This section applies to EMNR’s Board of Directors and its corporate officers: the Executive Director, the Secretary, the Treasurer, and others who may be defined as officers at a later time. General and Associate members of EMNR should also be aware of these principles and guidelines incumbent on the Board.
Due to the high degree of responsibility entrusted to the EMNR Board, and in our desire to represent ourselves as servants of God unstained by reproach, it will be expected that Board members not only keep “short accounts” with God-namely, in regular, frequent private worship and devotions, and in personal confession of sin and repentance as God requires-but it will also be expected of them to keep short accounts of their struggles, temptations, and failings in order that Satan not receive the upper hand and that we do not become puffed up in pride and secure in our ability to conduct the “business of the ministry” without the presence of the Holy Spirit. We must especially beware of becoming expert in biblical knowledge and yet poor in practical Christian graces.
The Board members recognize not simply the theological truth of the essential unity of the body of Christ but also the sore reality that we need one another and are placed together in ministry-albeit separated by distance-to give one another balance, perspective, objectivity and loving input to stabilize us on the Christian path. The correcting influences and counterpoise offered by others, even where they may contradict our own natural inclinations, are something we are obligated to provide one to another.
Members of the EMNR Board are expected to follow the guidelines offered for the General and Associate Members, below. Moreover, being circumspect about many temptations which have caused some of God’s servants to stumble as well as of the ethical commands of Holy Scripture, we give our unflinching consent to honesty and candor in the areas enumerated below, to diligently follow them to the best of our ability.
(1) Marital status. Serious personal conflict with our spouse, specifically, any problems of a severity which threaten the marriage or may lead to a separation, will be confessed to the elders of our local church before any separation occurs, while there is time for remedial ministry by other Christian counselors and ministers. Believing that the sanctity and divine institution of marriage outweighs any personal commitments to EMNR, we will withdraw from EMNR either temporarily or permanently rather than jeopardize our family union.
(2) Parental responsibilities. Inasmuch as we also have divinely mandated obligations both to our own parents (Exod. 20:12, Lev. 19:3, Matt. 15:3-6, 1 Tim. 5:4) and as parents of our children in the flesh (2 Cor. 12:14, Eph. 6:4, 1 Tim. 3:4-5, 5:8), we agree not to give our duties and obligations as Board members excessive priority over our duties to our own parents or children. Clearly, every family in ministry must adapt to the additional demands on our time-and no EMNR Board member is likely to have much free time-nonetheless, the business demands on an EMNR Board member or officer must not take precedence over the mandate to provide financial and physical support to our natural families.
(3) Church changes. The Board members should be close enough with one another to have some familiarity with the church affiliation of the other Board members. When any Board member changes his church affiliation and attendance, either within the same denomination or from one denomination to another, and the transfer of membership is conducted with the Board member being in good standing with the church he or she is leaving, the name and address of the new church affiliation, together with the name of the new pastor, should be communicated informally to the other Board members and communicated in writing to the Executive Director. We strongly urge Board members to obtain a signed and dated Letter of Transfer in Good Standing from the pastor of the congregation they are departing, even if the pastor normally does not issue such letters or recognize their importance.
If a member of the Board leaves a church, not in good standing at the time of departure, or is expelled, or leaves due to aberrant behavior or doctrine on the part of the church he or she formerly attended, this must be communicated in writing to the EMNR President and the Executive Director, and should be communicated orally to the other members of the Board within 30 days. The written statement to the EMNR President and the Executive Director should state the basic facts which led to this separation, but need not go into exhaustive detail. If the circumstances warrant, some further inquiry into the situation may be called for.
(4) Occupational changes. Similarly, if a member of the Board changes his or her primary occupation or employment, the facts should be communicated informally to the other Board members and noted in a brief memo to the Executive Director. However, if a Board member was terminated by his or her employer, or left due to serious improprieties by the employer, a memorandum should be sent to President and the Executive Director, stating the basic facts of the case; and oral communication should be made to the other members of the Board within 30 days.
The rationale for this action falls under the basic principles of accountability and open communication among Board members.
(5) Potential conflicts of interest. Each Board member and each corporate officer shall disclose in writing to the Board of Directors the nature and extent of all interests he or she may have in any corporation, business, or organization having a business or fraternal relationship with EMNR. They shall also disclose any and all interests they have (be they legal, financial, or fiduciary) in any organization, ministry, church, or association (here defined as a “Related Entity”), including but not limited to that of director, officer, shareholder, partner, trustee, beneficiary, employee, agent, spokesperson, or designated representative.
This disclosure shall occur within 30 days of their election or appointment to EMNR, or within 30 days from the date any new interest in a Related Entity is acquired. Mailing this information to the Executive Director, and having this information announced at the next regular meeting of the Board of Directors, is sufficient to constitute disclosure to the Board; such statements need not be mailed to each of the Board members individually. The information provided shall be kept on file with the Executive Director of EMNR.
In any Board meeting where the discussion centers or largely focuses on a Related Entity, each Board member or officer having an interest in a Related Entity shall remind the Board of this fact. Then, after briefly expressing their concerns and answering questions directed to them by the remaining Board members, they shall excuse themselves from the room during further discussion and any subsequent vote which pertains to the Related Entity. However, this rule may be set aside and the member(s) permitted to remain for both further discussion and voting if, in the judgment of the majority of the remaining Board members, the best interests of EMNR would be served thereby.
(6) Lawsuits. Board members and corporate officers must notify the Board if they are involved as defendants in a lawsuit with another professing Christian or a Christian institution. If Board members have any contemplated or real actions as plaintiffs in a lawsuit against other professing Christians, they will be subject to the stipulations regarding General and Associate Members, section on Lawsuits Among Members, below. Board members and corporate officers will make a bona fide attempt to resolve such actions out of court, under a Christian process of mediation, arbitration, reconciliation, or another type of adjudication, in the spirit of obedience to 1 Corinthians, chapter 6.
(7) Potential embarrassments. If a Board member or corporate officer has done anything which, if discovered at a later date, could potentially embarrass EMNR and bring disrespect to the Board by this action, a summary of this information should be given to the President and at least one other Board member. Ideally, this should be done prior to election to the Board, but if a potentially embarrassing action occurs later, the other Board members should be candidly informed. Such actions would include past instances of criminal charges, plagiarism, lawsuits involving other Christians or Christian organ-izations, multiple marriages, unbiblical divorce, termination by a former employer for a serious cause (incompetence, negligence, theft, waste of company resources, etc.), or any heterodox or highly speculative theological viewpoints.
(8) Relationships to former and honorary Board members. EMNR Board members are expected to maintain a cordial and respectful demeanor towards all honorary and former Board members, in all oral and written communications in any way relating to EMNR or its affairs. Former members of the Board should not be sent copies of internal Board correspondence, progress reports or memoranda after they depart from the Board, unless they are currently acting as corporate officers or designated agents. At the present time, EMNR has two honorary Board members: Dr. Gordon Lewis and Dr. Vernon Grounds. Although not voting members of the Board, Honorary Board members may receive copies of ongoing correspondence and memoranda about current EMNR projects and matters of concern.
(9) Covenant to support one another. Because of the spiritual attacks sure to be leveled at Christian leadership, Board members are to support one another in both word and deed through prayer, encouragement, honor, and exhortation. If approached by another Board member in a sincere attempt to correct or aid our Christian growth, we will weigh their words respectfully, prayerfully, and with gratitude.
In normal circumstances EMNR Board members should have one another’s home phone numbers (even if unlisted) and home addresses (even if not usually available). This is to create trust among the Board members and a supportive atmosphere where we willingly put ourselves in a position to be admonished and contacted by our brothers and sisters on the Board. Being known only through a public PO Box or business phone can be a way of shutting others out of our personal lives and affairs.