Faithfulness can be such a vague term. In a marriage, faithfulness definitely includes not committing adultery. Does it also include remembering anniversaries? Does it also include sticking to the budget? Each of us would probably draw the line in a different place. That is also the problem we face in defining what it means to be faithful as a church or a pastor to others within the denomination.
Here’s my 2¢. Faithfulness for a pastor I think can be defined as mutually supporting, caring for, and holding accountable fellow pastors for the sake of the life and mission of the church. That’s good, isn’t it?! I wish I made that up myself, but I borrowed that from the Book of Discipline. It seems like we are not nearly liberal enough in applying this. We tend to give some accountability, some support, and some care. I would argue that you should avoid trying to hold someone accountable if you are not also supporting and caring for them.
Faithfulness for a church may defined as cooperating in ministry with other local churches and participating in the worldwide mission of the church. That’s not nearly as powerful sounding as the pastor one, but it also comes from the Book of Discipline. Since this statement is vague, I give some examples in the video of areas to live out faithfulness that may help in your own discernment.
- UMC Book of Discipline: https://www.dakotasumc.org/media/files/CONFERENCE/5_Conf_Finance_Benefits/Finance/Book_of_Discipline.pdf
- Dakotas UMC Apportionments: https://www.dakotasumc.org/finance-and-benefits/apportionments-billing