Eight Core Principles Of Church Based Cooperative Business
In order to more perfectly conduct business within our church based cooperatives we adopt the following eight core principles of cooperative business.
The “Trust Principle”
Business carried out within church cooperatives will operate on the “Trust Principle.” This means that those who participate in cooperative church businesses will trust each other because they act in a way that is trust worthy. This means we tell the truth to each other and do not hide vital information so as to mislead one another.
The “Integrity Principle”
Those who are members of a cooperative group will conduct themselves according to the “Integrity Principle.” This means that our moral and ethical character matters in and out of business. A man or woman who wishes to join a group must be full of integrity. Someone who lacks character outside the group will not have character inside the group. We must be consistent in our behavior
The “Win Win Principle”
We will seek to create business ventures that operate on the “Win Win Principle.” This means that we will look to do businesses where everyone is a winner. We do not wish to oppress other in order that we might become rich. We want to bless others so that everyone might have enough.
The “Loyalty Principle”
Members of our cooperatives must operate on the “Loyalty Principle. This means that each member within their group must be loyal to the other members of the group. No member shall knowingly do anything or say anything that will compromise the business of another individual of the group or the group as a whole. Business dealings and methods are kept within the group and never discussed with those outside the group.
The “Apprenticeship Principle”
While initial membership in a new group is open to whomever wishes to join future membership within the group can only be gained through apprenticeship. This is known as the “Apprenticeship Principle.”
New group membership should be limited to no more than 20 people. An apprentice is someone who wishes to join the group. In order to become an apprentice you must be sponsored by someone from within the group. A sponsor is someone who vouches for your worthiness to become a prospective member. The sponsor is responsible for the apprentices behavior. Apprentices should normally be younger men and women over they age of eighteen years. Should the apprentice fail to live up to the standards of the group and be dismissed or fail to be elected as a member it will be their sponsors responsibility to communicate this decision to their apprentice. Due to the fact that some apprentices may lack maturity a apprentice, with the approval of the group, my reapply to be sponsored once again two years later. If an apprentice was dismissed for violations of trust or integrity they cannot reapply.
You can only sponsor one apprentice at a time. It is preferred that you sponsor someone from outside your family but occasionally family members may be chosen if the group approves. If a sponsor has two apprentices who are dismissed for violations of our core principles then they will no longer be allowed to sponsor apprentices.
The apprenticeship period will last for one year in which time the apprentice will assist their sponsor in their are of business at a fair but reduced percentage of a full members profit made by that business.
The “Tithe Principle”
It will be mandatory for everyone who participates in church business cooperatives to give 10% or their profits to their respective churches. Books will be kept and will be subject to be examined by other members of the cooperative. Anyone found to not being giving 10% of their profit to their respective church will be in violation of this principle and will be subject to discipline.
The “Discipline Principle ”
For time to time it will be necessary to bring correction to one of more members of the group for violating one or more of the cooperatives eight core business principles. When a member is found to be in violation the person who first notices this violation should go privately and speak to the individual about their concerns. If they violating member does not correct their behavior to the satisfaction of the one who brought it to their attention then they should seek to share their concerns with another member of the group. The two members should approach the violating member and try to reason with them so they understand their violation and correct it. If the offending member will still not correct their behavior then the problem must be formally brought to the attention of the group and dealt with publicly. If the member who is in violation will not correct their behavior to the satisfaction of the group then they will be suspended from doing business within the group until the matter is resolved. If their apprentices were aware of their error and did not report it then they will be disciplined along with their sponsor. In severe cases discipline may result in dismissal from the group.
The “Love Your Brother As Yourself Principle”
The overall guiding principle of church based cooperatives is to “Love Your Brother As Yourself. ” This means that we must treat each other with the love, compassion, and respect that we desire to be treated with. to the degree that we care for ourselves we should seek to care for the other members of our group.