JOURNEY BAPTIST CHURCH CONSTITUTION & BYLAWS
So that things may be done decently and in order, in accordance with our mission to build His church, show His compassion, and reach His world, and so that we may reach our goal of making fully devoted followers of Jesus, we declare and establish this constitution to which we voluntarily submit ourselves. This is the Constitution of Journey Baptist Church (heretofore called either Journey, Journey Church or the Church, and applies whether in a single or multi-campus setup).
This document outlines the guidelines Journey Church employs for members, in defining and selecting key leaders, and governing the procedures put in place. In addition, this document provides accountability for ministry leaders and details key information for the church body. While impossible to anticipate all future contingencies, the intent of this document is to provide flexibility to meet long-term changing needs.
ARTICLE 1 - Name and Purpose
SECTION 1.01 - NAME:
This group of believers (and all campuses) shall be known as Journey Baptist Church, with the business office on 8 Eastern Avenue in Barrington, NH. The church may also have offices or campuses at such other places, within or without the State of New Hampshire, where it is qualified to do so, as its mission may require and as the leadership from time to time might designate.
SECTION 1.02 - PURPOSE:
A. This body is organized as a church exclusively for charitable, religious, and educational purposes within the meaning of Section 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 2005 (or the corresponding provision of any future United States Revenue Law), including, but not limited to, for such purposes, the establishing and maintaining weekly religious worship services; the building, maintaining, and operating of churches, parsonages, schools, chapels, radio stations, television stations, rescue missions, print shops, day care centers, camps, nursing homes, and cemeteries; and any other ministries that the Church may be led of God to establish.
B. The Church shall also ordain, license, and commission individuals for ministry; proclaim the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ; educate people in what the Bible says; maintain missionary activities in the United States and strategically partner around the world; and engage in any other ministry that the Church may decide to fulfil its mission.
SECTION 1.03 AUTONOMY
Journey Church is autonomous and maintains the right to govern its own affairs, independent of any denominational control. Recognizing, however, the benefits of cooperation with other churches in world missions and otherwise, this Church may voluntarily affiliate with any churches of like precious faith.
ARTICLE 2 - GOVERNMENT
SECTION 2.01 – GOVERNMENT STRUCTURE
· The Lead Pastor who leads the church
· Trustee Board who help manage and guide the resources of the church along with the minister of records and minister of finance
· The Directional Team who drive the mission and vision of the church and execute day-to-day operations.
· Accountability Board who advises and can fire the Lead Pastor
· Members who share the vision and participate in the mission of the church.
SECTION 2.02 – CHURCH OFFICERS
As an accommodation to legal relationships outside the Church, the Lead Pastor shall serve as president of the corporation; the minister of records shall serve as secretary of the corporation; the minister of finances shall serve as treasurer of the corporation; and the head trustee shall serve as vice president of the corporation.
SECTION 2.03 – RESPONSIBILITIES OF OFFICERS
A. THE LEAD PASTOR
The Lead Pastor of the Church is responsible for leading the Church in accordance with Biblical principles as set forth in the New Testament. As such, the Lead Pastor shall be the leader of the church body, the Church staff, all Church organizations, all Church ministries, and the Directional Team. The Lead Pastor is expressly authorized to do all things necessary and proper to fulfill the above-described leadership position. The Lead Pastor shall maintain ownership of all creative works. “Creative works” includes, but is not limited to sermons, Bible studies, sermon ideas, books and other writings. All Staff are accountable to the Lead Pastor and may have their employment terminated by the Lead Pastor.
It is the Lead Pastor’s responsibility to:
· Provide biblical vision and direction for the church;
· Define and communicate the church’s mission and purpose;
· Overseethe day-to-day ministry of the body and administration of the church;
· Call, direct, and oversee all church meetings, including weekend worship services and specially called meetings
· Select an accountability board and directional team according to Article 3;
· Recognize and enlist evangelistic, pastoral and teaching ministries, along with pastors, directors and additional staff members as he deems biblical and necessary for the healthy spiritual development of the Body of believers;
· Staff the church as he deems necessary to help administer the affairs of the Church.
Special provisions for the protection of the Lead Pastor and integrity of the church body:
· The Lead Pastor may not, at any time, be personally financially responsible for the church's financial obligations.
· The Lead Pastor may not be the sole signer of any checking or bank account.
· The Lead Pastor may not use his personal credit or collateral as a reference or guarantee of any financial transaction on behalf of the church.
A trustee is a servant of the church, with qualifications similar to that of a deacon as presented in Acts 6 and in I Timothy 3. A trustee’s responsibility is to help advance the vision for the church as set forth by the Lead Pastor, to assist in actively promoting the financial health of the church and the wise management of church resources. He/she is to be someone who is an active member of the church and already an active participant in a church ministry.
A trustee will be a member of the board of trustees, which consists of all elected trustees along with the Lead Pastor. The board of trustees shall work as requested with the minister of finance and lead pastor in areas related to finance, church operations, facilities, and other related matters as deemed appropriate and necessary by the lead pastor.
Furthermore, the board of trustees shall exercise the following specific powers:
· Purchase, hold, lease, or otherwise acquire real and personal property on behalf of the Church, and shall take real and personal property by will, gift, or bequest on behalf of the Church.
· Sell, convey, alienate, transfer, lease, assign, exchange, or otherwise dispose of, and to mortgage, pledge, or otherwise encumber the real and personal property of the Church, to borrow money and incur indebtedness for the purpose and the use of the Church, to cause to be executed, issued, and delivered for the indebtedness, in the name of the Church, promissory notes, bonds, debentures, or other evidence of indebtedness; and to secure repayment by deeds of trust, mortgages, or pledges.
· Exercise all powers necessary for the dissolution of the church corporation, when such action is mandated by a vote of the directional team, trustee board, and accountability board.
· All trustee meetings are to be recorded either in writing or digitally by the board secretary, and submitted to the minister of records to be kept as part of the official church records.
· Upon the direction of the Lead Pastor, the board of trustees shall assemble and elect, from their own number, 1) a chairman/Head Trustee, 2) and a secretary to record the minutes of all official meetings.
B. MINISTER OF RECORDS/SECRETARY
The minister of records is responsible for the overall record keeping of the church. By virtue of his/her office, the Secretary shall keep a true and accurate record of all meetings, including business meetings of the corporation and documents of historical nature. He/she shall perform clerical duties, and shall be the custodian of all legal documents. He/she shall serve as a voting member of the trustee board.
C. THE MINISTER OF FINANCE /TREASURER
The minister of finance is responsible to carry out the overall financial responsibilities and desires of the church as directed by the Lead Pastor and/or board of trustees. By virtue of his/her office, the Treasurer shall keep, in a business-like manner, an itemizedaccount of all receipts and disbursements of moneys committed to his/her trust and shall makereports to be presented during the official board meetings and supply donation reports as required by law . He/she shall deposit and make withdrawals, and oversee accounts payable & receivable. He/she shall serve as a voting member of the trustee board.
The Minister of Finance shall also report to the board of trustees after its annual review/audit. If the church does not have an annual audit, the Minister of Finance is to provide to the board of trustees a report on the previous year’s income and disbursements.
SECTION 2.04 - ELECTION OF OFFICER
A. LEAD PASTOR
In the event of a vacancy of the Lead Pastor, the church as directed by the directional team shall begin to search for qualified individuals to fill this position. The directional team will formulate a pastoral search team, and by majority vote, they can add any other agreed upon members within the church to this team. They must also choose at least one lead pastor from the accountability board.
The selected Lead pastor(s), because of familiarity and close ties with Journey Church as well as knowledge of potential candidates, shall serve as a member(s) of the pastoral search team in calling a new Lead pastor. This pastor shall act as a stabilizing and guiding force in finding suitable candidates, establishing proper interviewing procedures and meetings. This lead pastor shall be given the right of casting a vote when considering a candidate for this role.
All candidates must agree with the church’s written doctrines, and shall be interviewed and investigated, speaking at the will of the pastoral search team and board of trustees as is deemed fitting. Multiple interviews will most likely be necessary for candidates under serious consideration.
Once a desirable candidate has been found, the pastoral search team will meet to discuss and vote for this candidate. A three-fourths majority of the directional team, trustee board, and accountability board are required to elect a new Lead Pastor. If elected, the new Lead Pastor will assume his duties at the direction of the pastoral search team.
The necessity for more or less trustees will be based upon the discretion of the Lead Pastor in collaboration with the trustee board. When the need arises for an additional trustee(s), the selection process shall be as follows:
· At a trustee meeting, the current board trustees along with the Lead Pastor shall nominate individuals who are members; already serving in a leadership capacity; mature in their spiritual walk (with nothing that would damage the reputation of God or this church); and able to commit to the responsibilities and expectations of being a trustee. A viable candidate will be interviewed by the board before voting and selection.
· Once approved as a candidate, the board shall vote with a needed three-fourths majority to officially select a candidate to be a trustee. The new trustee(s) shall be announced at the next vision meeting of the church.
C. MINISTER OF RECORDS & MINISTER OF FINANCE
These positions (or position when one person serves both functions) are nominated by the lead pastor with a three-fourths majority approval of the trustees. The new minister(s) shall be announced at the next vision meeting of the church.
SECTION 2.05 – LENGTH OF TERMS OF OFFICE
A. LEAD PASTOR
The electing of the Lead Pastor or severance of the relationship between the Lead Pastor and the Church may be considered at any time at a duly called meeting of the accountability board. Disciplinary removal of the Lead Pastor from office automatically terminates his membership.
Trustees can serve a maximum term of five years at a time. When newly elected, a trustee will initially serve a two-year term. At re-election, that person can serve for one additional term of three years. Under special circumstances and not to exceed more than two additional years, a trustee may be asked by the Lead Pastor and trustee board to serve past the length of terms of office.
When a full term has expired, a one year sabbatical from this role is required. After that year, a person will be re-eligible for nomination. A trustee may step down or be removed from office for unbiblical conduct, as determined by the Lead Pastor and/or other board members, upon a majority vote of the remaining members of the Board of Trustees.
C. THE MINISTERS OF RECORDS AND FINANCE
Whether these roles are filled by one person or two, these offices are not subject to term limits but shall be reviewed every year. They may be removed by a majority vote of the board of trustees. This person(s) can hold the office as long as it is mutually agreed upon yearly by the Lead Pastor and trustees.
SECTION 2.06 – PASTORAL OVERSIGHT OF STAFF
The Lead Pastor (or a person delegated by the Lead Pastor) may hire personnel to assist in carrying out the ministries, duties, and responsibilities of the church.
Before beginning the process of hiring staff members, the Lead Pastor and the minister of finance shall determine the financial feasibility to support additional staff. Once verified, potential candidates will be pursued and interviewed at the direction of the Lead pastor.
All potential staff members are subject to interviews by the Lead Pastor and an assigned contingency before hiring. Once a staff member assumes duties, that person shall immediately become a member of the church.
All Church staff, whether paid or volunteer, are under the supervision of the Lead Pastor. The Lead Pastor is granted the final authority to hire and appoint paid or volunteer staff. The Lead Pastor has the sole authority to dismiss any paid or volunteer staff.
SECTION 2.07 – FURTHER DUTIES OF ALL OFFICERS
All officers shall surrender any records in their possession to the minister of records at the close of their term of office to be filed as a permanent record of the work of the Church. All records are the property of the Church and must be kept in the Church office, Lead Pastor’s office, or a predetermined location.
Aside from emergencies, all officers are required to attend scheduled meetings. All officers should be aware of their legal rights and boundaries so as to avoid personal liabilities by local, state, or national authorities.
All officers are required to discharge their duties in good faith; with the care an ordinarily prudent person in a similar position would exercise under similar circumstances; and in a manner believed to be in the best interests of the church. It is expected that any officer would exclude himself/herself from any matter which could be categorized as a conflict of interests.
Determination of the internal affairs of this Church is an ecclesiastical matter and shall be determined exclusively by the Church's own rules and procedures. The Lead Pastor shall have oversight of all aspects and ministries of this Church, with the ongoing counsel, assistance, advice, direction, and accountability of the leaders and officers of the church. Binding decisions made by this corporation shall be by a simple majority vote of the trustee board at any duly-called meeting, unless stated otherwise in these bylaws.
SECTION 2.08 – CONFLICTS OF INTEREST
Whenever an officer of the church has a financial or personal interest in any matter coming before a board that they serve on, the board shall ensure that:
· The interest of that person is fully disclosed.
· That person shall abstain from voting, but may state their desire and intention in the matter.
· The matter or transaction shall be discussed and voted on by the members of that board who are not connected, so as to operate in the best interests of Journey Church.
· When necessary, payments to the interested officer shall be reasonable and shall not exceed fair market value.
· The meetings of minutes at which such votes are taken shall record such disclosure, abstention, and rationale for approval.
ARTICLE 3 - LEADERSHIP TEAMS
SECTION 3.01 – DIRECTIONAL TEAM
The Directional Team’s primary function is as guardians and overseers of the organization, its vision, and ministries. The Directional Team evaluates the effectiveness and direction of the church according to three criteria:
· The church’s mission and the next steps in that mission;
· The church’s focus – spiritually, organizationally, and developmentally;
· The church’s overall health and direction
The Directional Team is responsible for evaluating programming based on appropriateness and effectiveness in furthering the overall mission of Journey Church. The Directional Team also assists in running the day-to-day operations of the organization, including, but not limited to, giving vision to the various ministries of the church, determining programming, planning events, and expanding ministries and campuses.
When the position of Lead Pastor is vacated, the Directional Team, under the guidance of a duly-elected leader from that team, will take appropriate action to find, nominate, and secure a qualified candidate to serve as Lead Pastor. The candidate for Lead Pastor will be approved by the Directional Team with the assistance and recommendations of the board of trustees and the accountability board. For further guidance, see section 2.04 of these Bylaws.
When the position of Lead Pastor is vacated, the Directional Team, under the guidance of a duly-elected leader from that team, will take responsibility for weekly worship gatherings including speakers, music, observances, holidays, and any other items or matters related to any weekend worship services.
The Directional Team is comprised of no fewer than three and no more than seven individuals. It will include the Lead Pastor, as Chairman of the team, and all members must meet the character qualifications as outlined in 1 Timothy 3:8-13. The Lead Pastor will meet with the Directional Team regularly, and serve as the leader of the team. The members of the Directional Team are determined at the final and sole discretion of the Lead Pastor.
Members of the Directional Team serve one-year terms. They are eligible to return to their position with the approval of the chairman, and they can sit on other boards and teams.
C. SPECIAL PROVISIONS
· The Directional Team may not, at any time, be personally financially responsible for the church's financial obligations, except as permitted by special exception, which is available only by a unanimous vote of the board of trustees and in extraordinary circumstances.
· A Directional Team member may not be the sole signer of any checking or bank account.
SECTION 3.02 – ACCOUNTABILITY BOARD
· To provide a spiritual covering by prayerfully giving necessary aid, instruction, guidance, protection and correction as well as counsel, wisdom and fellowship to the lead pastor (2 Timothy 3:16, 17; Acts 15) and,
· To hear accusations against the lead pastor brought to them unanimously by the directional team or board of trustees after biblical standards of 1 Timothy 5:19-20 have been exercised and confrontation according to Matthew 18:15-17 has proven ineffective. The accountability shall act on behalf of the church to make a determination as to whether the lead pastor has committed any of the infractions listed below.
The Accountability Board shall have no innate power or authority as a legal organizational entity, except that which is invested in them by these bylaws. Their decisions, when called together in accordance with this article, shall be final.
The Accountability Board shall be made up of no less than three persons and no more than five. The Accountability Board shall be made up of individuals nominated by the lead pastor and confirmed by a simple majority of the directional team after careful consideration. The directional team shall consider the nominations and vote to have each nomination appointed. Members from other boards or teams can sit as members of this board. Accountability Board members shall be reviewed (and if necessary, replaced) annually by the lead pastor and directional team.
The directional team may call the Accountability Board into session to conduct an investigation for the following accusations against the pastor:
1. Any biblical sin or offense that ultimately compromises the standards of an elder/pastor as set forth 1 Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:5-9.
2. The pastor not acting in the best interest of the church.
The Accountability Board may dismiss the lead pastor if they find him/her guilty of any of the items stated in this article. The Accountability Board will determine if the lead pastor is guilty or innocent and whether to discipline or dismiss him/her from office. The Accountability Board is the only entity that has the authority to dismiss the lead pastor if, after being called into session in accordance with the provisions of this article and after considering all accusations, they determine that it is the best course of action for the church. The decision of the Accountability Board is final.
Any action taken by the Accountability Board is valid by a two-thirds majority.
Any member of the Accountability Board may be replaced or removed at any time deemed necessary by request of the lead pastor and confirmation of the directional team, provided that it not be after the Accountability Board has been called to officially meet in accordance with section C of this article.
The representative nominated by the lead pastor and confirmed by the directional team shall chair the Accountability Board. Future vacancies shall be nominated by the lead pastor and voted on by the directional team.
A record of the current and past Members of the Accountability Board shall be kept in a log under the custody of the minister of records. The log shall clearly list the names of each member and the current chairman.
Any new lead pastor shall keep the Accountability Board that was in existence at the time he became lead pastor for the first six months. After that, the lead pastor may make nominations for replacements of no more than one representative per year. He must follow the procedure set forth in this article.
100% of the Accountability Board must be present to constitute a quorum. The Accountability Board may only meet by the request of the directional team according to the provisions of this article.
ARTICLE 4 - PARTNERSHIP
SECTION 4.01 – MEMBERSHIP REQUIREMENTS
Journey Church believes that growth is a natural part of life, and adding new members (also referred to as partners) into our church is important and essential to fulfilling the Great Commission. The membership is a non-voting membership, and is led by the lead pastor and leadership teams as outlined in these bylaws. Only church members are eligible for appointment to any office or position of Journey Church, with the exclusion of pastoral staff, i.e. staff pastors or staff personnel.
· Anyone desiring to become a member/partner of Journey Church ought to meet the following requirements:
· Gives credible evidence of transformed life with repentance toward God and faith
· Has been scripturally baptized as a disciple of Jesus Christ publicly confessing their faith.
· Agrees with the Written Doctrines (separate document).
· Attends and completes the church’s new member class (the name of the class may change from time to time, but the class is meant to introduce the church’s mission, beliefs, values, and history.
· Willingly submits to these By-Laws.
SECTION 4.02 - TERMINATION OF MEMBERSHIP
The membership of any person may be terminated who:
· Is removed from our midst by death.
· Unites with another church.
· Requests in writing to be released from membership.
· Does not attend a regular worship service at the church for a period of one year or more.
· No longer believes in one or more of our primary doctrines as defined in this church’s Written Doctrines.
· The directional team may terminate a person's Church attendance rights when, in the opinion of the directional team, the Member’s life and conduct is not in accordance with the Church’s Written Doctrines in such a way that the Member hinders the influence or testimony of the Church in the community.
SECTION 4.03 - DISCIPLINE OF A MEMBER:
The church is entrusted with the disciplining of its members (Matthew 18:15-17). The purpose of this discipline is three-fold
· To love a member found in sin.
· To seek restoration for the member found in sin.
· To maintain a church that is pure, as our God has ordained it to be (2 Corinthians 11:2). The disciplining of members is a sobering matter and will only take place after prayerful consideration and following the principles prescribed in Matthew 18 with the Leadership Team serving in the role of the "Church." Any team member who is already involved in the process will recuse himself/herself.
If a person is removed from membership, when necessary, specifically with position or influence in the church, an announcement may be made to the church notifying them of the decision for removal.
A member may be restored to membership if:
· Repentance is demonstrated;
· In conjunction with repentance, a private vote by the Lead Pastor & Directional Team will determine if reinstatement should be granted, and that it is in the best interests of the church body for this person to be reinstated;
· In some cases, even with genuine repentance and a desire to make matters right, reinstating a person as a member might cause potential hardship or division. In these rare cases, the person seeking reinstatement will not become a member but may be granted a letter of recommendation to another church of like-faith.
The procedures provided in this section are based on Matt. 18:15-20; Rom. 16:17-18; I Cor. 5:1-13; 2 Cor. 2:1-11; Gal. 6:1; I Thess. 5:14; 2 Thess. 3:6, 10-15; I Tim. 5:19-20; and Titus 3:10-11.
SECTION 4.04 – FURTHER STIPULATIONS
Membership in this Church does not afford those individuals with any property, contract, or civil rights based on principles of democratic government. Although the general public is invited to all of the church’s worship services, the church property remains private property. The Lead Pastor (or in his absence, an individual designated by the directional team) has the authority to suspend or revoke the right of any person, including a member, to enter or remain on church property. If after being notified of such suspension or revocation, the person enters or remains on church property, the person may, in the discretion of the Lead Pastor (or in his absence, an individual designated by the directional team), be treated as a trespasser.
ARTICLE 5 - UNBUDGETED EXPENDITURES
To increase financial accountability and responsibility, at the final trustee board meeting of each year, the board of trustees will authorize and record in the minutes the amount of money that can be spent on a single transaction or expenditure by the Lead Pastor (or approved by the Lead Pastor to be spent) that is not already pre-authorized in the regular annual budget in the coming fiscal year.
ARTICLE 6 - MEETINGS
SECTION 6.01 - MEETINGS FOR WORSHIP
In any established place of worship, the lead pastor (or designated persons) will be responsible for regular church services and duly called church meetings. The ordinances of the Lord's Supper and baptism shall be observed as often as deemed necessary.
SECTION 6.02 – SPECIAL MEETINGS PROVISIONS FOR BOARDS, AND TEAMS
MEETINGS BY REMOTE COMMUNICATIONS TECHNOLOGY
Any board or team mentioned in this document may also hold meetings by means of a remote electronic communications system, including video or telephone conferencing technology or the Internet, or any combination, only if each person entitled to participate in the meeting consents to the meeting being held by means of that system, and the system provides access to the meeting in a manner or using a method by which each person participating in the meeting can communicate concurrently with each other participant. Participation in such a meeting shall constitute presence in person at such meeting, except participation for the express purpose of objecting to the transaction of any business on the ground that the meeting is not lawfully called or convened.
ACTION BY UNANIMOUS WRITTEN CONSENT WITHOUT MEETING
Any action required or permitted to be taken by any board or team mentioned in this document under any provision of law may be taken without a meeting, if all members of the board or team shall individually or collectively consent in writing to such action. Such written consent or consents shall be filed with the minutes of the proceedings of that board or team. Such action by written consent shall have the same force and effect as the unanimous vote. Any certificate or other document filed under any provision of law which relates to action so taken shall state that the action was taken by unanimous written consent of that board or team without a meeting and that the Bylaws of this corporation authorize this action and such statement shall be prima facie evidence of such authority.
SECTION 6.03 – ACTION WITHOUT MEETING
Any action required or permitted to be taken by any board or team mentioned in this document may be taken without a meeting, if all of the board or team members, individually, or collectively, consent in writing to the action. Such action by written consent or consents shall be filed with the minutes of the proceedings of the church.
SECTION 6.04 – PROXIES
Voting by proxy is prohibited.
ARTICLE 7 - MINISTERS OF THE GOSPEL
SECTION 7.01 – CLASSES OF MINISTER
This church shall have three classes of ministers. Each class of minister will have distinct rights and privileges; they are listed below:
- Chaplain: This recognition is for ministers of the gospel that are called by God and recognized by the lead pastor to minister primarily in prisons, hospitals and government agencies.
- Licensed Minister:. This recognition is to advance God’s calling to the function of pastor or ministry leader either inside or outside The Journey Church. Such persons are authorized to perform all sacerdotal services. However, this person is not in charge of a church. Limited authority is granted to run the affairs of the church.
- Ordained Minister: This recognition is given by the lead pastor to those persons who have an "established" or "proven" ministry, and desire to be in life-long ministry as a lead pastor or high-level pastor. Ordained ministers are authorized to perform all functions of the Christian ministry and sacerdotal services, and must be capable of doing so. He must be capable, as determined by the lead pastor, to take charge of a church body.
SECTION 7.02 – AUTHORITY & DESIGNATION
The lead pastor of this church shall have the final authority to decide who, how or if a person will be approved by this church to hold any of the three classes mentioned above. All who are hired to serve on staff as pastors shall be licensed by Journey Church for ministry and tax purposes.
ARTICLE 8 - BINDING ARBITRATION
SECTION 8.01-SUBMISSION TO ARBITRATION
Believing that lawsuits between believers are prohibited by the Bible, all members of this church agree to submit to binding arbitration any matters which cannot otherwise be resolved, and expressly waive any and all rights in law and equity to bringing any civil disagreement before a court of law, except that judgment upon the award rendered by the arbitrator may be entered in any court having jurisdiction thereof.
SECTION 8.02-NOTICE OF ARBITRATION
In the event of any dispute, claim, question, or disagreement arising out of or relating to these Bylaws or any other church matter, the parties shall use their best efforts to settle such disputes, claims, questions, or disagreement as prescribed by the Bible. To this effect, they shall consult and negotiate with each other in good faith and, recognizing their mutual interests not to disgrace the name of Christ, seek to reach a just and equitable solution. If they do not reach such solution, then upon notice by either party to the other, disputes, claims, questions, or differences shall be finally settled by arbitration as described in Section 1 of this article, and such Procedures for Arbitration as are adopted pursuant to the following two sections.
SECTION 8.03-LIMITATIONS ON ARBITRATION DECISIONS
· Should any dispute involve matters of church discipline, the arbitrators shall be limited to determining whether the procedures for church discipline as outlined under Article 4 were followed.
· Should any dispute involve the removal from office of the Lead Pastor or any church officer, the arbitrators shall be limited to determining whether the procedures set forth in Article 4 were followed.
SECTION 8.04-ARBITRATION PROCEDURES
The procedures for arbitration shall be as adopted by the lead pastor and the board of trustees.
ARTICLE 9 - MUTUAL INTEREST
The behavior of anyone in fellowship with this church is of common interest to the board of directors and membership. (Galatians 6:1) This church requires every officer and member to adhere to a life style that is consistent with the doctrines of this church as taught in the Bible. Therefore, this church reserves the right to refuse service to any individual, whether member or not, that is not submitting their life style to this biblical mode of conduct. This refusal would include services, benefits and any use of church assets.
ARTICLE 10 - PROHIBITED ACTIVITIES
This church is prohibited from engaging in activities which violate its written doctrines. This church is also prohibited from condoning, promoting or allowing any of its assets to be used for activities that violate its written doctrines.
ARTICLE 11 - MINISTRY OF HELPS
This recognizes the ministry of helps during worship services and shall train and equip ushers and leaders to assist the Lead Pastor in maintaining order and decency. To that regard, ushers shall:
· Be trained in the policies and procedures of the usher ministry,
· Maintain a worshipful atmosphere in the church,
· Attend to any disruption or emergency situation during worship services.
The department head in charge of the usher's ministry and leaders shall:
· Make every effort to train the ushers to be prepared for emergency situations,
· Designate at least one usher to keep a cell phone available to call for help in case of an emergency,
· Train all ushers on the church's altar ministry policy and procedures.
ARTICLE 12 - AMENDMENTS
Under the spiritual guidance and direction of leaders and officers, there will be freedom to revise or amend any of this Constitution and By-laws at any time. This document may be revised or amended by a two-thirds majority vote of the directional team and trustee board at any meeting, provided that said revision or amendments are announced at the next available church business/vision meeting.