Church Recreation – Hiring Fitness Instructors

     Many churches are offering aerobics and other classes and have asked my opinion (former recreation director) about whether or not instructors should be employees of the church or private contractors. They also ask whether or not instructors should collect the participants fees. In an effort to establish community relationships, recreation programs in churches are becoming more and more popular. Here’s my advice:

  • Consult Your Local Experts:
    Do not accept any of this advice without being in conversation with three important people – your attorney, your accountant, and your insurance agent. Laws may vary from state to state. Also, many states have pending legislation that, if passed, may change the way fitness professionals are licensed.
  • Employee verses Independent Contractor:
    Seeing as exercise classes are not considered a regular function of the church, you may retain instructors as independent contractors. In a recreation setting, all classes should be on a subscription basis (whether per month, class, etc.), and the instructors’ contracts should renew at least yearly. This gives you flexibility to adjust your class offerings based on demand. Employee status implies a more sturdy and permanent relationship.