Local Church by Robert Kaylor, Asbury Seedbed Publishing.

Resources from the Cabinet:

2016 Parsonage Change Reminders

2016 Parsonage Damage Report

Bishop’s Mission Plan and Next Steps 

I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification Form (If not already on file for the pastor)


Cross Racial and Cross Cultural Appointments

One of the joys of being a global and multiethnic church is that we can learn from each other, even from those who are very different. Cross-racial and cross-cultural ministry settings are those congregations whose membership is different than their pastors.

But how can churches get the most benefit from these opportunities? How can pastors minister faithfully, even where there is subtle resistance to change, or even overt racism or xenophobia in some congregations?

The General Commission on Religion and Race is pleased to offer this resource:

Learning from Strangers: A best practices manual for ministering in CR/CC settings (PDF LINK)

GCORR Webinar: CR/CC 101 (recorded on March 14, 2018) (Video Link)

Unique challenges arise when a church is served by a pastor from a different racial or cultural background or as it struggles to engage a changing community. Jasmine Smothers, the first African American lead pastor of First Atlanta United Methodist Church, has led several workshops in Arkansas and she shares her perspectives on ministry in cross-cultural settings in this short article from the Lewis Center.

"Creating vital congregations that make disciples of Jesus Christ,who make disciples equipped to transform lives, communities and the world."

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