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Zero Tolerance

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  • Zero Tolerance

    We have a policy at Crossroads that says the following;* you may not be alone with a person of the opposite sex in a car, closed office or anywhere other people cannot see you at the church or while working for the church. We installed windows in each of our Directors and Pastors doors, with the [...]

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    Fred McKinnon, Pianist/Composer/Worship Leader
    blog: www.fredmckinnon.com

    Please check out my piano/instrumental music at:
    www.soundcloud.com/FredMcKinnonMusic
    www.youtube.com/c/FredMcKinnonMusic

  • #2
    I can see the importance of that policy

    Like Charlie Rich used to sing about: People like to talk, Lord, don't they love to talk.
    I didn't mean to be inaccurate, but I wasn't trying to be precise.

    Comment


    • #3
      Great article, Lori ... commented on the article side.
      Fred McKinnon, Pianist/Composer/Worship Leader
      blog: www.fredmckinnon.com

      Please check out my piano/instrumental music at:
      www.soundcloud.com/FredMcKinnonMusic
      www.youtube.com/c/FredMcKinnonMusic

      Comment


      • #4
        I dunno - I think that you need to put mics in the pastor's office so that everybody can hear what is being discussed in there.

        Otherwise two people might be talking in there and there would be no way to prove that they weren't gossiping.

        Don't get me wrong - I know that sexual sin seems to be given particular prominance in its ability to destroy churches in terms of attendance. However, I'm not convinced that it is truly the sin that causes the most real damage. For example, it seems like in the example you cited that the people of the church were far more concerned about what might or might not have happened in the office than the fact that everybody felt completely free to just relate the story to everybody around (having no evidence that anything wrong happened either).

        Adultery is a sin. However, that doesn't mean that we should elevate any discussion between two people of the opposite sex in private to being adultery. We also need to guard against all sin - not just the sins that seem to make the biggest headlines in the church world.

        On the other hand, I do realize that in the society we live in we do need to keep up appearances. If I were helping out in the youth ministry I'd never drive a child home alone if they were of the opposite gender. I think that there needs to be a balance. Most "zero tolerance" policies of any kind tend not to represent a balance (again - I'm not saying that we need to tolerate anything and everything - but we need to treat people and situations as individuals and not as mere opportunities to apply rules).

        Comment


        • #5
          Nice article Lori! And it is definitely one I agree totally with.

          Rich0, I think you are going into another topic, that being accusations of conduct. Although I believe what you mentioned is important and related, I don't believe that is what Lori was talking about in her article at all. She is talking about avoiding situations that can lead to all kinds of problems. And she is right on.

          Our church has sort of an unwritten policy about that, especially in the case of adults with youth. And our pastor feels very strongly about the things Lori mentioned.

          Lou

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by louca View Post

            Our church has sort of an unwritten policy about that, especially in the case of adults with youth. And our pastor feels very strongly about the things Lori mentioned.

            Lou
            No policy should go unwritten! Formalize everything, so that; there are no questions during leadership transitions, and there's not a double standard floating around for certain people that others aren't held to.

            Comment


            • #7
              it's not just about guarding against sin...it's also guarding against the appearance of sin. I've heard too many horror stories of pastors who have been brought down by unproven (and ultimately false) accusations because they placed themselves in a precarious (yet, "innocent") situation. My character and reputation mean too much for me to even give people the slightest reason to think poorly of me.

              Perception is often reality, unfortunately, when it comes to our character and reputation. As a church leader, even if an accusation is not true, if the right people believe it's true, I'm screwed, maybe for the rest of my life. Once your character and reputation as a church leader are shot, justly or not, it's nearly impossible to ever restore them.

              Nate
              Practical Worship

              Please Pray For My Wife

              Comment


              • #8
                “It takes many good deeds to build a good reputation, and only one bad one to lose it” - Benjamin Franklin

                “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you'll do things differently.” - Warren Buffet
                Associate Director of Worship & Media at St. Simons Community Church .He is also the content curator and editor here at The Worship Community.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I agree with the points that this is more about avoiding the perception of sin than actual problems. However, what I was getting at is that this really exposes what is a big problem in the church - everybody is REALLY quick to jump to conclusions and shun ministers for the rest of their lives if there is even a remote chance that they could have had just the opportunity to do something wrong.

                  I understand the purpose for these policies, and I think that we do need to be careful about perceptions. If your ministry and your livelihood depends on the opinions of very fallible humans then it is only wise to exercise caution.

                  However, the other side to this is that as individual believers we need to be a little cautious about shunning leaders just because of rumors, or because they were perhaps spotted in a bathing suit at the beach. Avoiding even the appearance of evil is a good principle, but if we're not careful it can turn into a form of legalism.

                  I think that Romans 14 has the right balance. We need to avoid giving offense, and we also have to avoid taking offense. When sin destroys a church I'm not sure that it is only the sinner that started the problem that God will ultimately hold accountable for the end result - there are many ways that we can better support fellow believers both before there is sin and after. The solution isn't to overlook sin or to be careless with regard to it - however we do need to watch that we're not always out to "catch" each other in compromising situations. While we are called to be as wise as serpents we are also called to be as innocent as doves.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    rich...that's all good and well, rich, but you seem to me to be arguing with yourself. There are extra boundaries set up for addressing accusations toward church leaders, because, more is expected of them...they will be judged in a different manner than the rest of the church body.

                    People are fallible, both in making mistakes and in making poor judgment calls...that's the reality of our world and the church until Christ returns. People are quick to jump to conclusions about church leaders, but that is exactly why such precautions should be set into place, to allow those church leaders to remain above reproach.

                    As you say, there is a balance between guarding against sin and becoming legalistic, but, I don't know that anyone here is taking an extreme legalistic approach...you seem to be preaching to the choir. Who said anything about bathing suits? Who said anything about "catching" other people in compromising situations? Your comments are really confusing me...

                    Nate
                    Practical Worship

                    Please Pray For My Wife

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      All I can say is, our church has policies in place to help our leaders guard against sin and the appearance of sin, but we do not have people trying to catch us in sin or being the church watch dogs.

                      Nate
                      Practical Worship

                      Please Pray For My Wife

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by russhutto View Post

                        “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you'll do things differently.” - Warren Buffet
                        "It's these changes in latitudes, changes in attitudes, Nothing remains quite the same, With all of our running and all of our cunning, If we couldn't laugh we would all go insane!" - Jimmy Buffet


                        sorry, I couldn't resist

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                        • #13
                          For me, its really very simple, and I have a very simple and yet very effective rule that I follow:

                          If I can't do it, or say it, in front of my wife or my mother, I don't do it or say it. Period

                          Smitty
                          Love ONE woman...MANY guitars!

                          www.davidsproblem.wordpress.com

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I agree with the points that this is more about avoiding the perception of sin than actual problems. However, what I was getting at is that this really exposes what is a big problem in the church - everybody is REALLY quick to jump to conclusions and shun ministers for the rest of their lives if there is even a remote chance that they could have had just the opportunity to do something wrong.
                            That's true, and it would be great if it weren't the case. But it IS the case, and church leaders need to operate in that framework. Stinks, but there it is.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Just a little sadness from a woman's perspective. Most leadership roles, at least in our church, are all held by men. Therefore, no counsel is available if you are a female. I understand the whole premise but it causes you to get treated differently, and in a way, left out. I have met with my pastor, one on one, but in public. The feeling that somehow I am not trustworthy is there. You can't help it. My pastor has nothing to worry about from me, but because of other people's sin, you bear the brunt. Not really all that fair and I believe ends up hurting people. Seems you end up protecting one person and leaving another to fend for themselves. I understand the points being made and I know not alll women ARE trustworthy at times, but when you do everything right and still get dinged for it, it can be a little frustrating. I wish caution didn't have to turn into slight paranoia.

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