Constitution & Bylaws

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1 Constitution & Bylaws GI Free Evangelical Free Church Constitution Article 1: Name/Registered Office... C 1 Article 2: Statement of Faith... C 1 Article 3: Mission and Purpose... C 2 Article 4: Membership... C 2 Article 5: Officers and Leaders... C 3 Article 6: Business Meetings and Fiscal Year... C 3 Article 7: Church Standing and Affiliation... C 3 Article 8: Church Property... C 4 Article 9: Bylaws... C 4 Article10:Amendments... C 4 Section 1: Amendments to the Constitution... C 4 Section 2: Amendments to the Bylaws... C 4 Bylaws Article 1: Membership... B 1 Section 1: Qualifications and Admission... B 1 Section 2: Active Members... B 1 Section 3: Inactive Members... B 1 Section 4: Resignation... B 2 Section 5: Privileges and Responsibilities of Membership... B 2 Section 6: Discipline of Members... B 2 Article 2: Congregation... B 3 Section 1: Authority... B 3 Section 2: Business Meetings... B 3 Article 3: Pastoral Staff (Teaching Elders)... B 4 Section 1: Calling of Pastors... B 4 Section 2: Responsibilities and Accountability... B 4 Section 3: Resignation and Termination... B 5 Section 4: Accusations Against Pastoral Staff... B 5 Article 4: Board of Elders (Teaching and Governing Elders)... B 5 Section 1: Election and Organization... B 5 Section 2: Duties and Responsibilities... B 6 Section 3: Resignation/Termination of Governing Elders... B 7 Section 4: Accusations Against an Elder... B 7 Article 5: Standing Committees... B 7 Section 1: Appointment, Organization and Accountability... B 7 Section 2: Deacon Committee... B 8 Section 3: Deaconess Committee... B 8 Section 4: Trustee Committee... B 8 Section 5: Children s Ministry Committee... B 9 Section 6: Youth Ministry Committee... B 9 Section 7: Adult Ministry Committee... B 9 Section 8: Evangelism and Missions Committee... B 10 Section 9: Worship Committee... B 10 Section 10: Administrative Committee... B 10 Section 11: Women s Ministries... B 10

2 Article 6: Working Committees... B 10 Section 1: Appointment, Organization and Accountability... B 10 Section 2: Financial Review Committee...B 11 Section 3: Memorial Committee...B 11 Section 4: Building Committee...B 11 Section 5: Pastoral Search Committee...B 11 Section 6: Additional Committees... B 12 Article 7: Ministerial Staff... B 12 Section 1: Calling of Ministerial Staff... B 12 Section 2: Responsibilities and Accountability... B 12 Section 3: Resignation/Termination... B 12 Section 4: Accusations Against Ministerial Staff Member... B 13 Article 8: Church Officers... B 13 Section 1: Election and Qualifications... B 13 Section 2: Church Clerk....B 13 Section 3: Financial Secretary... B 13 Article 9: Marriage and Sexuality... B 14 Section 1: Foundations... B 14 Section 2: Marriage... B 14 Section 3: Sexuality... B 14 GI Free Evangelical Free Church Article 1: Name/Registered Office Constitution Of the Grand Island Evangelical Free Church The official name of this church shall be The Evangelical Free Church of Grand Island, Nebraska. This church was incorporated as a non-profit corporation in the state of Nebraska on March 1, The church is located at 2609 South Blaine Street, Grand Island, Nebraska Article 2: Statement of Faith Revised January, God We believe in one God, Creator of all things, holy, infinitely perfect and eternally existing in a loving unity of three equally divine Persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Having limitless knowledge and sovereign power, God has graciously purposed from eternity to redeem a people for Himself and to make all things new for His Own glory. 2. The Bible We believe that God has spoken in the Scriptures, both Old and New Testaments, through the words of human authors. As the verbally inspired Word of god, the Bible is ultimate authority by which every realm of human knowledge and endeavor should be judged. Therefore, it is to be believed in all that it teaches, obeeyed in all that it requires, and trusted in all that it promises. 3. The Human Condition We believe that God created Adam and Eve in His image, but they sinned when tempted by Satan. In union with Adam, human beings are sinners by nature and by choice, alienated from God, and under His wrath. Only through God s saving work in Jesus Christ can we be rescued, reconciled and renewed. 4. Jesus Christ We believe that Jesus Christ is God incarnate, fully God and fully man, one Person in two natures. Jesus-Israel s promised Messiah-was conceived through the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. He lived a sinless life, was crucified under Pontius Pilate, arose bodily from the dead, ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of God the Father as our High Priest and advocate. 5. The Work of Christ We believe that Jesus Christ, as our representative and substitute, shed His blod on the cross as the perfect, all-sufficient sacrifice for our sins. His atoning death and victorius resurrection constitute the only ground for salvation. 6. The Holy Spirit We believe that the Holy Spirit, in all that He does, glorifies the Lord Jesus Christ. He convicts the world of its guilt. He regenerates sinners, and in Him they are baptized into union with Christ and adopted as heirs in the family of God. He also indwells, illuminates, guides, equips and empowers believers for Christ-like living and service. 7. The Church We believe that the true church comprises all who have been justified by God s grace through faith alone in Christ alone. They are united by the Holy Spirit in the body of Christ, of which He Page C 1 (of 4)

3 is the Head. The true church is manifest in local churches, whose membership should be composed only of believers. The Lord Jesus mandated two ordinances, baptism and the Lord s Supper, which visiby and tangibly express the gospel. Though they are not the means of salvation, when celebrated by the church in genuine faith, these ordinances confirm and nourish the believer. 8. Christian Living We believe that God s justifying grace must not be separated from His sanctifying power and purpose. God commands us to love Him supremely and others sacrifically, and to live out our faith with care for one another, compassion toward the poor and justice for the oppressed. With God s Word, the Spirit s power, and fervent prayer in Christ s name, we are to combat the spiritual forces of evil. In obedience to Christ s commission, are to make disciples among all people, always bearing witness to the gospel in word and deed. 9. Christ s Return We believe in the personal, bodily and premillennial return of our Lord Jesus Christ. The coming of Christ, at a time known only to God, demands constant expectancy and, as our blessed hope, motivates the believer to godly living, sacrificial service and energetic mission. 10. Response and Eternal Destiny We believe that God commands everyone everywhere to believe the gospel by turning to Him in repentance and receiving the Lord Jesus Christ. We believe that God will raise the dead bodily and judge the world, assigning the unbeliever to condemnation and eternal conscious punishment and the believer to eternal blessedness and joy with the Lord in the new heaven and the new earth, to the praise of His glorious grace. Amen. Article 3: Mission and Purpose The mission and purpose of this church is to make disciples of Jesus Christ who both individually and corporately love and glorify God through celebrating in the worship of God (Psalm 95:6, 150:6 Colossians 3:16) cultivating spiritual growth in all believers (Acts 2:42; Ephesians 4:11-16), caring for people in the name of Christ (Matthew 10:42; 25:31-46; Luke 6:27-35), and communicating the Gospel to the world (Matthew 28:19-20; Acts 1:8; Romans 10:14-15; 2 Peter 3:9) Specific functions of this church shall include the following: This church shall conduct services of worship, and shall administer the ordinances of water Baptism and the Lord s Supper as given in the New Testament. This church shall provide for the preaching and teaching of the whole Word of God. It shall endeavor to train children, youth and adults for Christian living and leadership. This church shall provide a ministry of care and benevolence to its own church family and to others as means are available. This church shall, at all times, maintain an evangelistic emphasis, making the salvation of souls and the edification of believers the goals of all its activities, and shall advance evangelistic ministries and missionary labors both locally and throughout the world. Article 4: Membership The church shall receive as members only those who have, by faith, accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, and who manifest in their lives the fruits of true faith in God and are willing, according to ability, to support the church by their prayers, participation, and contributions. Persons who affiliate with the church and are not baptized are encouraged to take this step at the earliest opportunity. (Acts 2:41, 47; Romans 6:3-4) Article 5: Officers and Leadership The officers of this church shall be: Governing Elders, Lead Pastor, and appointed members of Standing and Working Committees. In addition, the Financial Secretary, and Church Clerk shall be elected as officers. Qualifications and duties shall be described in the church Bylaws. The following shall constititute the Board of Elders: Governing Elders and the Lead Pastor. The Chairman, Vice-Chairman, and Secretary of the Board of Elders shall be appointed annually by the board of Elders from their members. The Board of Elders shall also appoint a Church moderator from their members as needed. The following shall constitute each of the various Standing Committees and Working Committees functioning under the direction of the Board of Elders: Active Members appointed by the Board of Elders. The Chairman, Vice-Chairman, and Secretary of each Committee shall be appointed by the members of the Committee. The Financial Secretary, as elected by the congregation, shall be a member of the Trustee Committee. Since the church is incorporated within the state of Nebraska as a non-profit organization, the following are designated as the corporate officers: for the conduct of corporate business: The Chairman of the Board of Elders shall be President, the Church Clerk shall be Secretary, and an individual appointed by the Trustees from their members shall be Treasurer. Article 6: Business Meetings and Fiscal Year The Annual Business Meeting shall be scheduled during the month of April each year for the election of officers, approval of the church budget, receiving reports from the Pastoral Staff, Elders, and Committees and the transaction of church business. Elected Elders shall assume their responsibilities immediately following the adjournment of the Business Meeting in which they were elected. Quarterly Business Meetings shall be scheduled during the months of July, October and January for the transaction of church business. Special Business Meetings may be called at anytime by the Board of Elders for the transaction of church business as needed. The dates of all Business Meetings shall be established by the Board of Elders, and announced at regular church services two Sundays prior to each meeting. The Church Moderator shall preside over all church Business Meetings. The fiscal year of this church shall be April 1 through March 31. Article 7: Church Standing and Affiliation This church shall remain its own highest authority under the headship of Jesus Christ, and shall conduct its business through its Business Meetings. The church shall participate with the Evangelical Free Church of America and its districts, and shall send delegates to conferences, support home and foreign missions, and unite in mutual efforts for the furtherance of the Gospel according to the decision of this church. Page C 2 (of 4) Page C 3 (of 4)

4 Revised January 2016 Article 8: Church Property The members of this church shall corporately have the power to buy, own, hold in trust, use, inherit, lease, rent, sell, exchange or dispose of such real and personal property as may be useful and necessary for the furtherance of the Lord s work. This church shall also have the power to mortgage and encumber all or any part of the church property, and to borrow and raise money or other assets of any kind, for the furtherance of the Lord s work. All church property, real and personal, shall be held by the Trustees in the name of the corporation. Likewise, all debts of the corporation shall also be contracted by the Trustees in the name of the corporation. Private property of the church members, staff, or officers of the corporation shall not be subject to payment of corporate debts. In case of a division of this church, from which may God in his mercy preserve us, the property of this church shall belong to those who abide by this Constitution. In case of the dissolution of this church, the property shall be assigned to the Evangelical Free Church of America. Article 9: Bylaws This church body shall adopt Bylaws to this Constitution to further direct the administration of this church. Such Bylaws may not conflict with this Constitution. Bylaws to this Constitution shall embody the stated qualifications and responsibilities for Elders, Pastors, Church Officers, Deacons/Deaconesses/Trustees/Committee Members, and other members of leadership, conditions for church membership and the stated method by which church members are received, the parliamentary rules and policies for the activites of this church, and the establishment of other structural instructions necessary for carrying out the Mission and Purpose of this church(see Article 3 of this Constitution). Article 10: Amendments Section1: Amendments to the Constitution Amendments to this Constitution may be made at any Annual or Quarterly Business Meeting of the church having a quorum present during the vote, providing said proposed amendments have been previously presented and read at a prior Business Meeting having a quorum present. Amendments to Articles 2, 4, 8 or 10 of this Constitution shall require a three-fourths (3/4) majority vote at a Business Meeting having at least one half (1/2) of the Active Membership as defined in the Bylaws present and voting for adoption. Amendments to all other articles of this Constitiution shall require two-thirds (2/3) of the votes cast at a Business Meeting for adoption. Section 2: Amendments to the Bylaws Bylaws not in conflict with this Constitution may be adopted or revised at any scheduled Annual or Quarterly Business Meeting having a quorum present by a two-thirds (2/3) majority of votes cast, providing said Bylaw or amendment has been previously presented and read at a prior Annual or Quarterly business Meeting having a quorum present. Article 1: Membership Section 1: Qualifications and Admission This church shall receive as members only those who have, by faith, accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, and who manifest in their lives the fruits of true faith in God and are willing, according to ability, to support the church by their prayers, participation, and contributions. Applicants for membership must be at least 16 years of age. Applicants must formally apply for membership to the Board of Elders with a written statement of their testimony, the declaration of their agreement with our church Confession of Faith, and a statement of their intent to abide by the policies and practices of this church (see Appendix C). Upon affirmative recommendation of the Board of Elders, the church membership will be notified by letter of the applicant s desire to become a member. If no objections are received by the Board of Elders within thirty days of the letter s mailing, the applicant shall be accepted as a member without further action. If any member should object to the acceptance of an applicant, the reason for doing so must be submitted in writing to the Board of Elders, who in turn will implement the provisions of Matthew 18:15-17 in a manner subject to their discretion in accordance with the facts of the situation. An applicant being accepted into membership shall be notified by the Board of Elders, and shall be officially received and welcomed to the membership of the church at a service designated by the Board of Elders. Upon acceptance of a pastoral call to the church, a Pastor (and, if married, his wife) shall automatically become members of the church. Section 2: Active Members All members who attend services regularly and who have attended at least one business meeting (Annual or Quarterly) in the last year shall be considered Active Members, and are eligible to vote at church Business Meetings. The number of Active Members in the church shall be the basis for determining a quorum at a church Business Meeting. Section 3: Inactive Members Bylaws Of the Grand Island Evangelical Free Church Members who have moved from our community, or who do not attend services for a period of six months, shall be considered Inactive Members in the church. Inactive Members shall not be counted in determining a quorum at a church Business Meeting. Inactive Members shall be contacted by the Board of Elders and notified of their status. With the exception of situations where Inactive Member status is the result of illness, advanced age, or temporary relocation (such as missionaries or college students away at school). Inactive Members who have been notified Page C 4 (of 4) Page B 1 (of 14)

5 by the Board of Elders and have neither offered their resignation from membership nor made efforts to become Active Members once again shall be removed from membership by the decision by the Board of Elders. Section 4: Resignation Any member may request to withdraw his or her membership upon written request to the Board of Elders. Membership will then immediately be terminated with this church. Section 5: Privileges and Responsibilities of Membership All Active Members shall have full voting rights at any church Business Meeting, and may attend any Board of Elders or Committee meeting (unless the Board or Committee declares an executive session to deal with sensitive business). In addition, members of this church are expected to fulfill the following responsibilities as enabled by God: attend the services and Business Meetings of this church; pray regularly for other members, Pastors, and church leadership; minister to others in the body of Christ through ongoing service as possible; and give regularly of their tithes and offerings to support the work of this church. Section 6: Discipline of Members If any member of this church is found to live contrary to the teachings of the Bible and the Confession of Faith of this church, or is engaged in persistent, unrepentant sin, it may become necessary to initiate disciplinary action privately or publicly. Offenses which may require discipline and exclusion from fellowship, membership, office of leadership, or staff position include sins of immoral character that obscure the holiness of God (i.e., moral impurity, perversion, idolatry; 1 Corinthians 5:1), sins of divisiveness that bring confusion and schism to the ministry of the church (Romans 16:17), or sins that violate the truth of God by promoting false doctrine (2 Peter 2:1-3). The responsibility of church discipline in all cases shall be lovingly administered as directed in Matthew 18:15-18, 2 Corinthians 2:5-11, and Galatians 6:1-2. No accusations against a member (including Ministerial Staff, Elders, or appointed Committee Members) will be considered by the church except upon the written complaint of two or three witnesses. The member in question shall then be interviewed by an Elder or Pastor, and lovingly admonished to correct the sinful behavior. If this does not lead to repentance and restoration of fellowship, two or more members of the Board of Elders shall attempt to meet with the member in question. If further action is still necessary, the member in question shall be asked to meet with the Board of Elders. If the majority of the Board of Elders believe the member to be guilty after careful investigation of the matter and a fair and impartial hearing of all the facts ascertainable, and if the member in question fails to correct the sinful behavior according to the instructions of the Board of Elders, then the Board of Elders may present the name of the member in question to the congregation with instructions to withdraw from fellowship with that person (Matthew 18:17; Romans 16:17-18; 2 Thessalonians 3:14-15). The blessing of physical, emotional, and spiritual care shall thus be withheld from that individual in an effort to produce shame (2 Thessalonians 3:14), conviction, and sorrow (2 Corinthinans 2:7) leading to repentance and subsequent restoration in the church. Failure Article 2: Congregation on the part of the member in question to appear before the Board of Elders shall not prevent them from examining the situation and rendering a decision. Any member from whom fellowship has been withdrawn by the church may, after repentance and restoration, and upon recommendation by the Board of Elders, be accepted back into full fellowship again. Section 1: Authority The congregation of this church shall officially consist of the total membership as defined in Article 1 of these Bylaws, and who shall ultimately govern the affairs of this church under the headship of Jesus Christ. The congregation shall have the sole authority to: (a) adopt and amend the Constitution and Bylaws of the church; (b) approve individuals for membership; (c) call and dismiss Pastoral Staff; (d) elect and dismiss the Board of Elders; (e) elect the Church Clerk, and Financial Secretary, (f) adopt and amend an annual budget; (g) purchase and sell real property; (h) incur debt; (i) adopt necessary positional statements. Other issues shall be entrusted to the Board of Elders, and in turn to the Active Members on the various church committees as necessary. Section 2: Business Meetings The Annual, Quarterly, and Special Business Meetings of the congregation shall be scheduled by the Board of Elders according to Article 6 of the church Constitution. Notice of the scheduling of a church Business Meeting, as well as an agenda for the meeting, shall be published in the church bulletin for at least two Sundays prior to the meeting. A quorum for convening a congregational Business Meeting shall be those present, and with the consent of the Church Moderator of the meeting. Congregational Business Meetings shall be open to all Members and active non-members of the congregation. However, non-members may not address the congregation without special permission from the Church Moderator (i.e., for special presentation) and may not vote on matters before the congregation. The Church Moderator, as appointed by the Board of Elders from their members, shall preside over all congregational Business Meetings. If the Church moderator is not present at a Business Meeting, the Board of Elders may choose a substitute from their members. All Business Meetings shall be conducted in the following order: (1) Scripture reading and prayer, (2) Minutes of the preceding meeting considered and approved, (3) Agenda for the meeting considered and approved, (4) Reports given (if any), (5) Old business and tabled issues, (6) New business. Only matters which are on the approved agenda shall be considered for action. The congregation shall conduct its Business Meetings according to the most current edition of Robert s Rules of Order under the leadership of the Church Moderator. All matters for action at congregational Business Meetings shall be determined by majority vote, unless otherwise specified in these Bylaws. Voting may be by voice or show of hands, unless otherwise specified in these Bylaws. The Church Moderator may call for a ballot vote according to his discretion. Page B 2 (of 15) Page B 3 (of 15)

6 Article 3: Pastoral Staff Section 1: Calling of Pastors Upon the congregation s decision to search for a pastoral candidate, the Board of Elders shall appoint a Pastoral Search Committee. The Committee shall seek candidates for the position, and shall investigate each candidate regarding their doctrinal beliefs, education, Ministerial record, and qualifications for the position (see Article 4 and Appendices A and B). A candidate must meet the Biblical qualifications for an Elder as set forth in 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1. A candidate must also be either licensed or ordained by the Evangelical Free Church of America (or be willing to become licensed or ordained by the EFCA within a mutually agreeable time). The Committee shall then make their recommendations to the Board of Elders. The Board of Elders will invite one candidate at a time to visit the church in order to provide an opportunity for the congregation to meet the candidate. The Board of Elders shall further interview the candidate during this visit, and schedule opportunities for the congregation to interact with the candidate as needed. The Pastoral and Ministerial Staff shall also further interview the candidate as needed and give their recommendations to the congregation. The Board of Elders shall propose a compensation package and written job description for the congregation to consider. A Special Business Meeting shall be called shortly after the visit of the candidate to consider the recommendation of the Board of Elders and to vote on the candidate in question. A three-fourths (3/4) majority vote shall be necessary for the extension of a call. This vote shall be by `written ballot. Section 2: Responsibilities and Accountability The primary function of all Pastoral Staff shall be the building up of the Body of Christ through preparing God s people for obedience and service, with the goal that people of all ages experience salvation and maturity of faith in unity (Ephesians 4: 11-13). Each Pastoral Staff member shall abide by his written job description as approved by the congregation, and shall abide by the policies of the Staff Manual developed by the Trustee Committee and approved by the Board of Elders. The Senior Pastor, as a Teaching Elder is an ex-officio member of the Board of Elders. Each Pastor is also an ex-officio member of any Standing or Working Committee to which his job description or the Board of Elders may assign him. He shall have voting privileges as an Elder or Committee member in these settings. Each Pastor shall be accountable to the Governing Elders for the performance of his responsibilities and the use of his time and church resources. The Governing Elders shall conduct annual performance evaluations for each Pastor. Section 3: Resignation/Termination Members of the Pastoral Staff, as well as the congregation, shall both have the privilege of terminating their mutual association with two months notice. This notice period may be modified by mutual agreement between the pastor and the congregation. A three-fourths (3/4) majority vote shall be required by written ballot at a Business Meeting for the congregation to dismiss a Pastor. Pastors resigning from their position shall submit a letter of resignation to the Board of Elders. Upon accepting the Pastor s letter of resignation, the Board of Elders shall make this action known to the congregation. Section 4: Accusations Against Pastoral Staff Accusations that a Pastor has erred in doctrine or conduct shall be presented in writing to the Governing Elders by at least two or three witnesses (see Article 1, Section 4 of these Bylaws). The Governing Elders shall investigate the concerns and offer a written response to the accusers within sixty days of receiving the accusation. If an accusation is found to be valid by the Governing Elders, they shall take appropriate action with the Pastor, be it charitable admonishment, requesting his resignation, or recommending termination to the congregation. Article 4: Board of Elders (Teaching and Governing Elders) Section 1: Election and Organization The Board of Elders is composed of Governing Elders elected from the congregation and the Teaching Elder (Senior Pastor) called by the congregation. Governing Elders must be male members of the congregation, having been members for at least two years, and having demonstrated Christian leadership, training and service. Both Governing and Teaching Elders must meet the biblical qualifications for the office as established in Scripture (1 Timothy 3; Titus 1; 1 Peter 5; etc.) Candidates for the position of Governing Elder shall annually complete an application process (see Appendices A and B), and the congregation shall have the opportunity for questioning candidates prior to any election. There shall be at least four (4) but not more than nine (9) Governing Elders. Two-thirds of the members of the Board of Elders shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business. The Board of Elders shall annually appoint from the Governing Elders a Chairman, Vice-Chairman, and Secretary of the Board of Elders, as well as a Church Moderator. The Board shall also assign from the governing Elders a liaison for each Standing and Working Committee, who shall be responsible for ensuring necessary communication and coordination between the Board of Elders and the Committee. Each Governing Elder shall be elected by the congregation to serve a term of one year, and shall be eligible for re-election on an annual basis. A Governing Elder can serve up to six (6) consecutive years, after six years the individual must wait one (1) year prior to serving again. A two-thirds (2/3) majority vote at a church Business Meeting shall be necessary for the election of a Governing Elder. This vote shall be by written ballot. Section 2: Duties and Responsibilities The Board of Elders is responsible for general oversight of all areas affecting the spiritual welfare and ministries of the church. Elders are the overseers of all church activities, and are responsible Page B 4 (of 15) Page B 5 (of 15)

7 for establishing and maintaining the basic policies and practices of the church. Specifically, their duties include the following: A. To shepherd the spiritual life of the church with the goal of presenting every man mature in faith and unified with the brethren (Ephesians 4: 11-13); to supervise and administer the programs and ministries of the church; to keep order in the assemblies of the members and to reconcile so far as possible all disputes; to give leadership, counsel and comfort to the brethren as appropriate; to meet at least monthly for the conducting of its business. B. To develop and implement vision, goals, policies, and emphasis for the spiritual a n d physical growth of the church in accordance with Scripture and the Mission and Purpose statement in the church Constitution (see Article 3 of the Constitution). C. To provide accountability and semiannual evaluation for the Pastoral and Ministerial Staff in the performance of their duties, and to ensure the welfare of the Pastoral and Ministerial Staff and their families. D. To appoint and remove Active Members to Standing and Working Committees as needed according to the guidelines presented in these Bylaws (see Article 5); to entrust responsibility and authority to the various Standing and Working committees under the oversight of the board of Elders; to assign from the Governing Elders a liason to each Standing and Working committee who will ensure necessary communication and coordination between the Elders and the Committee. The Board of Elders shall retain the authority to affirm or overrule a decision made by a Standing or Working Committee if the Elders deem it in the best interest of the overall ministry of the church. E. To review applicants for membership and present qualifying applicants to the congregation according to the guidelines presented in these Bylaws (see Article 1, Section 1); to notify Inactive Members of their status and remove Inactive Members from membership according to the guidelines presented in these Bylaws (see Article 1, Section 2). F. To administrate the discipline of church members as necessary according to the guidelines presented in these Bylaws (see Article 1, Section 4). G. To share in the administration of worship services and church ordinances; to provide for pastoral responsibilities in the absence of Pastoral Staff as necessary. H. To schedule congregational Business Meetings according to the guidelines presented in the church Constitution (see Article 6); to appoint from the Board of Elders a Church Moderator who shall preside over all congregational Business Meetings; to submit quarterly reports to the congregation detailing Board of Elder activities. I. To appoint from the Board of Elders (1) a Chairman who will preside over the meetings of the Elders and serve as the corporate President of the church according to the church Constitution (see Article 5), (2) a Vice-Chairman who will assume the responsibilities of the Chairman in his absence, and (3) a Secretary who will keep accurate records of all business of the Elder Board. J. To work with the appointed Trustee Committee in the submission of a proposed annual budget to the congregation for approval (see Article 5, Section 4 of these Bylaws). K. To provide mutual accountability among the Elders to ensure that each Elder continues to maintain the Biblical standards for the office in his personal life. L. To interpret the church Constitution and Bylaws as necessary. Section 3: Resignation/Termination of Governing Elders A Governing Elder shall be considered dismissed from his responsibilities upon the occurrence of any one of the following: (1) Written resignation to the board of Elders and the congregation, (2) Removal by a two-thirds (2/3) majority vote at a congregational Business Meeting administered by written ballot, (3) The completion of his one-year term without re-election by the congregation, (4) Failure to serve as indicated by absence from three consecutive meetings of the board of Elders without excuse satisfactory to the other Elders. Upon the resignation or dismissal of a Governing Elder, the Board of Elders shall make this action known to the congregation. Section 4: Accusations Against an Elder Accusations against a Teaching Elder (Senior Pastor) shall be addressed according to the guidelines presented in Article 3, Section 4 of these Bylaws. Accusations that a Governing Elder has erred in doctrine or conduct shall be presented in writing to the Board of Elders by at least two or three witnesses. The Board of Elders shall investigate the concerns and offer a written response to the accusers within sixty days of receiving the accusation. If an accusation is found to be valid by the Board of Elders, they shall take appropriate action with the Elder in question, be it charitable admonishment, requesting his resignation, or recommending termination to the congregation. Article 5: Standing Committees Section 1: Appointment, Organization and Accountability Standing Committees are composed of Active Members appointed by the Board of Elders for the purpose of overseeing an ongoing area of ministry. Members of Standing Committees must be members of the church, and must demonstrate Christian training and service. To ensure undivided dedication, an individual may only serve on one (1) Standing Committee at any given time. Upon appointment by the Board of Elders, a member of a Standing Committee shall serve a threeyear term. (Standing Committee members appointed mid-year shall serve a two year term and the remaining part of the third year.) Terms for Committee members shall begin on the 1st of April and be considered concluded on the 31st of March. Standing Committee members may be appointed to serve up to two consecutive three-year terms in the same office, after which they may not be appointed to the same Committee for a period of at least one year. There shall be at least three members for each Standing Committee, though the Board of Elders may appoint more than three members as necessary. Additionally, Pastors and Ministerial Staff shall serve as voting ex-officio members of any Standing Committee to which their job descriptions or the Board of Elders may assign them. Each Standing Committee shall annually appoint a Committee Chairman and Secretary from its members. The Committee Chairman shall preside over meetings of the Standing Committee, and the Secretary shall keep accurate records of all business of the Standing Committee. Page B 6 (of 15) Page B 7 (of 15)

8 Each Standing Committee shall annually submit a proposed budget for its area of ministry to the Trustee Committee. Section 2: Deacon Committee The Deacon Committee shall be responsible for overseeing the benevolence programs of the church, including such activities as assisting with financial and material needs of members and non-members as possible, visiting shut-ins and hospital patients, and organizing and supervising support groups to address specific physical and/or spiritual needs. The Deacon Committee shall coordinate its efforts with the Deaconess Committee to administer the overall care and benevolence programs of the church. In addition to the general qualifications for all Standing committee members, Deacons must meet the biblical qualifications for the office as established in Scripture (1 Timothy 3:8-13). Section 3: Deaconess Committee The Deaconess Committee shall assist the Deacon Committee in carrying out the benevolence programs of the church, including such activities as assisting with Communion and Baptism, arranging for meals to homes or funeral dinners as needed, carrying out a ministry of cheer through cards and visitations, and overseeing a prayer chain ministry within the congregation. In addition to the general qualifications for all Standing committee members, Deaconesses must meet the biblical qualifications for the office as established in Scripture (1 Timothy 3:11) Section 4: Trustee Committee The Trustee Committee shall be responsible for the care, custody, and control of the financial assets and properties of this church, including the following activities: providing budgetary controls needed for adherence; keeping the deeds, insurance policies, and other valuable papers concerning church property; maintain a current inventory of the real estate and personal property owned by the church; adequately insuring church properties for damage and liability; maintaining and securing all church owned, rented, or leased properties, building and equipment; counting and depositing all monies received at services and other church programs; and submitting a Staff Manual detailing general employment arrangements for church staff to the Board of Elders for approval. The Trustee Committee shall also hire and oversee the custodial and secretarial personnel of the church, including administration of salary and benefits. The Trustee Committee shall receive a proposed annual budget from the Board of Elders and each Standing Committee for the following fiscal year. They shall analyze the disbursements of all funds, estimate the income for the following year, coordinate and present a recommended budget to the congregation per direction and approval of the Board of Elders. The Financial Secretary shall be a voting ex-officio member of the Trustee Committee. The Trustee Committee shall annually appoint from their members an individual to serve as the corporate officer of Treasurer according to the church Constitution (see Article 5). Section 5: Children s Ministry Committee The Children s Ministry Committee shall oversee the total program of children s educational ministries in this church, including the following activities; selecting curriculum materials which assure that the materials used are in keeping with the policies, practices, and beliefs of this church; appointing and overseeing program coordinators as necessary; scheduling or eliminating children s programs or ministries as necessary; establishing and overseeing a nursery/child-care program for all services, mid-week programs, and special events as necessary; supervising the recruitment, training and evaluation of all leaders within the various Children s Ministries of this church; appointing and overseeing a camp representative for the tasks of camp promotion, registration, etc; and annually submitting a proposed budget for Children s Ministries to the Trustee Committee. Section 6: Youth Ministry Committee The Youth Ministry Committee shall oversee the total program of youth ministries in this church, including the following activities: selecting curriculum materials which assure that the materials used are in keeping with the policies, practices, and beliefs of this church; appointing and overseeing program coordinators as necessary; scheduling or eliminating youth programs or ministries as necessary; supervising the recruitment, training and evaluation of all leaders within the various youth ministries of this church; and annually submitting a proposed budget for Youth Ministries to the Trustee Committee. Section 7: Adult Ministry Committee The Adult Ministry Committee shall oversee the total program of adult educational ministries in this church, including the following activities: selecting curriculum materials for adult classes and small groups which assure that the materials used are in keeping with the policies, practices, and beliefs of this church; appointing and overseeing program coordinators as necessary; scheduling or eliminating adult programs or ministries as necessary; supervising the recruitment, training and evaluation of all leaders within the various adult ministries of this church; establishing and overseeing a church resource library; and annually submitting a proposed budget for Adult Ministries to the Trustee Committee. Section 8: Evangelism and Missions Committee The Evangelism and Missions Committee shall oversee the total outreach program of this church, including the following responsibilities: establishing and overseeing a local evangelism program for sharing the gospel with those in this church and community; directing any mother church responsibility assumed by this church; regularly corresponding with all supported missionaries and missionary candidates in order to ascertain their current ministry and financial status; reviewing any candidates for missions and reporting the Committee recommendation to the Board of Elders for further action; working with the Children s, Youth and Adult Committees to ensure education and training in the areas of evangelism and missions; and annually submitting a proposed budget for Evangelism and Missions to the Trustee Committee. Page B 8 (of 15) Page B 9 (of 15)

9 Section 9: Worship Committee The Worship Committee shall oversee and coordinate the weekly worship services, programs, and special services of this church, including the following activities: appointing and overseeing program coordinators as necessary; supervising the recruitment, training and evaluation of all leaders (including singers, instrumentalists, dramatists, audiovisual technicians, ushers, etc.) within the various worship ministries of this church; working with the Pastoral Staff and Board of Elders in scheduling, planning and implementing weekly worship services and other events as necessary; maintaining a quality, worshipful environment for church services (including flowers and decorations) in cooperation with the Trustee Committee; and annually submitting a proposed budget for Worship Ministries to the Trustee Committee. Section 10: Administrative Committee The Administrative Committee shall assist the Board of Elders in administrating and coordinating the needs and activities of the various Standing and Working Committees of this church, including the following activities: identifying potential Committee members as needed and submitting recommendations to the Board of Elders for appointment; establishing and implementing general leadership training opportunities for all elected and appointed leaders; maintaining and overall church calendar for the scheduling of events and facilities; and ensuring that communication and coordination occurs between the various Committees as necessary. Section 11: Women s Ministries The Women s Ministries Committee (Executive Committee) shall oversee all of the ministries directed specifically to the women of the church. These ministries include, White Cross, Women s Circles, the specific women s banquets held throughout the year, Bible Studies and women s support groups. Article 6: Working Committees Section 1: Appointment, Organization and Accountability Working Committees are composed of Active Members appointed by the Board of Elders for the purpose of accomplishing a specific task. Upon appointment by the Board of Elders a member of a Working Committee shall serve on the Committee until such time as the Committee s task is completed. Members of a Working Committee may also serve on a Standing Committee or other Working Committees simultaneously. There shall be at least three (3) members for each Working Committee, though the Board of Elders may appoint more than three members as necessary. Additionally, Pastors shall serve as voting ex-officio members of any Working Committee to which their job descriptions or the Board of Elders may assign them. Each Working Committee shall appoint a Committee Chairman and Secretary from its members. The Committee Chairman shall preside over meetings of the Working Committee and the Secretary shall keep accurate records of all business of the Working Committee. Each Working Committee shall submit a monthly written report to the Board of Elders detailing Committee activity. Section 2: Financial Review Committee The Financial Review Committee shall be established annually to ensure that the financial records, procedures and affairs of the church are audited and in order. If the Board of Elders deem it necessary to have an audit performed by an independent auditing firm, the Financial Review Committee shall serve as a liaison between this church and the auditing firm. The Financial Review Committee shall submit its report to the congregation at the annual Business Meeting. Section 3: Memorial Committee The Memorial Committee shall be established whenever necessary to oversee the promotion and investment of funds given to this church in remembrance of a loved one. The Memorial Committee shall oversee the investment of memorial funds in order to allow growth while providing liquidity when withdrawals are necessary. The Memorial Committee shall submit recommendations for the dispersal of memorial funds to the Board of Elders in accordance to the wishes of the memorialized individual s loved ones. The Memorial Committee shall submit quarterly reports to the congregation detailing its activities. Section 4: Building Committee The Building Committee shall be established whenever necessary to oversee the planning and construction of major improvements to the church facilities as directed by the congregation. The Building committee shall research and recommend design plans, cost estimates, and a strategy for project completion to the congregation for consideration. Upon congregational approval, the Building Committee shall coordinate the arrangements for construction between the appropriate church officers and the necessary contractors, builders, etc. The Building Committee shall then oversee the construction of the project on behalf of the congregation. During the period of construction and upon completion of the project, the Building committee shall submit quarterly reports to the congregation detailing its activities. Section 5: Pastoral Search Committee The Pastoral Search Committee shall be established whenever necessary to solicit and screen candidates for Pastoral Staff positions as directed by the congregation and the Board of Elders. The Pastoral Search Committee shall seek candidates for the position in question, and shall investigate each candidate regarding their doctrinal beliefs, education, ministerial record, and qualifications for the position. The Pastoral Search Committee shall submit their recommendations to the Board of Elders for further action according to the guidelines presented in these Bylaws (see Article 3, Section 1). Page B 10 (of 15) Page B 11 (of 15)

10 Section 6: Additional Committees The Board of Elders may establish additional Working Committees as necessary for carrying out the projects and ministries of this church. Additional Working Committees might include event-related Committees (i.e., Singing Christmas Tree, etc.) a Long-Range Planning Committee, a Fund-Raising Committee, etc. Each of these additional Working Committees shall operate according to the general guidelines for Working Committees presented in these Bylaws. Article 7: Ministerial Staff (Program Coordinators, Non-Ordained Ministers, Interns, etc.) Section 1: Calling of Ministerial Staff Upon the congregation s decision to search for Ministerial Staff, the Board of Elders shall establish and appoint a special Working Committee for the purpose of seeking candidates for the position and investigating candidates regarding their doctrinal beliefs, education, professional record and qualifications, and spiritual qualifications for the position. The Committee shall then make their recommendations to the Board of Elders. The Board of Elders shall further investigate and interview the candidate as necessary, and shall schedule opportunities for the congregation to meet the candidate as necessary. The Board of Elders shall propose a compensation package and written job description for the congregation to consider, and shall submit its recommendations to the congregation at a scheduled Annual, Quarterly, or Special Business meeting. A two-thirds (2/3) majority vote shall be necessary for the extension of a call. This vote shall be by written ballot. Section 2: Responsibilities and Accountability Each Ministerial Staff member shall abide by his/her written job description as approved by the congregation, and shall abide by the policies of the Staff Manual established by the Trustee Committee and approved by the Board of Elders. Each Ministerial Staff member is an ex-officio member of any committee to which his/her job description assigns him/her. He/She shall have voting privileges as a Committee member in these settings. Each Ministerial Staff member shall be accountable to the Board of Elders for the performance of his/her responsibilities and the use of his/her time and church resources. The Elders shall conduct semiannual performance evaluations for each Ministerial Staff member. Section 3: Resignation/Termination Ministerial Staff members, as well as the congregation, shall both have the privilege of terminating their mutual association with one (1) month notice. This notice period may be modified by mutual agreement between the staff member and the congregation. A two-thirds (2/3) majority vote shall be required by written ballot at a Business Meeting for the congregation to dismiss a Ministerial Staff member. Ministerial Staff members resigning from their position shall submit a letter of resignation to the Board of Elders. Upon accepting the staff member s letter of resignation, the Board of Elders shall make this action known to the congregation. Section 4: Accusations Against Ministerial Staff Member Accusations that a Ministerial Staff member has erred in doctrine or conduct shall be presented in writing to the Governing Elders by at least two or three witnesses. The Governing Elders shall investigate the concerns and offer a written response to the accusers within sixty days of receiving the accusation. If an accusation is found to be valid by the Governing Elders, they shall take appropriate action with the Ministerial Staff member, be it charitable admonishment, requesting his/her resignation, or recommending termination to the congregation. Article 8: Church Officers Section 1: Election and Qualifications Individuals serving in the offices of Church Clerk, and Financial Secretary, shall be elected annually from the congregation. Church officers must have been members of the church for at least two years, and must demonstrate Christian leadership, training and service. Section 2: Church Clerk The Church Clerk shall be elected at the Annual Business Meeting, and shall serve a one year Term (or part thereof) concluding at the completion of the following year s Annual Business Meeting. The Church Clerk may be elected to serve up to four consecutive terms in the same office, after which he/she may not be elected to the office of Church Clerk for a period of at least one year. The Church Clerk shall keep an accurate record of the proceedings and decisions of all Congregational Business Meetings. He/She shall collect and archive the records and minutes of all business of the Board of Elders, the Standing Committees, and the Working Committees. The Church Clerk shall make these records appropriate to any church member upon request. The Church Clerk shall ensure that church record of Active and Inactive Members are accurately maintained. The church clerk shall coordinate the collection and archiving of additional statistical or historical data as needed by the Pastoral Staff or the Board of Elders. Section 3: Financial Secretary The Financial Secretary shall be elected at the Fall Quarterly Business Meeting, and shall serve a one year term beginning the following January 1. During the interim time between the election of a new Financial Secretary and the commencement of his/her term, the Financial Secretary-Elect shall serve as an apprentice to the outgoing Financial Secretary for the purpose of ensuring a smooth transition between these leaders. The Financial Secretary may be elected to serve up to four consecutive terms in the same office, after which he/she may not be elected to the office of Financial Secretary for a period of at least one year. Page B 12 (of 15) Page B 13 (of 15)

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