Constitution and Pastoral Covenant of Ministerial Ethics
- I will continue to develop my spiritual life through consistent prayer, Bible reading, and personal application of Scripture.
- I will seek to maintain balance between family and ministry and will treat my family with love, attention and respect.
- I will pursue physical and emotional health through regular exercise, healthy eating habits and adequate rest.
- I will be a life-long learner through the pursuit of educational opportunities and resources.
- I will manage my personal finances with integrity by promptly paying bills, avoiding excessive debt and preparing for retirement.
- I will abstain from gambling, pornography, alcohol, tobacco, illegal drugs, abuse of legal medication and affiliation with secret, fraternal orders.
- When preaching, I will prepare and deliver biblically-based messages and communicate with honesty, giving credit when using another’s material.
- In counseling, I will keep strict confidentiality except to prevent physical harm or as required by law.
- I will use discretion and wisdom with the opposite sex to prevent the appearance of evil, temptation or sin.
- I will ensure that proper checks and balances are in place so finances are managed with integrity and in accordance with government laws.
- I will not loan money to the church or receive a loan from the church or its members without the written consent of the church board and either the district or regional superintendent. (Note: Some laws forbid non-profits from lending money to corporate officers.)
- I will inform potential staff members of the church’s policy regarding their retention or release in the event of the resignation or release of the Senior Pastor.
- I will minister without partiality and not allow a personal relationship to unduly influence the decisions and direction of the church.
- I will marry only individuals who fulfill biblical guidelines.
- I will use caution and discretion in using my influence to endorse products or agencies. In my capacity as pastor, I will not endorse political parties or candidates running for public office.
- I will treat all ministerial colleagues, including predecessors with respect in my words and actions.
- I will work in co-operation with Open Bible leaders and ministers and will resolve conflicts in order to maintain a spirit of unity.
- I will, upon becoming aware of the serious misconduct of an Open Bible minister, contact the district or regional superintendent.
- I will contact the Senior Pastor of a church prior to contacting one of his/her staff or members concerning ministry opportunities.
- I will not start or locate a new church or relocate an existing church without first receiving written consent from the district and regional superintendent.
- I will not accept an independent pastorate in a city where an Open Bible church exists without first informing the district and regional superintendent.
- I will not approach or consider an offer from a church whose pastor has not officially resigned.
- I will, upon leaving a church, cease attending, unless invited by the incoming Senior Pastor and church board.
- I will, upon leaving a church, provide ministry to persons in the church only with the consent of the Senior Pastor, and I will not exert influence or undermine the leadership of the church.
- I will treat ministry guests with courtesy, providing adequately for their needs, and I will not invite persons to minister in the church who are under discipline, have questionable character, or have fundamental, doctrinal differences.
- I will not attempt to unduly influence people to leave other churches.
The Potter's Wheel Christian Fellowship recognizes that all churches need to have a document that sets forth how they will operate. This document is most often referred to as the church constitution. The existence and the accuracy of the document are legal requirements set forth in order to receive and retain charitable status.
Since no two churches operate the same way, a constitution must reflect each church's specific needs and practices. It should also be broad enough to cover both present active ministries and potential future ministries.
A church constitution is:
- a decision-making process that contributes to the development of wise decisions and thoughtful directions for the life and mission of a church;
- a participatory process where ownership, openness and a dynamic relationship between the informal and formal arenas of participation;
- a process that allows participants to proceed in a caring manner since the structure is provided to enhance the experience of community;
- a process that is streamlined; and
- a process that encourages people to take initiative and responsibility in ministry.
The Potter's Wheel Christian Fellowship reviews its constitution every three to five years to ensure the evergreen nature of this important document.