Standards for Church Workers

November 5, 2015 (David Cloud, Fundamental Baptist Information Service, P.O. Box 610368)

Standards for Church Workers
The following is from the latest edition of THE MOBILE PHONE AND THE CHRISTIAN HOME AND CHURCH. ISBN 978-1-58318-198-0. Many Christian homes and churches are losing a frightful percentage of their young people to the world. This practical and far-reaching youth discipleship course deals with the parent’s part, the church’s part, and the youth’s part in winning and discipling young people. It covers salvation, child discipline, the Christian home environment that produces disciples, reaching the child’s heart, Bible study techniques, how to protect young people from dangers associated with the Internet and smartphones, how to use apologetics, and many other things. The section on building a wall of protection deals with such things as having a basic home phone that teens can use under parental oversight, using filters and accountability software, controlling passwords and apps, the power of pornography, the dangers of Facebook and video games, avoiding conversation with members of the opposite sex, and monitoring the young person’s attitude. The course explains how the church and the home can work together in youth discipleship. It describes the characteristic of a church that produces youth disciples, such as having qualified leaders, officers, and teachers, maintaining biblical standards for workers, being careful about salvation, being uncompromising about separation from the world, building godly homes, discipline, prayer, and vision. It deals with how to train young people to be effective Bible students and how to involve them in the church’s ministry. Finally, the course deals with eleven biblical principles of spiritual protection that young people must build into their own lives. These are living to please the Lord, living by the law of the Spirit, practicing humility, pursuing Christian growth, pursuing edification and ministry, pursuing honesty, practicing vigilance and separation, pursuing pure speech, redeeming the time, pursuing temperance, and obeying and honoring one’s parents. The Youth Discipleship Library, which can be purchased from Way of Life Literature, contains the associated training materials that we describe in this course. 200 pages. Available in print or as a free eBook from

Churches must appoint qualified people in every area of service. The testimony of church workers, who are representatives of the church, has a dramatic influence on the congregation’s spiritual climate.

Some of the respondents to our questionnaire in 2005 mentioned this:

“Require that church workers be faithful to God and God’s Word. This seems obvious, but is not enforced at many churches today.”

“The church must ensure that those who are greeting, teaching, singing, and preaching are walking in the Spirit and that this is evidenced in their heart for and service for people.”

I recall the pastors and deacons and workers of the church in which I grew up. One of the deacons allowed his teenage children to build a collection of rock & roll records in the 1960s and this is one of the avenues whereby I became addicted to this sensual music and influenced by its licentious philosophy. My parents wouldn’t let me have rock & roll records at home, but that was no problem because I just visited my buddy, the deacon’s son. One of my Sunday School teachers told us off-color jokes. My teachers did not guide the conversation to the things of Christ. They did not challenge us to turn away from our worldliness, and had they attempted to do so, we would not have listened because their lives did not back up such a message.

When appointing leaders and teachers, churches need to care about the people that will be influenced by them. It is one thing to recognize that “no one is perfect,” but it is another thing to ignore godly biblical standards and appoint people to positions who are going to undermine the ministry through their carnal thinking and the spiritually careless way in which they live.

I recall a Sunday School teacher in a fundamental Baptist church that was training pre-teen girls. She wore her hair short like a man’s, wore pants contrary to the church’s position, was proud and stubborn and carnally opinionated, and habitually neglected the mid-week assembly for other activities. What a poor example she was to her class! She was teaching the holy things of the Bible, but her life undermined what she was teaching. Some of the other teachers in this church were just as worldly, and it is no wonder that a large percentage of the young people loved the world more than Christ.

I think of another church in which the wife and children of one of the teachers forsook church services for sporting activities. That man should not have been allowed to teach. It was a bad example for the church and had the potential to ruin young lives who might have been influenced by his family’s compromise and poor example.

There is great pressure on pastors today to lower the standards, and most are bending to the pressure. Some of the arguments against maintaining high standards are as follows:

“We must reach the heart and not focus on externals.” This is true, but proper biblical standards do focus on the spiritual qualifications, as we will see. Further, externals are important, because that is what man sees. The Bible says that the Lord looks on the heart, but the same verse says that man looks on the outward appearance (1 Sam. 16:7). One’s heart condition is reflected in “externals.”

“We cannot force obedience.” This is true, but we can and must reprove, rebuke, and exhort (2 Tim. 4:2), even though this often comes across like “force” to the rebellious. Further, we are to chasten and discipline, both in regard to children and to church members. God chastens every son that He receives (Heb. 12:6-7). It could be said that chastening and discipline is type of “force,” but whatever it is called, it is Scriptural! Further, maintaining standards for workers is not forcing obedience, because no one is forced to serve in the church’s ministries. It is a privilege to serve, not a right or a something one can demand.

“We don’t have enough workers.” There are almost never enough workers in a church to do all that should be done, but that is no excuse to lower the standards of God’s Word.

The reasons for maintaining standards are as follows:

a. God requires it. The Word of God says that “it is REQUIRED in a steward that a man be found faithful” (1 Cor. 4:2). This faithfulness is to be reflected in all areas of one’s life.

b. The workers represent the church and affect its testimony. The community knows who the church workers are, and if they don’t live as they should, they will bring reproach upon Christ. Visitors judge the entire church on the basis of its workers and ministers.

c. Having standards for church workers is an important part of raising the level of standards for the entire church. It is not possible for a church to have worker-type standards for every member, but it is possible to require specific standards for those who serve in a ministry. A person doesn’t have to teach Sunday School or participate in the music ministry, etc., but if he does, it is not unreasonable for the church to require him to meet specific standards. One of the way that new members learn how to live for Christ is by observing the church leaders and workers, and if they do not live right the entire church is affected. If the Sunday School teachers, for example, are not required to maintain high standards, the students will learn from their poor example, but if Sunday School teachers are required to maintain standards the students will follow their example and will grow in Christ.

d. Having standards for church workers is a challenge to the believers. They understand that if they want to serve the Lord in any capacity beyond merely attending, they must live a godly, faithful Christian life. I recall how I was challenged when I was a new believer. I wanted God to use my life, and I wanted to prepare for His service. The Bible school I wanted to attend had high standards, and this was one of the many motivations for me to cut my hair, quit smoking, give up rock, and do other things in preparation for the Lord’s service. The standards challenged me. They were biblical standards of Christian living, and I am thankful that they were maintained.

Following are the qualifications that our church requires of every teacher and worker (those who do any type of ministry in the church, including usher, taking the offering, musician, singer):

a. The individual must have a good testimony of salvation and Christian living. This includes an honest reputation (paying debts, not stealing, not lying). This includes separation from the world (in music, television, movies, Internet, video games, etc.).

b. The individual must
agree with the church’s doctrinal position (1 Cor. 1:10).

c. The individual must
be in submission to and have a good attitude toward the church leaders (1 Th. 5:12-13; Heb. 13:17).

d. The individual must be
faithful (Prov. 29:15; 1 Cor. 4:2; Heb. 10:25).

e. The individual must
dress modestly according to the church’s standards (1 Tim. 2:9).

f. The individual must have the
ability and gifting to do the assigned task (Rom. 12:3).


David Cloud, Fundamental Baptist Information Service, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061, 866-295-4143,

Distributed by Way of Life Literature Inc.’s Fundamental Baptist Information Service, an e-mail listing for Fundamental Baptists and other fundamentalist, Bible-believing Christians. Established in 1974, Way of Life Literature is a fundamental Baptist preaching and publishing ministry based in Bethel Baptist Church, London, Ontario, of which Wilbert Unger is the founding Pastor. Brother Cloud lives in South Asia where he has been a church planting missionary since 1979. OUR GOAL IN THIS PARTICULAR ASPECT OF OUR MINISTRY IS NOT DEVOTIONAL BUT IS TO PROVIDE INFORMATION TO ASSIST PREACHERS IN THE PROTECTION OF THE CHURCHES IN THIS APOSTATE HOUR.

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