This page is for Congregational Resources check out the links provided below:
Help from Congregational Ministries Division
Ideas! for Church Leaders
Guidelines for Presbyterians in times of Disagreement
Evangelism and Church Development
Building, Borrowing and Investing for the Future
Changing patterns. Reversing trend lines. Planting, irrigating and planning for new growth where there has been drought.
The headlines say that membership in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has declined over the past five years. In the same five years, one out of every three Presbyterian churches gained members.
Many Presbyterian churches are alive and growing into a new sense of call – a renewed sense of mission and ministry. Even in areas where population is declining, congregations are redefining their mission and reconfiguring their existing space to support the new vision.
Many congregations borrow to fund the expansion of mission and ministry. Many congregations invite their members and participants to invest as a part of the stewardship program.
The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Investment and Loan Program, Inc., assists by providing mortgage products that build church buildings and investment products that help investors focus their resources on the church’s growth.
Welcome to the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Investment and Loan Program web site with information on loans that encourage church growth and investments that enable church growth. Just follow the links from this page to discover how you and your congregation can make a difference for the church’s future.
FOR MORE INFORMATION GO TO: www.pcusa.org/pilp
Special Resource Links for congregations
Feasting on the word:
Go to: NEW BIBLE BASED REFORMED CURRICULUM
Small Group Development
To learn more about small groups click here.
If you would like to down load Bible Studies go to: Bible Studies
The GuideOne Center for Risk Management®
The GuideOne Center for Risk Management was created by GuideOne Insurance in 1999 and is dedicated to helping churches, faith-based schools, and senior living communities safeguard their organizations. With assistance and input from faith-based organization leaders, the Center provides practical and timely training, seminars, and resources on crucial safety and security issues.
For information about churches and schools, click the menu link at the top of the page, or go to the churches and schools index now.
For information about senior living communities (nursing homes, assisted living facilities, independent living apartments), click the menu link at the top of the page, or go to the senior living communities index now.
Starting Dec 1, 2004, all churches that have Guideone insurance will be required to conduct national criminal background searches on all employees, both paid and unpaid positions including clergy.
As a minimum, either a statewide criminal background search or a statewide sexual offender search on all volunteers involved in: a nursery, school, overnight activities with minors, counseling of minors, and one-to-one mentorship of minors. A minor is defined as a youth under 18 years of age. Please make sure that you do searches for each state a volunteer has lived in during the last seven years, at a minimum.
Have a formal process for completing reference checks on all new employees and volunteers. At a minimum two references should be checked on all individuals. The references should be institutional in nature as opposed to friends and relatives. The person serving as a reference also should have known the individual for some length of time.
Have a written policy that outlines your church’s risk management program for sexual misconduct, which includes documented procedures that address, at a minimum how to respond to a sexual misconduct allegation.
Have signed release forms on file for all employees and volunteers that give your organization permission to perform criminal background searches.
Never allow a minor to be alone with one adult on your premises or in any sponsored activity unless it’s a counseling situation.
Have a six month waiting period before a new volunteer is allowed to interact with minors.
Your organization will be required to fill out a form documenting the above procedures are in place to renew your coverage limits after December 1, 2004.
Low Cost Search background searches are available by contacting your insurance agent.
If you have any questions call 877-448.4331 ext 5118 and ask for Jan Backstrom or go to www.guideonecenter.com and click on sexual misconduct resources.
Arson Prevention Suggestions for Churches
- Illuminate building exterior, entrances, and parking lots.
- Use motion-activated lighting near doors and windows.
- Install burglar and fire alarm systems that transmit a message.
- Develop an evacuation plan in case of fire.
- Trim or remove shrubbery and signs that obstruct the view of the building from the street.
- Clean house by removing trash, unneeded materials, and other materials that could contribute to fire spread.
- Use properly installed deadbolt locks on all exterior doors.
- Keep windows locked (preferably with spring-loaded bolts), barred (releasable from the inside) or protected with wire screens.
- Many churches have basement entries that are hidden from view. These should be secured with locking ground-level doors when the building is not in use.
- Secure ladders, external stairways, and fire escapes that allow access to the roof.
- Keep track of who has keys. Change locks when keys are lost.
- Consider fencing the areas or sides that are not readily visible to patrols or neighbors.
- Appoint a person from the church to be a liaison with law and fire officials and request a fire prevention and security evaluation.
- Be wary of strangers, register guests, check on suspicious individuals, and make employees aware of the need to keep a record of suspicious activity. Check credentials of service personnel; individuals may pose as service technicians to get into the church.
- Ask ushers and other volunteers to be alert to any unusual behavior before, during, and after official church functions.
- Increase watch presence during holidays and special events.
- Be aware of individuals that may be disgruntled or likely to cause damage to church property through arson or vandalism.
- Be aware that vandalism may precede arson.
- Arsonists may carry a liquid accelerate in an inconspicuous container, such as a beverage container.
- Encourage neighbors to make note of strangers spending time in the neighborhood, either on foot or in vehicles. Write down the license plate numbers of suspicious vehicles and inform the proper authorities.
- Do not advertise on church signs or bulletins when church will not be in use.
- If there is a private security firm in your area, consider a contract with them because they will check the building at unscheduled intervals.
- Involve your insurance agent; they often have good arson/fire prevention ideas.