Telephone Etiquette for Churches

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In an age of poor manners, telephone etiquette is crucial for accomplishing meaningful communication. For churches especially, you must act properly when using the telephone to maintain respect and dignity while getting daily activities done. telephone communication is important for churches to contact members, gather donations or arrange church functions. All church employees and volunteers should use proper phone etiquette when they represent the church. Church administration may wish to create a telephone usage policy to help its staff and volunteers act appropriately.


Be courteous and polite, always saying "sir" or "ma'am" when speaking with church members. Often people call a church looking for guidance, answers to problems or help in distressing times. By being polite and mannerly, you can help to comfort them and find out how you can best help them. Never be dismissive as their problem may be larger than it seems.

Sensitive Subjects

When speaking on the phone to church members, often the subject matter will be very delicate, as a caller may depend on the church for help in his most trying times. Whether the call be about death, marital problems or health issues, always maintain an even keel and listen to the problem. Never pass judgment or show disdain for the topic. If you are not comfortable or qualified to discuss the topic with the person calling, place the caller on hold and transfer the call to someone who can handle it.


Churches often are privy to a lot of personal information of their members. As such, maintaining church members' privacy is of utmost importance. Do not give out any personal information, like addresses, phone numbers or other data, over the phone. Never sell or publicly distribute people's information unless they have given prior consent. Not only is it a violation of trust and etiquette, it may be illegal.

Cell Phones

Cell phones or other portable electronic devices are in nearly everyone's pockets, so make it clear where their use is permitted in the church. Place simple signs or placards that say "Cell Phone Use Prohibited" or similar, simple wording in areas where their use is not allowed. While most church members will be respectful, church staff or members should politely remind violators of the policy. Not only is using a cell phone during church services rude, it can distract church officials from services and ministerial duties.