Handling a serious accusation against a leader

Any accusation of serious moral failure (e.g., sexual impropriety, addiction, financial misconduct, deception, abuse, etc.) against an elder or staff member may be brought to the attention of any elder or pastor. That elder or pastor has the responsibility to make sure the accusation is brought to the attention of the full elder board. If it is indeed an accusation of serious moral failure, the elder board will recuse the accused elder, if applicable, and decide how best to investigate the accusation so that all things may be brought into the light. This may include putting the elder or staff member on temporary leave during the investigation and/or seeking an external, third-party investigation, when appropriate. Righteousness and justice will be our primary concern, as well as loving and ministering to any potential victims. Appropriate government authorities will be informed, whenever applicable. We will not seek to shield the ministry nor the accused at the expense of truth. If there is an investigation, that investigation will not be conducted nor steered by someone with close relational ties to the accused (whether family or close friends). If the serious moral failure is confirmed by the investigation, the elder board will decide the appropriate disciplinary action, which may include removal of that elder or staff member and informing the congregation. We will not be interested in shielding reputations. We will value biblical guidelines, the accused’s redemption, justice for any victims, protection of future victims, the glory of God and the purity of our testimony. We believe the futures of both our church and The Church are most blessed when godliness is valued over gifting, when the full truth is pursued, when sin is brought into the light, and when we have staff and elders who walk in repentant holiness.