The Latin America Mission (Canada) Code of Ethics: A Call to Excellence
As a spiritual leader in the Church and serving through the Latin America Mission (Canada), I am called to Kingdom excellence in my life and ministry. I recognize that this is not possible in my own strength but must be a by-product of the indwelling Spirit of the living God. It is in union with Christ that I am sanctified thoroughly; thereby, being separated from sin and the world and fully dedicated to God, receiving power for holy living and sacrificial and effective service toward the completion of Christ’s commission. This is accomplished through being filled with the Holy Spirit, which is both a distinct event and a progressive experience in the life of the believer (1 Thessalonians 5:23; Acts 1:8; Romans 12:1, 2; Galatians 5:16-25).
Believing this to be true, I dedicate myself to conduct my ministry in the power of the Holy Spirit according to the biblical principles and ethical guidelines set forth in this code of ethics, in order that my ministry be acceptable to God, my service beneficial to the Christian community, and my life a witness to the world. I recognize that the following standards are designed to preserve the dignity, maintain the discipline, and promote the integrity of my calling as a missionary and to be a sign of the coming Kingdom of God.
Code of Ethics for All Latin America Mission (Canada) Members
Biblical principles and ethical guidelines that are pertinent to the life and ministry of our LAM family include:
1. Christlikeness principle: As representatives of Jesus Christ, LAM (Canada) members are to demonstrate a commitment and lifestyle that models the servant-like attitude exemplified in the life of Jesus Christ in our relationship and the rendering of service to others. We commit to pursue in all areas of our lives a life of holiness, of grace and compassion towards others, and to live in the liberty of the perfect law (1 Corinthians 11:1; 1 Peter 2:19-21, James 1:25).
2. Relationship principle: Our Father in heaven is intensely relational. He invites His followers to walk with Him and know Him as “sons and daughters”. He also calls them to the highest of standards in their personal relationships with self, others, and the rest of Creation. Their identity in Christ is defined by the reality and visibility of their love. (Genesis 1:26; 2:18; Matthew 5:23-24; John 13:35, Philemon 8-9)
3. Modelling principle: A member’s private life is not exclusively his/her own. The Bible exhorts leaders to live lives that are above reproach (1 Timothy 3:2). A worker’s witness requires that both the local church and the watching world see the life of Christ, which they proclaim first manifest in the worker’s life.
a. I will limit my freedoms rather than weaken ministry (1 Corinthians 9:27).
b. Although Christians may hold different views on certain behaviours, I will avoid situations that are likely to have a negative spiritual impact on self or others (1 Corinthians 8:9).
c. I will always seek to conduct myself in a way that will not discredit or diminish the public’s trust in Christian leadership.
d. I will responsibly perform my ministry, seeking to lead persons to salvation and to church membership without manipulation and respecting the ministries of other churches and organizations.
e. I will refrain from the use of illegal substances, the recreational use of drugs, all kinds of addictive or dependent behaviour, and other self-destructive habits (1 Corinthians 3:16).
f. I will adhere to the biblical teaching with respect to the use of alcohol. The Bible does not condemn the use of alcohol. It condemns its abuse and elevates the principle of abstinence.
(Prov. 20:1, 23:29-31, 31:4; Rom. 12:8, 14:1-19, esp. v12, 17; 1 Corinthians 3:16).
4. Wellness principle: Godly leaders recognize the integrated nature of body, soul, and spirit and stay attuned to the balance required for effective service. They are to care for their bodies, souls, and spirits in a disciplined and God-honouring way (Psalm 139:13-16; Proverbs 3:1-2; 1 Corinthians 3:16-17; 6:19- 20; 9:2; 1 Thessalonians 5:23).
5. Servant principle: Scripture contrasts the acts of the flesh and the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:19- 25). The flesh is characterized by taking and consuming. The work of the Spirit is characterized by giving and producing. Lifestyle choices and attitudes are to reflect the heart of a servant, not an attitude of entitlement (Phil. 2:5-8).
a. I will seek to conduct myself consistently with my calling and commitment as a servant of God, maintaining a life of purity, integrity, and truthfulness.
b. I will give full service to my ministry and will only accept added responsibilities if they do not interfere with the overall effectiveness of my ministry.
c. I will listen to the needs of those I serve and keep in confidence information shared with me unless it will result in harm to self or harm to others, or as required by law.
d. I will exercise confidence in lay leaders by inviting their meaningful participation, enabling their training, and stimulating their creativity.
e. I will seek to lead the ministry for which I am responsible to achieve agreed-upon goals. I will remain open to constructive criticism and to suggestions intended to strengthen ministry.
f. I will exercise my teaching/preaching responsibilities, giving adequate time to prayer and preparation, so that my presentation will be biblically based, theologically correct, and clearly
communicated, speaking the truth of God's Word with conviction in love, and will acknowledge any extensive use of material prepared by someone else.
6. Stewardship principle: All Christians are entrusted with God’s gifts, resources, and Creation. Leaders are to set an example in the stewardship of such a trust (1 Peter 4:10; 1 Corinthians 9:17)
a. I will strive to grow through comprehensive reading and through participation in professional educational opportunities.
b. I will be honest and responsible in my finances by paying all debts on time, never seeking special gratuities or privileges, giving generously to worthwhile causes, and living a Christian lifestyle.
c. I will give tithes and offerings as a good steward and example to the church.
d. I will not engage in any business where I would actively solicit funds from the people to whom I minister. I will report to the LAM office all funds received in the capacity of an LAM worker.
7. Submission to authority principle: Submission to those in authority over believers is a clear biblical mandate. (Hebrews 13:17). Workers are to walk with humility and willingly submit to those in authority over them. An LAM missionary also accepts to work under the leadership and authority of the local church or ministry which he or she serves (Phil. 2:3)
8. Mediation principle: Disputes between members are to be settled within the context of the Mission, not the secular courts (Matthew 18:15-17, 1 Corinthians 6:1-7).
a. If I believe that I have been wrongly treated by a fellow LAM missionary, a local colleague, the Mission itself or a local partnering ministry and choose to seek redress, I will do so first by seeking mediation for resolving the dispute as outlined in Matthew, and, if it is not resolved I will follow the Process for Mediation as outlined in the Mission’s Handbook.
(Policy in process of development)
Source: Adapted with permission from the Christian Missionary Alliance, Canada.