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Code of Ethics, Article Writing Example

Pages: 6

Words: 1687

Article Review

Introduction 

This paper addresses the coverage of a code of ethics for the position of a Youth Minister.  It provides a personal perspective of the professional code of ethics within this field of work. A code of ethics is required in order to have a personal benchmark or standard in order to provide oversight of Youth Ministry.  The process is such  that which involves community work in Christian practice and faith in order to immerse young people in the Christian religion and provide a lifelong commitment to embracing the way of Christianity and serving God by making your contribution in the world. (United Church of Canada, 2011).

Code of ethics

Faithful to the Calling

As a person called into the Ministry with Youth I will obey Christian principles such that my role dictates within the following areas:

  • I will be a responsible person and understand the limits of my competence and boundaries within this field;
  • I will retain a level of humility and listen to the opinion of others and seek feedback on my work. I will strive to increase my knowledge and training in this field;
  • I will attempt to build wisdom in my calling and be a self-aware person. In particular create a work/life balance in my energy for taking care of myself and others;
  • I will comply to the legal obligations of my position and seek the courage to make the right decisions for my ministry;
  • I will work towards shaping God’s vision of justice and influence others by seeking a collaborative voice and not being afraid to voice my opinion where it advances the needs and hopes of others. (First Baptist Bristol, 2007).

Ministry in Community

As a leader in the Church I will do my best to serve my community, including the diversity of faith and convictions, particularly others bound by common beliefs and traditions.

  • I will attempt to serve a diverse population within my community which may be bound together by common convictions and traditions;
  • I will strive to be a loyal Christian and contribute to the community by extolling the virtues of Christianity and the purpose of God;
  • I will strive to be a collaborative person and be inclusive in my work with volunteers and other staff. I will treat others with respect and dignity and attempt to reach reconciled outcomes between individuals
  • I will be accountable to my Church and attempt to be in harmony with the holistic concepts of political and theological viewpoints
  • I will maintain a network of collaborative contacts across the Church with a view towards collaboration and sharing of information

Power and Authority

As a leader in the Church I will attempt to ensure that the power vested in me is used for spiritual goodness and wellbeing of the youth in the community.

  • I will strive towards being a good steward of people. I will not abuse or neglect the power that has been entrusted in me
  • I will be a just and equitable person and within the scope of my ministry I will create an environment of trust, regardless of the gender, race, culture or background of a person.
  • I will retain confidentiality of people who share information with me and not breach their level of trust or confidence. At all times I will seek to be a person of integrity within the scope of the legal jurisdiction;
  • I will attempt to define the boundaries between the relationships of those under my ministry;
  • I will not compromise my position of trust and integrity by indulging in romantic relationships or sexual behaviour of those people under my care. ((Roman Catholic Diocese of Charlotte, 2011)

Commitment

As a minister within the Christian Church I will remain a faithful disciple of Jesus Christ and behave in accordance with the standards, morals and ethics required for his ministry.  I will commit myself to these standards for life and retain the code of ethics and conduct in order to provide the level of professional integrity required as a Minister of the Church (Youth Leaders Academy, 2011)

Format of the code of ethics

Faithful to the Calling

As a Christian the Youth Minister will reflect the teachings of Jesus Christ and teach the youth the values and beliefs of a good Christian.  This involves the provision of spiritual guidance and providing the younger people with the skills and competencies in order to cope in a modern Christian society. This will be shaped be a combination of education, personal life experience and commitment to Christian beliefs and values. This will include helping others in decision making and how to lead their lives as dedicated followers of the Christian faith.  As such it will be important to uphold the laws of the land and to be accountable for upholding these laws.  Youth Ministry means complying with these laws as they apply to the Ministry of Youth i.e. being conscious of issues concerning child abuse, child safety, duty of care etc. To be aware of one’s own personal responsibility and accountability within the framework of the law.

Ministry in the Community

It is important to recognise the Church as a diverse community of people and different cultural values. People may be good Christians whilst still respecting their ancestry and roots.  Convictions in Christianity are a journey over time and as such each person is involved in a complex and time-consuming struggle to find meaningful convictions in the faith.  This is not a doctrine that should be forced upon people but more of a careful nurturing process in order that people can explore and find their own true convictions within the Christian faith.  Strict adherence to the Christian doctrine is not required for Youth Ministers and they should accommodate the right of peaceful dissent from people within the Ministry.  All Ministers will be responsible to a governing body that will provide oversight and responsibility for discipline or misconduct. The Governing body will have the right to impose any disciplinary action that may be required including that of termination from the post and potential ineligibility for any further posts within the Church.

Power and Authority

The Christian conviction is that we are stewards of power from that provided by God for the common good of mankind.  As such Ministers are accountable to God for the way in which powers are used and vested towards the people in the community.  Power comes from the position of leadership and influence of groups of people within the community.  Power may be divided into three specific types: (1) Moral Power – Youth Ministers in leadership positions have the ability to influence what is right or wrong, good or evil and influence how such behaviour is conducted.  This sort of persuasive power can be extremely important in establishing the moral standards for a group and how they are expected to behave within the framework of the Christian Faith  (2) Spiritual Power –  The Youth Minister has the ability to define  and influence those aspects of the religion that may be derived as sacred or holy. This may involve training people to see the presence of  God in the different walks of life e.g. the plight of the homeless, the disabled or people suffering from addictions.  (3) Social Power –  This relates to the ability of the Minister to define individual status within society and how the model can be changed or adapted to fit within the teachings of the Christian faith.  This deals with the concept of both inclusion and exclusion.

Commitment

Youth Ministers are generally expected to sign a declaration of Commitment to the Church and that they agree to be bound by the Code of Conduct and Professional Ethics.  This means that they will exercise their ministry within the general doctrines of the Church and values of the Christian faith.  The signature indicates general acceptance to this and agreement to disciplinary action, as provided by the overseeing governing body, for any serious breaches.

Conclusions

Individual ethical style is really determined by your own personal sense of responsibility which includes such traits as loyalty, duty and commitment and responsibility to others.  Each person develops their own professional responsibility for ethical self-determination.  It is the philosophical concept of understanding the differences of right and wrong and the influences of goodness and evil.

Ethical problems often involve a considerable degree of frustration. This often creates conflict situations between personal choices and that of organizations and this often requires determining the right balance in order to reach the right decisions. This makes decision making problematic because the law is often very specific and does not account for shades of grey. This leads us to the determination of developing our own moral compass.

It is fair to say that everybody, leastwise in Western democracies, has both freedom of expression and the right of choice.  As such this can be morally bad or good.  In theory we are all bound by the law of the land and as such our interpretation and application of these laws will vary according to our own moral standards.  If you are an educated person with a relatively affluent upbringing you are more likely to respect and uphold the law. In this case the laws seem much more pertinent to your position and role in life.  If you are a poor person with no education and forced to survive in the streets of a City, then your ethics are much likely to be tuned more towards survivalist as opposed to upholding the common law.

In general terms the concept of ethics relates to how we conduct ourselves from a moralistic, obligatory and virtuous standpoint.   Whereas personal ethics are more in keeping with our personal values and commitments to others, professional ethics tends to be more holistic by nature and relates to those standards we uphold in our professional lives.  In certain professions these can be very serious and have life threatening consequences i.e. Doctors, Lawyers, Bankers, etc.

References

First Baptist Bristol. (2007, 5). Youth Ministry Code of Conduct. Retrieved 9 26, 2011, from http://www.fbcbristol.org/main/youth/FBCYM_Code_for_Students.pdf

Roman Catholic Diocese of Charlotte. (2011). Code of Ethics for Youth Ministry Leaders. Retrieved 9 26, 2011, from http://education.charlottediocese.net/youth-ministry/adult-services/codes-of-ethics

United Church of Canada. (2011). Code of Ethics for Youth Ministry. Retrieved 9 27, 2011, from http://www.united-church.ca/files/handbooks/youth_ethics.pdf

Youth Leaders Academy. (2011, 3 28). The importance of a code of conduct for your youth ministry. Retrieved 9 27, 2011, from http://www.youthleadersacademy.com/code-of-conduct-youth-ministry/

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