Best Practices

It is our expectation that pastors of the Be In Christ Church of Canada will embrace the following: As a minister of Jesus Christ, called by God to proclaim the gospel and gifted by the Spirit to lead, I dedicate myself to conduct my ministry according to the ethics, guidelines and principles as expressed in this aspirational vision called The Pastoral Way.

A pastor must understand the influence that they have over others and the pain that they can cause from their personal moral failures. This level of responsibility requires ethical boundaries that guide us in our work. These ethical boundaries are presented with the framework of love, lead and learn, The Pastoral Way. These best practices are not meant to be legalistic but rather to be guardrails that protect you and those that you serve.

LOVE

Our pastors will demonstrate the love of Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit as informed by the Scriptures and discerned through community. 

  • This means I will treat all people equitably. I will actively communicate love in my attitudes and actions towards all persons regardless of gender, race, social class, religious beliefs, sexual orientation, or positions of power within my church and community.

  • This means I will engage as a peacemaker. This requires that I practice reconciliation, forgiveness, and the cruciform life in all of my relationships, even with my enemies. This requires that I actively work for conflict resolution in my personal and professional lives.

  • This means I will act with fidelity in my romantic and family relationships. If I am married, I will be faithful to my marital vows and will refrain from sexual or romantic relationships outside of marriage. If I am single, I will be discreet in my dating practices, especially in relation to a member of my congregation. If I have children, I will be fair to every member of my family, giving them the time, love, and consideration they need. 

  • This means I will be supportive and loyal to the senior pastor. If I am unable to do so, I will seek another place of service. I will be supportive of my predecessor or successor as instructed by the denomination. I will be loyal to my fellow staff members, supporting and encouraging their ministry. 

  • This means that I will accept reasonable responsibilities for community service, recognizing the minister has a public ministry. I will support public morality and the common good through responsible witness and social action.

  • This means I will be aware of the power dynamics that exist if I hold a position of supervision or authority over another staff member and will refrain from any behaviour which constitutes workplace harassment or sexual misconduct. In counselling situations I will avoid being alone with someone of the opposite sex, maintaining proper boundaries and demonstrating professionalism at all times. 

  • This means in my evangelistic efforts I will seek to lead persons to a faith in Jesus and participation in the life of the church without manipulation or demeaning other religious faith traditions.

So now faith, hope and love abide, these three. But the greatest of these is love.

Paul, the Apostle

LEAD

Our pastors will practice effective leadership in their family, congregation and neighbourhoods. For an understanding of an evidence-based approach to leadership, visit the page about our Leadership Development Process.

  • This means that I will lead by example and only ask of others what I am attempting to do myself. I will model honesty, integrity and generosity in my financial endeavours, speech and attitudes. I will model personal care in my physical, emotional and spiritual life including the spiritual disciplines that replenish my soul. I will model refraining from immoral activities such as pornography and violence. 

  • This means I will develop and practice skilled leadership. This requires that I use all possible means to advance the kingdom of God through my ability to influence others. This requires that I vigilantly resist the temptation to control and, instead, train, empower, disciple, and release the Body of Christ in the use of their gifts in carrying out the mission of the Church.

  • This means that I will prioritize excellence in communicating the truth revealed in Jesus. I will give adequate time to prepare thoughtful, prayerful, engaging, Christ-focused, and theologically sound communication in all presentation forms.

  • This means that I will model submission to those in leadership over me including other pastors, staff and denominational leadership.

  • This means I will comply, to the best of my ability, with the Be in Christ Handbook on Faith and Life.

If one is lucky, a solitary fantasy can totally transform one million realities.

Maya Angelou

LEARN

Our pastors will never stop learning and growing their gifts, passions, and professional skills, because the kingdom of God demands our best.

  • This means that I will prioritize my professional development by using the provided resources to attend conferences and apply those learnings to extend the reach of my local congregation for God’s kingdom.

  • This means I will present sermons that reflect the hard work of research and thoughtfulness in order that my teaching would be biblically based, theologically correct, and clearly communicated.

  • This means that I will actively read from a wide variety of sources and strive to continue to grow intellectually through study, reading, and attending growth conferences and other opportunities.

  • This means that I will invite feedback, encourage constructive criticism, resist defensiveness and solicit professional coaching as needed to advance my abilities.

  • This means that I will participate in all denominational pastoral gatherings as they are designed for my professional development.

  • This means that I will create a culture of curiosity with my staff and within my congregation, welcoming new and emergent ideas.

Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.

Mahatma Gandhi

Credentialing Discipline

There are times in the life of the church when the discipline of credentialed pastors is required. When such discipline happens, the goal is reconciliation through a holistic process that demonstrates compassion for all. The procedures of our process are provided in the Discipline and Reconciliation Manual.