Ethical conduct


RESPECT FOR LIFE
I have a conscience and moral awareness. People live in different structures in a relationship with others and God. As God created all life, I too must also respect human life as being sacred; from the pre-born to the elderly. Every person has the right to respect, unconditional love, acceptance and the necessary privacy.


SANCTITY OF MARRIAGE
Marriage is a binding, spiritual contract between husband and wife. God honours the commitment. Marriage should be regarded as holy. Everything should be done to help save a marriage and to develop it to the full potential that God originally intended it to be.

I must prepare those under my care for marriage by the Word of God.


INTEGRATIVE BIBLICAL COUNSELLING AND THERAPY
We live our lives within specific structures. Therefore, I must minister to clients on all aspects of their lives, e.g. spiritually, psychologically, physically, socially, environmentally, financially, etc., applying appropriate knowledge and skills wisely to minister to a person. This will result in excellence in ministry and professional integrity.

I must recognise the boundaries between different professions and disciplines and if need be the pastor must refer the client for social and or medical and or psychological help.


RELIGIOUS FREEDOM
I am free to practice accepted Christian religious beliefs in my profession. Prayer and the reference of Scriptures and spiritual warfare can be part of my work when used responsibly, with permission and in line with the client’s ecclesiastic membership.

Religious freedom will not protect me against or cover illegal or unethical practices or anything that exploits or harm clients.


RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES

I must honour religious, legal and ethical obligations; firstly, to God, then self, then colleagues, the church and society. I am responsible for the welfare of people, and I must be accountable for my advice and actions. I also have the responsibility to stop the suffering of some victims, and this should be done sensitively. I have integrity, and the respect of colleagues is of utmost importance. I do not listen to gossip or idle stories about our members.


CONSULTATION AND REFERENCE
I should always consult with colleagues when I feel incompetent in dealing with a client and therefore not waste any time in the healing process of the client. I never claim to know everything or exaggerate our competence. There are specific reasons why I refer my clients to more competent colleagues:

  • If I haven’t dealt with an individual situation before or are inexperienced in a particular field.
  • When people need specific help, which I am not trained in.
  • When the ministerial relationship is stuck at a certain level, and there is no progress.
  • When we are not familiar with the ecclesiastic doctrine of the client.
  • When there are strong feelings of judgement, confusion, sexual attraction, hate, etc.
  • It is my responsibility to find the best person I can refer my client too.
  • Sometimes referral outside the ministerial domain is necessary.
  • Medical, legal or mental help is sometimes needed, and in some instances more relevant to the problem.
  • Know when to refer and do not delay in doing so.
  • I respect my clients and their free will.
  • I operate within the boundaries of the law of the country in which they serve.

STUDIES AND MAINTAINING EXPERTISE
To improve effectiveness and ethical practice, I will maintain a level of competence through further continuous professional development.


ETHICAL PRACTISE
Clients should always be informed regarding what the ministry will include. The client should consent in their language of preference regarding the costs, duration of sessions, and recordings of meetings.

If the clients are minors, the parents should give consent for the above.

Client consent should be documented and filed in a safe, yet easily accessible place.

I maintain the highest standards of integrity in my work. I do not promise what I can’t deliver. The outcome of every ministry session will be bound to my integrity, honour and objectivity and wisdom.

It is my responsibility to keep myself up to date with the changes and regulations laid down in, i.e. counselling children, trauma victims, etc.  The legislature is frequently changing, and I must ensure that they I practising within the law.


COUNSELLING RELATIONSHIP
I should define the boundaries of the ministerial relationship during the first session. The client should agree to the rules regarding counsellor privacy. Clear guidelines exist regarding emergency procedures, the limits of confidentiality and resolutions of disputes and misunderstandings. This is also in writing.


FEES
Ministry is a service provided to whoever may need it. Only if I have the appropriate skill and am registered at an institution, may I ask a fee. Fees should be reasonable and fair. I should always be prepared to minister to those who are unable to pay.


RECORD-KEEPING
All documents, specified forms and questionnaires should be of high quality. A complete record of each client will be kept in a safe place to ensure client confidentiality. These forms must be maintained as time goes by and will be preserved for five years after the last consultation. My client should be aware of the fact that real records of meetings will be kept for five years.


ASSESSMENT
Tests are developed for the use by recognised professionals only. The misuse of evaluative tests is an offence punishable by the law. All assessments and evaluations should be done safely and accurately. I must be qualified to do such assessments, understand their content and interpretation. If it is necessary, I must be able and willing to state the reason, validity and outcome of such evaluations.


WORKING WITH COUPLES, FAMILIES AND GROUPS
Ministry is not always limited to the single client. I will often have to work with multiple persons in a session. I will know the preference of the client. Consent for group ministry is the same as proper consent. If the group is the client, individual interest will be subordinate to group issues and vice versa. In family ministry I maintain a meditative role, avoiding taking sides.

  • Members of a family should feel safe enough to confide in me without fear or prejudice.
  • I know the difference and respect the boundaries between constructive confrontation and verbal abuse.
  • Clients will be protected from all forms of psychological, physical and verbal abuse.
  • I do not promise confidentiality in family or group counselling, but rather explain the problems and limits of keeping secrets.
  • Families should be encouraged to communicate to improve relationships openly.
  • It often happens that I may be caught in the middle of the family conflict and are asked to take sides.
  • I must remain objective and maintain the mediative role.
  • Because ministry is regarded as a highly professional calling, it will happen on certain occasions that I am asked to testify in court cases during divorce cases of clients, etc.
  • I will at all times clarify their neutral, therapeutic and meditative position and must always decline to serve in a conflicted capacity.

DIFFERENT FAITHS AND VALUES
I will often face the possibility of counselling persons with conflicting value systems and religious beliefs. I should respect the freedom of choice of every individual and should strive to understand the client paradigm.

If the religious or value difference becomes too big, it is advisable to discuss and renegotiate the ministerial relationship and to do the necessary referral.


CONTINUITY OF CARE
I should maintain care continuity. Lengthy interruptions between sessions are not advisable. I have a reference system for holidays and counsellor illness.


COUNSELLING TERMINATION
Client services should never be abruptly cut off or ended without prior notice or without adequately preparing the client for the termination.

Termination only takes place when the objectives have been achieved, and the services of the counsellor are no longer needed.

  • When the client decides to terminate.
  • When the client no longer benefits.
  • When ministry is harmful to the client.
  • When the client is harmful to the minister.

SEXUAL MISCONDUCT
Ministry has a helping nature. Sexual relationships with clients are strictly prohibited. Consent in such cases is illusionary due to the power imbalance in the ministerial relationship. Forbidden sexual relations include but are not limited to:

  • Direct sexual touch or contact.
  • Seductive sexual speech or non-verbal behaviour.
    • This includes the use of Social media and electronic communication.
  • Soliciting sexual behaviour.
  • Sexual harassment.
    • Sexual misconduct as defined by all applicable laws, ethics, and church, organisational or practice policies.
    • Relationships with previous clients are prohibited because the client might return for further ministry.
    • If such a relationship continues, marriage is acceptable after two years of the termination of counselling.
    • I do not counsel marriage partners or clients in sexual relationships, but make the appropriate referral in such a case.

DUAL RELATIONSHIPS
I cannot be in a dual relationship with a client; in other words be a friend and a minister. Two or more levels of relationship influence ministerial objectivity. I do not deliberately engage in social, business or practice events to start a dual relationship. This prohibition prevents client exploitation and avoids the loss of the moral integrity of the counsellor.

I cannot objectively counsel fellow Church members with which I have close personal and ministry relationships. Dual relationships of this kind are potentially hazardous and might require future justification.


CONFIDENTIALITY
All matters are to be treated as “medical confidential.” I respect the right of the client that that the information a patient reveals is private and this information has limits on how and when it can be disclosed to a third party. Disclosure is always with the expressed permission of the client, except where legislation insists that I must make information known to the authorities.


CONSENT AND INDEMNITY
I respect that it is the responsibility and choice of the client to act upon the outcomes of sessions. I am responsible for providing quality ministerial, therapy and advice. Consent and Indemnity must be in writing.


MEMBERSHIP OF ASSOCIATION
It is my responsibility to register with an organisation such as the Council for Counsellors or COMENSA.


ADMINISTRATION OF THE SACRAMENTS OF COMMUNION AND BAPTISM
I may administer both sacraments with reverence, responsibility and integrity.  This is to be done with due respect to the ecclesiastic doctrine of the client, first gaining authority from the client’s Minister as the case may be.


PREACHING AND TEACHING
I may preach and teach the gospel without fear or favour and speak the truth in love. This ministry is undergirded by sound hermeneutics and exegesis, with due respect to the ecclesiastic doctrine.  I will not engage in the discussion of doctrinal differences.


QUARTERLY REPORTS
This shall be submitted per quarter in the prescribed format.

 

  • 1st Quarter (Jan-March) – On or before the 15th April
  • 2nd Quarter (April-June) – On or before the 15th July
  • 3rd Quarter (July-Sept) – On or before the 15th September
  • 4th Quarter (Oct-Dec) – On or before the 15th Jan 

ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
This will be held in Bloemfontein.  Attendance is compulsory, and the meeting may coincide with earning CPD points.


MENTORSHIP
It is expected of every pastor to appoint two or more mentors with a view to personal development and spiritual growth.


REMEDIAL ACTION
The member acknowledges that he/she are subsequent to his/her profession/ministry/pastoral charge, an example and role model to society. The member is also aware that he/she, as a member of Filadelfia Ministries represents its constitution and principles.

As such her/his conduct is public interest and should he/she be aware of that at all times and in whatever he/she does.

In the event of any complaint regarding any contravening constitutional aspect, relating to the members professional or personal life and conduct the Board of Directors will immediately register and open an investigation file and convene a remedial committee. He/she is required to assist the remedial committee with any and all information (not privileged) which can address these allegations/complaints to the satisfaction of all parties concerned.


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