Leadership and Accountability Policy
Character - Christlike
Jesus taught and showed that Christian leadership was to be humble, gentle, and servant-hearted. It is never coercive, self-serving, or bullying. It is loving to all.
Christ-like character is the first requirement of any leader at the Tab. We’re committed to looking for Godliness before giftedness or success.
Task - Bible Teaching and Prayer
Jesus taught that like a seed the word of God has all the power for growing the church. So, our business is gently and trustingly opening the Bible and praying (on Sundays, in small groups, with each other). That’s all we can do.
We know that Christian growth is God’s work, and no program, personality, or pressure can create it.
Team - Membership and Elders
Jesus knows all hearts are sinful, so he built important accountability into the structure of churches.
The Tab is led therefore by a team of elders. This is a flat team with equal authority. We aim to be open so that voices are heard; close so that we know each other lives; and watchful because the Bible says: “keep watch over yourselves and all the flock.”
Elders and Deacons will be asked to do annual reviews in which there’s an opportunity to raise any concerns.
The Pastor will undergo a 360 degree review each year so that any concerns could be anonymously raised.
Key decisions in the church are made all together as a membership.
Safeguards in Pastoring
We don’t want to stifle real close friendship or the pastoring of the church. But we want to be careful and wise.
We know that no policy can fully safeguard any organisation or be a substitute for the work of the Spirit in hearts. But we want a culture of best practice that means that if one of us starts to do things that are unhealthy, those things look/sound/feel unhealthy to the rest of us.
So, on top of our safeguarding policy the below are some safeguards for pastoring.
Pastors will require enhanced DBS and references. Previous employers will also be asked if there are any disciplinary proceedings, we should be aware of. This may seem intrusive but is a way of seeking to be “above reproach” (and it is in line with 1 Tim 3 and Titus 1).
The pastor will share his diary regularly with the Elders.
Any regular 1-to-1 meetings are to be explained and noted by Elders. The Bible is very positive about training (e.g., between Paul and Timothy) but there are obviously dangers.
Regular across-gender 1-1 meetings will not occur.
In general, meeting with 3 or 4 people is preferred to meeting 1-1.
We aim for pastoral care to be provided by a team so that it doesn’t fall on one person.
The Pastor will avoid anyone becoming dependent or accountable to them. If sensitive things are shared that could make a person more vulnerable the Pastor will (with permission) share with one or more Elders and his wife. Our approach is discretion but not confidentiality.
It should go without saying that no form of abuse (sexual, physical, or emotional) will ever be tolerated. The police will be immediately informed.
If you have any concerns about the leadership or culture at the church, please contact our safeguarding officer Mark Deacon via our contact page.
If you need to ask someone outside of the Tab, contact the FIEC firstname.lastname@example.org, 01858 43 45 40.