Code of Honor.

I hate long blogs, but this is long for a reason. If you’re interested in volunteerism, church ministry, or worship programs (OR IF YOU’RE ON A WORSHIP TEAM) – you ought to read the whole thing. It’s long on purpose.

I found one church’s Music Ministry “Code of Honor Pledge.” Anyone who is involved in the music ministry must sign the pledge and be willing to be held accountable to it. I thought this was interesting and wanted to share it here.

I pledge to keep the commandment Jesus said was the first and greatest — to love the Lord my God with all my heart (being submitted to His Lordship) and with all my soul (my will, emotions, thoughts, affections, and desires) and with all my strength (physical expression of my worship) and to love my neighbor as myself.

I pledge to walk in integrity and in love. I will not lie; I will not steal; I will not curse; I will not be a talebearer or participate in gossip. I will walk in integrity with my financial commitments.

I pledge at all times to place moral and ethical restraints on my life. This would include keeping myself from all immoral and illegal acts and communications. I will not engage in or attempt to engage in any illicit, unscriptural sexual acts, which shall include sexual intercourse with one who is not my spouse through ceremonial marriage and any homosexual activity. I will not live with a person of the opposite sex who is not my spouse whether sexually involved with that person or not. I will not participate in or view pornographic materials.

I pledge that I will not engage in other behavior that is contrary to Biblical standards of Christian living not listed above. I will not participate in any form of gambling either for money or not for money. I will not take any illegal drugs or misuse any drugs. I will not drink alcoholic beverages of any kind; I will not use tobacco.

I pledge to maintain an integrity of “openness” to God’s claims on my life, to do my utmost to know and follow His will for my life, to grow in my spirit in developing my own relationship with God, and to maintain relationships of accountability.

I pledge to attend rehearsals and services as required of me and to willingly submit to the leadership and follow all requirements with a good attitude. I recognize that among other things, the following are required of me: to turn in a volunteer application and await approval of my application before beginning to participate in services and outreaches; to be at rehearsal each week if I plan to sing or play my instruments in services that week; to stay for the remainder of service after praise and worship; to follow the dress code given to me for services; to be faithfully involved in a music cell group; to arrive at the times appointed before services to participate in prayer and sound checks; etc. I will commit to being flexible and maintain an attitude of humility and willingness to serve to the best of my ability wherever I am needed within the Music Ministry.

Is this overkill? Are they being too specific? The answer to those questions aside — I think the more important question is “Why are they being so specific?”

9 Replies to “Code of Honor.”

  1. Sheesh…I feel like scum after reading that! I’m glad the Bible at least shows some grace…

    Yes, they are being way specific, but I guess in today’s culture it’s totally necessary. There seems to be a lot of gray area in our views of righteousness-black and white have faded immensely. Different people see different acts at different levels of sinfulness, and absolutes have lost their concreteness. (I think that’s a word…my spell check didn’t say otherwise!)

    But in my mind, there has to be a way to balance this out. Having a person sign something so specific is setting them up for either complete legalism…or failure. They might just be missing a touch of grace.

  2. Putting non-biblical requirements (playing poker for not money, drinking a glass of wine) on a person is unethical imho, and this is certainly too specific.

    But i think there is certainly a purpose for specifics. Unfortunately, I know people who bend Biblical truth to fit into their non-biblical lifestyle, and I think this pledge (without the non-biblical parts) is a great way of communicating biblical standards. The church ought to hold all its people to biblical standards (but certainly not non-biblical standards too!)

  3. I think Abby’s right–there are a lot of gray areas, and people’s definition of sin. Here’s some examples that, if you think about it, fall under their list of no-nos:
    Churches have bingo & raffles. Is this wrong? Does it make it OK if you’re raising money for a good cause?

    Drinking–the Bible doesn’t say that’s wrong. It says we’re not to get drunk, and it says to obey the laws of the land. Does the Bible say anything about smoking? It says not to destroy the temple of God, which you’re slowly doing by smoking, but what other things slowly destroy our bodies? Junk food?

    How about lies? The ones to keep from hurting one’s feelings? Do I look fat in this dress? You’re obviously not going to tear down your relationship by telling the shame on us women for asking it but we’re women and we worry about that stuff and so we do.

    One could go on and on justifying the above no-nos, as black and white turns to gray.

  4. Great Comments! WHY are they being so specific for a worship team? Why don’t they have this same code of honor for, say, ushers or nursery workers?

  5. Perhaps they have different leaders in different areas, and the worship team leader may want to hold higher standards. Not that one area is any more important than another…but I’d say that leader either wants to feel better about his team, or maybe he has an issue with a member and doesn’t feel comfortable singling them out…

  6. Maybe its just a leader issue, but I doubt it. I think they’ve got the right idea – a worship team member should be held to the highest standard!

    Nehemiah 10:28-29

    And I once read, “Worship leaders have a responsibility to keep themselves in a position that is set apart for the purpose of leading people into the presence of a Holy God. We should not take this lightly. If we made this area a fundamental priority, I believe we would see God move more powerfully and more often in our churches today.” -Joe Pace

    Leading worship is not just another ministry in the church – it is a ministry where the sole purpose is the help others experience God and develop a life of worship. That’s some intense stuff – if your heart isn’t right, forget it. That’s not the same for all volunteers in any ministry, but that’s for worship leaders at least.

  7. Hmm…perhaps it should be for all volunteers in any ministry. Whether we’re leading worship, teaching children, or cleaning toilets, our purpose is to represent the Lord and lead other people to Him.

    But I guess without a kick-in-the rear from a “Code of Honor” such as this, volunteers in other ministries aren’t reminded of how important standards are for everyone.

  8. @ Adam-
    Do you think they really try to enforce this? Or do you think it’s truly an honor system where if you sign it you enforce yourself and the leadership never gets involved? If it is enforced by the leader, how? Take for instance our worship team. I have personally never run into you out in public, probably by coincidence, because we just haven’t ever been at the same place at the same time. So how would you know if I “broke a rule” if we had such a pledge? Would it lead to gossip (Hey Adam, I saw so-and-so in line at the gas station buying lottery tickets and that violates the no gambling rule, what are you going to do about it?) I’m not answering my own questions yet, I’d like to get your response and others if they are so inclined.

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