Dealing with Anonymous Criticism, Concerns, or Opinions

In order for the congregation, pastor, and the congregation council to be able to deal directly and effectively with criticism, concerns, or opinions in the congregation, the following guidelines are adopted:

  1. That all members affirm their right to express their criticism, concerns or opinions about life and ministry in the congregation.

  2. The congregation operates with an “open” form of government, which allows members to share their criticism, concerns or opinions directly with the pastor, congregation council, and appropriate committees and / or at congregational meetings.

  3. When members of the congregation express a criticism, concern, or opinion to a member of the congregation council or another member, the congregation council member shall ask, “What would you like me to do with this information?”

  4. If the member desires to have the information transmitted to the pastor, congregation council, etc., the member shall be invited to personally share the information, criticism, concern, or opinion directly as a point of information.

  5. The member may, in lieu of presenting in person, submit the criticism, concern, or opinion in writing with member’s signature.

  6. If needed, the criticism, concern or opinion shall be shared openly with the mutual ministry committee and / or congregation council. Action may include referring the matter to committee and / or pastor with a planned response such as visiting member.

  7. If the member does not wish to share the information directly, the congregational council member or committee member shall suggest accompanying the member to meet and discuss the concern or issue. If member declines then the congregation council member shall say, “I’m sorry, but I will not be able to report this to congregation council, appropriate committees and / or at congregational meetings since we do not deal with anonymous or non-direct criticism, concern, or comment.”