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Eccesiastical Guidelines for Ministers

 

Many denominations have adopted guidelines that can be used for the restoration and healing for our pastors facing pornography issues. Most have established stages of involvement to identify suggested recourse and treatment needed. Listed is a suggested scale of involvement.

 

Curiosity Stage. The desire to learn about things that may not properly concern a person, but its veiled mystery invites personal searching.

 

Experimental Stage. Initiating action to see whether something may be stimulating or compelling.

 

Regular Usage Stage. Recurring usage at certain set times, under certain conditions, or within certain contexts.

 

Habitual Stage. Acquired by continual use until habit is formed.

 

Addictive Stage. Compulsive behavior, giving oneself over to a strong habit.

 

 

    RECOMMENDED SCALE OF INVOLVEMENT & TREATMENT PROCESS

 

         STAGE

  SUSPENSION

TREATMENT PROCESS

Stage 1: Curiosity Stage

No Suspension

Minimum 3 months with approved pastoral counseling

Stage 2: Experimental

No Suspension

Minimum 6 months with approved professional counseling

Stage 3: Regular Usage

Minimum 3-month suspension contingent upon and concurrent with sustained abstinence and noninvolvement

Minimum 1-year rehabilitation with approved professional counseling

Stage 4: Habitual

Minimum 6-month suspension contingent upon and concurrent with sustained abstinence and noninvolvement

Minimum 1-year rehabilitation with approved professional counseling

Stage 5: Addictive

Minimum 1-year suspension contingent upon and concurrent with sustained abstinence and noninvolvement

Minimum 2-year rehabilitation with approved professional counseling

 

 

 

Further Recommendations

 

It is also recommended that each minister have a mentor or accountability partner to help them through this process. Each mentor should meet and/or call them on a regular basis. Guidelines are usually set with bi-weekly phone contact and weekly personal contact. Each District should establish written guidelines to eliminate confusion and discrimination. Each minister should have a clear understanding that each District is interested in their health and well-being as well as the health and well-being of the church.

 

It is also strongly recommended that each minister be given a list of books to read and give written reports back to the District/Governing Board of what each minister has learned about their addiction and how they can maintain a pornography-free lifestyle. It is also recommended that each mentor write quarterly evaluations of their progress and contact towards helping their minister achieve a pornography-free lifestyle.

 

 

Disclaimer: These are suggestive guidelines and are not meant to be professional counseling or guidelines without professional help. Each District and minister should seek professional help.

 

Comments and stages provided by The Enrichment Magazine, Springfield, MO. Fall, 2005.


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