Church Policy & Polity Resources


Many Baptist Church Policy and Polity questions can be answered by reviewing the information contained in the following references.

Quick Links to Resources on this page: 

Church Structure, Management, Constitution and By-Laws

Risk Management/Legal Affairs


Church Policy and Polity-Related Documents

Church Structure, Management, Constitution and By-Laws

Goodwin, Everett C. 1995. The New Hiscox Guide for Baptist Churches. Valley Forge, PA: Judson Press

Hiscox, Edward T. 1981. The Baptist Church Directory: A Guide to the Doctrines and Discipline, Officers and Ordinances, Principles and Practices of Baptist Churches. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.

Also available online at www.Walmart.comfor approximately $15.00.

Hiscox, Edward T. 1981. The Hiscox Guide for Baptist Churches. Valley Forge, PA: Judson Press

Mullins, E.Y. 1983. Baptist Beliefs. Valley Forge, PA: Judson Press

A New Baptist Church Manual. 1986. Valley Forge, PA: Judson Press

Jordan, Lewis Garnett. 1929. The Baptist Standard Church Directory and Busy Pastor's Guide: A.M. Townsend [and] E.W.D. Isaac. Nashville: Sunday School Publishing Board.

Human Resources, Investment, Retirement & Insurance Benefits - MMBB

MMBB (The Ministers and Missionaries Benefit Board) supports churches and faith-based institutions by providing resources on clergy compensation, pastoral budgeting, church taxes, clergy taxes and benefits. (visit:  MMBB):

Clergy Pay: Includes information about Clergy compensation, taxes, sabbaticals, new clergy, compensation workbook, relations committees, and pastoral caring.

Retirement & Benefits Planning for Clergy: Includes information about retirement planning, social security, tax-deferred annuity plans, dependent care, health care, and more.

Risk Management/Legal Affairs

From the Church Mutual website (Church Mutual)

Safety Resources covering issues from sexual offenders, child abuse, senior facilities, passenger vans, background checks/screening, and other safety and liability issues.


Christianity Today Resources (Christianity Today)

Leadership Journal. Description from the website: "Leadership is written by experienced church leaders and pastors who understand what it's like to be in the heart of ministry. They'll guide you through what they've learned in their church role so you can be one step ahead."

"Suggestions for Calling a Pastor"

This is a paper submitted by a member of the Convention Board of Directors that provides excellent general guidance on the procedures for calling/electing a pastor. Click on the title above to go to the document.


Total Praise: A Worship Resource for Every Generation

This is why you need Total Praise:

  • It is the hymnal designed for the NBC, USA, Inc. and will be part of our shared common heritage for years to come. 
  • It is more than a hymn book.  It is a worship resource manual for pastors, musicians, choir directors, and praise team leaders.
  • It includes well written litanies for worship and other special days.
  •  It includes indices for responsive reading, litanies, scriptures, and topics so that songs can be selected that fit the occasion.
  • It has the best of songs included in modern ministry setting such as the music of Richard Smallwood, Kurt Carr, and other modern greats.
  • It includes songs of various musical genres, hymns, spirituals, historic as well as modern gospel, and praise and worship songs.
  • It features new writers and songs reflecting the growing tradition of the Church.

National Baptist Hymnal. This hymnal is also available through the Sunday School Publishing Board at or:

Sunday School Publishing Board
330 Charlotte Avenue
Nashville, TN 37201-1188
Phone: 800 359-9398
Fax: 615 242-4929

New National Baptist Hymnal. This publication is not available through the Sunday School Publishing Board; however, you can purchase this hymnal online at RH Boyd Publishing Corp: (R. H. Boyd Publishing) or you may access the hymnal description page at: (New National Baptist Hymnal)

Gospel Pearls. This is one of the most requested hymnal resources received by the webmaster, and it is our understanding that it is out of print. However, one savvy member of the Convention located an online vendor, "International Bibles" that lists they have copies in stock. Note that this is the "red binder" version, not the original tan binder. While we are providing this resource for you, you will need to determine if this is a reliable source from which to place an order. Here is the link for your convenience:

Church Policy & Polity-Related Documents

Instructions:  Click on the title of your choice to view or print the document.  The Adobe Reader is needed, available as a free download at: Get Adobe

ECFA Benevolence Resource Documents

Church Constitution and Bylaws Sample - NAMB
Sample of church constitution and bylaws produced by the NAMB

Church Constitution Guide - NAMB
Guidelines for developing Church Constitutions from the NAMB

Biblical Basis for Pastor Compensation
If you are interested in understanding the biblical basis for giving to the Pastor, you may find this well-reasoned article from the Convention’s retirement benefit fund provider helpful concerning pastoral compensation. There are many biblical references included.

Laying On Hands: Ordination Practices Vary Widely Among Baptists
LAYING ON HANDS: Ordination practices vary widely among Baptists By Ken Camp Managing Editor Taken from the online journal: The Texas Baptist News Journal at

Suggestions for Calling a Pastor
This document, contributed by Rev. Alvin Love, Pastor of the Lilydale First Baptist Church in Chicago, IL, is intended to give churches some ideas/guidelines for how to go about selecting/calling a new pastor.