Workers Security and Safety

Safety and Security Manual
Workers Security and Safety
Workers Security and Safety
Workers Security and Safety
Workers Security and Safety
Workers Security and Safety
Workers Security and Safety
Workers Security and Safety
Workers Security and Safety
Workers Security and Safety

Workers Security and Safety - Policy, Purpose, and Administration - 4.1

Policy: It is the policy of the Apostolic Faith organization to protect the physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being of all individuals who attend or participate in services and events in our churches.

Purpose: It is our purpose to provide guidelines which establish safe practices for those who represent this organization. We also do our best to encourage godliness and integrity in all relationships, and to promote accountability by workers.

Administration: Safety is an attitude that begins with individuals showing Biblical respect, care, and concern for others. The pastor is responsible to work with the local safety team to implement organizational policies and procedures designed to protect the safety and security of church workers and attendees.

Worker Screening and Selection - 4.2

Those who serve as representatives of the Apostolic Faith work enter into special relationships of trust with the individuals they serve. Therefore, those who participate in any capacity in this organization must undergo a careful screening and selection process. This process helps us to ensure that candidates are both spiritually qualified and otherwise suited for roles within the church.

Screening and Selection:

Prospective workers are invited to participate by the appropriate department supervisor or appointed representative of the organization on a case-by-case basis, after approval by the pastor. All prospective workers are required to:

  • Read the Apostolic Faith Church Volunteer Handbook.
  • Read the Procedure Guidelines for the area(s) of service where they will be involved.
  • Complete any other training requirements established for the area(s) of service where they will be involved, and submit necessary documentation to the pastor or ministry supervisor.
  • Submit a Worker Application form (or a Youth Worker Application for applicants under the age of eighteen) which includes three personal references. Applicants are asked to disclose any matter which may affect their suitability to work with children and youth. Authorization to do a background check is included as part of the Worker Application form. (The information obtained through this process will be kept confidential.)

In addition, we recommend that all church workers who interact with minors in a ministry role read the document “What You Can Do About Child Abuse,” published by the Oregon Department of Human Services, publication #DHS 9061. It is available at

Anyone who has been convicted of child abuse will not be allowed to work with children. Allegations of abuse or other criminal offenses may also disqualify an individual from serving in the Apostolic Faith organization.

Retention Requirements:

Prospective workers must be informed when they are invited to participate or submit their Worker Application (or Youth Worker Application) that their certification as a church worker is limited in duration and includes an expiration date. At that time they will be required to complete any additional training and re-evaluation procedures designated by the Apostolic Faith organization in order to be recertified and continue serving in the designated capacity.

The Apostolic Faith organization reserves the right to immediately dismiss any volunteer or employee who is accused of violating the Apostolic Faith Church policies.

Record Keeping - 4.3

The following items must be kept in the local church files:

  • Worker Applications and Youth Worker Applications. Since Worker Application forms include a Social Security number, they should be kept in a secured file in the local church office. Access to this file should be granted only on a need-to-know basis. A list of approved workers also is to be kept on file and updated annually.
  • Child/youth safety training records. This file should include login information, and a list of those in the local church who have completed the online training required for those who serve in ministries involving children or youth.
  • Sunday School Registration forms and attendance. Enrollment information must be on file for each child in the Sunday school program using the Sunday School Registration form. This form includes transportation information and emergency contact numbers, so they should be reviewed and updated annually. Weekly Sunday school attendance records must be kept for both teachers and students.
  • Van transport records. Weekly attendance records must be kept for each Sunday school van route recording the driver, attendant, and names of minors and adults who were transported.
  • Youth activity records. Attendance records must be kept of all church-sponsored youth activities noting names of both the minors in attendance and the staff.
  • Minors who attend church-sponsored youth events other than Sunday school (such as youth camps, retreats, or Sunday school class outings) must have a Youth Activity Permission form filled out by the parent/guardian.
  • Minors who regularly attend a church-sponsored Boys or Girls Club must have a Boys/Girls Club Permission Form filled out by the parent/guardian.
  • Safety inspection records documenting any inspection of the church building, elevators, fire equipment, vehicles, etc.
  • Driver certifications. A record must be kept of all approved transportation providers, including a copy of current drivers’ licenses and certification that the online training required by insurance has been completed.
  • A record of all safety meetings held at the church, whether provided by headquarters or prepared independently.
  • Accident/Injury Report forms. Any accident, injury, or medical emergency involving either minors or adults being transported on church-provided transportation are to be documented on an Accident/Incident Report form. If an insurance claim is made, the information must be sent to the headquarters office.
  • Vehicle Accident Information. Any vehicle accident occurring while minors or adults are being transported by church-owned vehicles are to be documented on a Vehicle Accident Information Form. A copy of the completed form must be sent to the Portland headquarters office for insurance purposes.

These two items must be sent to headquarters:

  • Information regarding any accident or injury on church property or at a church event which results in an insurance claim, or any accident involving a church-owned vehicle.
  • Any allegation of abuse.

Expectations of Workers - 4.4

Those who serve in any capacity in the Apostolic Faith Church are representatives of this organization. For that reason, acceptance of this privilege entails certain responsibilities.

Workers must be able to point back to a genuine experience of salvation, and be living by the Biblical standards of integrity and morality. They should uphold the doctrines of the Bible as taught by this organization, and adhere to the procedures, policies, and guidelines of the Apostolic Faith work.

Staff and volunteers are expected to act ethically, in accordance with legal criteria, and in a professional and courteous manner. They are expected to exemplify Christ-like behavior and avoid all appearance of wrongdoing. As the church’s public relations people in the community, their lives and conduct should consistently honor Christ.

In all interactions, workers should strive to respect and uplift one another, working together as a team within the scope of their assignments. Their purpose should be to promote goodwill and unity in the congregation, regarding the spiritual interest and welfare of the church family as their joint concern and responsibility.

To ensure orderly operation and provide the best possible church environment, staff and volunteers are also asked to:

  • Make safety issues a high priority.
  • Perform assigned tasks in accordance with instructions.
  • Dress appropriately as representatives of Christ and the Apostolic Faith organization.
  • Refrain from any behavior or activity that would conflict with the church’s best interests.
  • Report to leadership any suspicious, unethical, or illegal conduct by church workers or members, and cooperate with all resulting investigations.

Attendance and Absence Protocol:

Even though most of those who serve in the work of the church are volunteers, all participants should be encouraged to remember they have made a commitment and to take their responsibilities seriously.

Naturally, some absences are expected. Many of those who take part are employed, are raising families, or have other commitments that may occasionally conflict with their church privileges. At times, they may be ill or be called out of town for business or personal reasons.

Workers who know in advance that they will not be able to serve during a scheduled time should contact their ministry supervisor as soon as possible. Otherwise, the assumption is that they will report punctually and be ready to assume their responsibilities at the designated starting time.

Health and Wellness Guidelines - 4.5

The Apostolic Faith organization is committed to maintaining an environment and a procedural protocol in our churches that will protect the health and wellness of our staff and volunteers, as well as those who attend our services.  

General Guidelines

Apostolic Faith Church staff and volunteers are expected to:

  • Make every effort to keep church premises properly maintained and hazard-free.
  • Take corrective action as soon as practicable for facility deficiencies or safety hazards.  
  • Provide workers with job-specific Procedure Guidelines which encourage health and safety-conscious practices.
  • Follow written guidelines for how to handle emergency situations.

Food Handling Guidelines

Those who prepare or serve food at church events or activities are asked to do the following:

  • Comply with all relevant food handling standards, requirements, and regulations of the state.
  • Post USDA chart “Basics for Handling Food Safely” in each church kitchen area.
  • Ensure that kitchen managers and key kitchen staff members have current food handling certification from the state.
  • Train kitchen volunteers in how to use the appliances properly. (Some might not be familiar with commercial equipment.)
  • Maintain a current list of children in the Sunday school who have food allergies and make sure the information is given to anyone who might be serving food to these children.

Sanitation Guidelines

Apostolic Faith Churches are expected to:

  • Maintain the cleanliness of all areas, with special care taken in kitchen, restroom facilities, nursery, and Sunday school areas.
  • Ensure that cleaning solutions and chemicals have safety labels, and are stored securely.
  • If possible, utilize a commercial dishwasher to be certain that dishes and utensils are properly sanitized.
  • Maintain a system capable of producing enough hot water for frequent hand washing and cleaning and sanitizing utensils and equipment on premises.
  • Encourage personal cleanliness and proper hand washing procedures for those handling food. Ensure that the facility has a properly working hand sink with soap and single-use paper towels.
  • Provide an adequate number of garbage containers that are durable, easily cleanable, insect and rodent-proof, and that do not leak or absorb liquids. Ensure that garbage and waste materials are properly and immediately disposed of following an event, and that all garbage is collected regularly by a public garbage provider.  
  • Ensure that all hoods, filters, and exhaust ducts are cleaned on a regular basis.
  • Maintain good pest-control management.

Confidentiality - 4.6

The Apostolic Faith organization maintains a code of confidentiality of information. Church workers are expected to make every effort to respect the privacy of congregation members, and take care to avoid inappropriate disclosures of information. With that goal in view, staff members and volunteers are instructed to:

  • Collect personal information only for reasonable purposes.
  • Disclose personal information only with consent.
  • Store any form containing a Social Security number or other personal information in a secure manner. Only those having a legitimate need to know information on these forms should be allowed access to them.
  • Maintain confidentiality in communication and documentation.
  • Refrain from storing or divulging information (either in written or electronic form) about any matter of church business, unless given express authorization by an authorized representative of the organization.
  • Utilize prudent counseling practices.

The one exception to maintaining confidentiality relates to child abuse reporting. [See the section of this manual titled Abuse Prevention and Reporting for more information on this topic.]

Media Opt Out Option - 4.7

Church photographers and writers frequently take pictures and produce articles or written descriptions of worship services, Sunday school, youth group activities, Vacation Bible School, mission trips, etc. These pictures and articles record, promote, and celebrate our church ministries through many different venues including the church website, printed publications, and media presentations. Individuals who prefer not to have their photos and/or names published may express that preference by submitting a Media Opt-Out Form to the pastor or head usher. That form is available on the safety page of the church website.

Internet Safety - 4.8

The internet and social media are evolving tools which offer promise for developing and expanding ministries, but they also pose significant safety challenges. Healthy boundaries and safe practices between church workers and other individuals must be adhered to in digital communication, just as they are in face-to-face communication.

Special care must be taken when internet exchanges involve minors. In general, all electronic communications from staff and volunteers of the Apostolic Faith organization to minors must be appropriate in nature, limited in frequency, and give no cause for concern or embarrassment if reviewed by the pastor, the staff member’s ministry supervisor, or the youth’s parent/guardian.

All workers should be aware that communication through digital means (email, social networking posts, texts, tweets, etc.) is not confidential and may be reported or shared with others.


Church-sponsored sites: Any group, page, or list-serve that has been created by an authorized member of the Apostolic Faith organization for the purpose of establishing, maintaining, or growing ministries of the church.

Inappropriate content: Refers not only to content that is improper or offensive, but also to content that might be appropriate to the medium but not to the relationship—for example, details about personal life, political commentary, etc.

Adult-to-Minor Online Relationships

  • We recommend that adult church workers do not submit “friend” requests to minors or youth. Youth may submit friend requests to adults; however, prior to responding the adult should carefully evaluate the level of contact that is appropriate to maintain.
  • If an adult ministry leader or worker chooses to accept friend requests from minors or youths associated with church programs, we recommend that other adults within the same ministry have full access to the adult’s profile and all correspondence.
  • Adults who choose to accept friend requests from youth should use all privacy settings applicable to shield youth from any inappropriate content (see above definition) including that of the adult’s other internet friends.
  • Adults should archive or save all email correspondence with youth.

Adult-to-Adult Online Relationships

  • Church workers are encouraged to consider creating separate personal and professional accounts to maintain appropriate boundaries with church members.
  • If workers participate in online social networking sites, they should consider the impact of declining friend requests from church associates, recognizing that doing so may create tension in real world relationships.
  • Workers are encouraged to use privacy settings to shield all online friends from any content that may be inappropriate (see above definition).

Social Networking Groups Involving Youth

  • Ministers or leaders who work with youth and use the internet as a method of scheduling and communicating are encouraged to use church-sponsored groups. We recommend that these groups be “closed” but not “hidden.” Such groups should have both youth and adult administrators.
  • Guidelines regarding appropriate and inappropriate content should be developed and adhered to for any online group sponsored by the church. Adult administrators of online youth groups must immediately delete any inappropriate material that appears on a church-sponsored page.
  • Any material covered under “Mandatory Reporting” laws that is posted must be immediately reported to the pastor, documented for church records, and deleted from the site.
  • Adult leaders should immediately notify the pastor if any material is posted regarding inappropriate behavior during a church-sponsored event or activity.

Copyright Compliance - 4.9

Apostolic Faith Church workers are expected to comply with all copyright laws, so it is important for church leaders to be aware of copyright regulations, and to ensure that staff and volunteers are not guilty of copyright infringement.

A copyright gives the creator or owner of an original work the sole right to decide how their work may be reproduced, distributed, performed, displayed, or adapted. Often, the owner of the copyright is the creator of the work. However, at times the owner is a publisher or organization that has been assigned the legal rights. This impacts churches because the law applies to pieces of music that would typically be presented in a church setting. It also applies to literary or dramatic works that might be used in various programs, and to videos or recordings of presentations done in the church which include copyrighted material.

There are two primary areas where vigilance must be exercised: reproduction rights (copying of music), and performance rights (singing or playing copyrighted music in public). The fact that violations sometimes occur unknowingly is not a legal defense. Musicians and others who use copyrighted works in the church must be both knowledgeable about the law and in full compliance with it.

Identifying Copyrighted Material

The holder of a copyright can often be identified by looking for the copyright notice, which will consist of the word Copyright (or the symbol ©) followed by a year and the name of the copyright owner. However, the absence of this information does not necessarily indicate that no copyright exists. The piece may be part of a collection in which the copyright is notated elsewhere in the publication.

Material not protected by copyright is considered part of the “public domain,” a category that also covers works whose copyright has expired. Materials published before 1923 in the United States are in the public domain unless the copyright was renewed, so such materials can legally be copied, adapted, and performed without permission.

Obtaining Permission for Use

Permission to use copyrighted materials can be obtained in several ways. A representative of the church may write directly to the holder of the copyright and ask permission. Another option is to use a service such as the Copyright Clearance Center at, which allows applicants to request permission for several pieces at one time.

Proposed use of copyrighted materials must fall within the category of acceptable use. Musicians should carefully read the labels and notices on published materials to see what they can and cannot do without permission from the copyright owner. When uncertain as to whether a proposed use of a piece of music is allowable, they should make inquiries. For example, permission for use should be requested from the publisher if the intent is to:

  • Compile lyrics in a song sheet.
  • Arrange a number for a vocal ensemble.
  • Copy out-of-print music for an accompanist.
  • Make a video of a children’s program.
  • Make an electronic recording of a number.

The fact that a publication or piece of music is out of print does not mean that it can be freely copied without permission. “Out of print” simply means that printed copies of the publication are no longer available for purchase from the publisher. The piece itself may still be protected by copyright.

Limited Exemption

A limited exemption in copyright law allows for the playing or singing of religious music during church services without permission from the copyright owner, so long as the work is performed in the course of services and at a place of worship. This exemption does not apply to services broadcast over radio, television, or the internet, nor does it cover performances given in a social or entertainment context rather than as part of a religious service.

Licensing Service

The Apostolic Faith Church in Portland uses a licensing service, Christian Copyright Licensing International (CCLI).  The church pays a set amount for licensing each year and is then permitted to use all works for which CCLI has obtained rights. The contract allows the church to use most songs in PowerPoint presentations, projected visuals, congregational song sheets, and church bulletins for Sunday school, church-sponsored retreats, and church services. However, the CCLI license does not grant the right to photocopy or duplicate any choral music, cantatas, musicals, keyboard arrangements, vocal solos, or instrumental works; it grants duplicating rights for congregational music only.

Web License

In order to webcast church services legally, the Portland church has obtained a web license. Musicians and congregation members should be aware that putting copyrighted music on YouTube is not legal without permission.

In conclusion, a good guideline regarding copyright is this: Before copying, changing, recording, duplicating, reproducing, or presenting someone else’s original work, get permission from the copyright holder.

Other Copyright Considerations

In addition to the reproduction and presentation of music, there are other areas where care must be taken to abide by copyright law. Ministers must be cautious about including quotes in sermons. If a comment authored by another individual is used verbatim, care should be taken to credit the source.

Misconduct Policy - 4.10

The Apostolic Faith Church is committed to maintaining an environment in which staff and volunteers, church members, and visitors can work and worship together in an atmosphere free of discrimination, harassment, exploitation, intimidation, or other types of misconduct (see definitions provided under the next heading). It is the intention of our organization to respond to allegations concerning behavior by staff or volunteers that is contrary to this policy and, if deemed necessary, to take appropriate disciplinary action.  


Discrimination: Unjust or prejudicial actions or words intended to have a differential and/or harmful effect based on an individual’s race, age, or gender. (This definition does not restrict us from acting in accord with the doctrines of our faith. We reserve the right to allow participation based on Biblical requirements, spiritual qualifications, and loyalty to the Apostolic Faith Church.)

Harassment: Repeated verbal or physical conduct which creates an environment that is uncomfortable, unwelcoming, discriminating, or intimidating, or leads to an atmosphere in which a person’s ability to participate in services and activities at the church is compromised.

Sexual Harassment: Repeated or coercive sexual advances toward another person contrary to his/her wishes, or unsolicited contact that has sexual overtones. Sexual harassment also includes continuing to express sexual interest after being informed that the interest is unwelcome, or using sexualized behavior to control, influence, or affect the work, learning, or church environment of another individual.

Exploitation/Abuse of Power: Repeated words or actions in which a person in an authority or leadership role takes advantage of a vulnerable individual based upon his/her position of authority.

Intimidation: Repeated words or actions that create fear, especially with the intent of compelling or deterring behavior through the force of personality or position of authority.

Misconduct: Single or repeated incidents of behavior that are unacceptable, improper, or that violate Biblical, moral, or ethical standards.


All individuals have the right to report incidents to church leadership or local authorities in which they feel they were subjected to any of the above types of behaviors while attending or participating in events at our church.

Should a concerned individual observe that a vulnerable individual is being abused, harassed, or exploited in the church setting, he or she should bring the matter to the pastor’s attention.

Responsibility of Workers

Workers who are certain beyond a reasonable doubt that actions in one of the above categories has occurred to them have a responsibility in how the matter is handled. They should:

  • Advise the offending individual that the conduct in question was offensive, and request that it be discontinued immediately. Whenever possible, provide witnesses or other substantiating information.
  • If the offending conduct continues or recurs, advise the offending individual that the pastor will be notified.
  • Take the problem to the pastor, or to the Superintendent General if the allegation involves the pastor.

Responsibility of the Organization

The Apostolic Faith Church takes very seriously any allegation that misbehavior by our staff or volunteers has occurred. When such an accusation is made, the pastor or his appointee will:

  • Ask that the complaint/allegation be presented in written form.
  • Schedule a meeting with the accused individual at the most immediate time practical, giving him/her an opportunity to provide a perspective or explanation.
  • Make every reasonable effort to determine the facts pertinent to the complaint.

If the complaint can be resolved to the satisfaction of all parties that none of the above behaviors occurred, the matter will be considered closed pending further complaint or additional information.

On the other hand, if it is concluded by the pastor that any of the above types of misbehavior did occur, the pastor will report the matter to the District Superintendent and/or the Superintendent General. At his discretion, the following steps will occur:

  • The accuser and accused may be offered another opportunity to provide a perspective or explanation.
  • A determination will be made by the pastor in conjunction with the District Superintendent, the Superintendent General, and/or the Board of Trustees. This may include:
  • Resolution that no further action is necessary.
  • Disciplinary measures, including the possibility of probation, demotion, or dismissal from position.
  • Report to appropriate government agencies if the law has been violated.