Posts Tagged ‘ministers’

On June 12, the National Association of Evangelicals published a Code of Ethics for Pastors to their 45,000 churches in forty different denominations.  Since the very beginnings of Christian community, the sin of its leaders has been the most effective weapon of its enemies.

We don’t need the public media to expose all of the sexual affairs and the addictions to drugs and/or pornography among those who preach publically. You have probably seen it played out in your own congregation.  I personally know one congregation that had a string of three preachers, who in sequence brought disgrace and sin into the church through their own lusts.

James, the brother of the Lord, wrote:  “Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly” (3:1).

The problems of our churches are the problems of all churches; this document from the NAE is proof of this generalization.  But since restoration churches are probably not part of this circle, I wanted to share with you a summary of their code, while encouraging you to forward the entire document to your ministers and elders. Perhaps they would want to commit to its standards as well.

Pursue Integrity

  • In personal character
  • In personal care
  • In preaching and teaching

Be Trustworthy

  • In leadership
  • With information
  • With resources

Seek Purity

  • In maintaining sexual purity
  • In spiritual formation
  • In theology
  • In professional practice

Embrace Accountability

  • In finances
  • In ministry responsibilities
  • In  a denomination or a ministry organization

Facilitate Fairness

  • With staff
  • With members
  • With the community
  • With prior congregations

Codes of ethics are not for wicked ministers, the Elmer Gantrys of the world that choose their position in order to abuse it.  No, codes of ethics are like the locks on your car or that simple dead-bolt on your front door.  Serious criminals have no problem getting through either one.  These simple deterrents are used to reduce the temptation for the weak—and that includes almost all of us.

Of all of the principles above, I need to hold “Embrace Accountability” up for special mention.  Every church should be able to answer the straightforward question:  To whom are your church leaders accountable? 

Whether we are talking about elders, senior ministers, youth ministers, volunteer ministers—regardless of their role or their title, each one should be directly accountable to someone or some other group.

The pastor (a shepherd or a minister) who resists rather than embraces accountability is not to be trusted with the flock!

In the full Code of Ethics for Pastors document, you will be pleased to find each point supported with the Word of God.  Here’s the website where you can read and/or download the entire document:  www.naecodeofethics.com

I’ll close today with some of the opening words of the full document, words penned first by the Holy Spirit:

Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ (Philippians 1:27).

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