Replacing a Key Holder


It’s hard to see anyone leave your ministry, but it’s especially difficult when someone holding keys, passwords, or other critical information leaves without warning. Here are a few ways to prepare for the worst-case scenario.

Administer background checks—Transitions are always easier when they involve honest people. Don’t be shy about running a background check on every incoming volunteer. It will cost a little money, but you can assure concerned visitors and parents that you’ve done due diligence. Consider covering the cost by asking incoming volunteers to donate. You might be surprised how many eagerly agree.

Use a universal username and a rotating password— Instead of making up a new username every time you sign up for a new service, social network, or web tool, create a Gmail account for your church. Then use a single password for your church’s Facebook account, Planning Center Online, Proclaim—everything. Change it often, and relay the new password in person rather through a digital channel like email that can be intercepted. Never write it down. This will make all of your web tools both secure and accessible to the right people. Whenever someone steps down from their role, change the password.

Keep a list of access points—Keep a detailed record of who has access to what. While this might prove difficult for smaller churches without adequate administrative support, you’ll be glad you have it if a volunteer ever has to step down.

Consider taking a deposit on keys—Stop one step short of charging for a key, while reminding everyone that they cost money. If they have their own money on the line, they’re more likely to be responsible with their key—and you’ll never be left covering the cost.

Many churches are so eager to get new volunteers involved that they fail to imagine a scenario in which they might leave. Do the hard work up front, and save yourself from catastrophe later.


Proclaim Church Presentation Software lives in the cloud, so you can collaborate with your team from wherever they work best. No more emailing large files or fumbling with USB sticks. Best of all, it connects with many of the tools you already use, like Planning Center Online, CCLI SongSelect, and Graceway Media. Try it for free at


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