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Ministerial Codes Of Ethics


An Ethical Guideline


 Workers And Ministers





Ministerial Codes Of Ethics

The Rationale for a Code

-          Ministry is a call to serve both God and people.  Credentialed Ministers are firstly accountable to God (1 Corinthians 4:4-5), but also to church members and those who receive ministry (Ephesians 4:1-2).

-            Ministers are public figures whose lives are on display and are viewed with considerable public scrutiny.  A high degree of conformity is expected with the biblical call to holiness (Matthew 5:48; Titus 2:7-8).

-           Accordingly, pastoral relationships are to be characterised by love, justice, care, and compassion (Micah 6:8).

-           A minister is firstly a disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ, (I John 2:6) and as such ministry is grounded by prayer, Bible study, regular worship and a readiness to follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19-20).

-          Ministers of Ultimate Power Gospel Assembly are to live and minister in accordance with biblical values.  Additionally, we are  expected to have a code of conduct that sets an example of excellence for the society in which we seek to minister.  Ministers are to be examples in the creation of healthy communities.

The following are guidelines are designed to identify areas, articulate relevant principles, note areas of caution, and state what is clearly prohibited in terms of biblical conduct for Ministers in Ministers of Ultimate Power Gospel Assembly.

The Purpose of the Code

-          This code is intended to guide the behaviour of Ministers in Ultimate Power Gospel Assembly It is articulated to assist leaders to serve in such a manner that it will cause our churches and ministries to be safe places for all; places where integrity is honoured, accountability is practised, misconduct is not concealed, and forgiveness is encouraged to bring about healing and restoration.

-          Improper conduct is generally regarded as behaviour that in all the circumstances of a case is an inappropriate or incorrect way of discharging a person’s duties, obligations, or responsibilities.

-          This Code of Conduct sets out the standard that is expected of credentialed Ministers, and therefore is an important document for determining whether a person has committed improper conduct.

-          A breach of a “Prohibited” provisions will always be improper conduct and will result in disciplinary action.  A breach of a “Cautionary” provision, depending on the circumstances may be improper conduct, and may result in disciplinary action.

The Code of Conduct

Pastoral Example

-          Ministers should be “above reproach” (1 Timothy 1:11-12).  The values of the Gospel of Christ should be obvious to members of the church and wider society (Matthew 5:16; 1 Corinthians 11:1).

-            It is also important for an effective minister to have a healthy lifestyle and a balance of service, and family (Ecclesiastes 3:1-11; Titus 1:6).  This lifestyle should also be supported and encouraged for all members of church staff.

-          Ministers should be good citizens and obey the laws of the community (Proverbs 24:21; Romans 13:1-4; 1 Peter 2:11-17).  The only rare exception may be when a Christian engages in non-violent civil disobedience as a matter of protest (Acts 4:18-20).


Addictive behaviours:

-          Scripture requires that we exercise caution in the use of alcohol (Proverbs 20:1; 1 Corinthians 6:12; 1 Corinthians 8).  Abstinence is a stand that is highly respected in Ultimate Power Gospel Assembly.

-           Extreme caution must also be exercised with all potentially addictive and harmful behaviours that bring unwarranted harm to the body or jeopardise our own or another’s faith.


-          The use of offensive language should also be avoided (such as swear words, sexual connotations, and racial or religious slurs).


-          A Minister must avoid drunkenness, gambling, and abstain from the use of all illegal drugs (Romans 13:13; Galatians 5:21).

-            A Minister must not smoke.


Ministry Matters

-          Authority to minister comes from Jesus Christ; the head of the Church (Matthew 28:18; 1 Corinthians 12:27).  Christian leadership must never be manipulative or authoritarian (John 15:15). 

-          Ministers are servants of Christ, who should endeavour to become servant leaders as modelled by Jesus (John 13:3-14).  Leadership in all its dimensions must always be accountable, and it is essential that ministers act responsibly in the best interests of those they serve (James 3:1; 1 Peter 5:2-4).



-          Ministers must not misrepresent their competence, qualifications, training, or experience.  Ministers should recognise their level of skill and experience.  If they are unsure, they must seek additional advice from other colleagues or other professionals.

Ministry gifts:

-           It is a Pentecostal distinctive to honour the role of the Holy Spirit who imparts spiritual gifts (1 Corinthians 12:7). 

-          There are a variety of gifts (1 Corinthians 12:4) and the true exercise of these gifts will always be consistent with the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23).

-           For example, prophecy is to be exercised for “strengthening, encouragement and comfort” (1 Corinthians 14:3).

-           A leader must always be willing to be held accountable, admitting to the possibility of human error when exercising the gifts of the Spirit (1 Thessalonians 5:19-21).

Public statements:

-          We live in a society that has become increasingly sensitive to matters of discrimination and vilification.  A  Minister must show respect and godly care to all people, inside or outside the Christian community (Colossians 4:6).

-           Care must be taken in how Ministers speak of the ministry of others in public (Mark 9:40) since reputation is something highly valued in Scripture (Proverbs 22:1).

-          Care must be exercised when Ministers express a personal opinion on controversial matters.  They must distinguish expressing an opinion from speaking on behalf of a local church or the Ministry. (1 Corinthians 7:12).

Staffing and volunteers:

-          There is a need for transparency and Godly motivation in any employment or ministry offer extended to a Minister, staff member, or volunteer serving in another church.

-            The offer must only be made with the prior knowledge and agreement of the Senior Minister of the church where they currently serve.

-          After resignation from the ministry, the Minister must terminate existing pastoral relationships to allow their successor to assume responsibility.

-           Friendships may continue as long as the end of the pastoral relationship is mutually recognised.  Any request for a continuing pastoral relationship must only occur with the permission of the new Senior Minister or the person who has overall pastoral oversight.


-          A Minister must not be abusive in any way toward others (1 Timothy 3:2-5; Titus 1:7).

The misuse of authority can be a particular temptation in leadership and must be avoided.

-          Ministers must not attempt to use the gifts of the Holy Spirit to manipulate or coerce a person.

-           This includes attempting to use healing for financial gain; attributing miracles for personal glory; or using a word of knowledge to control an individual; or using prophecy to change church membership or to enlist support for a ministry.

-           Accountability in all areas of ministry is essential.


Sexual Behaviour

-          Sexuality is a gift from God and integral to human nature.  Ministers must value this gift by maintaining chastity in singleness and faithfulness in marriage (Proverbs 5:18, 6:32; 1 Corinthians 7:2).

-          Lesbianism or  Homosexual behaviour is forbidden by Scripture (Romans 1:24-25).




-           Being especially vulnerable, children are entitled to be safe and protected.  Ministry to children needs to be characterised by absolute trustworthiness.

Pastoral conversations:

-          A Minister must be careful in pastoral conversations when a person talks about sexual problems.  Consideration must always be given to whether it is appropriate to refer a person to a suitable counsellor.

-          Ministry to people in the sex industry requires clear boundaries, a high level of accountability and mixed gender peer support (Proverbs 5:21).


-          All inappropriate sexual behaviour is forbidden.  A Minister must not have a sexual relationship with a member of the church or anyone who is receiving, or has recently received, pastoral ministry.

-           It is never acceptable to blame the person who has received counselling or ministry.

-          A Minister must not view pornographic material or go to places of commercialised sex such as strip clubs or visit a brothel (Matthew 5:28; 2 Peter 2:14a; Proverbs 5:3-6; 1 Corinthians 6:18-20; Ephesians 5:12). 

-          Additionally, they must avoid chat rooms or internet sites of a sexual nature.


Financial Matters

-          A Minister must set an example and have integrity in all their financial dealings.

-           This would include the timely payment of debts, the effective management of finances, as well as providing for their family (Romans 13:7-8).

-           Failure to do so will have a significant impact on the church and the perceptions of the wider community.

-          The Senior Minister and the leadership of the local church have responsibility for the sound management of church and ministry finances.

-           They may or may not be involved in actual transactions, but must ensure the implementation of a proper system for financial integrity and accountability.


Conflicts of interest:

-          It is important to avoid any potential conflict between personal finances and pastoral responsibilities.

-           If there is anything that could lead to a conflict of interest, then it must be immediately disclosed to the Board or Elders.

-           It is important to disclose to the Senior Minister or Board or Eldership any personal gift or bequest (2 Corinthians 8:21; James 2:1, 2-4).

-          A leader must avoid borrowing money from, or lending money to, a person with whom there is a pastoral relationship.

-          Particular care must be exercised in the appointment of a spouse or family member to a paid position in the church or ministry.  It must be done only with careful consultation with the Board or Eldership.


-          A Minister must not seek additional personal advantage or financial gain because of a pastoral role.

-           Naturally, this includes any benefit to a spouse and/or immediate member of his or her family. 

-          A Minister must never borrow or take church funds without proper authorisation.

-           A Minister must not seek financial support from people in a previous church or ministry unless there is authorisation by the current Senior Minister, Eldership, or Board. 




-          Trust is essential in pastoral ministry.  Those involved in pastoral care must note that both formal interviews and casual conversations in a ministry context are pastoral encounters where confidences are shared and confidential information received.

-           This information must not be disclosed, and must be treated with the utmost care.  Exceptions include when disclosure is required by law , there are concerns for the safety of the person or others, or when the information is in the public domain.


Pastoral records:

-          Pastoral notes and records are important, but caution must be taken with securing them.  Any record of a pastoral counselling session is considered a health record, which is governed by national legislation.

-           Computer records must be password protected and access limited to authorised persons.  Also paper records must be locked up and access limited to authorised personnel.

-          Particular care must be exercised in the publication of personal information in church directories, newsletters, rosters, and websites, etc.  This also extends to publishing voices and images of individuals.

-          Confidentiality should be preserved in peer supervision or in mentoring relationships.  All care should be taken to avoid disclosing those being discussed.  Preachers should be careful with sermon illustrations, in teaching and especially in publications (Proverbs 11:13).



A Minister must not disclose confidential pastoral conversations except if required by law or if there is a concern for the safety of the person or another person (James 5:16).


Ministerial Development

-          It is important to continue to develop ministry skills through a variety of means including education, professional supervision, peer support, mentoring, and a regular ministry review (Proverbs 27:17).

-           It is expected that Ministers will regularly attend District, State, and National Conferences and special events, and undertake ongoing professional development (Romans 13:7).  This includes an expectation that the Ministers demonstrate a loyalty to the Ministry and its vision, values, and mission.


The Implementation of the Code

-          If questions arise with areas of “Caution,” the individual Minister must talk to a supervisor, mentor, consult with peers, and if necessary pursue voluntary counselling.

-          With any breach of the Code of Conduct in a “Prohibited” area the Minister in breach must notify the Senior Minister (or the person fulfilling those duties at that time) within 7 days (24 hours if civil or criminal action is involved.

-          Failure to notify in accordance with the paragraph above will itself be a “Prohibited” breach of the code.



-          As a minister of Jesus Christ, called by God to proclaim the gospel and gifted by the Spirit to pastor the church, I dedicate myself to conduct my ministry according to the ethical guidelines and principles set forth in this code of ethics, in order that my ministry may be acceptable to God, my service beneficial to the Christian community, and my life a witness to the world.

Responsibilities to self

  1. I will maintain my physical and emotional health through regular exercise, good eating habits, and the proper care of my body.
  2. I will nurture my devotional life through a regular time of prayer, reading of Scripture, and meditation.
  3. I will continue to grow intellectually through personal study, comprehensive reading, and attending growth conferences.
  4. I will manage my time well by properly balancing personal obligations, church duties, and family responsibilities, and by observing a regular period of rest.
  5. I will be honest and responsible in my finances by paying all debts on time, never seeking special gratuities or privileges, giving generously to worthwhile causes (including the faithful payment of tithes, offerings and speacial donations) and living a Christian lifestyle.
  6. I will be truthful in my speech, never plagiarizing another’s work, exaggerating the facts, misusing personal experiences, or communicating gossip.
  7. I will seek to be Christlike in attitude and action toward all persons regardless of race, social class, religious beliefs, or position of influence within the church and community.

Responsibilities to family

  1. I will be fair to every member of my family, giving each the time, love, and consideration each needs.
  2. I will understand the unique role of my spouse, recognizing that his or her primary responsibility is as marital partner and parent to the children and secondarily as church worker and assistant to the pastor.
  3. I will regard my children as a gift from God, train them up in the ways of the Lord, and seek to meet their individual needs without imposing undue expectations upon them.

Responsibilities to the congregation

  1. I will seek to be a servant‑minister of the church by following the example of Christ in faith, love, wisdom, courage, and integrity.
  2. I will faithfully discharge my time and energies as pastor, teacher, preacher, and administrator through proper work habits and reasonable schedules.
  3. In my administrative and pastoral duties, I will be impartial and fair to all members.
  4. In my preaching responsibilities, I will give adequate time to prayer and preparation so my presentation will be biblically based, theologically correct, and clearly communicated.
  5. In my pastoral counseling, I will maintain strict confidentiality, except in cases in which disclosure is necessary to prevent harm to persons and/or is required by law.
  6. In my evangelistic responsibilities, I will seek to lead persons to salvation and to church membership without manipulating converts, proselytizing members of other churches, or demeaning other religious faiths.
  7. In my visitation and counseling practices, I will never be alone with a person of another sex unless another church member is present nearby.
  8. I will not charge fees to church members for weddings or funerals; for nonmembers I will establish policies based on ministry opportunities, time constraints, and theological beliefs.
  9. Whenever I serve as a full‑time minister, I will not accept any other remunerative work without the expressed consent of the church.
  10. In leaving a congregation, I will seek to strengthen the church through proper timing, verbal affirmation, and an appropriate closure of my ministry.

Responsibilities to colleagues

  1. I will endeavor to relate to all ministers, especially those with whom I serve in my church, as partners in the work of God, respecting their ministry and cooperating with them.
  2. I will seek to serve my minister colleagues and their families with counsel, support, and personal assistance.
  3. I will refuse to treat other ministers as competition in order to gain a church, receive an honor, or achieve statistical success.
  4. I will refrain from speaking disparagingly about the person or work of any other minister, especially my predecessor or successor.
  5. I will enhance the ministry of my successor by refusing to interfere in any way with the church I formerly served.
  6. I will return to a former church field for professional services, such as weddings and funerals, only if invited by the resident pastor.
  7. I will treat with respect and courtesy any predecessor who returns to my church field.
  8. I will be submissive to authority and humbly accepts ministerial discipline measured against me where necessary.
  9. I will be honest and kind in my recommendations of other ministers to church positions or other inquiries.
  10. If aware of serious misconduct by a minister, I will contact responsible officials of that minister’s church body and inform them of the incident.

Responsibilities to the community

  1. I will consider my primary responsibility to be pastor of my congregation and will never neglect ministerial duties in order to serve in the community.
  2. I will accept reasonable responsibilities for community service, recognizing that the minister has a public ministry.
  3. I will support public morality in the community through responsible prophetic witness and social action.
  4. I will obey the laws of my government unless they require my disobedience to the law of God.
  5. I will practice Christian citizenship without engaging in partisan politics or political activities that are unethical, unbiblical, or unwise.

Responsibilities to my denomination

  1. I will love, support, and cooperate with the faith community of which I am a part, recognizing the debt I owe to my denomination for its contribution to my life, my ministry, and my church.
  2. I will work to improve my denomination in its efforts to expand and extend the kingdom of God.

Associate Minister Code  (Education/Music/Youth/Etc.)

  1. I will be supportive of and loyal to the senior pastor or, if unable to do so, will seek another place of service.
  2. I will be supportive of and loyal to my fellow staff ministers, never criticizing them or undermining their ministry.
  3. I will recognize my role and responsibility to the church staff and will not feel threatened or in competition with any other minister of the church.
  4. I will maintain good relationships with other ministers of my special area of ministry.
  5. If single, I will be discreet in my dating practices, especially in relation to members of my congregation.

Pastoral counselor code

  1. I will have a pastor/counselor to whom I can turn for counseling and advice.
  2. I will be aware of my own needs and vulnerabilities, never seeking to meet my personal needs through my counselees.
  3. I will recognize the power I hold over counselees and never take advantage of their vulnerability through exploitation or manipulation.
  4. I will never become sexually or romantically involved with a client or engage in any form of erotic or romantic contact.
  5. I will demonstrate unconditional acceptance and love toward all counselees, regardless of their standards, beliefs, attitudes, or actions.
  6. If I am unable to benefit a client, I will refer him or her to another professional who can provide appropriate therapy.
  7. I will maintain good relationships with other counselors and therapists, informing them and conferring with them about mutual concerns.
  8. I will keep confidential all matters discussed in a counseling setting unless the information is hazardous for the client or another person or by law must be disclosed.
  9. I will offer my assistance and services to fellow ministers and their families whenever needed.
  10. I will support and contribute to the ministry of my church through personal counseling, seminars, lectures, workshops, and group therapy.
  11. I will seek to support the policies and beliefs of my church without unduly imposing them on any counselee.


Last changed by Julius Soyinka on 23/10/2014

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