Personnel Management

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The nature of personnel services is influenced by one's theological understanding of men and women, organizations, and the church.

The church is people. The work of the church is done by people, for people, and with people. Everyone is important. With the rise of schools and mission and service agencies, it became necessary to give more attention to the welfare of agency staff members. The number and expectations of people employed by congregations have also significantly increased.

Personnel administration is concerned to help people maximize their potential for life and service. This involves helping individuals find a place to use their gifts in compatible service opportunities. It also involves counseling individuals to develop their gifts more fully.

In 1962 an inter-Mennonite Committee on Personnel Service (COPS) was founded. This was the main forum for the discussion of personnel matters related to Mennonite church agencies and institutions. COPS had participants from all of the major Mennonite church agencies and institutions: schools, mission boards, Mennonite Central Committee, Mennonite Mutual Aid, Mennonite homes for the aged, and psychiatric centers.

In the 1980s each of the major Mennonite groups in North America, as well as the Dutch Algemene Doopsgezinde Sociëteit, had a congregational leadership office or committee that served as a ministerial clearing house or placement service. The Dutch Mennonite committee was called Commissie ter Begeleiding van Gemeenten en Predikanten in hun Onderlinge Relatie. These offices and committees served the district and conference ministers in their work of being pastors to pastors and congregational consultants in leadership matters. These offices suggested salary levels and other benefits for ministers and guided congregational evaluations and leadership style and practice. Mennonite seminaries had field education directors to arrange for and supervise ministerial internships. Mennonite business leaders and teachers in Mennonite college business departments also addressed issues of personnel management.

Terms used in the 1980s in addition to those mentioned above for persons responsible for personnel services in the Mennonite church were "secretary of personnel," "director of personnel," and "personnel counselor." The term "director" refered more to directing the personnel services than to directing personnel. The director was a consultant to program administrators rather than the one who evaluated performance or dismissed employees. The conference ministers also functioned in a similar manner in relation to congregational ministers and congregations.

Author(s) Dale M Schumm
Date Published 1987

Cite This Article

MLA style

Schumm, Dale M. "Personnel Management." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1987. Web. 18 Sep 2020.

APA style

Schumm, Dale M. (1987). Personnel Management. Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 18 September 2020, from


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 5, p. 698. All rights reserved.

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