- An agreement should be completed, signed, and copies given to everyone involved before the anticipated relationship begins.
- They should be mutually negotiated. Both parties should spent time, thought, and prayer about what is important to a good working relationship. They bring their requests and convictions to the meeting and start talking, clearing up vague points, eliminating conflicting wants, and confirming mutual desires.
- I like to work out a trial contract and sleep on it. When I have done that, I have had elders propose some changes and I have thought of something I would like to modify. My observation that both of us were happier after sleeping on it and making adjustments after thought. When I know this is not the final draft, it lowers my anxiety.
- My experience is that many times people forget what they said. In more than four decades of preaching, I have reminded elders of agreements on raises, evaluations, and working relationships. They have referred to our contract on time away and when that is to be scheduled. When it is written, it is easy to give “book, chapter, and verse.”
- This document is living and changing as the relationship changes. As with the original document, the changes should be written and signed.
I have found it very satisfying in my relationship with elders to have the security of a record of our understandings. If you have questions, comments, or criticism, I will be glad to hear from you: firstname.lastname@example.org .
For a sample contract: click here