Who Qualifies as a Faith Leader for the Be Kind Humans Universe?

If you are wondering if you qualify as a faith leader to serve in the online universe called "Be Kind Humans" then the answer is probably yes.
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If you are wondering if you qualify as a faith leader to serve in the online universe called “Be Kind Humans” then the answer is probably yes. The term “faith leader” was chosen for its inclusivity more than its exclusivity. “Faith” itself is likely to be interpreted too often as limited to religion or spirituality when, in fact, I have yet to meet a person who doesn’t have faith in something or someone. By our very nature, humans aspire to a goodness, kindness, virtuosity, better self, and the word ‘faith’ points to that. Each of our faiths, of all variations, are our manifestations of our deep, transcendent belief in human goodness.

Even atheists, naturalists, pagans? Are theirs faith leaders too? Yes. If non-faith leaders are included then what about for-profit and non-profit business leaders? Only when those entities have a spiritual health component? For example, a yoga class or studio that is purely about physical exercise would make less sense inside Be Kind Humans. But a yoga class or studio that teaches about the spiritual health of yoga and the full person is a no-brainer to include inside Be Kind Humans; if credentialed, this yoga instructor is a faith leader in our eyes. Politicians are welcome as individuals but, unless they are also credentialed as faith leaders, they are not faith leaders even if they have faith and are leaders. (That said, Be Kind Humans is pro-public-service and will discuss politics where and when appropriate. No areas of life, important or less important, are automatically forbidden. This universe is not for young children but aims to remain accessible to teens to avoid their being isolated.)

The Be Kind Humans Universe is open to all humans who agree to be as safe, kind and inclusive as possible. Faith leaders must uphold the same agreement. Furthermore, like all people inside Be Kind Humans, faith leaders cannot pressure, frighten, threaten or proselytize anyone else to adopt any particular faith, spirituality, religion, belief (or non-belief) system (beyond the safe, kind, inclusive agreements of Be Kind Humans). It is true that we do exclude every person and/or group that we perceive as unwilling or unable to be safe, kind and generally inclusive of diverse people. While we prefer that all humans are present inside the Be Kind Humans Universe so that we can all be connected and improving our relationships and understandings of one another, not everyone is ready or willing to learn, grow or change at “this” time.

The following is verbatim from our FAQ (frequently asked questions), “Do I qualify as a faith leader?”:
“If you are a trained professional who supports the healthy spiritual growth of others, then yes. You must be appropriately endorsed and in good standing to conduct the services, whatever you offer, in your tradition by the appropriate authorities. Post images of your credentials, if appropriate, to your profile. Examples may include: seminarians preaching sermons, leading retreats; worship musicians offering individual songs, albums, concerts and employment; religious educators offering seminars, retreats, webinar series, “Sunday” School classes, training to Sunday School Teachers; chaplains to provide spiritual and emotional listening support; religious authors to sell books, host book clubs, do readings; professors to teach ancient languages or sacred texts; pastors to provide worship, coffee hour, classes, board or congregational meetings; and on and on. Just don’t do what you are not allowed to do.”

People with experience of you in your capacity as a faith leader are always encouraged to publicly name what their experience was like. This may be in comments sections, posts, reviews, etc. Nobody is permitted to malign anyone else, of course, but it is the public community and wider faith leader community that is the accountability for anyone misrepresenting themselves as a faith leader or conducting themselves unprofessionally. The public should always request to see and verify your credentials, if appropriate. Faith leaders should always offer to share their credentials when being hired, even if when no financial payment is charged.

If a faith leader, faith community, or anyone else is removed from Be Kind Humans Universe it is not intended automatically as any sort of universal condemnation of a person. As with any in-person congregation, there are limits to what the community or its leadership can accomplish with an individual and sometimes the person needs to find support elsewhere that is a better fit, always recommending professional counseling support to process why the relationship required separation.

In conclusion, the barriers to you being able to do just the specific ministry to which you feel called, for which you have gifts and/or training have previously been much, much higher. The combination of improved technology and the global move online in the pandemic have thrown the barn doors wide open. For a decade, I have been striving to offer online resources that help the general public access all faith leaders and faith communities in an organic, mutually beneficial way.

As a faith leader myself who had not been pastoring a congregation of people, I have created all of my resources to be bring all of us off the benches and back out into serving the world we intended to. This is why the cost to faith communities is (or will be) significantly higher than it is for faith leaders on their own. The cost barrier has nearly been eliminated for you. Come, dream your dream. You know you. You know what you have to offer. Maybe you didn’t imagine utilizing the digital world just like this. Yet, although you can do everything online, it is not a requirement. You can be found and experienced online then meet in “the real world” forevermore … if you so choose. Bend the digital space to your needs and desires. Then go about building the world that you dream of.


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