Notes & Reports
Together in Ministry Groups ByLaws
Code of Ethics
Ministers Council, ABC
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for Ministerial Leaders of American Baptist
The national Ministers Council
has proposed the following changes in the Code of Ethics. At our meeting
on April 13, 2004, the Ministers Council of the Greater Bay Area voted
to approve the changes.
Suggested amendments are in red;
proposed deletions in strikeout.
Having accepted God’s call to leadership in Christ’s Church,
I covenant with God to serve Christ and the Church with
help the help of the Holy Spirit, to deepen my obedience to the Two
Great Commandments; to love the Lord our God with all my heart, soul,
love my neighbor as myself.
In affirmation of this commitment, I will abide by the Code of Ethics
of the Ministers Council of the American Baptist Churches and I will
faithfully support its purposes and ideals. As further affirmation
of my commitment, I covenant with my colleagues in ministry that we
will hold one another accountable for fulfillment of all the public
actions set forth in our Code of Ethics.
- I will hold in trust the
traditions and practices of our American Baptist Churches; I
will not accept a position in the American Baptist
family unless I am in accord with those traditions and practices;
nor will I use my influence to alienate my congregation/constituents
any part thereof from its relationship and support of the denomination.
If my convictions change, I will resign my position.
- I will respect
and recognize the variety of calls to ministry among my American
Baptist colleagues, and other Christians.
- I will seek to support all colleagues in ministry by building
constructive relationships wherever I serve, both with the staff
where I work and
with colleagues in neighboring churches.
- I will advocate adequate compensation for my profession. I will
help lay persons and colleagues to understand that ministerial
leaders should not expect or require fees for pastoral services from
they serve, when these constituents are helping pay their salaries.
- I will not seek personal favors or discounts
on the basis of my professional ministerial status.
- I will maintain a disciplined ministry in
such ways as keeping hours of prayers and devotion, endeavoring to
family relationships, sexual integrity, financial responsibility,
engaging in educational and recreational activities for professional ministerial and personal development. I will seek to maintain good
- I will recognize my primary obligation to the church or employing
group to which I have been called, and will accept added responsibilities
only if they do not interfere with the overall effectiveness of
- I will personally and publicly support my
colleagues who experience discrimination on the basis of gender,
race, ethnicity, age, marital status,
national origin, physical impairment or disability.
- I will not
proselytize from other Christian churches.
- I will, upon my resignation or retirement,
sever my ministerial leadership relations with my former constituents,
and will not
make professional ministerial contacts in the field of another ministerial
his/her request and/or consent.
- I will
hold in confidence any privileged communication received by me
during the conduct of my ministry. I will not disclose confidential
communications in private or public except when in my practice
of ministry I am convinced that the sanctity of confidentiality is
my well-founded belief that the parishioner/client will cause imminent,
life-threatening or substantial harm to self or others, or unless
the privilege is waived by those giving the information.
- I will hold
in confidence and treat as confidential communication any information
provided to me with the expectation of privacy. I
will not disclose
such information in private or public except when, in my practice
of ministry, I am convinced that the sanctity of confidentiality
by my well-founded belief that life-threatening or substantial
harm will be caused.
- I will not
use my ministerial status, position or authority knowingly to abuse,
misguide, negatively influence, manipulate or take advantage
of anyone, especially children.
- I will report
all instances of abuse as required by law to the appropriate agency.
In any case involving persons working
in ABC ministry, I will also report the circumstances to the appropriate
regional and/or national denominational representative.
- I will
not proselytize from other Christian churches.
- I will show my personal love for God as revealed in Jesus Christ
in my life and ministry, as I strive together with my colleagues
to preserve the dignity, maintain the discipline and promote the
of the vocation to which we have been called.