I have previously written about my missionary experience in the region of Extremadura in
There are several implications and other issues related to this that I would like to discuss and investigate further, and I hope to do so in upcoming posts. But for now, in order to get the ball rolling, and to not bog this post down with too much information all at once, I leave you with the following:
Recommended Behavioral Guidelines for Pastors, Leaders and Missionaries
- Pastors, leaders and missionaries working in the same city or region owe each other mutual recognition and respect. In the same way, they ought to recognize and respect the Church and the Work through which they are serving others.
- Cooperation in the areas of prayer, evangelism and testimony in society at large and through the communication media should be sought after and promoted.
- Mutual agreement in conflictive matters should be sought after, particularly in the case of brothers and sisters in Christ who go from one church to another.
We believe that, acting decently and in order, each member has the right to belong to and collaborate with the church he/she prefers.
-In cases of doctrinal disagreement, or incompatibility in personal matters or forms of worship, brothers or sisters in Christ ought to join themselves to whatever church they wish, with the agreement of the respective pastors, leaders or missionaries.
-Whenever a person or group of people leave a church, whether they are under discipline or not, they should not be received into fellowship without hearing beforehand the report of the church from which they are coming. No one should be received into fellowship without the previous consent of his/her leaders, or without having come to a point of reconciliation and restitution of any moral or material damage that may have been caused. A peaceful exit from one’s former church is of utmost importance.
-In cases of immorality, serious offenses or a persistent lack of discipline on the part of the brothers and/or sisters leaving one church for another, the leaders of the new church, upon confirming the facts, ought to take on the discipline that had been applied in the former church, provided it is deemed to be proportionate.
-Teaching should not be given nor visits made to members of churches other than one’s own without the consent of their respective leaders.
-Members of other churches, upon consulting pastors, leaders or missionaries other than those of their own church on matters of church polity, worship, doctrine or morality, should be referred to the leaders of their own church.
- Whenever a pastor, leader, missionary or church falls into adversity, misfortune, conflicts or crisis, it is recommended that he/she receive the joint support and proper covering of other pastors, leaders, missionaries and churches in their city or region. Criticism of others behind their backs or by third parties should not be admitted, and even less so, condemnatory judgment or discrediting of a church or individuals with a recognized ministry.
- Whenever an offense is observed in the life of a leader, or any brother or sister in Christ, Kingdom rules of order should be respected: with discretion and prayer, and without sharing the matter with anyone else, the brother or sister in question should be approached first, dealing with the matter at hand directly, and without the involvement of third parties.
- Whenever a serious offense on the part of a pastor, leader, missionary or church is confirmed, it should be resolved among the most immediate local or regional leaders, seeking the mediation of competent brothers and/or sisters in Christ.
- Churches, pastors, leaders and missionaries that have not yet entered into fellowship with the Council of Evangelical Churches of Extremadura should be treated with respect, while at the same time being encouraged to join in the fellowship, inasmuch as it is the desire of God that we all come together to form one family that may serve as a testimony to those who do not yet know the Kingdom of God.