First Mennonite Church (FMC) ♦ Lincoln, Nebraska
Policy Regarding Disruptive Behavior
As Mennonites, we value being inclusive and forgiving. While openness to a wide variety of individuals is one of the prime values held by our congregation, we affirm the belief that our congregation must maintain a safe atmosphere where such openness can exist.
Persons exhibiting disruptive behavior will be dealt with as individuals; stereotypes will be avoided. This policy does not attempt to define "acceptable" behavior in advance, but when physical and/or emotional well-being or freedom to safely express beliefs or opinions is threatened, the source of this threat must be addressed firmly and promptly, even if this ultimately requires the expulsion of the offending person or persons.
Rationale: Disruptive behaviors may include:
1. Perceived threats to the safety of any adults;
2. The disruption of community activities;
3. Diminishment of the appeal of the community to its potential and existing membership.
Action: FMC will proceed as follows:
1. If an immediate response is required, the leader(s) of the group involved may ask the offending person or persons to leave, or may suspend the meeting or activity until it safely can be resumed.
If further assistance is required, the police may be called.
Anytime any of these actions are undertaken, the steps that were taken will be reported to the pastor and elders within 12 hours.
2. Situations not requiring immediate response will be referred to an ad hoc committee appointed by the elders. In forming the committee, the elders are encouraged to seek a variety of genders, ages, and skills, including mental health training; the committee will include an elder and leadership board member. The committee will respond promptly observing the following:
a. The committee will collect all necessary information.
b. The committee will consider issues of confidentiality and transparency.
c. In identifying the problem, the committee will observe the following:
§ DANGEROUSNESS: To what degree is the behavior a threat or perceived threat to persons?
§ DISRUPTIVENESS: To what degree does the behavior interfere with church functions?