Jersey Volunteer Standards of Behavior Policy
The Bible encourages all believers to “Be holy, because I am holy." (1 Peter 1:16 HCSB). We are encouraged to “stay away from every kind of evil.” (1 Thess. 5:22 HCSB). These standards are designed to protect the reputation of our Holy God, our church, you, your family, your ministry and the church family we serve. “So, whoever thinks he stands must be careful not to fall.” (1 Corinthians 10:12 HCSB)
These policies were designed for volunteers during times when they are involved in Jersey Church ministry:
- A volunteer shall not be alone with a minor (other than immediate family), including but not limited to meetings in the office, traveling in a car, in a home, or other locations. Allow other staff to protect your ministry and take measures that someone is in the office when you are in any counseling session.
- Meeting a minor one-on-one in a public location would be allowed, so long as the other policies listed below are not breached.
- Overnight stays should be made such that there will be only one person per bed and private showers are available. Modesty when dressing / undressing is expected.
- Making of ministry visits alone to minors or to individuals of the opposite sex is to be avoided. Exceptions can be made when dealing with a crisis situation, but you may wish to consider including another ministry staff member or volunteer.
- No public displays of affection with individuals, other than immediate family. Physical touch should be limited to brief hugs, handshakes, high fives, and/or a pat on the shoulder.
- When working with minors who have issues or are seeking counseling or advice always strive to work through parents unless abuse has been reported. In the case of abuse, contact the appropriate authorities to make them aware of the accusation.
- Do not assume you know the sexual orientation of an individual. In the current cultural environment, it is best to not meet alone, with either the opposite sex or the same sex, in a location where there are no other adults present. Have another male with you when meeting with guys or a female when meeting with females. If you can’t have someone in the meeting with you, then make sure someone is in close proximity who can hear and/or see you and the person you’re meeting with. Let that person know that you are meeting with someone and you need him or her as a witness and to listen/observe.
- Responding to someone of the opposite sex via email, social media, cards and letters must be done with great caution. No sexting! Sending any sexual content in any form is strictly forbidden. Be careful what you put in writing because it is so easy for things to be taken out of context.
- When sharing words of care or commitment use plural language like, “We are here for you”; Jersey is for you”; or “Your student ministry team loves you”.
We have not attempted to include all possible behaviors, but rather to give a framework that will protect you from temptation.