MIDWEST DISTRICT POLICIES

District Policies

 

 

         Policy 1

 

LICENSING AND ORDINATION

Midwest District Missionary Church

 

We believe that there is great value in an individual’s call to ministry being recognized by the corporate body of the church.  The Midwest District utilizes a three-level system to affirm that call to ministry.  All pastoral staff, whether full-time or part-time, must either be Approved for Ministry, Licensed or Ordained prior to beginning service in the local church.

 

Level one is Approved for ministry, which identifies and recognizes those beginning the process of serving the church in some official capacity (for example youth pastor, worship pastor, etc.) but who have not yet fulfilled the academic requirements for licensing.  Only with the approval of the District Executive Board will those Approved for Ministry be permitted to fulfill normal pastoral responsibilities.  Whether those who are Approved for Ministry may perform weddings is contingent upon the laws of the state where a wedding is performed.

 

Level two is Licensed for Ministry, which carries certain denominationally-mandated requirements and bestows official permission to perform regular pastor duties and to utilize the tax advantages provided to credentialed ministers.

 

Level three is Ordained for Ministry, which reflects the practices demonstrated in Acts 13:2-4, where (1) God called men to specific ministry, and (2) the local church leaders confirmed that call and commissioned them to their ministry by the public laying on of hands.

 

APPROVAL FOR MINISTRY PROCEDURE


1.  Contact the District Superintendent.  This should be done before actual ministry is started in a local church.


2.  Complete a credentialing application form (also a spouse's application, if the candidate is married) and return the completed forms for review.


3.  Authorize a background check through denominational headquarters.


4.  Develop an educational plan in consultation with the District Superintendent to meet the academic requirements for licensing.  The chosen educational institution must meet the District Superintendent's approval.


5.  The District Executive Board, or a body designated by them, will interview the candidate (or couple) and will then determine whether or not the approval can be granted.


6.  At least once a year the District Superintendent will review the applicant's progress toward satisfying the requirements for licensing.


LICENSING PROCEDURE


1.  Contact the District Superintendent.  This should be done before actual ministry is started in a local church.


2.  Complete a credentialing application form (also a spouse's application, if the candidate is married) and return the completed forms for review.


3.  Authorize a background check through denominational headquarters.


4.  Complete the Missionary Church History and Polity Course (available online for a nominal fee) and pass the accompanying exam.


5.  The District Executive Board, or a body designated by them, will interview the candidate (or couple) and will then determine whether or not the license can be granted.


ORDINATION PROCEDURE


Any licensed minister may request ordination after having served satisfactorily within the Missionary Church for a minimum of two years.


1.  A written request should be made to the District Executive Board by either the District Superintendent or the church body the candidate for ordination serves.


2.  The District Executive Board, or a body appointed by them, will interview the candidate concerning his call to ministry, his character, his current ministry, his doctrine, and his plans for the future.


3.  Upon approval by the District Executive Board, a certificate of ordination will be requested from denominational headquarters.


POLICY 2


EXPECTATIONS FOR CREDENTIALED MINISTERS

Midwest District Missionary Church


In essence, the Midwest District is a network fo relationships.  That is particularly true when we consider those entrusted with credentials by the Missionary Church.  One measure of the District's health is the strength of the relationships that bind us together.  District events primarily serve to create a venue for maintaining and strengthening relationships.  Therefore, because we value the relationships with all our credentialed ministers, we urge them to participate in as many District events as possible.


1.  Our annual District Conference is one of the few occasions on which all the pastors of the District can meet, and we sincerely desire that every credentialed minister attend, if possible.


We acknowledge that bi-vocational pastors may lack the same freedom to manage their schedules as full-time pastors.  Nonetheless, we would encourage our bi-vocational pastors to attend, whenever possible.  The local churches should be reminded that this is an important event and be encouraged to make it possible for their pastors to participate.  If, however, a credentialed minister cannot---for whatever reason---attend, we would ask that the minister send greetings in writing, to be either read at Conference or included in the Conference journal.


2.  Attendance at Pastors' and Wives' Retreat is strongly encouraged.  Local churches are urged to enable their pastors and wives to attend.


3.  Other District events (Men's Retreat, Women's Retreat, Family Camp, etc.) are important ministries that contribute to the health of the local church.  Pastors are strongly encouraged to promote these events within their churches and to attend them, whenever possible, themselves.


4.  E-3 Pastoral Clusters provide important opportunities for pastors to encourage, share, and pray with one another.  Pastors should participate, whenever possible. 


POLICY 3


PASTOR'S VACATION

Midwest District Missionary Church


VACATION


The pastor shall be entitled to an annual paid vacation on the following scale:


6 months to 1 year of service............................1 week

1 to 5 years service............................................2 weeks

6 to 15 years of service......................................3 weeks

16 years and over...............................................4 weeks


These years of service shall be interpreted as meaning years served in the Missionary Church, as a Pastor, Associate Pastor, in a recognized leadership capacity, or in an approved special ministry.


No vacation time can be carried over from one year to another, except by approval of the Church Board.


A pastor's vacation time is not to be confused with a sabbatical leaved designed to give a pastor the unique opportunity to reflect on his call, his relationship to God and His people, or to pursue specific academic goals.  Applications for sabbatical leave should be made at least six months in advance of the proposed leave and should include a statement of goals, and an outline of proposed activities, along with the desired length of the sabbatical (one week of sabbatical leave can be granted for each completed year of ministry at a local church).


Time given to attend District or Denominational activities--such as youth camps, Family Camp, conferences, Pastors' and Wives' Retreat, etc.--are not to be considered as vacation time. 


The pastor shall be entitled to take up to one week funeral leave with full pay (not to be considered vacation time) when a death occurs within the immediate family.


POLICY 4


SENIOR PASTOR'S SALARY

Midwest District Missionary Church


The Bible makes clear that pastors should be supported generously for the work of the ministry of the Gospel of Jesus Christ (1 Cor. 9:17-14, 1 Tim. 5:17-18).  Therefore, churches should do everything within their power, with the help of God, to provide adequately for the pastor's family.


If a church cannot pay the equivalent of a full income, it is unscriptural (1 Timothy 5:18) to demand full employment for a part-time compensation.


When the church offers either a parsonage or housing allowance as part of the pastor's salary package, it is vital that the Church Board or congregation formally adopt that policy in writing (preferably as part of the minutes of a church meeting) in advance of the calendar year for which the benefit is being offered.  The adoption must include a specific annual amount and be in advance of any payments to protect the loss of this valuable and significant tax benefit due those licensed for ministry.  While the provision of a parsonage for the pastor and his family is intended as a positive part of the pastor's salary package, it does not allow him to build any equity during the years of his service in that local church.  Therefore, if such a housing arrangement is offered to the pastor, consideration ought to be made to the possibility of contributing to a retirement fund, or some other means of helping the pastor when he is needing housing at the end of his active ministry.


The church budget should include funding designated for travel and professional expenses in the interest of church business.  Such expenses should not be considered as a part of the pastor's salary.


Since an associate pastor normally does not carry the same burden of responsibility as a senior pastor, it is recommended that the total support package of an associate pastor be at least 10 % below that of the senior pastor.


POLICY 5


MINISTRY REPORT

Midwest District Missionary Church


In Acts 1:8 Jesus Christ gave His church a worldwide mission of evangelism and discipleship.


Within the Midwest District of the Missionary Church, each local church must embrace its responsibilities for both District and Denominational financial support.  These organizations exist to help the local church fulfill its ministry and spread the Gospel throughout the world.  As such they deserve our prayers, cooperation, and financial support.


In order to maintain District ministries, each should commit 6 % of their total contributions, excluding building fund monies, to District Support.


In order to maintain Denominational ministries each church should commit 2 % of their total contributions, including building fund monies, to Denominational support.


We also encourage local churches to give as to give as generously as they are able to both local, national, and international missions works, including the work of World Partners, the overseas arm of the Missionary Church.


If a church is unable to meet its 6 % and 2 % commitments, it may appeal to the District Executive Board and Denominational Office and request an adjusted giving goal for one year.


POLICY 6


CHURCH NAME CHANGES

Midwest District Missionary Church


Any Missionary Church congregation in the Midwest District establishing or changing a local church name shall submit their proposal to the District Executive Board for approval.


POLICY 7


CAMP SCHOLARSHIP FUND

Midwest District Missionary Church


The District has created a Camp Scholarship Fund to help children and youth to be able to attend our district summer camps.  Request for monies from that fund should come with pastoral approval and be submitted in writing to the District Executive Board who has sole responsibility for the utilization of these monies.  Upon reviewing the requests, the District Executive Board will determine whether or not they can distribute the requested funds.  The funds will be made available to local churches on a first-come, first-served basis, with a maximum yearly disbursement of $500 per church. 


POLICY 8


SPECIAL SPEAKERS

Midwest District Missionary Church


All persons engaged for the purpose of ministry in the local church or for District functions--such as camps, retreats, etc.--shall not teach, proclaim or propagate anything contrary to the doctrine, polity, and policy of the Missionary Church.


POLICY 9


DISTRICT GIFT ACCEPTANCE STATEMENT

Midwest District Missionary Church


It shall be the policy of the Midwest District Missionary Church to accept gifts from individuals, churches, and other organizations to support its mission and goals under the following guidelines:


1.  No special treatment of the donor shall be expressed or implied.


2.  Any restrictive conditions shall be approved by the District Executive Board prior to acceptance.


3.  The Midwest District shall not be responsible for, nor influence in any way, the determination of the value of any gift.


4.  The Midwest District Missionary Church shall not provide tax advice or counsel.


5.  Potential liability issues will be considered prior to the gift's acceptance.


6.  The gift must relate to the mission or goals of the Midwest District Missionary Church.


POLICY 10


INTEGRITY

Midwest District Missionary Church


Ours is a culture in which pornography is readily available on the Internet and poses a real threat to the sexual purity of our pastors and, likewise, endangers the health of their marriages and families.  We, therefore, strongly urge each pastor to install accountability software on their computers, and other electronic devices that provide access to the Internet, and also seek accountability relationships with other pastors to encourage mutual holiness.



POLICY 11


ABUSE AND MOLESTATION

Midwest District Missionary Church


In an effort to prevent the possibility of sexual abuse or molestation involving a person in a ministry position in the local church, the following guidelines will be followed:


Screening and Background Checks


1.  Before hiring any ministry personnel, a criminal background investigation will be conducted through appropriate agencies.


2.  The Sexual Offenders Registry will be checked for the applicant's current and previous addresses for the last ten years. 


3.  Upon disclosure of criminal history, application viability for hiring will be determined.  No ministers will be hired if there has been any conviction for sexual offense.  Current ministry staff who are discovered to have been convicted of a sexual offense will be terminated immediately.


Should an allegation of abuse or molestation arise involving a person in a ministry position in the local church, the following guidelines are to be followed:


Plan of Action


1.  In the event of an abuse or molestation allegation, a preliminary inquiry will be made through the local church's governing board, and the District Superintendent will be informed and consulted for further action. 


2.  If there is a possibility that abuse or molestation has occurred, and upon the basis of solid or circumstantial evidence, the person is to be immediately removed from ministry and the appropriate agency contacted, allowing for due legal process.


3.  If allegations prove unfounded, the person is to be restored to his or her position, his or her name cleared, and the accuser rebuked and disciplined according to biblical guidelines.


4.  Primary concern will be given to the safety, protection, and well-being of the offended party and the congregation, to the upholding of justice and safety of society at large, and to the well-being and redemption of the offender. 


POLICY 12


REVOLVING FUND

Midwest District Missionary Church


The Midwest District Revolving Fund is intended to be an investment and lending vehicle for members and churches of the Midwest District of the Missionary Church, Inc.


The purpose of the Fund is to provide an opportunity for investments to be made by the members and churches of the Midwest District with the expectation of receiving a fair rate of return in the form of periodic interest payments with the knowledge that the funds are being used to further the Kingdom.


The Fund additionally benefits the work of the Lord by providing a lower cost source of loans for Pastors, Churches, and other ministries of the Midwest District for the various financing needs for the buildings and improvements as they arise, and with the terms usually more favorable than can be obtained in the secular market.


The Fund will be administered by the Executive Secretary, appointed by the District Executive Board.


Interest rates paid on investments as well as the interest rate charged for the loans will be determined by the District Executive Board after consultation with the Executive Secretary, and are subject to periodic review and change. 


District Policies revised 4/24/18