What We Believe

CONSTITUTION AND BY-LAWS 

FIRST SOUTHERN BAPTIST CHURCH 

JUNCTION CITY, KANSAS 

(Adopted 6/5/2022)

 

CONSTITUTION 


PREAMBLE

We, the members of First Southern Baptist Church, do declare and establish this constitution for the preservation and security of the principles of our faith, and so that this body may be governed in a Scriptural and orderly manner. This constitution will preserve the liberties and state the responsibilities of each individual member of this church including its officers.


ARTICLE I: NAME

The name of this body is First Southern Baptist Church, Junction City, Kansas (to be referred to as FSBCJC in the remainder of this document).


ARTICLE II: PURPOSE STATEMENT

A local church is a body of baptized believers in the Lord Jesus Christ who are committed to the essential marks of unity, purity and verity. In line with these essential marks, FSBCJC’s purpose statement is that “we exist to glorify God and make disciples.”


ARTICLE III: STATEMENT OF FAITH

The Holy Bible is the inspired, inerrant, and infallible word of God and is therefore the basis for any Statement of Faith. However, since most churches subscribe to the above statement, we believe it is both prudent and useful to adhere to certain Biblical statements and confessions in order that the doctrinal beliefs of this church may be clearly known. FSBCJC chooses for its statement of faith the1689 Baptist Confession of Faith. We consider this document to be an excellent expression of the teaching of the Word of God. We find it to be a confirmation of faith, a means of edification, an aid in controversy, and a basis for church unity. However, we acknowledge, without hesitation or reservation, that the Scriptures alone are God-inspired and therefore must be the supreme authority in all matters of belief and practice.


ARTICLE IV: CHURCH PARTICULARS

Under the banner of our church’s purpose statement and statement of faith, there are some particular distinctives that identify and characterize our local fellowship. The five particulars that set our church apart are as follows:

1.     Commitment to the Bible’s Sufficiency

As a body, our desire is not simply to affirm the authority of the Bible, but to have it govern our   lives, our families, our church, and our worship. Flowing from this commitment, we seek to govern our church polity and functions according to the precepts laid out in the Scriptures.

 

In our worship services, therefore, we follow what is known as the regulative principle of worship, seeking to have our entire worship service governed by that which God has prescribed for us in His Word. Additionally, we encourage our members to have their lives and their families conformed to the Word of God, placing an emphasis on personal holiness resulting from a life transformed by the gospel of Jesus Christ. Through the discipleship ministries of our church, our goal is to have God’s Word shape every component of who we are, fully submitting our lives to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. (Lev. 10:1-2, II Sam. 6:5-7, Isa. 8:20, Luke 16:29, 31, I Cor. 11:1-2, I Tim. 3:15, II Tim. 3:15-17, I Pet. 1:22-25.)

 

2.     Expository, Christ-Centered, Preaching

As the normative method, our church commits to preach expositional sermons, verse by verse, through books of the Bible, highlighting the gospel in each sermon. We believe that the Word of God is what truly has the power to save and transform. Thus, in our preaching, the accurate exposition of the Scriptures, not the preacher’s opinions/personality, is the primary focus of the pulpit ministry. Additionally, we believe that it is the duty of the church to teach the whole counsel of the Word of God. Thus, we commit to not just preach disconnected verses, but to labor to teach entire books of the Bible. These sermons are not to be mere academic lectures, but rather exhortations to be transformed by the Word in every aspect of the hearer’s life. (Gal. 1:8-9, Luke 24:44-48, Rom. 10:14-17, I Cor. 2:2, Col. 1:15- 23, II Tim 4:1-5.)

 

3.     Family-Style Worship

As a church body, we promote family unity and piety by encouraging, exhorting, and equipping our families to worship together in the home and at church on the Lord’s Day. We believe that it is important for each family to remain together during the worship service, and that this worship is necessary for our children’s lives. Though we are happy to provide an optional nursery, we encourage even the youngest children to join their families in worship as soon as they’re ready. Children are a wonderful gift from the Lord and thus we do not view their distractions as a burden, but rather a blessing. We also seek to encourage and equip fathers to carry out their God-given responsibilities as the primary shepherds of their home, and seek to equip parents to raise their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. (Deut. 31:12-13, Josh. 8:34-35, II Chron. 20:13, Ezra 10:1, Neh. 8:2, Joel 2:15-16, Matt. 19:14, Eph 6:1-3.)

  1. Intentional Hospitality and Community

We believe that the gospel compels us to have fellowship not only within the four walls of the church, but that it extends into our homes and community. Our desire is to cultivate an atmosphere where Christians are regularly gathering in one another’s homes for fellowship and the breaking of bread with one another. Within the context of these informal, personal gatherings our desire is for Titus 2 exhortations to take place. By so doing the gospel’s light will shine into our homes and community, displaying a testimony of our love to the world. (Gen 24:31, Prov 31:20, Matt. 25:40, Acts 2:42-47, 16:15, Rom. 12:13, Gal 5:13, 6:10, Heb. 13:2, 16, I Pet. 4:9.)

 

  1. Mission-Minded Outreach

Finally, as a church we are committed to proclaiming the gospel of salvation by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone, for the glory of God alone. We will do so standing upon the promises of God’s Word and believing that the Lord is making all his enemies His footstool. As a church we will regularly encourage, equip, and expect our members to share the gospel with others. As of first importance, we will emphasize the discipleship of our own homes and the necessity of raising our children in the Lord. Further, we will seek to be a faithful gospel witness in Junction City, Fort Riley, and the surrounding area. Extending from there, we will join ourselves to the mission of God regionally, nationally and internationally until the earth is filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea. We will do so through prayer, financial giving, and church planting as the Lord directs. (Gen. 12:2-3, Ex. 19:6, Psa. 110:1, Hab. 2:14, John 3:16-17, Rom. 10:14-17, Matt. 28:18-20, Mark 16:15-16, Acts 1:8, II Tim. 4:5).

 

ARTICLE V: DISSOLUTION

In the event this church body dissolves or disbands, the legal obligations of the church have priority in disbursing the remaining assets. The church will designate a Biblically faithful organization (or organizations) to receive any remaining assets. Said organization(s) must qualify as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit according to the Internal Revenue laws of the United States of America. No private individual or member will receive any portion.

BY-LAWS 


I. MEMBERSHIP


Section 1: General Statement


This is an autonomous, congregational, elder-ruled Baptist church under the Lordship of Jesus Christ. The membership retains unto itself the right of exclusive self-government in all phases of the spiritual and temporal life of this church. The membership reserves the exclusive right to determine who shall be members of this church and the conditions of such membership.


Section 2: The Warrant for Church Membership


A genuine Christian's commitment to the Lord Jesus Christ is inseparable from his commitment to His truth and His people. This commitment ordinarily requires a formal, open, voluntary, solemn, and enduring commitment to membership in a local church. Following are some proofs of the existence of the local church which Christ ordained for His own glory and worship, and also for the spiritual benefit of His people, which shows the warrant for every true Christian to seek membership therein:

1.     The New Testament presents the local church as a distinct and defined group of individuals covenanted together to worship God and carry out the commands of our Lord Jesus Christ. The local church is made up of a group of individuals who may be counted (Acts 2:41,42; Acts 4:4), added to (Acts 2:47; 5:14), and even subtracted from (Mat 18:17; I Cor. 5:12,13; II Cor. 2:6).

2.     Each local church of Christ is called upon to select leaders and representatives from among itself (Acts 6:1-6; Acts 15:22; II Cor. 8:19,23), thus making it a formal organization with recognized officers (Phil. 1:1; Acts 14:23).

3.     Fulfillment of the great commission implies church membership (Mat 28:18-20). In this commission there is an inseparable connection between making disciples, baptizing them, and then teaching them all things that Christ has commanded. It is clear from the Scriptures that the Apostles implemented this commission by gathering baptized disciples into local churches where they were taught all the things that Christ had commanded (Acts 2:38-42; I Cor. 4:1-7; Titus 1:7).

4.     The whole of the New Testament presents a picture of disciples of Christ worshiping and serving Him in connection with some local church. We believe this is what Christ intends for His disciples to the end of the age.


Section 3. The Duties of Church Members


Members of FSBCJC are expected (1) first and foremost, to have a good confession of faith in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior; (2) to have obeyed the Lord Jesus in the ordinance of baptism; (3) to strive to be faithful in all the duties essential to the Christian life; (4) to attend regularly the stated services of the church unless providentially hindered; (5) to submit cheerfully to the eldership of the church (Heb. 13:17): (6) to give cheerfully to its support and its causes as God has prospered them; (7) to participate in its organized work and make available to the church such talents and abilities as God has endowed them with.


Section 4. Candidacy and Reception


Any person may offer themself as a candidate for membership at FSBCJC. We understand the Scriptural priority of serving the Lord in one of His churches and therefore welcome any and all persons who are Biblically qualified to join with us. However, we also recognize the vital importance of keeping the Lord's church sound in doctrine and holy in practice, and therefore we desire all potential members to understand and meet those Biblical qualifications. Members are to be received only upon the recommendation of the elders and by the consent of the church.


The method of receiving members into FSBCJC will be according to the following steps:

Step 1: An initial interview with a minimum of one elder in the church, preferably two or more, for the following reasons:

1. To ascertain by the applicant's testimony, with as much certainty as possible, that the proposed member knows the way of salvation and has a personal saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. This is necessary because we believe that church membership is for sincere professing believers only.

2. To confirm by the applicant’s testimony that they have obeyed the Lord Jesus in the ordinance of Baptism.

3. To make sure that the proposed member understands and is in general and substantial agreement with the doctrinal beliefs of our church. To discern this, the prospective member will need to become generally familiar with the confession of this church. It is not expected that every new member will fully understand all the doctrines we believe, but there must be a general soundness in faith, and a humble willingness to learn God's truth, together with a determination not to sow any discord in the church with regard to any doctrinal matters in which the prospective member might be in disagreement with the church.

4. To make sure that the proposed member understands what is expected of members of the church. These expectations will include:

A.   Fulfillment of the duties of church membership as outlined in Section 3.

B.    Promoting the unity and spiritual well-being of the church through such things as Biblical relationships with other members, adherence to biblical truth, and submission to the care, oversight and leadership of the elders.

C.    A godly, separated life which will promote the honor of Jesus Christ, His religion and His church (Jam. 1:27).


Step 2: When the elder interview process has been satisfactorily completed, then the membership candidate will be presented before the church for formal membership. This process will include the following:

1. At the next quarterly members meeting, the church will be made aware of the desire of the candidate to become a member. Additionally, one of the elders will give a brief summary of their endorsement based on their conversations as laid out in Step 1.

2. The prospective member’s testimony will then be shared with the members who are present at the members meeting. This will either be shared by the prospective member themselves, or in some circumstances a reading of their written testimony may be shared. 

3. At this point, the membership candidate will be voted on. A 2/3 vote of those members present and voting shall be required for acceptance into church membership. If the vote passes, the candidate will be formally received into membership.


Section 5. Termination of Membership


As is the case with receiving members, so the termination of church membership must be governed by Biblical principles. Accordingly, membership at FSBCJC will be terminated in one of the following three ways:


1. Death - Physical death obviously warrants the removal of membership from the church roll.

2. Transfer of membership to another church - since the New Testament norm for all Christians is that they be members of true local churches, any person leaving the membership of one church should seek to transfer membership to another true church as soon as possible. We realize that this process may sometimes require a transitional period, and the elders will take such things into account when dealing with a member's transfer of membership. It will be the duty of the elders to handle transfer of membership in a way that accords with Scriptural principles.

3. Exclusion

A. Exclusion, not under discipline - In some cases, a person’s membership may need to be terminated for reasons which, in the judgment of the church, may not warrant discipline. Such cases may include the resignation of a member who concludes that they are not a Christian; the resignation of a member who requests to be relieved from his church covenant obligations; the relocation of a member who no longer remains in contact with the church, or a member who has willfully not fulfilled the requirement of regular attendance. All of these potential examples are subject to the discretion and discernment of the elders. Additionally, no member may be excluded without sufficient attempts made on behalf of the elders to communicate with said member prior to removal. The church shall exclude such persons from its membership role, without the exercise of church discipline.

B. Exclusion by excommunication - According to Holy Scripture, a church must exclude from its membership any person who persists in holding or teaching serious doctrinal heresies, who persists in unrepentant sin, or who persists in disturbing the unity and peace of the church (Mat. 18:15; I Cor. 5:1; Rom. 16:17; Titus 3:10,11).

Excommunication should ordinarily be a last resort of the church, and often should not be exercised until milder forms of biblical discipline have been meekly, lovingly and prayerfully utilized in a sincere effort to restore the offending member. Such restorative efforts may include public verbal reproof (Mat. 18:17; I Tim. 5:20), and temporary suspension of certain privileges of church membership, such as the right to vote or participate in the Lord's Supper (Rom. 16:17; I Cor. 5:9-11; II Thess. 3:6,14).

When other Scriptural means of restoring an offender have failed, the church must be willing to excommunicate an offending member (Mat. 18:17; I Cor. 5:13). Persons may be excommunicated by a 2/3 vote of the church utilizing a secret ballot (II Cor. 2:6).

This will typically be done at one of the quarterly members meetings. As stated above, excommunication should ordinarily be a last resort. However, since some cases of sin (either moral or doctrinal) are so scandalous, gross and heinous in their nature, the church has a Scriptural right and mandate to immediately excommunicate those guilty of such sins if the honor of Christ and His church necessitate this (I Cor. 5:9-13). In those urgent cases the church may utilize a specially called members meeting to address the issue in a timely manner.

All acts of church discipline, including excommunication, must be lovingly carried out for the glory of Christ, and the welfare and purity of the church (I Cor. 5:6), with the goal of eventually restoring the offender to good standing in the church (II Cor. 2:7).


Section 6. Restoration to Membership


Since full restoration is the goal of all church discipline, all members of the church should unite in its exercise when necessary, praying earnestly for God's gracious, restorative blessing upon those who have been disciplined. It is also both the duty and privilege of the church to forgive and to restore to full membership a disciplined or excommunicated member upon satisfactory evidence of repentance (2 Cor.2:6-8). Thus, any person whose membership has been terminated for any offense may be restored by 2/3 vote of this church upon evidence of their genuine repentance and reformation.


II. CHURCH OFFICERS


Section 1. General Statement


Jesus Christ alone is the Head of His Church (Col. 1:18). As the Head, He has instructed particular local churches to be governed by officers as prescribed in His Word. These officers govern with due respect to the rights and liberties of the whole church set forth in the Scriptures (Matt. 18:15-20; I Cor. 5:1-13; Acts 6: 1-7; 2 Cor. 2:6). Christ has ordained those particular local churches be ruled by elders and served by deacons, and the Scriptures do not teach of any other offices abiding for the church today (Phil. 1:1; I Tim. 3:1-13).


Section 2. General Prerequisites


1. All officers of this church must be members of this church in good standing.

2. Any individual set apart to one of these offices must be able to conscientiously affirm his agreement with the church's confession of faith, and the constitution and by-laws. If he should at any time move from this agreement, he is under immediate moral obligation to make that fact known to the elders privately.

3. While we acknowledge the valuable gifts which God has given to women and their vital contributions to the ministry of the church (Rom. 16:1-6; Phil. 4:3; I Tim. 3:11), the Bible prohibits women from holding the offices of deacon or elder (1 Cor. 14:33b-35; I Tim. 2:8-15; 3:1-7). Women, therefore, may not be nominated, elected, or ordained to either of these offices in the church.


Section 3. Elders

1. Those who have been called and equipped by God to rule and teach in the church are identified as elders, pastors, or overseers. These three names designate one and the same office in a New Testament church (Acts 20:17, 28; Eph. 4:11-12; Titus 1:5, 7).

2. Anyone desiring the office of an elder must evidence to God's people the personal, domestic, and ministerial qualifications set forth in the Scriptures (I Tim. 3:1-7, Titus 1:5-9).

3. Because the authority of the elders of the church is human authority, it has important duties, as well as limitations:

A. It is divinely-delegated authority. Thus, elders are answerable to God for the exercise of this authority (Acts 20:28; Heb. 13:17). They are, therefore, obligated to discharge all the duties specified in the Scriptures in such passages as Acts 20:17-35, I Peter 5:1-4 and Hebrews 13:17.

B. When elders exercise this authority by requiring obedience to their leadership, they must seek to gain the consciences of God's people through the ministry of the Word (Eph. 4:11; I Tim. 3:2; II Tim. 4:1-2; Heb. 13:17).

C. The authority of the elders does not include the right to make all decisions unilaterally. The Bible makes clear that decisions having to do with corrective discipline and the recognition of officers require the consent of the local church (Acts 6:2-6; 9:26; I Cor. 5:4-5, 13; 2 Cor 2:6). It is fitting that in other important matters, such as the reception and exclusion of church members, the support or removal of officers and major financial decisions be approved by the consent of the church. Nevertheless, the elders must provide definitive leadership to the church in the making of such decisions.

D. The authority of the elders is limited to the sphere of the local church. They may not require consequences for sin beyond those of church discipline, invade the spheres of other ordained human authorities (husbands, parents, civil rulers and employers), or command God's people regarding matters not specified in Scripture (Matt. 22:21; Luke 12:13-14). They must, however, order the house of God by the application of His Word (Acts 20:28; 1 Pet. 5:3a; Rom. 13:1-7; Eph. 5:22-6:9; I Cor. 7:25-28; 35-40).

E. The authority of elders is conditioned by the fact that they are themselves members of the local church. While elders are shepherds over the flock, they are also members of the flock. Therefore, each individual elder is entitled to the same privileges, is obligated by the same responsibilities, and is subject to the same discipline as are all other members of the church. Thus, each individual elder is both under the oversight of his fellow elders and accountable to the church as a whole (Matt. 18:17; 23:9; 26:31; Gal. 2:11; III John 1:9-10).

F. The authority of every elder is the same. Thus, every elder has equal rule in the church. Though gifts possessed and functions performed will vary from elder to elder, this diversity must never undermine real parity among the elders (Acts 20:28; Gal. 2:11; I Pet. 5:1-2; I Tim. 5:17).

G. Finally, the authority of the elders is a very real authority. When it is Biblically exercised, God's people are required to submit to this authority (Heb. 13:17).

4. One crucial aspect of the duties of elders is overseeing the flock of God. Fulfillment of this duty shall include, when possible, regular pastoral visits with each member of the church.

5. Another crucial aspect of the duties of elders is exercising leadership with regard to the meetings and worship of the church. The elders shall appoint such meetings as they believe good for the spiritual health of the church and assure that they are conducted to the glory of God and according to the provisions of His Word.

6. While the New Testament clearly indicates that there may be elders who are not financially supported by the church, the elders who rule well, and especially those who labor in the Word and doctrine, will, when possible, be maintained in material necessities according to their gifts, the needs and capability of the church, and the direction of Christ her Head (I Tim. 5:17-18).

7. With regards to the legal organization and corporation of the church, the plurality of elders will function as the churches board of directors and trustees. This is consistent with the Biblical calling of the elders and the church’s desire to have the offices of the church limited to those offices as outlined by the Scriptures.

8. Though a plurality of elders is the New Testament norm for every church, the New Testament does not specify the number of elders each church should have, nor does it dictate the length of an elder's term of office.


Section 4: Deacons

1. Deacons are primarily responsible for assisting the elders in those practical aspects of ministry which would otherwise distract them from their priorities of the ministry of the Word, prayer and shepherding. Such practical matters include the administration of benevolence, the maintenance and improvement of the church's facilities, the management of various business affairs, and the facilitation of ministries within the church.

2. Deacons must fulfill the duties of their office in cooperation with, and in subjection to, the elders. The elders may at their discretion appoint one of the deacons to act as the chairman of the deacons in order to facilitate communication with the elders and the general organization of the deacon board.

3. In the event that the church does not have a plurality of elders, the deacons will temporarily assume the responsibilities of the churches board of directors and trustees (so as to not burden a single elder with these responsibilities and to maintain accountability in these functions). Once a plurality of elders is re-established, these responsibilities will be transferred back to the elders.

4. The number of deacons shall not be fixed. The church shall set apart according to its need men who evidence the Scriptural qualifications for that office (Acts 6:1-7; I Tim. 3:8-13).

5. No term of office shall be fixed for deacons.


Section 5: Appointment of Officers 


1. General Statement

The appointment of elders and deacons is the prerogative of the Lord Jesus Christ alone. However, He has ordained that they be formally recognized by the consent of the particular church they serve. Elders and deacons are ordained to office by the laying on of hands by the eldership (1 Tim. 4:14). This is an expression of approval for which the elders are responsible (1 Tim. 5:22). Therefore, each officer must have the approval, not only of the church as a whole, but of the eldership in particular. The Lord's appointment of an individual to either of these offices is recognized by means of that individual's possession of those graces and gifts required by Scripture for the particular office, and his own conviction that the Lord is calling him to minister in that office. The recognition of officers is a matter of such importance that it should never proceed without much prayerful waiting upon God, careful consideration of the relevant passages of Scripture, and thorough evaluation of those persons being considered. Each member of the church has a responsibility to be intelligently informed regarding these matters.


2. Procedure of Appointment
The recognition of those whom the Lord has appointed to bear office in this church is carried out in three steps: nomination, election and ordination.

A. Nomination
The members of the church are encouraged to privately express to the elders their views concerning those whom Christ may be gifting for office in the church. The elders will seriously consider the wisdom God gives to His church. However, since it is the elder's responsibility to lead the church, nominations to offices are to be made formally by the eldership.
The church should always look first within its membership to see if Christ is equipping officers from within. The training and recognizing of men internally is the ideal method of installing elders and deacons. Yet, we recognize that there are situations where the church may need to seek officers from outside the membership, particularly for vocational elders, when no suitable candidates exist within the membership. In these instances, either the elders or a designated search committee may be utilized to seek candidates for that position. These external candidates would need to meet all the same qualifications and go through the same examination, election, and ordination process as would any other officer.

The members of the church are encouraged to privately express to the elders their views concerning those whom Christ may be gifting for office in the church. The elders will seriously consider the wisdom God gives to His church. However, since it is the elder's responsibility to lead the church, nominations to offices are to be made formally by the eldership.

The church should always look first within its membership to see if Christ is equipping officers from within. The training and recognizing of men internally is the ideal method of installing elders and deacons. Yet, we recognize that there are situations where the church may need to seek officers from outside the membership, particularly for vocational elders, when no suitable candidates exist within the membership. In these instances, either the elders or a designated search committee may be utilized to seek candidates for that position. These external candidates would need to meet all the same qualifications and go through the same examination, election, and ordination process as would any other officer.


B. Election
Any members meeting (quarterly or specially called) for the election of officers shall be announced to members two weeks prior to its being held. If members have concerns about any of the men nominated, they should seek to bring those to the elders privately for consideration prior to the meeting being held. Once at the meeting, the names of all nominees shall be separately discussed and voted upon. During the discussion, the nominee under consideration and members of his immediate family shall leave the meeting until a vote is taken. The Scriptural qualifications shall be read and expounded and the nominee's qualifications openly discussed in the fear of God and with due respect for the reputation of the nominee. The church should seek unanimity concerning each nominee, but where unanimity is not realized, 3/4's of votes cast shall be required for election.

Any members meeting (quarterly or specially called) for the election of officers shall be announced to members two weeks prior to its being held. If members have concerns about any of the men nominated, they should seek to bring those to the elders privately for consideration prior to the meeting being held. Once at the meeting, the names of all nominees shall be separately discussed and voted upon. During the discussion, the nominee under consideration and members of his immediate family shall leave the meeting until a vote is taken. The Scriptural qualifications shall be read and expounded and the nominee's qualifications openly discussed in the fear of God and with due respect for the reputation of the nominee. The church should seek unanimity concerning each nominee, but where unanimity is not realized, 3/4's of votes cast shall be required for election.


C. Ordination

Following the election of an officer there shall be a portion of a worship service set aside at which time the officer-elect shall be ordained and installed into office by the laying on of the hands of the eldership. This solemn act should always be accompanied by the special prayers of the church (Acts 13:1-3). The laying on of the elders' hands shall signify their approval of an officer-elect.


Section 6: Removal of Officers
As was stated for both elders and deacons, these offices should not be seen as terms. With this said, it is not expected, prudent, or helpful to assume men will serve in these offices for the rest of their lives. For these reasons, the following directions must be followed to remove officers in the church:


1. An elder or deacon may voluntarily resign from his office any time they feel it is necessary for reasons of prudence, providence, or wisdom; not resulting from personal besetting sins. If the elders accept the resignation, there is no need to bring the matter before the church for vote and the man will be officially removed from his office.

2. An elder or deacon may voluntarily resign from his office out of a recognition of personal, disqualifying sins, as an act of repentance. If the elders accept the resignation, there is no need to bring the matter before the church for vote and the man will be removed from his office.

3. In instances where proper, credible charges are made against an elder (1 Tim. 5:19) or deacon, the elders may place him under a mandatory leave as they investigate the charges. If they find the man to be disqualified, they may either call for a special members’ meeting or utilize the quarterly members meeting, inform the members of their findings/recommendations, and present the members with the opportunity to vote to remove him from his office. Assuming the man remains unrepentant, he will not only be removed as an officer, but will undergo the same process of church discipline as would any other member.

4. Finally, there are instances where members may seek the reexamination of an officer’s qualifications for issues which are not related to sin in the officer. Examples of this may include changes in physical or mental health, time commitments, or changes to familial qualification requirements. In these instances, the officer should be addressed directly by the concerned party. If the officer disagrees with the concern, it should then be brought to the elders for evaluation (excluding the elder in question if applicable). If the concerned member has attempted to address this directly with the officer and then with the elders, and the officer remains unwilling to step down, a motion may be made at a quarterly members meeting for the members to reconsider the officer’s qualifications. If this motion is made prior to the member first trying to resolve this in the process stated above it will be ruled out of order (Mat. 18:15-20).


III. COMMITTEES


The organization of committees may occur as seems prudent, helpful, or necessary by the elders. The purpose of these committees is to organize and facilitate help from members of the church for particular projects or needs in the church. Examples of such committees could be building/maintenance committee, search committee, conference committee, etc. These committee members should not be seen as additional officers in the church, but rather are composed of any church member (including deacons or elders) whom the church leadership and other members feel could be of service to the church for that particular function. Because this is not a formal office such as elder or deacon, women may be nominated and accepted to these committees as the church sees fit. These committees may be created and dissolved as the elders see fit for the present needs of the church.


IV. STAFF POSITIONS


The church may hire employees for various function and positions within the church when financially able to do so. As stated in the section on elders (II.,4.6), elders who labor in teaching and ministry may be supported by the church financially as the church is able. Additionally, the church may hire treasurers, maintenance and janitorial staff, assistants, secretaries, etc., as the church sees fit. Hiring decisions should be recommended by the elders and affirmed by church members.

Once on staff, it is the responsibility of the elders to oversee and evaluate the job performance of all employees of the church. With a vocational elder (an elder who is on staff at the church), they must be overseen by the plurality of the other elders in the church. Vocational elders do not hold any additional power or authority over those who are not receiving an income from the church.


V. MEMBERS MEETINGS 


Section 1. Quarterly Members Meetings

Regular members meetings shall be held quarterly and scheduled by the elders in coordination with the deacons. It is encouraged that all members prioritize their participation in these meetings.


Section 2. Special Members Meetings

A specially called members meeting may be held to consider matters of a significant nature. At least one week’s notice of the subject, date, time and location ought to be given for the specially called members meeting unless extreme urgency renders such notice impossible. Business conducted/discussed will be restricted to the announced purpose at specially called members meetings.


Section 3. Quorum

The quorum consists of a minimum of ten qualified voting members for a membership role under 50 members and 25% of members with a membership role over 50 members who attend the business meeting, provided it is a stated meeting or one that has been properly called.


Section 4. Parliamentary Rules

Robert’s Rules of Order, newly revised is the authority for parliamentary rules of procedure for all members meetings of the church. 


Section 5. Voting

A 2/3 majority vote of active members present at a given members meetings is necessary to approve motions brought before members at members meetings, with the exception of the installation of a church officer which requires a 3/4 majority vote. Any amendment to the constitution and bylaws requires an explanation of the proposed amendments and announcement of the date of the vote must occur in the members meeting prior to the vote.

Exceptions: members under the age of 18 shall not be permitted to vote on any of the following matters:

1. calling or dismissing of a church employee or officer,

2. buying, selling or mortgaging of church owned property, c. exclusion of members for immoral or unbiblical conduct.