Purpose: To protect ministries and ministry leaders through a thoughtful and deliberate approach to Church Leader Accountability.
Necessity: For as long as there have been ministry leaders, there have been leadership failures. These failures are destructive to individual leaders and the organizations that they lead. In order to reduce the likelihood of leadership failure, it is prudent to adopt a Church Leader Accountability Policy.
Most Common Types of Leadership Failures: Leadership failures fall into three broad categories:
- Sexual immorality;
- Financial impropriety; and
- Abusive conduct toward subordinates.
An effective Church Leader Accountability Policy addresses each of these areas.
Means of Accountability: In order to manage effectively Church Leader accountability, an organization can take the following steps:
- Sexual immorality:
- Device Accountability
- Internet Use Accountability
- Electronic Communication Accountability
- Travel Policy
- Personal Interaction Outside of the Workplace
- Financial impropriety:
- Sound organizational financial practices
- Integrity in personal financial dealings
- Avoiding conflict of interest transactions
- Contemporaneous oversight of extra-budgetary expenditures
- Consistent adherence to GAAP, where practical
- Periodic reports reflecting budget-to-actual financial performance of the organization (monthly or at least quarterly):
- a statement of financial position as of the end of the reporting period (also referred to as a balance sheet);
- a statement of activities for the reporting period (also referred to as a statement of revenues and expenses);
- expenses reported by their functional classification in the statement of activities, a statement of functional expenses, or the notes to the financial statements;
- a statement of cash flows for the reporting period; and
- accompanying notes to the financial statements.
- Abusive conduct toward subordinates:
- Purpose of Workplace Conduct Policy. This policy is designed to notify all employees, including supervisory employees, of their rights and responsibilities regarding abusive conduct, also known as bullying, and retaliation in the workplace. Our ministry believes that abusive conduct: 1) violates the mandates of the Bible; 2) undermines the individual well-being of ministry employees; and 3) interferes with ministry employees ’ ability to effectively serve the purposes of the organization. Furthermore, abusive conduct jeopardizes the reputation of the church as a ministry organization. This policy defines “abusive conduct” and explains how to report abusive conduct and retaliation. It sets forth the potential consequences for engaging in abusive conduct and retaliation, and includes strategies for prevention. All questions or concerns about this policy should be directed to the Lead Pastor, Chairman of the Elders, the Deacons, or the Leadership Team. It that step does not resolve the problem, it may be elevated to the Board of Directors/Elder Body/Leadership Team. Our church intends for this policy to fully comply with any and all applicable laws.
- Definition of Abusive Conduct. “Abusive conduct” means the intentional conduct in the workplace of an employer or employee, unrelated to an employer’s legitimate business interests, that a reasonable person would find hostile or offensive. Abusive conduct may include repeated infliction of verbal abuse, such as the use of derogatory remarks, insults, and epithets; verbal or physical conduct that a reasonable person would find threatening, intimidating, or humiliating; bullying; or the gratuitous sabotage or undermining of a person’s work performance. A single act shall not constitute abusive conduct, unless it is especially severe and egregious.
- Examples of Abusive Conduct. Abusive conduct can take many forms. The examples listed below may constitute abusive conduct, but these examples are not exhaustive.
- Verbal Abuse: Slandering, ridiculing, gossiping, or maligning someone against others; persistent name calling which is hurtful, insulting, or embarrassing; yelling, screaming, or cursing; chronic teasing, belittlement, bullying, or frequent criticism that undermines the victim’s ability to perform his/her job.
- Nonverbal and Visual Abuse: Threatening gestures, actions, or glances; shunning, excluding, or disregarding a person; offensive depictions of another through a visual medium such as a drawing or doctored photograph; mimicking another in an offensive manner; objects or clothing that contain offensive language or other depictions.
- Physical Abuse: Pushing, shoving, punching, kicking, poking, tripping, bullying, or purposely impeding another’s path; battering or threatening physical harm; damaging another’s work area or property.
- Cyber Abuse: Tormenting, threatening, harassing, embarrassing, cyber-bullying, or otherwise targeting another using social media, email, instant messaging, text messaging, or any other type of digital technology.
- Workplace Interference: Sabotaging another’s work; deliberately tampering with a person’s work area or property; assigning menial tasks outside of a person’s normal job duties.
- Reporting Abusive Conduct. Abusive conduct should be reported to the Lead Pastor, Chairman of the Elders, the Deacons, or the Leadership Team.