Minister-ministry setting covenant checklist

The idea of covenanting (as opposed to contracting) with a minister might be new to your congregation. Covenants include much of the same information as contracts, but the framework is one of mutual support and accountability rather than the more one-way employer-employee relationship. Below are the basic elements.

  • Language that emphasizes the mutuality of the relationship (responsibilities of each party to the other and ways each party will care for the other, including during conflict)
  • Position title and basic expectations
  • Start date
  • End date (if a time-bound position)
  • Compensation (all pieces)
  • Titles of supervisor and/or supervisees (if applicable)
  • Any other details that need to be agreed upon and officially recorded up front
  • Mechanisms for regular feedforward (evaluation): when, and by whom?
  • Regular intervals at which the covenant will be revisited and revised as necessary by clergy and congregation
  • Protocol for the parting of ways when the time comes
  • Signatures (minister, usually governing body chair, possibly judicatory leader)