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Rated: 13+ · Other · Business · #2191983
Every church and ministry needs a well thought out disciplinary process.
Every church and ministry needs a well-thought-out disciplinary process. I have included this portion of the New Life Outreach of Dallas, Inc., Policies, and Procedures. I have removed our church name from the document so that you may find it helpful. Just replace the phrase “YOUR CHURCH” with the name of your church. Please feel free to make any modifications or improvements that you think necessary. You have our permission to use and modify these policies.

DISCIPLINE AND GRIEVANCE POLICY

The following policy is laid out particularly for those who have a grievance against a leader or staff member of “YOUR CHURCH.” Still, we feel it is also applicable generally as a guide for all members to handle conflict.

Grievance Procedure

Employees, volunteers, and “YOUR CHURCH” members have an opportunity to present their work and “YOUR CHURCH” Home-related complaints and to appeal supervisory and leadership decisions through a dispute resolution or grievance procedure. “YOUR CHURCH” will attempt to resolve promptly all grievances that are appropriate for handling under this policy.

An appropriate grievance is a person’s expressed feelings of dissatisfaction concerning any interpretation or application of a “YOUR CHURCH” related policy, decision, or action by supervisors, employees, volunteers, or fellow members.

As a Biblically based organization, we will encourage, whenever appropriate, our members to follow the sequential principles laid out in the Scriptures:

Matthew 18:15-17 “If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.”

• Matthew 5:23-24 “So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go. First, be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.”

• Romans 12:18 “If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.”

• Proverbs 10:18 “The one who conceals hatred has lying lips, and whoever utters slander is a fool.”

• 1 Peter 2:1 “So put away all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander.”

• I Timothy 5:20 Do not receive an accusation against an elder except on the basis of two or three witnesses.

Go to the person with whom you have the conflict or who has a grievance against you. You are to go to this individual alone and are not to gossip or slander in the process.

If no resolution, you should go to your ministry supervisor or a “YOUR CHURCH” leader. If the grievance is with your direct ministry supervisor, then go with the supervisor of the church leaders. At this point, it may be beneficial to describe the grievance in written form.

If there is still no resolution, it is appropriate to begin the dispute process’s Arbitration process.

After having gone through the Biblical process, employees, volunteers, and “YOUR CHURCH” members must notify “YOUR CHURCH” in a timely fashion of any grievance still unresolved and considered appropriate for handling under this policy. The grievance procedure is the exclusive remedy for employees, volunteers, and “YOUR CHURCH” members with proper grievances. As used in this policy, the terms “timely fashion,” “reasonable time,” and “promptly” will mean five working days following the fulfillment of the Biblical process.

No person(s) will be penalized for following the proper procedure of the grievance process. However, it is not appropriate if an employee, volunteer, or “YOUR CHURCH” member abuses the process by raising grievances in bad faith or solely for delay or harassment, or by repeatedly raising grievances that a reasonable person would judge have no merit. Implementation of the grievance procedure by an employee, volunteer, or “YOUR CHURCH” member does not limit the right of “YOUR CHURCH” to proceed with any disciplinary action that is not in retaliation for using the grievance procedure.

The grievance procedure has a maximum of three steps. A grievance may be resolved at any stage in the process. Grievances continue until the employee, volunteer, or “YOUR CHURCH” member is satisfied, does not file a timely appeal, or exhausts the right of appeal. A decision becomes binding on all parties whenever an employee, volunteer, or “YOUR CHURCH” member does not file a timely appeal or when:

1. A decision is made in the last step.

2. And the right of appeal no longer exists.

Arbitration of Disputes

Employees, volunteers, and “YOUR CHURCH” members who feel they have an appropriate grievance and have followed the previous Biblical steps laid out should proceed as follows:

Step 1: Promptly bring the unresolved grievance to the immediate supervisor of the person who filed the grievance. If the grievance involves the supervisor, then it is permissible to proceed directly to Step 2. The supervisor investigates the grievance, attempts to resolve it, and responds to the employee, volunteer staff, or “YOUR CHURCH” members within a reasonable time. The supervisor should prepare a written and dated summary of the grievance and proposed resolution for file purposes.

Step 2: Appeal the decision to a “YOUR CHURCH” pastor if dissatisfied with the supervisor’s decision, or initiate the procedure with the Senior Pastor if the grievance involves the employee’s or volunteer’s immediate supervisor. If the grievance is also against the Pastor, it is permissible to proceed directly to Step 3. Appeals or complaints must be made in a timely fashion in writing. The supervisor’s investigation of the grievance and decision will then be submitted, also in writing. The Pastor will, in a timely fashion, confer with the employee, volunteer, or “YOUR CHURCH” member, the supervisor, and any other members of management considered appropriate; investigate the issues, and communicate a decision in writing to all the parties involved.

Step 3: Appeal an unsatisfactory Pastor decision to the Church Elders. The timeliness requirement and procedures to be followed are similar to those in Step 2. The Church Elders will take the necessary steps to review and investigate the grievance and will then issue a written, final, and binding decision.

Final decisions on grievances will not be precedent‑setting or binding on future grievances unless they are officially stated as “YOUR CHURCH” policy. When appropriate, the decisions will be retroactive to the date of the employee’s, volunteer’s, or “YOUR CHURCH” member’s original grievance.

Information concerning an employee, volunteer, or “YOUR CHURCH” member’s grievance is to be held in strict confidence. Supervisors, department heads, and other members of management who investigate a grievance are to discuss it only with those individuals who have a need to know about it or who are needed to supply necessary background information.

DISCIPLINARY PROCEDURES REGARDING QUESTIONABLE RELATIONSHIPS

It is the policy of this church that all persons who hold a position of authority, in whatever capacity designated and authorized, shall adhere, without exception, to the following conditions and limitations.

Unauthorized and/or Prohibited Relationships

That any and all said persons of authority must refrain from any relationships which would ordinarily not be directly approved by “YOUR CHURCH.”

That these relationships will include, but may not be limited to, the following:

• A relationship of any kind between a person of authority and any other person, if the said person of authority is married, and where the spouse is not aware of the relationship, or if the type of relationship is such that said spouse would not approve, or, with which, agree.

• A relationship of any kind between a person of authority and any other person, which would lend itself to be misunderstood and possibly violate church doctrine, federal, state, and/or local laws.

• A relationship of any kind between a person of authority and any other person, which may include elements of sexual misconduct. Sexual misconduct, in this case, will be interpreted as any actions, behavior, or conversation between individuals with the intent of sexually arousing, stimulating, or otherwise introducing the idea of sexual misconduct to or receiving such from the other individual(s).

• A relationship that is adulterous in nature.

An adulterous relationship (also to be known as an affair) will include:

Married Persons of Authority

A relationship between a married person of authority and an unknown person, therefore not approved by the spouse, and includes sexual intercourse between said persons.

Also, it will include a relationship between a married person of authority and another person which is unknown, and therefore not approved by, the spouse, which also includes intimate communication and conversation between said persons. Intimate communication and conversation are defined as behavior between said persons, which includes the interchange of private and intimate information (especially regarding the marriage and/or spouse of the person of authority), as well as that of the person of authority’s personal and private life.

Also, it will include a relationship between a married person of authority and another person (or persons) in which said person of authority had made sexually implicit or similar type advances to the other person(s), even if the other person(s) rebuffed said person of authority, and even if the other person(s) agree(s), but no further action was taken.

Also, it will include a relationship between a married person of authority and another person, which the spouse has previously made clear was not an acceptable relationship, especially with a person of the opposite sex, or with a person who may regard themselves as homosexual or bisexual in nature.
Also, it will include a relationship between a married person of authority and another person with which said person of authority had contact or communication via the internet or some other form of external and distant communication, and in which case the content of said communication was of a questionable nature, and clearly not acceptable to the spouse.

Unmarried Persons of Authority

A relationship between an unmarried person of authority and a married person, therefore not approved by said married person’s spouse and included sexual intercourse between said persons.

A relationship between an unmarried person of authority and a married person, therefore not approved by said married person’s spouse and included intimate communication and conversation between said persons. Intimate communication and conversation are defined as behavior between said persons, which includes the interchange of private and intimate information (especially regarding the marriage and/or spouse of the married person), as well as that of the person of authority’s personal and private life.

Also, it will include a relationship between an unmarried person of authority and a married person (or persons) in which said person of authority had made advances to the married person(s), even if the other person(s) rebuffed said person of authority, or even if the other person(s) agree(s), but no further action was taken.

Also, it will include a relationship between an unmarried person of authority and a married person which the spouse of the married person has previously made clear was not an acceptable relationship, especially with a person of the opposite sex, or with a person who may regard themselves as homosexual or bisexual in nature.

Also, it will include a relationship between an unmarried person of authority and a married person in which said person of authority has had contact or communication via the internet, or some other form of external and distant communication, in which the content of said communication was of questionable nature, and clearly not acceptable to the spouse of the married person.

It will not include any relationship which the spouse of the said person of authority has approved and permitted, nor will it include any relationship to which the spouse of any married person(s) has (have) previously agreed. As an example, any relationship between a person of authority, married or not, which has been previously agreed to by the spouse in question, if married, such as friendship, close acquaintance, or any other such term, will not be in violation of these policies.

Questionable and Permitted Relationships

In addition, it will be a violation of these policies if a person of authority spends time alone with a person of the opposite sex, or with someone who professes to be homosexual or bi-sexual in nature, without the knowledge of, and authority from “YOUR CHURCH,” either directly, or by policy, or without the verbal or written permission of a duly ordained pastor, in which the person of authority is acting in the capacity of his or her authority as an agent of “YOUR CHURCH.”

Exceptions to this section will include, but not be limited to:

Predetermined and authorized meetings of predetermined nature, such as counseling by certified and ordained counselors, or ministry by any duly appointed pastor or minister of this church acting in his or her authorized capacity, and limiting such ministry to the extent of these policies.

Meetings where the church representative or agent has received written or verbal approval by “YOUR CHURCH” and/or a dully ordained pastor.

Meetings in which the church representative or agent is acting in said capacity, and the meeting(s) is/are business in nature. Even then, the church representative or agent is required to behave and limit personal conduct and behavior to that which is appropriate for the said meeting(s).

Where such meeting(s) include(s) another person, especially another agent or representative of the church, who attends said meeting and remains for the duration. Said additional person might serve as a witness for the agent or representative conducting said meeting(s) in regards to the proceedings and events throughout the meeting.

Determination of Violation

Upon receiving a complaint, or becoming aware of a violation of these policies, “YOUR CHURCH” or its agents (including the pastoral staff), will convene a panel of individuals to review any and all allegations of a violation. If the panel finds that a violation has occurred, the findings will be referred to the Board of Elders for action.

Punitive Action Regarding Violations of the Above Policies Regarding Relationships.

In the case of a violation of these policies, the following will be the punitive response and actions of and/or the pastors and/or the designated agents of the church or Board of Elders:

In regards to Unauthorized and/or Prohibited Relationships, 2, a-c, and Unauthorized and/or Prohibited Relationships, 2, d., i – x, it will be the policy of “YOUR CHURCH” that such persons of authority who violate these policies be removed from their positions, and their authority be stripped from them for the duration of the punitive action taken by “YOUR CHURCH.”

In regards to said violators, who are also employed by “YOUR CHURCH,” they are to be placed on leave and not allowed in the church workplace or to conduct any further practice of their responsibilities or duties for the duration of the punitive action by “YOUR CHURCH.”

That such employed violators, directly referring to sections 2, a-c, and d., i-x, of these policies, will also not be paid any wages for the duration of the punitive action by “YOUR CHURCH.”

That said violators of these policies and procedures are required to get counseling regarding their actions and choices in reference to the specific violation of these policies. That such counseling last throughout the punitive action period taken by “YOUR CHURCH,” and that the return of said employee will depend, in part, on the determination of the counselor as to whether the said employee has come to a real acknowledgment of the wrong done, and has complied with the counselor’s process for making character changes.

That at the end of the punitive period, said employee would appear before a panel of representatives of “YOUR CHURCH” (appointed by the Board of Elders), to ascertain and determine whether in the panel’s opinion the employee has complied with any and all punitive direction by “YOUR CHURCH.”

If the panel makes a determination of full compliance by the said employee, the results will be submitted to the Board of Elders for final determination and vote.

In regards to Questionable and Permitted Relationships, 1. said person of authority who violates the said policy would:

1. On the first occurrence, be verbally warned to refrain from such actions in the future.

2. On the second occurrence, will be reprimanded and prohibited from acting in the authorized capacity for a six-month period.

3. On the third occurrence, will be removed from the position of authority and dismissed as an agent or representative of “YOUR CHURCH.”

Appeal Process

Any person of authority who has been found in violation of these policies may file for an appeal of the determination. At the request for appeal, the Board of Elders will make a determination whether the appeal should be considered. If the Board of Elders chooses to accept the appeal, a panel will be created to listen to the appeal and make a second determination of whether they find a violation has occurred. The findings will be referred to the Board of Elders for further action.
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