Employing a worker can be a fantastic way your church has of realising its vision. An employed worker won't solve all the problems of your children's work, nor will they be a substitute for the regular committed service of volunteers within the church, but they can add shape, direction, inspiration, impetus, creativity, time and energy to the existing ministry of the church.

Here are some points to consider when considering appointing a worker;

Prayer helps to clarify the vision, unite the church, and help us gain a clearr perspective on what is to be done. Prayer helps us to humbly accept our role in serving God's best interests. Prayer should be a constant feature throughout the appointment process and also through the employment process.

Consider … 

  • Why are we looking to appoint a worker?

  • What are you hoping to achieve?

  • What are the needs?

  • What are the opportunities?

  • What are the problems you might encounter?

  • How the role will be financed

Gather a team to manage the appointment and management of a worker. This could include clergy and lay people, members of the PCC and representatives of the children’s work. Work out the roles and responsibilities of the members of this group. 

Collect information, discuss, agree and plan the way ahead. Don’t be afraid of taking your time and plan carefully to get things right. Be certain of your vision and make sure your working and planning fits with your vision. Find out what your PCC would like. Consult with the existing children’s volunteers and with the children themselves. Also consider asking the wider community for their thoughts. Give yourselves plenty of time to get the foundations right and keep all the communication channels open. Communicate fully with the wider church and be prepared to listen and learn as well as speak and teach. Bear in mind that a worker will generate more work. 

Get a realistic view on how much it costs to employ a worker. Salary is only one part of the costs, National Insurance, Pension, expenses and housing may add significantly to your initial thoughts on how much it is likely to cost. 

Write a job description, a person specification and a contract. Make sure what you write is clear, specific and realistic so that everyone knows what is expected. Write all the associated paperwork needed such as interview questions, interview grid, etc. 

Advertise the post using appropriate channels, such as The Month, Diocesan website, Saltshaker emails, Children’s Work magazine etc. take up references, draw up a short list. Remember that all advertisements for positions that involve contact with children must state that an enhanced CRB disclosure is required. 

Recruitment and Selection 

Always get references for candidates you wish to interview. Have them with you at the interview process so that you have as much information as possible to help you make a balanced and informed decision. 

Follow agreed guidance on interviews and ensure that interviews and subsequent discussions are fair and open. 

Be fair and open with all applicants. When offering a position make sure the appointee clearly understands the terms and conditions of the offer. 

Have an agreed induction period where you can help the new worker settle in and find their feet. 

Management, support & training 
Carefully select a management group of local people and professionals, including young people, who will oversee the work and the worker. Make sure you provide good and relevant pastoral care. 
Provide clear supervision and develop teamwork based on prayer. 
You will find it hard to recruit the superhuman person to solve all the problems of your children’s work. You will be able to find a willing, talented, inspiring worker to work with you as you realise your vision. When you’ve appointed your worker share your vision and give them room to shape it through their own particular gifts and abilities. Ensure the worker has at least one regular complete day off each week and that they work reasonable hours.

Useful documents

Just Employment

The Church Urban Fund publish an excellent document, Just employment, covering many of the issues faced when considering employment of a worker. Download the document by clicking the image above.

Supporting Volunteers

A useful guide, based on the principles adopted by WLOYW, to help support workers, whether volunteers or employed. Click on the image above to download the PDF..