Christian Apostolic Church - Clarksburg, WV


Standards and Guidelines for Leadership Positions

Thank you for expressing interest in serving, or your willingness to serve, in a leadership role at Christian Apostolic Church.

What is considered a leadership role or position?

Included:

Leadership positions INCLUDE all ministry (service) offices in which one is viewed as an official agent or official representative of the church. Of specific concern are: (1) all positions in which a minister (servant) teaches or preaches during our church services on behalf of the church, and (2) all positions in which one is a regular participant on our platform during church services. All board members and committee members are included. For example, Elders, regular Sunday School Teachers, regular Praise Singers, and regular Musicians, are considered part of our leadership team.

Not Included:

NOT INCLUDED in the leadership team are: any and all efforts in which one contributes/participates without teaching doctrine as a representative of the church, and whatever is not regular platform participation during church services. For example, members, guests, friends, politicians, and others who might be infrequently invited to greet or address the church, sing, or testify, etc, for certain occasions or even during church services ... would not be considered part of the leadership team.

Our Church’s Goal, Leaders, and Standards:

The primary goal of our church is leading people to the Lord Jesus Christ and then pointing them to His purpose for their lives. This means winning lost souls to God, guiding them to become born again according to the Scriptures, and then teaching those newcomers after they have been born again, so that they become stalwart disciples of Jesus Christ. Because our congregation includes many people at various stages of their development course, we do not expect all people in the congregation to line up with our standards all at once. However, people in the congregation need to be able to see an exemplary example in each person on our leadership team. The accomplishment of our primary goal requires that our leadership team set the pace and establish the standard for others to follow; the goal to which they can and should attain.

Godly standards are practiced by those who obey the Spirit of God, the Word of God, and the Spirit-led five-fold ministry, through whom sound doctrine (not to ever contradict the Bible) is delivered from the Lord. In order to serve as a leader in our church, one must be Spirit-filled, and must study the scriptures—God’s Word, with its commandments, precepts, and wisdom—to know the biblical corroboration for the Holy Spirit-granted principles guiding our lives—“Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (II Timothy 2:15). Leaders must not only know to do right, but must take action to obey God, which includes making any necessary changes in outward “conversation” (lifestyle)—Jesus said, “If ye love me, keep my commandments” (John 14:15).

When one agrees to serve in a leadership role in Christian Apostolic Church, it means that they are following godly standards primarily because the Spirit has led them, and they have studied the Scriptures, and have formed personal convictions of their own. In some areas, a leader’s obedience to the church’s authority may occur out of pure submission, and not because of absolute agreement in every detail. This is both allowable and proper. Every leader should live in submission to Christ and the authority of the church—which can involve practicing a standard with which one might not necessarily agree completely. Leaders should avoid occasion to air any disagreement, to prevent gendering confusion and strife. There is safety, honor, and dignity in obeying the form of doctrine delivered to us, even if, in some instances, we don’t fully understand or agree regarding the underlying principle. In his epistle to the Romans, the Apostle Paul wrote, “Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness. I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness. For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness. What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death. But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life. For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:16-23).

In addition to allowing God to change our hearts, and in addition to making needed modifications to our “conversation” (lifestyle), so that we are living godly, holy, and pure according to the Scriptures, there are also some basic leadership skills and foundational people skills that must be learned and employed. A few key concepts are outlined in this document. These are to be viewed not as a complete listing of all needed leadership skills, but rather a simple beginning of these skills, with encouragement that we should all continually seek to better ourselves and our church by enlarging our knowledge and application of leadership principles and skills.

Please note that our positions regarding holiness and our standards for modest apparel and external adornment (as described herein) are in agreement with the standards found in the West Virginia District Board Guidelines for District Functions, the document in which platform standards are defined for all district functions of the West Virginia District United Pentecostal Church International.

Basics: Salvation Experience and Pursuit of Godliness

All persons desiring to labor in a leadership position at Christian Apostolic Church must adhere to the fundamental doctrine of the church as pertains to salvation. That is, all members of our leadership team must believe and teach that the full standard of Bible salvation shall be as set forth in Acts 2:1-4, and Acts 2:36-39; and each member of the team must have personally experienced the same, namely: faith in God that results in obedience to His Word, including repentance, water baptism in Jesus name, and the receiving of the Holy Ghost with the initial, physical evidence of speaking with other tongues as the Spirit gives the utterance. Furthermore, all members of our leadership team must presently be living a godly life consistent with following “peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord” (Hebrews 12:14). All leaders are expected to attend all regularly scheduled church services and all specially called events—work-schedule allowing and health permitting. Repeated absence or excessive lack of interest is grounds for dismissal. If one who is a leader loses interest, or backslides, or becomes unfaithful to church services, or otherwise becomes unable to fulfill his or her office, then etiquette, respect, and courtesy prescribe that one should step down discreetly by resignation. Even though one might have had a complete Acts 2:38 experience previously, if he or she is currently in a backslidden state, then that one is not qualified to serve in a leadership role. We do believe in the restoration of the back-slider. However, until a backslider repents and is renewed and restored, he or she cannot serve in a leadership role. We do not view discouragement as the same as being backslidden, but even in discouragement, one should be faithful to services.

Leadership Skills / Interpersonal Skills (Working with People)

It is important to note that each and every leader at CAC is a minister performing some type of service. This includes every leader (not just preachers). Whether one is a director, or a superintendent, or a Sunday School teacher, etc… all are ministers. The word minister means servant. It does not mean that the leader/minister/servant has “power” over others to “rule” over them.

Jesus said, “If any man desire to be first, the same shall be last of all, and servant of all” (Mark 9:35) and he taught, “Ye know that they which are accounted to rule over the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and their great ones exercise authority upon them. But so shall it not be among you: but whosoever will be great among you, shall be your minister: And whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all. For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many” (Mark 10:42-45).

Leaders are to serve. Ask yourself these important questions: “Are my desires and actions those of a servant, with a heart that prefers my brothers and sisters? Or am I on an ego trip, trying to exercise power over others? Am I acting like a dictator or a servant?” The greater your status and position, the lower you are and the more you must serve. “Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves (Philippians 2:3).

Leaders always treat everyone with respect, especially members and other leaders who are making sacrifices to support the church, as well as those souls we are trying to reach with the Gospel. An important concept for CAC leaders is: “Praise is given both publicly and privately, but criticism is given privately, and it is done as teaching with love.” Our leaders should not embarrass others by criticizing them publicly. Leaders go out of their way to applaud others. Applaud often, praising others for their commitment and sacrifice. This applause is to be given both publicly and privately, but, again, leaders should not criticize individuals publicly.

Anytime there is a misunderstanding or any issue requiring attention, our leaders should employ the method known in the business world as the “Plus-Minus-Plus” method or “Sandwich Treatment,” in which criticism is softened into the calmest words possible and then “sandwiched” between words of praise and expressions of confidence and appreciation.

When a leader seeks to address a problem or situation needing attention, this is the CAC method:

  1. Meet away from public view (but with enough people so there can be no accusation of impropriety if the meeting is between unmarried men and women).
  2. Start with sincere praise and appreciation.
  3. Kindly describe the area needing attention.
  4. Ask for advice, suggestions, and counsel from the other leader or member on how the problem can be corrected.
  5. Listen to the response, as you will likely either realize that you were only seeing one side of an issue, or that there was a solution you had not considered.
  6. Mutually decide on the best path and mutually commit to help the other person with implementing the remedy.
  7. Conclude by praising and appreciating the other minister or member.

It has been truly said, “The baker is not in the bread business; he is in the people business. The mechanic is not in the car repair business; he is in the people business. The grocer is not in the food business; he is in the people business.” Likewise, it is doubly true of all our CAC leaders: We are in the people business. To succeed as a church and fulfill our mission and goal, we must be conscientious of how we treat people, both outsiders and each other. We must not unnecessarily offend people. The gospel will offend some, and sometimes we, simply by speaking the gospel, offend some. But woe unto us if we offend, hurt, or wound a visitor, a new convert, or another member over petty power trips, or ego, or pride, or bitterness, or by simply being inconsiderate. Jesus taught, “It is impossible but that offences will come: but woe unto him, through whom they come! It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones. Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him. And if he trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him” (Luke 17:1-4). We must get along with one another, and treat each other with the utmost respect and courtesy!

Real leadership is not “lording” over those around you. Real leadership is discerning the great potential in those around you, and then working to help them achieve that potential. True leadership is not finding the faults of others and then pointing out those faults to make others look worse, so you (supposedly) look better by comparison. True leadership is lifting up those around you and working to make them look good. The better you make your brother or sister appear in the eyes of others, the more your brother and sister will appreciate you, respect you, and view you as a real leader. By contrast, the more you criticize those around you, the less like a leader you look, and all the more petty and childish you are revealed to be. Praise often. Criticize seldom, and then only when truly necessary.

Holiness, Hair, Standards of Modest Apparel, and Adornment

Godly living should characterize the life of every child of the Lord, and we should live according to the pattern and example given in the Word of God. The grace of God does not “liberate” one from all rules (as is supposed by some), but rather liberates one from sin, all the while teaching one what to deny, and how to obey and live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world: “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world” (Titus 2:11-12). “For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously” (I Peter 2:21-23).

“Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord” (Hebrews 12:14). “But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy. And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man’s work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear: Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot” (I Peter 1:15-19).

The following represents our church’s stances on some serious worldly dangers. The positions described are both believed and supported by the ministry team of Christian Apostolic Church. These important warnings and exhortations are defensible by the Scriptures. They do not represent legalism or bondage, but rather they encourage us to exercise our true freedom to worship God in spirit and truth.

We wholeheartedly disapprove of indulging in any activities which are not conducive to Christianity and godly living.

We strongly discourage consuming (beholding) unwholesome media content; that which glorifies sin, and/or depicts sin as harmless, enjoyable entertainment, and/or conveys false doctrinal notions—regardless of the format or delivery medium. Consuming worldly content desensitizes the individual (and corporate) conscience and numbs our awareness of sin. Unwholesome entertainment robs us of our time, stirs up our carnal mind, temps us to sin, weakens our resolve against evil, and leaves us with guilt, far from the presence of God. Much worldly media effort has been focused on trying to convince children and adults that sexual sins are not sinful, that extra-marital liaisons are fun and harmless, and that occult practices are a wholesome and pleasurable pastime. We decry all such displays, references, and teachings, and we strongly encourage Christians to avoid any such manipulations toward ungodliness. Evil should be eschewed (I Peter 3:11), regardless of whether it is portrayed in a game, video, show, theater, song, web page, radio broadcast, or television show, and so on. The Bible says, “I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me” (Psalms 101:3). We are admonished by Scriptures to, “Abstain from all appearance of evil” (I Thessalonians 5:22). While we do stress vigilance and caution in their use and application, it is understood that devices such as radios, players for audio-CDs and audio-cassettes, computers, internet connections, video cassette players, and digital video disc (DVD) players can be owned, controlled, and used for good. We disapprove of using these devices to consume unwholesome entertainment. We especially stress caution regarding the dangers of so-called “push” technologies that allow worldly values and ungodliness to be pushed upon the consumer, such as occurs with television networks, cable/satellite video networks, and radio networks.

Jesus said, “That which cometh out of the man, that defileth the man. For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: All these evil things come from within, and defile the man” (Mark 7:20-23).

As Jesus did, we teach against lasciviousness (i.e., lawlessness or disregard for rules of decency, including any public behavior, manner of speech, manner of dress, or adornment intended to be publicly sexy, lewd, or seductive). Make-up and cosmetics have as their goal and motivation the changing of a woman’s appearance so as to be more “sexy,” more “attractive,” and more “seductive.” Because of this, and because every Biblical mention of make-up (painting of the face) is negative and occurs in reference to prostitutes, we wholeheartedly disapprove of all use of any chemicals, powders, or paints that are applied to change one’s own skin or body parts from their natural color. Examples are: mascara, blush, base, powder, eye make-up, eyebrow pencil, eyeliner, colored or glittered lip gloss, and colored or glittered polish for fingernails and toenails (whether above or below the nail).

In standing against lasciviousness and in obedience to I Timothy 2:8-10, we disapprove of any apparel that immodestly exposes the body, and we avoid vain jewelry and costly array. The Apostle Paul taught, “I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting. In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array; but (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works” (I Timothy 2:8-10).

God’s principle insists that, “The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman’s garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the LORD thy God” (Deuteronomy 22:5, emphasis added). Note that such a practice is hated by the Lord God himself (an abomination is something abhorred or hated). God does not change. What God once hated, He still hates. Thus, we realize this is a timeless principle of morality that transcends the fulfilled Old Covenant found in the Mosaic Law. It is a principle that still applies today, and can be corroborated from the New Testament. I Corinthians 6:9-10 includes a N.T. implementation of this important principle (in a neuter gender manner; note that the N.T. teaches against some other sins, such as prostitution, in a neuter gender manner as well, in other instances): “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God” (I Corinthians 6:9-10 KJV). For this reason we strongly discourage women wearing apparel that pertains to a man, such as trousers, etc. In times past this went without saying, but these days we must also say, we teach against men wearing women’s apparel, such as skirts, etc.

We teach against attending or indulging in worldly dances, in which members of both sexes dance with one another in various stages of intoxication, disrobing, seductiveness, and riotousness. We disapprove of attending or indulging in mixed bathing or mixed swimming, in which men and women who are not family and not married to one another expose their bodies in public immodesty.

We abstain from drunkenness, smoking, non-medicinal narcotics, and all other addictions that defile our body, which is the temple of God. We are to at all times be under the power of Christ, and we are not to allow any outside influence (including addiction to gambling, which is covetousness) or foreign substance to have control over us or influence us outside of our sound mind and sobriety. We abstain from anything that impairs our sound judgment. The Apostle Paul wrote, “All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any” (I Corinthians 6:12).

We stand with the Scriptures (I Corinthians 11:2-16) in calling for Christian women to refrain from shortening their hair, and for Christian men to refrain from letting their hair grow. The New Testament firmly delineates an important symbolism regarding men’s and women’s hair practices. There is a God-ordained connection between one’s hair (i.e., one’s decision about his or her hair being allowed to grow or not), and one’s relationship to his or her “head” (authority). The decision to obey the Scriptures in this regard is an outward symbol of our submission to authority. This Holy Ghost-inspired New Testament passage (1 Corinthians 11:2-16) indicates that, with regard to this symbolism, a believer’s proper hair length is neither an arbitrary question (such as “how long is long?”) nor a relative question (such as “long compared to what?”). Instead, the key question is one’s decision to live in submission and obedience to the Word of God, defined in an absolute sense of one’s choice of whether or not to practice komao (a Greek verb occurring in the passage, meaning “to let the hair grow”). The passage indicates that if a man chooses to practice komao (to let his hair grow), it is a shame to him (v. 14); his decision causes him to be “covered” (v. 4), which he ought not to be (v. 7), and he thus dishonors his head (v. 4), which is Christ (v. 3). In distinction, if a woman chooses to obey and practice komao (to let her hair grow), the practice is a glory to her (v. 15); her decision results in her having her proper covering: kome (Greek noun from verse 15, defined as “head of hair,” and which, according to worldwide-renowned Greek scholars such as Bauer, and Moulton & Milligan, is used in ancient Greek documents in such a way as that it can only refer to uncut hair), and thus, as she ought, she has power on her head because of the angels (v. 10). But if she does not choose to practice komao (to let her hair grow), that decision leaves her without kome (the covering of uncut hair, v. 15), and thus she is uncovered (v. 5), and she dishonors her head (v. 5), which is the man (v. 3). Again, the verbiage “have long hair” (verses 14-15) is translated from the Greek verb komao, which means “to let the hair grow”, and the noun “hair” in verse 15, as in “her hair is given her for a covering”, is translated from the Greek noun kome, which refers to uncut hair.

We admonish all to refrain from any of these ungodly or unseemly practices in the interest of spiritual progress and the soon coming of the Lord for His church.

Specific Standards & Guidelines for CAC Representatives

For Ladies:

  • Clothing must be modest so as to not reveal the chest, breast or waist area. Avoid sleeveless or low-cut blouses.
  • Ladies’ skirts need to be below the knee even while seated, not just when standing. Splits should not extend higher than the knee.
  • Let the hair grow. New converts can participate while allowing their hair to grow.
  • Avoid painting of the face (make-up); avoid whatever alters the natural color of one’s skin or body parts.
  • Practice moderation in ornamental jewelry (avoid ear rings, necklaces, bracelets, finger rings, body piercing).
  • Acceptable: Modest wedding bands, modest watches, modest class rings, and medical emergency chains or bracelets are acceptable.
  • Avoid attire deemed to be associated with “gangs” (which promote violence).
  • Avoid attire with inappropriate words, symbols, etc.

For Men:

  • Clothing must be modest so as to not reveal the chest or waist area. No sleeveless or muscle shirts. Pants should be worn with the waist at the waistline, not pushed down below the waistline.
  • Keep hair cut often. Men’s hair should be trimmed so as to be off the collar & ears. No uncut braids or tails.
  • We ask our men who are leaders to be clean shaven. If there is facial hair, it should be neatly trimmed to a short length. If there is facial hair, then you should not be on the platform during a district function.
  • Practice moderation in ornamental jewelry (avoid ear rings, necklaces, bracelets, finger rings, body piercing).
  • Acceptable: Modest wedding bands, modest watches, modest class rings, and medical emergency chains or bracelets are acceptable.
  • Avoid attire deemed to be associated with “gangs” (which promote violence).
  • Avoid attire with inappropriate words, symbols, etc.

Thank you for your burden for lost souls and your desire to make Christian Apostolic Church a place of power, anointing, holiness, and revival.

Contact Pastor Joseph at pastor@cac.us.com for prayer or free, in-home Bible study.

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