Original Research

Handling of pastoral misconduct and discipline: Evidence from the Apostolic Faith Mission in Zimbabwe church

Norman Chivasa
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 73, No 3 | a4518 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v73i3.4518 | © 2017 Norman Chivasa | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 01 February 2017 | Published: 31 July 2017

About the author(s)

Norman Chivasa, College of Law and Management Studies, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa


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Abstract

Misconduct has permeated almost every community across the globe and Christian churches have not been spared either. The two basic questions that the current study addresses were what are some of the reported behaviours of male pastors that constitute misconduct in the Apostolic Faith Mission (AFM) in Zimbabwe church?; and is there any policy framework in the AFM in Zimbabwe designed to repair distressed relationships between offending pastors and the church? Results showed that in the AFM in Zimbabwe, pastoral misconduct is seen as a negative force that militates against sustaining harmony in the church. As such, whenever a male pastor commits an act of misconduct, disciplinary action is taken against him. It was also found that constructive dialogue to address misconduct is still a blind spot in the church under review. And because there is no policy framework to amend distressed relationships after administering discipline, social interactions between offending pastors and the church remain antagonistic. In view of the identified problem, this study proposed that the AFM in Zimbabwe might need to embrace a peace building framework because it has the propensity to repair broken relationships and to build friendships, social networks and trust between people. This framework can be instrumental in repairing distressed relations between offending pastors and the church at large. The strength of peace building lies in the values of brotherly love, forgiveness, reconciliation and relationship building, which are compatible with Christianity.

Keywords

Anti-Social Behavior; church; conflict; pastor; churches in Zimbabwe; Pentecostals; inculcate

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