We believe that a Pastor is to represent God to the congregation and community with the highest standard of integrity, and his actions should be blameless (1 Timothy 3:2) and his actions should be such that he has a good report with people, both within and without the congregation (1 Timothy 3:7).
We also believe that the Pastor is a Shepherd of the congregation, and his highest duty should be to care for, and protect the flock (1 Peter 5:2).
These dual Biblical requirements are to be demonstrated in our relations with the opposite sex, and in the area of sexuality in general. God demands purity of all believers, and Pastors are held to a higher standard (James 3:1), so as to not cause anyone to stumble.
Counseling: A Pastor must guard against both the impression of impropriety, and human nature to bond emotionally with those receiving counseling. A Pastor should never counsel a member of the opposite sex alone. If the counseling cannot be done in the sight of other people, the Pastor should always have someone else in the room while counseling.
Sexual communication: Any conversations or communications – written or electronic, should never involve flirtatious or sexual discussions or innuendos (Col 3:8). No counseling should involve sexual topics or discussions without another person present in the conversation.
Sexual contact: Any form of sexual contact, or sexual touching of any person we are not married to, violates our Biblical standard of holiness (1 Cor 6:19-20), and immediately disqualifies us from Pastoral ministry.
If a Pastor falls into any form of sexual sin, or damages his testimony morally, he is liable for immediate removal from the ministry.
He will have his Pastoral credentials immediately removed, and no longer qualifies to be a Pastor.
His Pastor is to determine the facts and damage of the case to determine whether or not he should be put out of the church for a period of discipline.
If there are any further moral violations, or any form of contact with a person they were sexually involved with, they will usually be put out of the church for a period of between 6 months and 1 year.
At the end of the proscribed period of discipline, he must meet with his Pastor, who will make a determination concerning repentance and fitness to return to the congregation.
He will not have any public ministry for a period of 2 years while he rebuilds his relationship with God, his marriage and public testimony.
At the end of 2 years, if he seeks to return to Pastoral ministry, and his pastor is willing to speak for his repentance and character, he can request a restoration meeting that must include his Pastor, and 3 Leaders of the Fellowship.
They can question him to determine his fitness to return to ministry, and make any recommendations of how/how soon/what capacity he is able to serve in.
As the Bible holds up a Pastor’s marriage as a basic requirement of ministry (1 Timothy 3:1-13), any violations by the Pastor’s wife in the area of sexual communication or contact (as discussed above) will disqualify the couple from Pastoral ministry.
The terms of discipline (described above) would then be in effect.