Constitution and By-Laws

April 2003

 

Developing authentic and faithful followers of Jesus, who actively introduce others to the God of grace and truth.

 

CONSTITUTION

 

Table of Contents

 

Article I. Name

 

Article II. Statement of Faith

 

Article III. Purpose

 

Article IV. Membership

 

Article V. Government and Offices

 

Article VI. Business Meeting

 

Article VII. Ordination

 

Article VIII. Affiliation

 

Article IX. Property Rights

 

Article X. Constitutional Amendments

 

 

Article I. Name

            The name of this Church shall be North Suburban Evangelical Free Church.

 

Article II. Statement of Faith

  1. We believe the Scriptures, both Old and New Testaments, to be the inspired Word of God, without error in the original writings, the complete revelation of His will for the salvation of man, and the Divine and final authority for Christian faith and life. (II Tim. 3:16-17; I Thess. 2:13)

 

  1. We believe in one God, Creator of all things, infinitely perfect and eternally existing in three persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. (Deut. 6:4; Matt. 28:19; I Cor. 8:6)

 

  1. We believe that Jesus Christ is true God and true man, having been conceived of the Holy Ghost and born of the Virgin Mary. He died on the cross a sacrifice for our sins according to the Scriptures. Further, He arose bodily from the dead, ascended into heaven, where, at the right hand of the Majesty on High, He now is our High Priest and Advocate. (Matt. 1:18-25; Luke 1:35)

 

  1. We believe that the ministry of the Holy Spirit is to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ, and during this age to convict men, regenerate the believing sinner, indwell, guide, instruct, and empower the believer for godly living and service. (John 7:38,39; 14:16, 17; 15:26; 16:13, 14)

 

  1. We believe that man was created in the image of God but fell into sin and is therefore lost and only through regeneration by the Holy Spirit can salvation and spiritual life be obtained. (Gen. 1:26, 27; 3:1-24)

 

  1. We believe that the shed blood of Jesus Christ and His resurrection provide the only ground for justification and salvation for all who believe, and only such as receive Jesus Christ are born of the Holy Spirit, and thus become children of God. (Isa. 53; I Cor. 15:3,4; Rom. 5:1,9)

 

  1. We believe that water baptism and the Lord’s Supper are ordinances to be observed by the Church during the present age. They are, however, not to be regarded as means of salvation. (Matt. 3:15, 16; 28:19; I Cor. 11:23-26)

 

  1. We believe that the true Church is composed of all such persons who through saving faith in Jesus Christ have been regenerated by the Holy Spirit and are united together in the body of Christ of which He is the head. (Matt. 16:16-18; Acts 2:32-49; II Cor. 5:8; Phil 1:23)

 

  1. We believe that only those who are thus members of the true Church shall be eligible for membership in the local church.

 

  1. We believe that Jesus Christ is the Lord and Head of the Church and that every local church has the right, under Christ, to decide and govern its own affairs.

 

  1. We believe in the personal premillennial and imminent coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and that this “Blessed Hope” has a vital bearing on the personal life and service of the believer. (Rev. 20:4-6; I Thess. 4:16-18)

 

  1. We believe in the bodily resurrection of the dead; of the believer to everlasting blessedness and joy with the Lord, of the unbeliever to judgment and everlasting conscious punishment. (Matt. 25:46; Rev. 20:11-15)

 

Article III. Purpose

            The purpose of this Church is: to develop authentic and faithful followers of Jesus who actively introduce others to the God of grace and truth. Specifically, the functions to accomplish this are: to worship, praise and rejoice in the Lord God; to preach the Word of God and trust the enabling Holy Spirit for the inspiration and encouragement, edification, guidance, discipline and spiritual growth of members and other believers (II Tim. 3:16); to win unsaved to Christ; to help new Christians develop their spiritual life; to instruct all, children through adults, in the Word of God; to further the cause of Christ by our intercessory prayer and financial investments; to provide fellowship for members and friends; to contribute to the moral climate of the nation by actively demonstrating a Christ-like concern for the problems of our society and by helping to maintain our Biblical heritage; and to further Gospel work in the Mission fields at home and abroad.

 

Article IV. Membership

            This Church shall receive as members those twelve years of age or over who have accepted Jesus Christ as Savior, have been born again of the Spirit, and show in their lives the fruits of a true faith in God. Voting rights shall be granted to all members eighteen years of age and over. Those seeking membership shall meet with the designated Elders, Deacons and Deaconesses to comply with the following requirements. All applicants shall confess Christ as Savior and Lord. Having received a copy of the Constitution and By-Laws, they shall give written assent to the following statements: the Statement of Faith, and a statement agreeing to be governed by the Constitution and By-Laws of this Church and the procedures for church discipline. The names of those recommended for membership shall be submitted at a subsequent Congregational Business meeting for approval. Once approved, membership shall be considered as beginning with the date of application.

           

            If any member is absent from services for more than one year, without giving satisfactory reason for such absence, or if he or she submits a request in writing, the Church may remove this person from membership.

 

Article V. Government and Offices

  1. Final authority of this Church shall be vested in the members.

 

  1. Church Officers

The Church Officers are listed below. The specific duties and tenure of each office are listed in the By-Laws. They shall also be the Corporate Officers.

                        Chair of the Church

                        Vice-Chair of the Church

                        Secretary

                        Treasurer

 

  1. Elder Board

            The Elder Board shall be composed of the Senior Pastor, the Executive Pastor and other elected members. The specific numbers, duties and terms are described in the By-Laws.

                       

Article VI. Business Meeting

            The Church fiscal year shall begin April 1st. The Annual Meeting of the Church shall be held during the month of April each year. At this time the election of officers, the ratification of the income and expense projections in the church budget, and the transaction of such business as concerns the work of the year shall take place. The Quarterly Meetings shall normally be held in July (optional), October and January. A special meeting may be called by the Chair, the Senior Pastor, the Elder Board, or by a petition of 20% of the members.

            Church business meetings shall be announced at least two Sundays in advance.

 

            For Church business meetings 20% of the members shall constitute a quorum. For all Elder Board meetings, two-thirds of the Serving Elders shall constitute a quorum. The vote of a majority of the membership present at any business or Elder meeting shall constitute an action unless such an action requires a greater percentage majority as defined in the By-laws. If a quorum is not present by one-half hour after the announced starting time of the meeting, the Chair has authority to cancel the meeting. When questions of parliamentary procedure are raised, Robert’s Rules of Order shall prevail.

 

Article VII. Ordination

            Spirit-filled men of the local Church who are called out from among us to proclaim the Gospel of the Grace of God, and who have had at least one year of ministry experience may apply for ordination. Written application shall be submitted to the Elder Board.

 

            The Elder Board shall make a preliminary examination of the candidate as to the length of membership in the Church, his call to the ministry, training and experience, and his views of Bible doctrine. The Board’s judgment shall be based upon observation of the candidate’s abilities, not on their hopes of what the candidate may do. If the Board judges the candidate is called of God and possesses the necessary gifts, it shall be recommended at the next Church business meeting that an ordination council be called.

 

            Upon a three-fourths affirmative vote of the members present at the business meeting, a call shall be issued for the convening of an ordination council and the propriety of ordaining the candidate shall be committed to this council.

 

Article VIII. Affiliation

            This Church shall be affiliated with the Evangelical Free Church of America and its Great Lakes District to whose conferences it shall send delegates. This Church shall also maintain an interest in the national and international ministries of the Evangelical Free Church of America and shall unite in any other mutual efforts for the furtherance of the Gospel as the Church may decide. This Church shall remain its own highest authority and shall conduct its business through its own business meetings.

 

Article IX. Property Rights

            If the Church membership votes to dissolve and cease to function as a church, or if the membership should be dissolved through some disaster, the property rights shall pass to the Great Lakes District Conference of the Evangelical Free Church of America to enable it, the Great Lakes District, to renew the work or use the values thereof for further Gospel enterprises.

 

            In the event that this Church shall vote to unite or combine with another church, it shall not be considered to have been dissolved as in the above sentence, but the property rights shall be retained by the new combined church.

 

Article X. Constitutional Amendments

            The Church may make any changes in the Constitution or Amendments thereto which may be deemed necessary and proper with the exception of Article II, which shall only be changed when necessary to comply to the statement of faith of the Evangelical Free Church of America. After such proposed amendments have been read and discussed at a Church business meeting, the final draft of the proposed amendments shall be mailed to the Church membership at least two months prior to the voting time. A written or spoken announcement of the voting date shall be made at least three consecutive Sundays before the voting date. A two-thirds majority of those voting shall be required to carry the proposition, except for amendments or changes to Constitutional Articles III, VIII or X, which shall require a three-fourths majority. Twenty percent of the membership shall constitute a quorum for this vote. Those who are confined due to health, may request an absentee ballot, which will be granted if approved by the Elder Board. Requests must be received in writing at least ten days before the day of voting.

 

 

BY-LAWS

 

Table of Contents

 

Article I. Duties of Members

 

Article II. Conduct

  1. Members
  2. Elders
  3. Diaconate

 

Article III. Church Discipline

  1. Offenses against the Church or its Name
  2. Grievances among Church Members
  3. Misconduct by Leaders

 

Article IV. Church Staff

  1. The Pastoral Staff
  2. Other Employees

 

Article V. Elected Positions

  1. Elections
  2. Duties and Terms of Office

 

Article VI. Ministry Teams and Other Organizations

 

Article VII. Amendments to By-Laws

 

 

 

Article I. Duties of Members

            It is expected that every member be faithful to the cause for which this Church has been organized as set forth in Article III of the Constitution. It is also expected that he or she support the activities of the Church by regular prayer and faithful attendance at Church services and business meetings in accordance with Hebrews 10:24, 25, “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together . . .”

 

            Members are urged to acknowledge the scriptural teachings on spiritual gifts as in Romans 12:1-13, I Cor. 12-14, and Eph. 4:1-16. Each member is to exercise his or her gifts for personal growth as well as the ministry and outreach growth of the Church.

 

            In accordance with Malachi 3:8-11, we believe that proportionate giving is clearly taught in the Word of God. Members are urged to make a covenant with God to make regular, enthusiastic contributions to this Church from their income as they believe God requires of them according to the principle laid down in I Cor. 16:2 and II Cor 9: 7-11.

 

Article II. Conduct

  1. Members

            We shall require of each other in our daily life and conduct to give loyal obedience to all the moral and spiritual teachings which are laid down in the Word of God so plainly as to need no definition, as given in the following and many other passages:

 

            “Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?” (II Cor. 6:14)

 

            “What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: ‘I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people. Therefore come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you.’ ” (II Cor. 6:16, 17)        “Do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.” (I Cor. 6:19,20)

 

            Christians are not to engage in or foster hatred, quarreling, jealousy, bad temper, rivalry, envy, and other sins set forth in Galatians 5:19-21. We are to be faithful in our marital relationships and honest, pure and respectful of heart with each other (Eph. 5:22-28; I Peter 3:1-7). As stewards of our own time and resources and as guardians of our brother’s welfare, we avoid practices which are useless consumers of time, energy and money.

 

            The criterion for the child of God in all these matters should be Rom. 12:1,2; II Cor. 6:14 to 7:1 and I John 2:15-16 bearing in mind that no negative abstention from worldly practices can ever be a substitute for positive devotion to the Lord Jesus Christ.

 

  1. Elders

            Recognizing the greater responsibilities with regard to their conduct and Christian testimony as well as their spiritual oversight in the formulation of the Church’s vision, strategic direction and policies, the following additional passages of Scriptures are set forth as being particularly applicable as standards for the Elders:

 

            I Tim. 3:2-7 “Now the overseer must be above reproach, the husband of but one wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him with proper respect. (If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God’s church?) He must not be a recent convert, or he may become conceited and fall under the same judgment as the devil. He must also have a good reputation with outsiders, so that he will not fall into disgrace and into the devil’s trap.”

 

            Tit. 1:6-9 “An elder must be blameless, the husband of but one wife, a man whose children believe and are not open to the charge of being wild and disobedient. Since an overseer is entrusted with God’s work, he must be blameless–not overbearing, not quick-tempered, not given to drunkenness, not violent, not pursuing dishonest gain. Rather he must be hospitable, one who loves what is good, who is self-controlled, upright, holy and disciplined. He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it.”

 

            I Pet 5:1-3 “To the elders among you, I appeal as a fellow elder, a witness of Christ’s sufferings and one who also will share in the glory to be revealed: Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, serving as overseers–not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not greedy for money, but eager to serve; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock.”

 

  1. Diaconate

            The Diaconate shall be comprised of Ministry Directors and those primary Ministry Leaders who directly report to them. They should be known as “full of the Spirit and wisdom” (Acts 6:1), and the following additional passage of Scripture is set forth as being particularly applicable to standards of conduct for such Leaders, both Deacons and Deaconesses.

 

            “Deacons, likewise, are to be men worthy of respect, sincere, not indulging in much wine, and not pursuing dishonest gain. They must keep hold of the deep truths of the faith with a clear conscience. They must first be tested; and then if there is nothing against them, let them serve as deacons. In the same way, their wives are to be women worthy of respect, not malicious talkers but temperate and trustworthy in everything. A deacon must be the husband of but one wife and must manage his children and his household well. Those who have served well gain an excellent standing and great assurance in their faith in Christ Jesus.” (I Tim. 3:8-13).

 

Article III. Church Discipline

  1. Offenses against the Church or its Name

            Should a member become an offense to the Church and its good name by reason of immoral and unchristian conduct, or by persistently denying the Statement of Faith, the Church may agree on disciplinary actions up to and including removal from membership, but only after due notice and hearing, and after faithful efforts have been made to bring such a member to restored fellowship with Christ.

 

            The member in question shall be interviewed and the matter dealt with by the Senior Pastor and an Elder or a leader of the Pastor’s choosing as directed by Matt. 18:15-17. If this does not lead to restoration of fellowship, charges shall be put in writing and be forwarded to the member, together with a notice to meet at a definite date with the Elder Board. Upon being notified, the member shall have the option to resign his or her membership or to select any Elder, Deacon or Deaconess of this Church who would be willing to assist this member in the examination. The Chair shall appoint one Elder to present the charges and the proofs in support thereof.

 

            After a fair and impartial hearing of all available witnesses and consideration of all facts, the Elder Board shall come to a decision. If a three-fourths majority believes the accusations against this member to be true, they may agree on disciplinary actions up to and including removal from membership. Failure on the part of this member to appear for the hearing shall not prevent the Elder Board from examining the case and coming to a decision in accord with the testimony received.

 

  1. Grievances among Church Members

            All cases of grievances among Church members (including differences between husband and wife) should be dealt with in accordance with the rules laid down in Matthew 18. It is urged that no complaints be proffered in public courts until this course shall have been pursued. Counsel should be sought first of the Senior Pastor and an Elder or a leader of the Pastor’s choosing. If necessary, charges, when made, shall be in writing and shall be submitted to the Elder Board for such action as is deemed proper.

 

  1. Misconduct by Elders

            When any Leader acts in disregard of the standards of personal Christian conduct set forth in Article II of these By-Laws, such an offending leader may be removed from his or her position of leadership as specified below.

 

  1. Senior Pastor

            Accusations against the Senior Pastor shall be considered only when supported by the testimony of two or three witnesses. The Senior Pastor shall be interviewed and the matter dealt with by the Chair and Vice-Chair of the Church as directed by Matt. 18:15-17. Should this Pastor be found to err in doctrine or moral conduct, the charges shall be put in writing and forwarded to the Senior Pastor, together with a notice to meet at a definite date with the Elder Board, including Elders-at-large.

 

            After a fair and impartial hearing of all available witnesses and consideration of all facts, the Elder Board shall come to a decision. If half of the lay Elders, both serving and at-large, vote against the Senior Pastor, as determined by a role-call vote, he shall be dismissed. He shall be discharged immediately with an appropriate level of severance pay.

 

  1. Elders and Other Pastors

            Accusations against an Elder or Pastor, other than the Senior Pastor, shall be considered only when supported by the testimony of two or three witnesses. The Elder or Pastor in question shall be interviewed and the matter dealt with by the Senior Pastor and the Chair of the Church (or, if the Chair is implicated in an offense against the Church, then the Vice-Chair) as directed by Matt. 18:15-17. Should this Pastor or Elder be found to err in doctrine or moral conduct the charges shall be put in writing and forwarded to the Elder, together with a notice to meet at a definite date with the Elder Board. This leader shall have the option to resign his office or to select any Elder, Deacon or Deaconess, who would be willing, to assist this leader in the examination. The Chair of the Church shall appoint one Elder to present the charges and the proofs in support thereof.

 

            After a fair and impartial hearing of all available witnesses and consideration of all facts, the Elder Board shall come to a decision. If a three-fourths majority believes the accusations to be true, as determined by a role-call vote, the Elders may agree on disciplinary actions up to and including removal from office and membership. Failure on the part of this leader to appear for the hearing shall not prevent the Elder Board from examining the case and coming to a decision in accord with the testimony received.

           

Article IV. Church Staff

  1. The Pastoral Staff

 

  1. The Senior Pastor

            The Senior Pastor shall be chosen by the membership of the church at an officially called meeting. The Elder Board shall be responsible for preparation of an objective report on the candidate for the business meeting at which the candidate is considered. The candidate shall qualify for his office according to the standards described in Article II, Paragraph B of the By-Laws. He shall be in full accord with the Statement of Faith and Constitution and By-Laws of the Church. A candidate must receive at least three-fourths of the vote of those voting to be called to the pastorate of the Church. Upon installation, the Senior Pastor and his wife shall automatically become members.

 

            In case of termination of contract or of the mutual agreement of termination of pastorate, the Elders shall grant an appropriate amount of severance pay.

 

            The Senior Pastor shall have the general oversight of the spiritual life, the ministries, and the ministration of the ordinances of the Church. He shall be the principal preaching pastor with oversight over the entire preaching schedule so that all members and children are properly instructed in God’s Word. The Senior Pastor shall submit a report of his activities at the annual Church Meeting. The Senior Pastor is a member of the Elder Board.

 

            Pastoral staff job descriptions, terms of employment, and termination of employment shall be based on recommendations of the Senior Pastor. The Elder Board shall act on these recommendations after an adequate review. In the event the Church has no Senior Pastor, the Executive Pastor shall assume these responsibilities. If both positions are vacant the Elder Board will assume these responsibilities.

 

            The Senior Pastor shall provide leadership to the other members of the pastoral staff, delegating responsibility and authority where appropriate, establishing priorities in the ministries, and promoting the effective functioning of the total staff. Whenever the Senior Pastor wishes to make significant changes to these responsibilities, he shall obtain the approval of the Elder Board. He shall submit, to the Elder Board, a written annual ministry performance review of each member of the pastoral staff.

 

  1. Executive Pastor

            The Executive Pastor serves on behalf of the Senior Pastor with authority and responsibilities granted to him by the Senior Pastor. The Executive Pastor is a member of the Elder Board.

 

            He shall qualify for his office according to the standards described in Article II, Paragraph B of the By-Laws. He shall be in full accord with the Statement of Faith and Constitution and By-Laws of the Church.

 

            The Executive Pastor is to enable the Pastoral Staff, Ministry Directors and Church staff to fulfill their mutual and individual ministry and administrative functions. Additionally his responsibilities include overseeing the facilities, finances and the human resources functions of the Church.

 

            Non-Pastoral staff job descriptions, terms of employment, and termination of employment shall be the responsibility of the Executive Pastor.

 

            The Executive Pastor shall be called to the church in accordance with the procedures used in calling other pastoral staff as stated in Article IV, A, 3 of the By-Laws.

 

  1. Additional Pastoral Staff

            Additional Pastoral staff positions are defined as Ministry Directors and Pastors, other than the Senior Pastor and Executive Pastor. Based on the needs of the Church, the congregation shall establish pastor positions and the Elder Board shall establish Ministry Director positions.

 

            The Elder Board shall appoint a search committee for pastor positions. The search committee shall seek a candidate who is qualified in experience, training, and character for the position. Upon the recommendation of the search committee and Senior Pastor, the Elder Board may call pastors.

 

            Ministry Directors shall be appointed by the Elder Board, after having been evaluated by the Executive Pastor.

 

            All pastoral staff shall work under the authority of the Executive Pastor, on behalf of the Senior Pastor. Pastors shall qualify for their offices according to the standards described in Article II, Paragraph B of the By-Laws. Pastors and Ministry Directors shall be in full accord with the Statement of Faith and Constitution and By-Laws of the Church.

 

            When individuals accept a pastor position, then they and their spouses shall automatically become members. Pastors are Elders-at-large when not serving an elected term as a serving Elder.

 

            Within the first ninety days of a new Senior Pastor, the Senior Pastor may, without cause, after consulting with the Elder Board, request the resignation of any of the incumbent Pastoral Staff.

 

            All Pastors are to have Ministerial Standing with the EFCA. While not a requirement for calling a Pastor, it is expected that all Pastors, within their first year of service, begin the process, of acquiring this standing. In the event that this process does not result in licensing, the Elders will review this staff person to evaluate if any alternate action needs to be taken, such as local ordination.

 

  1. Other Employees

            In order to accomplish the work of the Church, other workers may be employed. The Executive Pastor shall have oversight for the selection and termination of these paid employees. The job descriptions, terms of employment, reviews and termination of employment shall be the responsibility of the staff member or Ministry Director to whom each employee reports.

 

Article V. Elected Positions

  1. Elections

            The Elder Board shall present the slate of candidates to the members by mail at least fourteen days before the Annual Meeting, where the election shall occur.

 

  1. Elders

            An Elder must have been a member of the Church for at least one year. Any member of the Church may nominate individuals for the positions of Serving Elder. The Elder Board shall then evaluate each nominee according to the requirements. There shall be a minimum of seven and no more than fourteen Serving Elders, including the Senior Pastor and Executive Pastor. No more than one-third of the Serving Elders may be Pastors.

 

            Should an active Elder resign or be removed at any time during his term, the Board may initiate the nomination process with an election to take place at any quarterly meeting. Partial terms to fill vacant positions shall not be counted against the term limit.

 

  1. Officers

            The Chair of the Church and the Vice-Chair shall be lay Elders; either currently serving or persons nominated to become Elders. They shall be recommended by the Elder Board.

 

            The Secretary and Treasurer must have been members of the Church for at least one year. They shall be recommended by the Executive Pastor and evaluated by the Elder Board.

 

  1. Duties and Terms of Office

 

  1. Chair of the Church

            The Chair of the Church shall also be the Chair of the Elder Board. He shall preside at all business meetings of the Church and the Elder Board. The Chair shall have authority to call special meetings of the Church or Elder Board. The term of office shall be one year, renewable for no more than two additional consecutive years.

 

  1. Vice-Chair of the Church

            The Vice-Chair of the Church shall also be the Vice-Chair of the Elder Board. In the absence of the Chair, the Vice-Chair shall perform the duties of the Chair. The term of office shall be one year, renewable for no more than two additional consecutive years.

 

  1. Secretary

            The Secretary shall keep a complete record of the transactions of all business meetings of the Church, which shall be distributed for approval at the next meeting. The Secretary may be requested to attend the Elder Board meetings and act as recording secretary. The Secretary shall be the Registered Agent. The Secretary shall serve one-year terms, with no limit to the number of terms.

 

  1. Treasurer

            This officer shall report to and work closely with the Executive Pastor in overseeing the recording of all expenses and disbursements. He or she shall disburse funds in adherence with the church approved annual budget or as directed by the Church Officers or the Elder Board, remaining consistent with those guidelines set forth in the By-Laws; Article V,B,5. The Treasurer shall submit a monthly Financial Report to the Elder Board. He or she shall submit a quarterly and annual Financial Report to the Church and shall submit the records for and participate in an annual external audit or external financial review. The audit or review report is to be reviewed with the Elders and submitted to the Church within 90 days of completion. The Treasurer shall be the Director of the Finance Ministry Team. The Treasurer and all responsible for finances shall maintain a separation of duties to insure proper internal financial controls.

 

            The Treasurer and others so designated by the Elder Board shall be authorized to sign checks drawn on Church bank accounts, money market funds, sell stock, or to redeem Certificates of Deposit for the use of the Church. The Treasurer shall serve one-year terms, with no limit to the number of terms. The Treasurer and all responsible for bookkeeping and check signing, including the Executive Pastor, shall be bonded.

 

  1. The Elder Board

            Spiritual oversight of the church, the staff, and the ministries of the church is the primary responsibility of the Elder Board. The study of the Word of God and fervent prayer shall be its first priority in seeking Divine guidance and power. The Elder Board and each Elder individually shall use their gifts for the advancement of the Church’s vision, core values, stated mission and strategic plan.

 

            The Elder Board shall recommend to the church at a duly called meeting the establishment of all pastoral staff positions and the calling or dismissal of the Senior Pastor.

 

            The Elder Board shall conduct a ministry performance review of the Senior Pastor within the first quarter of each calendar year. The review shall be based on agreed upon performance criteria, ministry strategies, and personal and spiritual development goals. In addition, the Elders shall conduct an annual evaluation of the spiritual health, growth and direction of the Church.

 

            The Elder Board shall review and approve the Operating Budget before it is presented to the membership for approval. The Elder Board shall directly oversee the development of the personnel budget by the Executive Pastor. The Elder’s ministry budget review shall occur at the Pastor and Ministry Director level and focus on insuring alignment of stated vision and core values within the Operating Budget. During the fiscal year, the Elder Board may authorize additional spending beyond the budget of up to 4% for new unplanned ministry opportunities or emergency items. The Elders must notify the membership of such authorizations by the next quarterly meeting.

           

            With regard to capital assets the Elder Board has the power to buy, sell, mortgage, lease or transfer real property, acquire or dispose of property, approve a grant or acquisition of easement of property, and commit to major building construction. Any pending action representing a value that exceeds twenty-five percent of the net assets of the Church must receive the approval of a majority of the membership present at a regular or specially called business meeting.

 

            From time to time cash flow needs may require short term loans. Such short term loans shall in no event exceed twelve percent of the current annual budget. Any such loans shall be paid off as soon as possible.

 

            The Elder Board shall not approve a self-dealing transaction, except as noted below. A self-dealing transaction is one to which the Church is a party and in which one or more of the Elders, Deacons and Deaconesses has a material financial interest. The Board may approve such a transaction only if the Board determines that the transaction is in the best interest of the Church, that it is fair, and that the Church could not have obtained a more advantageous arrangement under the circumstances.

 

            A quorum for Elder Board meetings shall be two-thirds of the Board members. Should an Elder be unable to attend a Board Meeting, he may participate through the use of a conference telephone or similar communication device, provided all persons participating in the meeting can hear each other. Elder Board meetings are to be open and may be attended by any Church member. A closed session may be held for the purpose of discussing items of a sensitive nature. The minutes of all Board meetings are to be available to the church with the exception of items discussed in closed sessions. The Elder Board shall meet at least monthly.

 

            The term of office for Elder Board Members shall be three years, renewable for one additional, consecutive term. When not serving an elected term, Elders will be considered Elders-at-Large. Elders-at-Large will not vote at Elder Board meetings. Elders-at-Large become eligible to be re-elected to the Elder Board after either one year for one term served or two years for two consecutive terms served.

 

            Elders may resign at any time by giving written notice to the Chair of the Church. Such resignation, which may or may not be made contingent on formal acceptance, shall take effect on the day of receipt or at any later time specified therein.

 

Article VI. Ministry Teams and Other Organizations

            There shall be Ministry Teams to take care of the various Ministries of the Church. A Ministry Team is a group of people who are committed to a particular ministry of the Church. The Ministry Team is responsible to achieve the goals that have been agreed upon by the Executive Pastor and the Elder Board.

 

            At any time, the Executive Pastor may create a Ministry Team in order to meet current needs and anticipate future needs of the Church. Each Ministry Team will be led by either a Ministry Director or a Team Leader. Directors shall be appointed by the Elder Board, in accordance with Article IV,A,3. Team Leaders shall be appointed by the Executive Pastor, after having been evaluated by the Ministry Director or Pastor to whom they will report.

 

            Each Ministry Team shall submit a budget proposal to the Executive Pastor for review and inclusion in the annual budget.

 

            Ministry Teams may include, but not be limited to: Missions, Outreach/Compassion, Worship and Arts, Children, Students, Adults, Care and Counseling, and Facilities.

 

            All groups, organizations or individuals inside or outside the Church, who seek to raise money or promote their activities among the congregation, must abide by the policies set by the Elder Board.

 

Article VII. Amendments to By-Laws

            The Church may amend the By-Laws in the following manner:

 

      Proposed amendments to the By-Laws shall be considered by the Elder Board. After Board approval, the final draft of such amendments shall be mailed to the Church membership at least one month prior the Church business meeting in which they are to be considered for approval. A written or spoken announcement of the voting date shall be made at least three consecutive Sundays before the voting date. A two-thirds majority of those voting shall be required to carry the proposition.
 
Click here for a PDF version of this document.