Moving toward a healthier culture, together

The Foursquare Church is committed to leading in the way of Jesus with humility, integrity, mercy, and stewarding power to protect, provide for, and empower others.

Foursquare Connection 2022, held in Orlando, Fla., May 30-June 2, spent significant time responding to the topic of leadership abuse. This includes bullying and intimidation, anger disguised as passion, sexual innuendo, racist biases and behaviors, belittling and degrading speech, and all manner of control over God’s people. This type of behavior will not be tolerated within The Foursquare Church, including corporate offices, local churches, schools and its university.

Actions taken against leadership abuse
as Foursquare moves toward a culture of health

The following actions were shared with Foursquare ministers on June 1, 2022, during Foursquare Connection. These include next steps regarding a culture of health, against leadership abuse of any kind.

  • Foursquare has formed a Safeguarding Team (with a leaning towards a victim viewpoint) at the recommendation of an outside group.
  • Foursquare is developing and refining definitions for the emerging topic of leadership abuse.
  • Foursquare is retooling the credentialing process to enhance our assessment of licensee candidates.
  • Foursquare is working on refreshing the minister misconduct review process.
  • Foursquare has developed a “reader” that provides a starting point (not final) as we pray, discern, and consult with experts to clarify language and definitions. Download the Healthy Leadership Reader.
  • Foursquare cabinet heard presentations and discussed the topic of leadership abuse and abuse of power in its March 2022 meeting.
  • Foursquare sent a public statement against leadership abuse of any kind to all licensed ministers on April 1, 2022.

The following are future discussions + actions to be engaged organizationally:

  • Providing care support to those who have been harmed
  • Expert consultation for effective policies, procedures, and reporting structures
  • Researching other denomination’s policies and procedures
  • Annual anti-harassment and nondiscrimination training for all ministers and employees
  • Elevating the importance of the emotional and spiritual health of leaders
  • Establishing appropriate timelines for response and communication
  • Forming task force team for safe leaders (with a leaning towards leader viewpoint and discipleship)
  • Consideration of board sub-committee to work with related teams
  • Reviewing Foursquare polity in relationship to the topic of leadership abuse
  • Defining what a culture of accountability looks like
  • How we identify and address sin against the community
  • Board of directors to consider an independent third party to review and report on organizational culture, reporting processes, policies and actions.

Connection business

During the Wednesday, June 1, business meeting, a motion was proposed on the convention floor.

The motion is comprised of the following action items

  • Third-party to educate and train
  • Third-party to survey
  • Implementation and integration from Survey (Review)
  • Open/tracked document with working policy and practice
  • This document will move from the board of directors to the 2023 cabinet (March) to the convention voting body (May 2023)

After a time of Q+A, where the convention voting body—comprised of credentialed ministers and voting delegates—were given time to ask questions in advance of the vote, the motion passed. The board will now consider these recommendations.

The Foursquare Church is committed to making strides toward eliminating and preventing leadership abuse within our denomination. The Foursquare Church should be known as not only a safe place for God’s people, but as an unwelcome place for those that seek to abuse.

Corporate repentance

At Foursquare Connection 2022, the following statement of corporate repentance was shared on behalf of the board of directors during the June 1, business session, and again at that night’s general session.

Your voice matters

Foursquare stands ready to listen, engage, and provide continued care for those traumatized through leadership abuse.

  • If you are a credentialed minister that has experienced abuse from a Foursquare leader, please email MyStory@foursquare.org. This account is monitored by Foursquare’s Center for Spiritual Renewal, and all emails are responded to discreetly.
  • If you are not a credentialed minister but serve or attend a Foursquare church and are experiencing leadership/workplace harassment of any kind, please inform your district by reaching out to your Supervisor, Associate Supervisors, or Regional Pastors. (Find your district at foursquare.org/districts.)
  • One Team staff (all Foursquare employees, including district employees) can continue to contact the Foursquare HR director.

If you have any comments or suggestions about how Foursquare can change and grow into becoming more of the healthy culture we all want to experience, please email HealthyCulture@foursquare.org.