Protocol for allegations of ministers. These resulted in the necessity for the Exec. Elders to:
2) form opinions, and
3) implement resolutions.
We are pleased to say that in “almost” every instance, our leaders were found innocent.
In light of these things, the single biggest shield of protection that any of us can hold is our integrity. The integrity of our leaders is pivotal to sustaining against attacks of the enemy. For this reason, we found it necessary to define to both our leaders, and our members a “standard” or protocol by which we maintain this integrity.
This policy is not written in the letter of the law, but by the Spirit of it. “For the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.” (1 Cor. 3:6). Therefore, the following outline is a “structure” for handling such matters, and will be implemented with flexibility to unique circumstances should they arise.. Both ministers and leaders among us should embrace it with joy, for it is intended to protect the innocent.
The following is that system:
The integrity of our leaders are maintained before the fellowship by this protocol for handling accusations:
1) Upon complaint we will insist that the one making complaint first seek resolution with the leader. If resolution cannot be reached, their complaint will be formally received by the Exec. Elders. (Matthew 18:15).
Special Circumstances: there are a few circumstances when this approach will not be recommended (i.e. sexual advances or misconduct, or threats). In such cases we will make special arrangements to call for investigation. However, we will not accept complaints filed in anonymity. We are all adults here. If a person is not willing to personally confront the complaint and seek restoration for themselves, we will not be able to resolve the matter either.
2) After the action of step 1 has been taken, the person filing complaint, accompanied by the Exec. Elders will privately inform the leader of any accusation placed against them. At which time they will be given opportunity for explanation. Should the Exec. Elders be accused of impropriety, we will privately discuss the accusations amongst ourselves, as it could not possibly be a factual accusation. (Matthew 18:16).
3) An information/evidence search will be initiated to establish every objective fact which validates or invalidates the accusation. (Matthew 18:16).
4) The council of the Holy Spirit and the Word will be sought with consideration of the character and reputation of both the source of the accusation and the accused.
5) The facts will be presented before both parties along with a prescribed course of action toward resolution.
A) Should the accusation be validated, the leader will be given the opportunity to:
1. Seek forgiveness of the offended, (and if necessary)
2. Follow a course of action for resolution.
OR, given the circumstances
1) Repent before the fellowship (and if necessary)
2 Follow a course of action for resolution.
NOTE: no public mention of these activities will be made before this stage.
Should the accusation be validated and the leader refuse to accept responsibility:
A) -They will be given the opportunity to tactfully resign without positioning themselves to be made an example of organizational discipline.
However, if they do not graciously step down, an announcement to the fellowship, such announcement being at the sole discretion of the President or Exec. Elders, will follow, and they will be dismissed from leadership (and membership considering the circumstances). (Matthew 18:17).
a) is Biblical, and
b) seeks to preserve privacy, and
c) seeks to keep gossip to a minimum.
B) Should the accusation be invalidated, the issue will be dismissed. The leader will have the option to request an administrative announcement to be made in their behalf -which may or may not be necessary given the circumstances.
Note: This policy is not only for matters pertaining to our organization. It is additionally for the general public, as well as for accusations which do not pertain to the function and work of leadership/membership in our organization.