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This document sets forth the by-laws of a church. By-laws serve as the main organizational document of an entity. As drafted, these by-laws are tailored specifically to be used by church organizations and include sections on the qualifications, duties, and rights for church membership, guidelines for church staff and committees, and guidelines and rules for church meetings including worship. This document can be customized to fit the needs of any church organization seeking to establish by-laws.
This document sets forth the by-laws of a church. By-laws serve as the main organizational document of an entity. As drafted, these by-laws are tailored specifically to be used by church organizations and include sections on the qualifications, duties, and rights for church membership, guidelines for church staff and committees, and guidelines and rules for church meetings including worship. This document can be customized to fit the needs of any church organization seeking to establish by-laws. BYLAWS OF _______________ (HEREINAFTER “CHURCH”) ARTICLE I NAME AND LOCATION The name of this Church shall be _______________. The principal location for the activities and affairs of the Church shall be located in the City of _______________, County of _______________, State of _______________. ARTICLE II CHURCH MEMBERSHIP 1. QUALIFICATIONS The membership of this Church shall consist of believers who have voluntarily joined themselves together for mutual encouragement in the faith, for instruction in righteousness and for the evangelization of the lost, and who shall regard the Holy Scriptures as the primary guide in all matters of faith and practice, both corporate and private. 2. RECEPTION OF MEMBERS Candidates for membership may be received at any worship or evangelistic service of the Church in any one of the following ways: a. Upon a public profession of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior, thus becoming a candidate for New Testament baptism; b. By petition to this Church that it contact another church of like faith and order and request a Letter of Dismissal to unite with this Church; c. By a statement satisfactory to this Church, to the effect that the candidate has previously been a member in good standing of another church of like faith and order; d. From churches of differing faith and order, but New Testament baptism shall be required of all such candidates; or e. Upon the referral of a current Church member, in good standing; f. By restoration. 3. RESPONSIBILITIES OF MEMBERSHIP © Copyright 2013 Docstoc Inc. registered document proprietary, copy not 2 Members shall be expected to submit to the control of the Holy Spirit through their lives, in being faithful to the teachings of the Bible, to attend regularly the services of the Church, to contribute to the support of the Church, to share in its organized work, and to conduct themselves toward one another in the spirit of the Church Covenant. 4. MEMBERSHIP RIGHTS Such members as are in full and regular standing may act and vote in the business transactions of the Church. All members upon the floor of the body have equal rights, and are entitled to equal privileges and consideration from all officers and other members. Every member of the Church is eligible for consideration by the membership as candidates for elective offices in the Church in accordance with the qualifications relating to these offices. 5. INACTIVE MEMBERSHIP During each calendar year, the Church Council shall review the membership roll of the Church. Any member who has been absent from the Church for a period of _______________ without manifesting an interest therein by communication with the Church, shall after reasonable attempts to contact the member in question, and on the recommendation of the Church Council, be placed on the inactive roll by vote of the Church membership. This shall not affect the sick, homebound, nursing home residents, or those away at school or in the armed forces. Persons so carried on the inactive roll shall not be permitted to participate in Church business meetings. The Right Hand of Fellowship shall not be affected by such a change in status. When the Church is needed, it will be there to minister to its members. Any member who wishes may be reinstated as an active member by vote of the Church membership, upon the recommendation of the Church Council. 6. TERMINATION OF MEMBERSHIP This Church shall dismiss from its membership and remove from its membership roll the name of: a. Any member who shall die; b. Those who unite with churches of other faiths and which we do not regard as being New Testament churches, and therefore, with whom we do not exchange regular letters of Church membership. (Those churches shall be notified, however, when one comes from a church of another faith, in order that his name may be removed from the roll of that church.); c. Those who request a Letter of Dismissal in order to unite with another church of like faith and order; d. Those who may request that their membership in this Church cease; or, e. Those who shall be dealt with for words or deeds unbecoming a Christian, thus casting a shadow of reproach on the name of Jesus Christ and His Church, and who refuse to © Copyright 2013 Docstoc Inc. registered document proprietary, copy not 3 repent and mend their ways. 7. DISCIPLINE All matters of discipline shall be in a spirit of Christian love, rather than in a legalistic manner, considering ourselves, lest we too be tempted at some future time. The deacons and/or pastor shall first deal with such member personally and privately in an effort to bring about reconciliation and to be helpful in bearing another’s burden. The member shall be informed of the specific charge(s) against them. If this attempt shall prove successful, we shall all rejoice and give thanks to God. But if it shall prove unsuccessful, the member shall be offered the opportunity to appear before a full meeting of the Church Council to defend himself. But if he shall fail, neglect or refuse to be cooperative, and thus disrupt the fellowship of the Church, as well as bring reproach on the Church and the name of Christ, then his name shall be put before the Church at a regular business meeting, and the Church shall vote to exclude his name from the membership of the Church until such time as he makes amends. ARTICLE III CHURCH STAFF, OFFICERS, AND COMMITTEES 1. GENERAL QUALIFICATIONS All Church officers, teachers, and leaders elected by the congregation shall be supporters of the overall Church program and shall have been active members and supporters of the Church program in which they will be serving. All officers and committee members, except deacons and the pastor, shall be elected for _______________ at a time. No officer, committee member, or teacher shall serve in the same capacity for more than _______________ consecutive terms unless by majority agreement of the Nominating Committee and elected by vote of the Church. It is always preferred that any member serving in the same capacity for _______________ consecutive terms leave that capacity for at least one term. 2. PASTOR A pastor shall be chosen and called by the Church whenever vacancy occurs. His election shall take place at a meeting called for that purpose, of which at least _______________ notice shall be given from the pulpit. The Pastor Search Committee shall seek out a suitable pastor, and their recommendation will constitute a nomination; any member has the privilege of making suggestions to the committee. The committee shall bring to the consideration of the Church only one man at a time. An affirmative secret ballot vote of Zero Percent of those present is necessary for a candidate to be elected. The pastor, thus elected shall serve until the relationship is terminated by mutual consent. 3. PASTOR’S DUTIES © Copyright 2013 Docstoc Inc. registered document proprietary, copy not 4 a. The pastor shall have a general oversight of the total work of the Church, and shall be assisted by the deacons, other officers, and members of the Church. Though the leader, he shall not assume that he is also dictator over the Church. b. The pastor shall secure evangelists for all revivals. c. In his absences, the pastor shall be responsible for pulpit honorarium to the supply preacher. However, honorariums will be provided through the Church budget during the pastor’s vacation, when he is away on Church business, or when he is unable to serve due to sickness. d. The pastor shall have the liberty to attend periodic revivals or other engagements which would cause him to be away from his Church field during the year. e. The pastor shall be a spiritual overseer of all organizations and committees of the Church. He shall not be a voting member. 4. PASTOR’S TERMINATION a. When it becomes necessary for the advancement of God’s Kingdom to consider the dismissal of a pastor, the matter shall be presented to the Church by the active committee of deacons. b. The office of pastor will be declared vacant for the following reasons: i. If he resigns; ii. If he retires; iii. If he dies; iv. If he does not perform the duties of the pastor; v. If he becomes an offense to the Name and cause of Jesus Christ by his conduct; vi. If he consistently fails to meet and uphold the Biblical qualifications of a pastor. c. Should the Church move to declare the office of Pastor vacant, such action shall take place only at a meeting of the Church called for that purpose. The meeting will be called upon the recommendation of a majority of the active deacons. The vote to declare the office vacant shall be by secret ballot. A vote of Zero Percent of the members present and voting shall be necessary to declare the office vacant. 5. INTERIM PASTOR © Copyright 2013 Docstoc Inc. registered document proprietary, copy not 5 When the office of pastor is vacant, a man of God will be needed to minister to the Church during the transition period from one pastor to another. After a Pastor Search Committee is put in place, it will be responsible for promptly finding a man to fill the office of Interim Pastor. The interim pastor, thus elected shall serve until the office of pastor is filled. 6. DEACONS A deacon should have a definitive and matured experience as a Christian disciple. These men shall faithfully and actively support the activities of the Church; shall meet the requirements laid out in 1 Timothy 3 and Acts 6. He should show evidence of commitment as a disciple of Christ through actions of love toward others. Deacons shall have been ordained by this Church or by a church of similar faith and practice before serving. 7. DEACON’S DUTIES a. They are to be zealous to guard the unity of the Spirit within the Church in bonds of peace. b. The deacons shall cooperate in the Church’s programs of education, evangelism, missions and stewardship. c. The deacons shall seek to be an example to others in religious matters. d. A deacon shall be expected to exercise faithful Christian stewardship of his time, talents and possessions in support of the Church. e. They shall serve as council of advice and conference with the pastor in all matters pertaining to the welfare and work of the Church. With the pastor they are to consider and formulate plans for the constant effort and progress of the Church in all things pertaining to the saving of souls, the development of Christians, and the extension and growth of the Kingdom of God. f. By proper organization and method among themselves, they are to establish and maintain personal fraternal relations with, and inspiring oversight of all the membership of the Church. They are to especially seek to know the physical needs and the moral and spiritual struggles of the brethren and sisters, and to serve the whole Church in assisting, encouraging and developing all who are in need. g. The deacons may initiate matters of business and shall study matters of business referred to them by the committees and members of the Church, and make recommendations to the Church regarding these matters. h. Any Deacon who is unwilling or unable to serve the Church faithfully shall be expected to submit his resignation to the Church. 8. DEACON COMPOSITION & ELECTION © Copyright 2013 Docstoc Inc. registered document proprietary, copy not 6 a. There shall be as many deacons as the Holy Spirit and wisdom shall deem necessary for carrying on the work of the Church. b. Nominations for deacons shall be by the pastor through the active deacons. The initial list of nominations shall be checked by the pastor and active deacons as to the scriptural qualification of each individual. c. After due consideration, counsel and prayer, the nominations shall be presented publicly to the Church no less than _______________ before election. d. The election of deacons shall be held at a meeting of the Church called for that purpose. The election shall be by secret ballot, and the votes counted by the deacons then in office and published. A vote of _______________ Percent of the members present and voting shall be necessary for a nominee to be elected. 9. SUNDAY SCHOOL DIRECTOR The director shall have the oversight of the entire school and shall administer it with aid of the pastor and the Sunday school teachers. 10. YOUTH COORDINATOR The Coordinator shall plan ministry and social activities that will foster the Christian growth of the Church youth and children. 11. MEN’S MINISTRIES DIRECTOR The director shall have the oversight of the entire Men’s Ministries organization and shall administer it with the aid of all Men’s Ministries Officers. 12. TREASURER It shall be the duty of the treasurer to receive, preserve, and pay out all monies, or things of value paid or given to the Church, keeping at all times an itemized account of all receipts and disbursements. Payment of bills for local work and expenses shall be made promptly by check, and all funds received for denominational or other causes shall be remitted at least monthly by check. It shall be the duty of the treasurer to render to the Church an itemized report of receipts and disbursements for the preceding months, and this report shall be presented in printed form to the Church in the regular business meeting. All books, accounts and records kept by the treasurer shall be considered the property of the Church. The books shall be open to inspection at all times by any member of the Church. 13. CLERK © Copyright 2013 Docstoc Inc. registered document proprietary, copy not 7 The Church clerk shall keep a suitable book of all the action of the Church, including a register of current Church fellowship. When requested and voted by the Church, the clerk will issue letters of recommendation. 14. FINANCE COMMITTEE DUTIES a. The finance committee shall be responsible for maintaining and developing a sound fiscal policy on behalf of the Church. Among other duties, the finance committee will be responsible for preparing a proposed Church budget, estimating anticipated income based on previous year’s income, prevailing economic conditions, past year’s giving record of membership and anticipated plans for growth. Prior to the first meeting of the finance committee, the committee can request Church leaders submit an itemized list of budget needs for the year. The committee will bring all these lists together for the first meeting of the committee and if it is necessary notify Church leaders to be present at a subsequent meeting to speak to their request. After evaluation and necessary adjustments are made, the committee will prepare a budget for presentation to the Church for approval. b. The committee will consider all requests for expenditures for budget items when money is not currently available in any given section. c. The committee shall hear requests for extra-budgeting financial expenditures and budget revisions and make recommendations as necessary to the Church. d. The committee will advise the Church on financial undertakings as to soundness and effect on financial structure and credit standing of the Church. e. The committee shall review and audit the monthly financial reports, which report will subsequently be prepared and presented to the Church. Make any recommendations necessary. f. The committee will consider all requests to receive additional special offerings and make appropriate recommendations. 15. NOMINATING COMMITTEE DUTIES a. The nominating committee shall nominate all Church officers and committee members except salaried persons and deacons. However, the floor shall be open for nominations for all officers and committee members, except salaried employees of the Church. b. The nominating committee shall recommend only those Church members who are qualified, willing to accept nomination, and who have agreed to serve if elected. The nominating committee may receive nominations from other nominating committees within the various organizations. If vacancies occur during the year, the committee shall convene to make recommendations to fill the vacant position. 16. BUILDING GROUNDS COMMITTEE DUTIES © Copyright 2013 Docstoc Inc. registered document proprietary, copy not 8 a. The committee will be responsible for the safekeeping, protection, maintenance, and repair of the buildings, grounds, operating facilities, and attached equipment including heating, cooling, and lighting. b. The building grounds committee shall be responsible for seeing that all the equipment is properly operating. c. This committee will make recommendations or take actions should an emergency necessitate, regarding: replacement of worn out items or equipment, landscaping and care of grounds, maintenance of safe conditions, and parking facilities. d. This committee shall prepare an annual budget for the committee functions and recommend it to the Church. 17. LORD’S SUPPER AND BAPTISM COMMITTEE DUTIES a. Meet with the candidates for baptism for instructions prior to each baptismal service. b. Prepare the baptismal pool for service. c. Assist the candidates for baptism before, during, and after baptism. d. Assist the pastor in any way requested. e. Prepare the table prior to the observance of the Lord’s Supper. f. Train new deacons as to the procedures to follow in serving the Lord’s Supper. 18. BEREAVEMENT COMMITTEE DUTIES a. The committee will inform Church members when a death occurs in the Church family. There will be a meal furnished by the Church upon the death of a Church member, their spouse, children, parents, or grandparents. b. The committee will be responsible for sending a spray of flowers upon the death of an active Church member, their spouse, or children. A pot plant will be sent at the death of a Church member’s parents, grandparents or grandchildren. c. When sending a flower is not an option, Gideon bibles will be purchased and the family will be notified. Eight bibles will be purchased upon the death of a member or their spouse. Five bibles will be purchased upon the death of a member’s children, parents, grandparents, or grandchildren. 19. HOSPITALITY COMMITTEE DUTIES © Copyright 2013 Docstoc Inc. registered document proprietary, copy not 9 a. This committee shall keep an inventory of kitchen supplies. b. The hospitality committee will prepare the fellowship hall for fellowship/special events. c. The committee shall clean the kitchen after fellowships or special events. ARTICLE IV MEETINGS 1. WORSHIP This Church shall conduct regular worship services each Lord’s Day and on _______________, unless otherwise agreed by the Church. Other hours shall be set for services necessary for the educational, stewardship, missionary, evangelistic and promotional functions of the Church and for fellowship 2. REGULAR BUSINESS MEETINGS This Church shall conduct its regular business meeting every quarter at a time and date to be specified by Church officers. All officers and organizations of the Church shall have an opportunity to submit a report of work done. The pastor, ordinarily, shall serve as moderator of all business meetings of the Church. In the absence of, or at the request of the pastor, the chairman of the deacons shall serve as moderator. Otherwise, in case of absence of both these, and with a quorum present, a moderator pro tem shall be elected. 3. SPECIAL-CALLED BUSINESS MEETINGS A special-called business meeting shall be called by the pastor whenever necessary, or upon the request of the deacons or a favorable vote of the Church. In the event the pastorate of the Church is vacant, the chairman of the deacons shall call such special business meetings. No matter may be considered at these special business meetings except that for which it was announced. ARTICLE V FINANCIAL POLICIES 1. ADMINISTRATION The Church shall initiate and have general oversight of a sound financial program for receiving, disbursing and accounting for the monies of the Church at all times. A system of accounting that will adequately provide for the handling of all funds, including individual records kept for Church donors, shall be the responsibility of the officers of the Church. © Copyright 2013 Docstoc Inc. registered document proprietary, copy not 10 2. FISCAL YEAR The Fiscal year of the Church shall be _______________ through _______________. 3. DEPOSITORIES AND CHECKS All funds and credits of the Church shall be deposited to the credit of a bank or savings institution. Funds of the Church shall be subject to withdrawal by checks or drafts signed by designated Church officers. 4. OFFERINGS Members and visitors shall be given the opportunity to give to the Church. The Church Council will determine the need for special offerings and the method used in receiving them. 5. DISBURSEMENTS Each disbursement shall be charged against the appropriate account in the Church’s record of accounts. No disbursement may be made unless authorized by contract, purchase order, invoice, or other written authorization signed or approved by a duly authorized representative of the Church. 6. REIMBURSEMENTS In order to receive a reimbursement, a receipt and a completed reimbursement form must be submitted to the Church. 7. ANNUAL REPORT At a regular meeting of the members held after the end of each fiscal year, the Church shall submit, or cause to be submitted, to the members a financial report for the preceding fiscal year. ARTICLE VI AMENDMENTS AND ADDITIONS 1. ADOPTION These Bylaws shall be considered adopted and in immediate effect if and when Zero Percent of the members present at the business meeting at which the vote is taken shall be in favor of the same. 2. AMENDMENTS © Copyright 2013 Docstoc Inc. registered document proprietary, copy not 11 These Bylaws may be amended, altered or repealed by a Zero Percent vote of the members present at any regular business meeting or the Church, provided that such proposed amendment, alteration or repeal shall have been announced and posted publicly at the Church prior to the time the vote is taken. 3. CONCLUSION Upon adoption of these Bylaws, all previously adopted policies and procedures in conflict are repealed. _______________ _______________ I approve of these Bylaws as identified herein. ____________________________________ _______________ _______________ © Copyright 2013 Docstoc Inc. registered document proprietary, copy not 12
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