Above Reproach Policy
(Adopted January 1997; Revised November 2012; September 2013; August 2017)
Above Reproach Policy: For staff, student and children leaders and teachers, and college scholarship recipients (Revised November 2012; August 2017)
In order to assist the Pastoral, Ministry Support staff and students with scholarships to be “above reproach” (I Timothy 3:2, I Corinthians 9:24-27), the following guidelines have been adopted. These guidelines are minimum guidelines and each staff member/ministry leader and student is free to add to these as he/she determines is appropriate. God has called His people to lead an exemplary life consistent with the instruction and principles of the Word of God. Spiritual leaders and students are expected to lead the way as “salt and light” in a culture of compromise and moral decline.
All spiritual leaders and students are expected to uphold the biblical standards of holiness and moral purity in their personal life and in their relationships with others. We are called as His followers to “be holy as He is holy” in thought, word and deed, respecting the boundaries He has mandated for our good and His glory (Proverbs 5:1-23, 6:20-35, Matthew 5:27-30, Romans 1:24-32, 6:11-14, 12:1-2, 13:11-14, I Corinthians 5:9-13, 6:9-20, 9:24-27, 2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1, Galatians 5:16-21, Ephesians 5:3-12, Philippians 4:8, Colossians 3:5-7, I Thessalonians 4:3-8, 5:21-22, 2 Timothy 2:20-23, Titus 2:11-15, Hebrews 12:14, James 1:27, 4:4, I Peter 1:13-16, 4:1-6, I John 2:15-17).
Areas of consideration include our reading, media habits (i.e. TV, movies, internet, music), words, physical encounters, financial stewardship and use of any illegal or potentially addictive substances (i.e. drugs, alcohol, etc.).
We are instructed to consider our choices and how they reflect upon God’s glory, our example and their impact upon our own lives. It is understood that the walk of holiness will not be perfected in this life, but will involve struggle with temptation and sin which the Lord instructs us to meet with humble confession, repentance and reconciliation that seeks to please Him and honor His body.
The guidelines in this section are not comprehensive. Instead they are intended to illustrate the application of sound biblical instruction to appropriate conduct.
Counseling should be done, men with men and women with women, whenever possible.
If counseling must occur with the opposite sex, another person must be in the room with you or, at the very least, the door left open with the secretary or another person in the outer office. This person needs to stay there during the entire session.
No counseling of sexual issues with the opposite sex unless their spouse, your spouse, or someone of the counselee’s sex is present.
Never call on or visit a member of the opposite sex at home alone (another adult must be present).
Do not counsel someone of the opposite sex after the office is officially closed unless their spouse, your spouse, or someone of the counselee’s gender is present.
OFF CAMPUS MEETINGS/LUNCHES
Always travel in the car in groups of three or more when there is someone of the opposite sex present, unless the person is a relative or your spouse. When this is not possible, notification must be made to a responsible member of the individual’s family.
Never drive to or from an event or run errands alone with someone of the opposite sex, who is not your spouse or relative.
Never have lunch alone with someone of the opposite sex who is not your spouse or relative, including administrative assistants.
WORKING AFTER HOURS
If a project necessitates working after hours, make sure that a pastor and administrative assistant are not in a room alone with the door closed. If possible, bring in other volunteers to help complete the project.
PUBLIC MINISTRY ENCOUNTERS
Be careful how you interact and/or touch someone of the opposite sex. For example: Side hug whenever possible; avoid frontal hugs with the opposite sex. Having a spouse present is ideal if invited to pray and/or provide any counsel.
STUDENT ADDENDUM for those granted Bible College Scholarships (revised March 2006, November 2012)
All college students (recipients of our Bible College Scholarships) are expected to uphold the biblical standards of holiness and moral purity where applicable as outlined in this Above Reproach policy.
STUDENT/CHILDREN’S LEADER ADDENDUM (added November 2012; August 2017): In order to protect the integrity of the ministry of the church and ministry to our students and children we have set the following guidelines in place:
Children: All interaction with children, 5th grade and younger must have direct consent from their parents or guardians. This includes phone calls, emails, texts, social media interaction, or any other means of communication. Communication needs to be done through the parent’s/guardian’s email address, phone/device, and/or any other applicable medium.
Additionally, these guidelines for adult student leaders also apply.
Social Media (includes all or future forms of social media, email, and texting): Use utmost discretion and decency when using any form of messaging medium. Message students in groups whenever possible; avoid addressing any sensitive information. Do not message a student of the opposite sex unless another adult leader, spouse or parent is notified and aware or you are relaying information relevant to CCFW activities.
Driving: Same as guideline under Off-Campus Meetings.
Never discuss sensitive material using any social media or other messaging medium. Always have another person with you when there is a personal interaction with someone of the opposite sex. Never agree to total confidentiality as parents/guardians, pastors, student leaders, and/or authorities may need to be informed. Meetings must always be in a public area in view of others.
Additional note: Always use common sense, be as transparent as possible and appropriate, and have a third party notified, or present whenever possible.
I understand this policy and fully agree to abide by its guidelines: