LAST UPDATE: 03-16-2019
The purpose of this policy is to offer a written set of reasonable expectations by which to ensure the best interests of our members in the context of our fellowship. It is not intended to be a code of laws that are blindly upheld in the absence of common sense. Occasionally there are situations where this policy should be overridden for the better interests of our fellowship, or even for the sake of a principal found in scripture. However, such cases are unique to individual circumstances, and are decided at the discretion of our administrators. Ultimately, our goal is to honor God, protect the membership, and maintain an environment of fairness for all.
The following values represent the essence and personality of the National Association of Christian Ministers. They are the standards by which our culture and unity are kept.
- We value the Word of God as the highest authority by which to govern our lives.
- We value the advancement of the Gospel of Christ for the perpetuation of Christianity (Mat. 28:18-20).
- We value the pursuit of unity (at the foot of the cross) among brothers and sisters in the Christian faith (Joh 17:21; Eph. 4:13).
- We value God’s calling of both men and women to ordained Christian ministry (Mat. 28:18-20; Acts 2:17; Gal. 3:28)
- We value the independence of ministers to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit to govern their individual ministries (Act. 8:29; 10:19; 11:12; 13:2-4; 16:6-7; 20:22, 21:4).
- We value leadership that duplicates the servant example set by our Lord (Mat. 20:27; John 13:14).
- We value fellowship among ministers for the sake of strength, encouragement, edification, prayer, and support (Rom.14:19; 1 Thes. 5:11; Eph. 2:21-22; Php. 4:8).
We are delighted to offer this fellowship to the body of Christ. It is here that we seek to accomplish the unity of which Christ spoke in John 17:
“I have sent them into the world the same way you sent me into the world. I’m dedicating myself to this holy work I’m doing for them so that they, too, will use the truth to be holy. “I’m not praying only for them. I’m also praying for those who will believe in me through their message. I pray that all of these people continue to have unity in the way that you, Father, are in me and I am in you. I pray that they may be united with us so that the world will believe that you have sent me.” (Joh 17:18-21 GW).
Condition of the Church
A consideration that the church is divided by denominations is by no means a new observation. Since the ascension of Christ, the World Christian Encyclopedia (2001), reports that there are approximately 33,820 denominations of Christianity in the world. More than 2000 years of church history have not resulted in greater unity, but rather separation. These splints are motivated by disagreements over the interpretation of God’s word (theology). Bringing the whole church into a place of full agreement over theology is an unrealistic pursuit which is not likely to occur before the return of Christ. However, we believe that a very obtainable goal is to pursue unity at the foot of the cross and the affirmation of the empty tomb.
The Spirit and Culture of Our Fellowship
The spirit of this network is to offer all of our members a place for prayer, encouragement, exchanging ideas, research, networking, ministerial training, and fellowship with one another.
However, we are an inter/non-denominational organization which means that our membership consists of many Christian backgrounds: Baptist, Pentecostal, Methodist, Lutheran, Non-denominational, etc. These denominations exist because at some time in church history each group separated from a religious body and formed a set of doctrines that they believed were more aligned with scripture. Therefore, the very nature of a denominations is the concept that it is separated from the doctrines of other Christian bodies. We do not claim that this is necessarily wrong; however, the separatist attitude is not permitted here. What makes the NACM unique is that we are uniting under the name of Jesus, in spite of our doctrinal differences.
Back to the Basics
All believers (that we consider Christian) should be able to affirm that Jesus is the son of God, sacrifice for sins, advocate to the Father, Lord of resurrection, and full member of the trinity. It is on this foundation that all of Christianity stands. We may hold different beliefs regarding the administration of baptism, communion, practice of worship, etc., but these are not the things that are likely to forbid people from salvation or a place in Heaven. Therefore, we unite around the shared goal of advancing the gospel of salvation that is only available in the name and work of Jesus alone. As an organization, we believe this is our highest responsibility in service to God, and the fundamental purpose of our callings to Christian ministry. The Scriptures are clear that “God is not willing that any should perish” (2 Peter 3:9), and that we are commissioned to “go unto all the world” (Mark 16:15) with this hope. It is with this vision that we seek the unity of Christ so that the world will know that the Father sent Him, and call on his name for salvation (Joh 17:18-23).
GENERAL FELLOWSHIP GUIDELINES
For these reasons, and for the collective interest of our organization, every member who fellowships on this network must acknowledge the following guidelines:
A. Individual Responsibilities
It is every member’s responsibility to know these standards and to uphold them in the fellowship and love of Christ. Ignorance of these guidelines is no excuse for failure to comply. For the most part, they are considered “common sense Christianity” and are not difficult to understand.
We interpret this policy and all other structure of this organization from the perspective of this passage:
“He has also qualified us to be ministers of a new promise, a spiritual promise, not a written one. Clearly, what was written brings death, but the Spirit brings life.” (2Co 3:6 GW).
The above passage speaks of a contrast between the Law of Moses and the liberty of the Holy Spirit. We use this passage as a “principle” in upholding and enforcing policy. The order defined herein is set as a compass for maintaining a clear focus of the vision which God gave to establish our fellowship. It is not a law, but rather a standard.
No member of the NACM is required to participate in this network. However, in order to remain a member they must keep their contact information up to date, and respond to the administration in the event that they are contacted.
a) Members should update their information with 15 days of a change.
Contact information may be updated on your profile. Expressly, your name, address, contact information, etc.
b) If a member deletes their account on this network, we will assume that they have withdrawn their affiliation with us. In such an event their membership, ordination, etc. will become void. If the administration attempts to contact a member over a period of 30 days, but is unsuccessful, the member’s status may be changed from good standing to suspension until contact is made.
3) Organizational Views
None of the views expressed on this network (by anyone, including leadership) necessarily reflect the religious policies of the NACM.
In other words, if an Exec. Elder posted that they believe in snake handling, this still has nothing to do with the religious position of the NACM. (this is intended to be a humorous example).
Click here to see the NACM confession of faith. These are the only doctrines that the NACM “officially” confirms, and agreement with them is a prerequisite to membership.
4) Different Perspectives
Disagreements are permitted; however, they must be done tastefully. Everyone must treat one another with respect and Christian love.
B. Spiritual Gifts
All members should consider the possible differences of views when interacting with others. A good example is in the area of spiritual gifts. All believers accept prophecy, otherwise they would have to reject many portions of the Bible. HOWEVER, the subject of personal prophecy is a matter of large controversy among Christians. The majority of believers in the United States do not embrace personal prophecy as a modern spiritual gift. For this reason, members who believe in the gift of personal prophecy should share their gift privately with like-minded members who embrace their gift.
Use the “golden rule” of blogging, which is to always assume that people mean well.
Studies show that people generally misunderstand 53% of all email, and this misunderstanding causes them to assume negative interpretations. The best way to avoid this perception is to just assume that everyone means well.
C. Criticism and “Witch Hunting”
5) Politics and Opinions
The National Association of Christian Ministers seeks to build the Kingdom of God. Our goal is to use Christian unity to build, as opposed to tear down. For this reason, we will not tolerate any messages within our network that are written in a manner that criticizes other Christian ministers or their ministries. We are aware that there are false ministers in the world who dress in sheep’s clothing. However, it is not within the scope of our purpose as a ministry to expose these people. If any of our membership feels that they must do so, let them do it elsewhere. By so doing, they will not compromise their membership with us. However, members who ignore this rule and criticize ministers within our network will be disciplined and possibly dismissed from membership.
This would also include posting politically motivated opinions: opinionated statements about differing political persuasions or political figures (whether promoting or criticizing – such as the president or other leaders) tend to only cause argumentation and division. Members are certainly welcome to have their biases and opinions, but those should be held personally rather than posted on the NACM website. This is political promoting, and such posts will be deleted and posting members reminded of this policy, and that the biblical directive is: “I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men: for kings and all who are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior…” (1 Tim 2:1-3).
Our focus is on encouraging one another in Christ in our joint mission of preaching the Gospel, furthering the Kingdom of God, and discipling believers.
D. Use of Titles
6) Organizational Appointed Titles
The NACM is an interdenominational organization. For this reason we will have a diversity of Christian religious backgrounds bearing a verity of ministerial titles (Dr., Pastor, Prophet, Apostle, etc.). These titles are permitted within our network, however, it must be understood that these titles are not appointed by the National Association of Christian Ministers.
We would like to make it clear that the NACM officially recognizes only the titles: Ordained Minister, and any title that may be granted to its leadership (such as Elder, Minister unto ___ Admin., Director, etc.). If someone has chosen to call themselves by a title other than these, it is by their free decision to do so, and not by any official assignment by the NACM.
Additionally, no member may call themselves “Elder, Special Minister, or Administrator” within our network, unless they have been appointed to this position by our organization. This is so that our membership will be able to clearly identify our leadership.
E. Solicitation and Promotion (of self, similar ministries, products)
7) Solicitation of Donations
No one may use the network as a means by which to solicit the giving of money or materials of any type for themselves or any other cause–MEANING members may not use this network to ask other members to give them money and/or donations of any kind, materials, etc.
The ministry of the NACM is to license, equip and network ministers. We have chosen not to receive donations, and expect that our membership can feel safe from the potentiality of scams. If a person is in need of financial assistance, they should seek the help of their “local church”, and or other local charities.
We are a fellowship of ministers. It follows that we ALL have ministries, charities, and causes to support, and or know individuals needing financial support. However, if all of us were to use this fellowship to solicit support for those causes, we would no longer be a fellowship!
Spirit of this guideline:
However, for clarity we would like to add that it is acceptable to tell people about something that you have made such as a book, CD, craft etc. that is for sale -as long as your promotion does not become a spamming annoyance to other members. Tactful ways to promote such is by posting 1. announcement on the discussion board, and or your personal page. We permit this because we do want to encourage networking and the advancement of our talents.
Outside Membership Promotions
The fellowship shall not be a place by which to solicit membership into anything not pertaining directly to our organization, or a partner organization which has been approved by our Exec. Elders.
This is an area of some confusion because there is a right and wrong way to do just about anything. For this reason we will attempt to provide a few examples and definitions of terms in an attempt to demonstrate the differences between appropriate and inappropriate promotions.
We define ‘networking’ as: A goal that begins with one person, who then uses their personal rapport with another to gain a mutually shared goal. This pattern is then repeated until the goal is achieved.
One important factor that identifies this as ‘networking’ is the use of interpersonal influence gained through personal relationships. Networking is not accomplished by sending mass emails of spam hoping that someone will discover a value for whatever it is being offered.
No member should send emails or make postings for the promotion of anything that is of similar offerings to that the NACM (ordination ministries, Christian Discussion boards, Biblical training programs of similarity to our Mentor Program, etc.). This is a conflict of interest and has caused members to become confused about NACM programs in times past.
Spirit of this guideline:
The key word here is “promotion”. It is quite fine to say that you attended a school or was ordained at a local church. We are prohibiting solicitation.
The above rule 8 is the rule is rarely broken, but more often than the others. It is an unfortunate truth that we have had to even dismiss Elders from membership for ignoring this rule. Please be advised that we have no tolerance for members who disregard the warnings of this policy.
F. Photo and Image Posting Guidelines.
9.Photos, Graphics, and Illustrations
Posting of images (photos or graphic images) within the NACM network should be done with thoughtful consideration as to the appropriateness and or edifying nature of the images.
The posting of ministry-related images within the NACM is encouraged. Images of a personal nature are permitted with deference to and with the understanding that the NACM is an online Christian ministry fellowship. Images that could reasonably be perceived as divisive or inappropriate are prohibited, including but not limited to ‘selfie’ type images that may be perceived as suggestive or alluring, as well as politically focused images, and or those for which the member does not have the proper permissions of copyright.
If an image is deemed inappropriate by an NACM Administrator, that image may be removed immediately, or you may be contacted with instructions to remove the image yourself. If an image that you posted is no longer visible, you can assume that image has been deemed inappropriate and removed.
All images uploaded via the “My Photos” tool on your “My Page” can be viewed by the entire fellowship via the photo viewer and will be displayed on a rotational basis throughout the NACM website.
Some forum and discussion areas within the NACM network may be deemed as text only areas and prohibit the posting of photos or images.
G. Sexual Harassment
10. The National Association of Christian Ministers will not tolerate any form of sexual harassment.
Sexual harassment, as defined in this policy, includes, but is not limited to, sexual advances, verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature, visual forms of a sexual or offensive nature (e.g., signs and posters) or requests for sexual favors.
Any intentional sexual harassment is considered to be a major violation of our organization’s policy and will be dealt with accordingly by corrective counseling and/or suspension or dismissal of membership, depending upon the severity of the violation.
To report violations, please follow the procedures outlined at the following:
H. Continuity of Policies – Right to Change or Discontinue
The policies and procedures in this manual are not intended to be contractual commitments by The National Association of Christian Ministers and employees, volunteers, or members shall not construe them as such. They are intended to be guides to management and merely descriptive of suggested procedures to be followed.
We reserve the right to revoke, change, or supplement these guidelines at any time without notice. Such changes shall be effective immediately upon approval by management unless otherwise stated.
This policy is not intended as a guarantee of continuity of benefits or rights. No permanent relationship to our organization for any term is intended or can be implied by statements in this manual. The National Association of Christian Ministers is a private, religious organization. Our Exec. Elders reserve all rights to discontinue services, training, ordination, licensing, membership, affiliation, etc. at their prayerful discretion.
The NACM is a Christian religious organization founded in the U.S.A., operating 1st under the authority of our God, & 2nd under the laws, regulations, & constitutional rights granted by our nation. By the instruction of God’s Word (in Romans 13:1-7), we submit ourselves to the God ordained authority of U.S. government, to the extent that it does not infringe upon God’s command to be holy even as He is holy (Matthew 5:48; 1 Peter 1:16).
On the other end of the continuum, where there is law, there is also the necessity to interpret such. Therefore, it is inevitable that some will abuse interpretations to avoid personal responsibilities, place blame, seek financial profitability., etc.
While we do not like having to sound “legal,” it is for these reasons that we see a necessity to state the following.
Such should not be viewed as legal advice, nor do we guarantee the accuracy of content.
While our sincere conviction is to provide the public with truthful, strait-forward facts pertaining to ministry, there is never a time when anyone knows everything (other than God). Therefore the potential for error is ever present during human communication. When changes to our services occur, our goal is to communicate these changes. However, it is not possible to be sure that every member of our organization or even the public will receive our attempts to make such notices.
Therefore, we reserve the right to make changes to any or all of our services without notice. Additionally, we make no warranties expressed or implied. This includes but not limited to regulated acceptance of ministerial status, training, privileged access, tax exemption, etc.
There are US government agencies which hold our organization as a valid source of training and credentialing for ministers. Irrespective of this success, we hereby publicly express as a religious institution of the Christian faith, that our purpose is to unite the Body of Christ, provide spiritually based educational resources to propagate the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Should undesired outcomes arise as a result of our communications, users agree to hold this organization harmless. Scripture upholds the understanding that every person has a responsibility to God to affirm truth. National Association of Christian Ministers is a U.S. Registered Service Mark & LC. All rights are reserved. Copyright © 2019
If you have any questions about this policy, please feel free to post them here and they will be answered. Thank you all for your participation and cooperation.