CONSTITUTION OF CROSSROADS COMMUNITY CHURCH
We, the members of the Crossroads Community Church, of New Berlin, Waukesha county, Wisconsin, in order to establish rules and procedures with which to administer this independent local assembly, do ordain and establish the following Constitution and Bylaws to which we voluntarily submit ourselves.
‑ NAME ‑
This Church is incorporated under the name of “Crossroads Community Church” and hereinafter referred to as “this Church” in this Constitution and Bylaws.
‑ PURPOSE ‑
The purpose of this Church is to make disciples who are committed to exalting God, edifying one another, equipping faithful believers, and evangelizing unbelievers. It will proclaim the whole counsel of God as revealed in the Holy Scriptures, God’s Word, which shall be the center of all preaching and study material, and the only rule of faith and practice. It will glorify God by encouraging, promoting and affecting the following:
Section 1 ‑ Exaltation of God
The obedient and holy worship of God performed corporately and individually by believers unto God by way of service.
Section 2 ‑ Edification of Believers
The commitment of the members of the body of Christ to each other in mutual love, understanding and honesty to provoke one another to more Christ‑like lives and to support one another at all times.
Section 3 ‑ Equipping of Believers
The development of faithful believers for the work of the ministry and evangelism, through discipleship, by means of teaching Biblical principles and training.
Section 4 ‑ Evangelization of Unbelievers
The evangelism of individuals by proclaiming the Gospel of the reconciliation of man to God as accomplished in Jesus Christ. This evangelism is done both by the church as a whole, and on a personal basis — as believers are scattered throughout the community and the world. This Church shall reproduce itself through both home and foreign missions.
Section 5 ‑ Education of the Family of God
The development of a Christian philosophy of life through the education of our children and adults, both in this Church and in the family.
‑ AFFILIATION ‑
This Church shall only fellowship and cooperate with other ministering organizations of like precious faith who are in accord with the Abbreviated Statement of Faith of this Church as stated in Article IV of this Constitution. Never shall the properties or assets of this Church become the properties or assets of another organization except for what is stated in the dissolution clause of the Articles of Incorporation and this Constitution.
‑ MEMBERSHIP ‑
Any person professing faith in the Lord Jesus Christ as his/her own personal Savior, giving evidence of regeneration, and meets the stated requirements in the Bylaws of this Church shall be eligible to become a Member.
Section 1 – Membership Requirements
- Has personally accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior,
- Has reached the age of 18 years,
- Has been through the Membership class (unless waived by the Elder Board) and is in agreement with the following
Abbreviated Statement of Faith taught therein:
Abbreviated Statement of Faith
“Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit–just as you were called to one hope when you were called–one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.” (Ephesians 4:3-6 NIV)
One Body–We believe that everyone who receives the gift of salvation is adopted into God’s family, which is described in Scripture as the body of Jesus Christ, the Church.
One Spirit–We believe that God the Holy Spirit lives permanently in every child of God, teaching, equipping and enabling him to become increasingly more like Jesus.
One Hope–We believe Jesus will return to take his Church back to heaven with Him where we will spend eternity in the presence of God.
One Lord–We believe the Lord Jesus Christ, as the God/Man, died on the cross to provide salvation for all mankind and that he was physically raised from the dead.
One Faith–We believe that because of sin, man faces eternal damnation and is unable to save himself, but that salvation is the gift of God brought to man by grace and received exclusively through personal faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, whose precious blood was shed on the cross for the forgiveness of our sins.
One Baptism–We believe that baptism is the child of God’s means of identification with Christ and the family of God commanded by Jesus before he returned to heaven.
One God and Father of all–We believe in one Triune God, eternally existing in three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
One Authority–We believe the entire Bible to be the literal Word of God, without error in the original writings. It is our divine authority in all matters of faith and life.
“All Scripture is God‑breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work”(II Timothy 3:16-17 NIV).
Section 2 – The Purpose of Abbreviated Statement of Faith.
This Statement of Faith, abbreviated from the Doctrinal Statement contained in Article V of this Constitution, has as its intention allowing into membership those who may not have come to a full understanding of the complete Doctrinal Statement of this church. The Abbreviated Statement of Faith contains the great fundamentals of the Christian faith and should be the basis of Christian unity and love that was so important to our Lord Jesus Christ.
‑ DOCTRINAL STATEMENT ‑
The following Doctrinal Statement does not exhaust the extent of our faith. The Bible itself is the sole and final source of all that we believe. We do believe, however, that this statement accurately represents the teaching of the Bible. The scriptural doctrines upon which Crossroads Community Church was founded and upon which it now stands are contained in the following Doctrinal Statement:
The Holy Scriptures
We believe that “all Scripture is given by inspiration of God,” by which we understand the whole Bible is inspired in the sense that holy men of God “were moved by the Holy Spirit” to write the very words of Scripture. We believe that this divine inspiration extends equally and fully to all parts of the writings — historical, poetical, doctrinal and prophetical — as appeared in the original manuscripts. We believe that the whole Bible in the originals is therefore without error. We believe that all the Scriptures center about the Lord Jesus Christ in His person and work in His first and second coming, and hence that no portion, even of the Old Testament, is properly read, or understood, until the scripture leads to Him. We also believe that all the Scriptures were designed for our practical instruction. (Mark 12:26, 36; 13:11; Luke 24:26, 44; John 5:39; Acts 1:16; 17:2-3; 18:28; 26:22-23; 28:23; Rom. 15:4; I Cor. 2:13; 10:11; 2 Tim. 3:16; 2 Pet. 1:21.)
We believe in the Biblical account of the creation of the universe in six literal, solar days (24‑hour periods); that God created by His Word the heavens, the earth, and all their hosts, without preexisting materials; that man was created by a direct act of God; that all humans were present in Adam when he was created; that new individuals (in all their parts) come into existence today, not by a continuing creation, but through the laws of propagation established by God; that each individual is a living person from the moment of conception; that all forms of evolutionary hypotheses are serious errors which strike at the very person and the glory of God (Genesis 1:1‑31; 2:7; 5:3; Exodus 20:11; Hebrews 11:13; Psalms 139:13‑16; Luke 1:41,44; John 1:3; Romans 5:12‑24; 1 Corinthians 15:22; Colossians 1:15‑19; Hebrews 11:3).
We believe in one eternal Triune God, existing in three persons ‑ Father, Son and Holy Spirit ‑ who are identical in essence, equal in power and glory, and possess precisely the same attributes and perfections (Deuteronomy 6:4; Matthew 28:19; Luke 3:22; 2 Corinthians 13:14).
The Condition of Man
We believe that man was created in the image and likeness of God, in innocence and without sin. But in Adam’s sin the race fell, inherited a sinful nature, and became spiritually dead and alienated from God so that man is a sinner by both nature and imputation, thereby justly condemned to eternal damnation without defense or excuse. Man, of himself, is incapable of remedying his lost and depraved condition by any means whatsoever (Genesis 1:26; 3:1‑24; Romans 3:10‑18; 5:12, 19; Ephesians 2:1‑3).
The Person and Work of Christ
We believe that God demands a life of perfect obedience to His law; i.e., complete and total righteousness. God the Son had to become man in order to provide for us what God the Father’s holy nature (and self‑consistency) demanded ‑ perfect righteousness. Thus, the Lord Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God, became man without ceasing to be God; having been conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of a virgin, in order that He might reveal God and redeem sinful man. He accomplished this redemption by voluntarily giving Himself as a sinless substitutionary sacrifice on the cross, thereby satisfying God’s righteous judgment against sin. He gave proof that He accomplished that redemption by His bodily resurrection from the grave. He then ascended to the right hand of His Father where He intercedes on behalf of those who have believed on Him (John 1:1,2,14,18; Luke 1:34,35; 24:36‑43; Romans 2:12,13; 3:24‑26; 8:34; Hebrews 4:14‑16; 2 Corinthians 5:21).
The Person and Work of the Holy Spirit
We believe that the Holy Spirit is the Divine Person who convicts the world of sin; that He alone brings new life to those who are spiritually dead; that He baptizes (or places) all believers into the one true Church, which is the Body of Christ; that He indwells them permanently, seals them unto the day of redemption, bestows spiritual gifts upon them, and fills (controls) those who are yielding to Him to empower them for Christian life and service (John 3:3‑8; 16:7‑11; Acts 5:3,4; Ephesians 4:5; 1 Corinthians 12:13; Romans 8:9; John 14:16,17; Ephesians 4:30; 1 Corinthians 12:7‑11; 1 Peter 4:10; Ephesians 3:16; 5:18).
Satan and the Fallen Angels
We believe that God created an innumerable company of spiritual beings, known as angels; that one, Lucifer, the highest in rank, sinned through pride, and thereby became Satan; that a great company of the angels followed him in his moral fall; that some became demons and are active as his agents and associates in the carrying out of his unholy purposes; and that others who fell are “reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day” (Revelation 12:1‑10; 2 Peter 2:4; Jude 1:6). We believe that Satan is the author of sin and, under the permission of God, was the deceiver of Eve in the Fall; that he is the open and declared enemy of God and man; and that he shall be eternally punished in the Lake of Fire (Job 1:6‑7; Isaiah 14:12‑17; Ezekiel 28:11‑19; Matthew 4:2‑11; John 12:31; Rev. 20:10). In his warfare, he appears as an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:13‑15), counterfeiting the works of God by fostering religious movements and systems of doctrine (1 Timothy 4:1‑3), and that these doctrines in every case are characterized by a denial of the efficacy of the atoning sacrifice of Christ and of salvation by grace alone.
We believe that salvation is the gift of God’s grace given to all who believe in the Son. It includes all that God does in saving the elect from the penalty, power, and presence of sin, and in restoring them to a right relationship with God. As such, it is solely the work of God from initiation to completion. It cannot be gained by good works, but is a free gift for all whom God has enabled to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and His finished work on the cross. All who so put their faith in Jesus Christ as Savior have been forgiven and saved from their sins and declared righteous before God, and have been born into the family of God by the regenerating work of the Holy Spirit. God’s purpose for saving His elect is so that they bring glory to Him by their lives (Romans 1:16; 10:17; Acts 16:14b; Ephesians 1:7; 2:8, 9; John 1:12, 13; Romans 9:16; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Philippians 1:6; Titus 2:11‑14; 3:5‑7; 1 Peter 1:18‑ 19; John 5:40; 6:44; 3:36; 5:24; 1 John 5:1).
Security, Assurance, and Human Responsibility
We believe that all the saved ‑ those in whom God has accomplished His transforming work of grace ‑ are kept by His power, and thus, are secure in Christ forever. This assurance, however, is not the occasion for sin, for God in holiness cannot tolerate willful and/or persistent sin in His children, and in infinite love He corrects them. True faith in Christ is always expressed by a fruitful, God‑pleasing life (John 10:27‑29; Romans 6:1; 8:29‑39; 1 John 5:13; Hebrews 12:6; Matthew 7:20; James 2:20).
The Eternal State
We believe that at death the souls of those who have trusted Christ for salvation pass immediately into His presence and remain there in conscious bliss until the resurrection of the body at Christ’s coming for the Church, when soul and body will be reunited. We then shall be with Him forever in glory. We also believe that at death the souls of unbelievers remain in conscious misery until the final judgment of the Great White Throne at the close of the Millennium when the soul and body will be reunited and cast into the Lake of Fire ‑ not to be annihilated, but to be separated from God forever in conscious punishment (Luke 16:19‑26; 2 Corinthians 5:8; Philippians 1:21‑23; John 5:28‑29; 2 Thessalonians 1:7‑9; Matthew 25:46; Revelation 20:11‑15).
We believe that God, in the Scriptures, has given us everything pertaining to life and godliness. This includes the salvation from the penalty of sin, and just as surely, the provision of sanctification (separation) from sin. Sanctification from sin involves both positional and practical aspects. Positional sanctification (i.e., justification) as a work of the Holy Spirit is complete and is without further growth; however, practical sanctification (i.e., progressive sanctification), a result of the work of the Spirit in regeneration using the Word of God, provides the nourishment for growth and maturity in Christ. While practical sanctification is assured by the Word and the Spirit, it is yet imperfect in this life. There is some element of corruption in every part of the fallen nature which is the source for the war between the flesh and the spirit. The maturing to an ever increasing obedience is possible for believers as they feed on the Word, submit to the Spirit of God, and are in fellowship with other believers for service and accountability (John 17:17; 1 Corinthians 1:30; Romans 6:19,22; 7:1-25; Hebrews 10:25; 1 Peter 2:2; 2 Peter 1:3).
We believe that all who are united to the risen and ascended Son of God are members of the church which is the body and bride of Christ, which began at Pentecost and is completely distinct from Israel. Its members are constituted as such regardless of membership or non-membership in the organized local churches. We believe that by the same Spirit all believers in this age are baptized into, and thus become, one body that is Christ’s, whether Jews or Gentiles, and having become members one of another, are under solemn duty to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace, rising above all sectarian differences, and loving one another with a pure heart fervently. (Matt. 16:16-18; Acts 2:42-47; Rom. 12:5; 1Cor. 12:12-27; Eph. 1:20-23; 4:3-10).
We believe that our Lord Jesus Christ instituted two ordinances to be observed by all believers until His return ‑ water baptism (by immersion) to show forth our identification with the crucified, buried, and risen Savior (Matthew 28:19; Romans 6:3‑5; Col. 2:12) and the Lord’s Supper as the commemoration of His death until He comes (1 Corinthians 11:23‑26).
The Second Coming of Christ
We believe in the imminent, personal, pretribulational coming of the Lord Jesus Christ for His Church, the body of Christ (at which time the dead in Christ will be raised and the living saints will be immediately taken to be with Christ in heaven) and His subsequent premillennial return to earth with His saints to establish His Millennial Kingdom upon the earth (1 Thessalonians 1:10; 4:13‑18; Revelation 3:10; Zechariah 14:4‑11; Revelation 19:11‑16; 20:1‑6).
The Christian Life
We believe that a Christian should desire to live a life of righteousness, good works, and separation unto God from the evil ways of the world (Romans 12:1,2), manifested by speaking the truth (James 5:12), maintaining the sanctity of the home (Ephesians 5:22‑6:4), settling differences between Christians in accordance with the Word of God (1 Corinthians 6:1‑8), not engaging in carnal strife but showing a Christ‑like attitude toward all men (Romans 12:17‑21), exhibiting the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22, 23), and maintaining a life of prayer (Ephesians 6:18; Philippians 4:6).
We believe that the Scriptures interpreted in their natural, literal sense reveal divinely determined dispensations which are ordered stewardships, or rules of life (not ways of salvation), by which God administers His purpose on Earth through man under varying responsibilities in successive ages. Each dispensation begins with man being divinely placed in a new position of privilege and responsibility, and each closes with a failure of man resulting in righteous judgment from God. Seven of these dispensations, or rules of life, are the subject of extended revelation in Scripture. They are the dispensation of Innocence, Conscience, Human Government, Promise (Abraham), Law, the present dispensation of Grace (the Church age), and the future dispensation of the Millennial Kingdom. They are distinct and are not to be intermingled or confused, as they are chronologically successive. (John 1:17; 1 Corinthians 9:17; 2 Corinthians 3:9‑18; Galatians 3:13‑25; Ephesians 1:10; Colossians 1:24, 25; Hebrews 7:19; Revelation 20:2‑6).
We believe that believers are to be generous in their giving, and that all giving should be done cheerfully and sacrificially as the Lord leads one to give (2 Corinthians 8, 9).
Missions & Evangelism
We believe that it is the obligation of the saved to witness by life and by word to the truths of Holy Scripture and to seek to proclaim the Gospel to all mankind (Mark 16:15; Acts 1:8; 2 Corinthians 5:19, 20). Whereas edification and equipping the believer is a primary function of the church when gathered, evangelism of the unbeliever is the primary function of the church when scattered. We also believe that the sending of missionaries is a local church function (just as it is the responsibility of the local church to conduct church discipline and believer’s baptism) and, therefore is not absolved when delegated to a mission board or agency.
The Ministry and Spiritual Gifts
We believe that God is sovereign in the bestowment of all His gifts; and, that the gifts of evangelists, pastors, and teachers are sufficient for the perfecting of the saints today; God bestows ministry gifts to individual believers for the edification of the Body of Christ; and that speaking in tongues and the working of sign miracles ceased as the New Testament Scriptures were completed and their authority became established (Romans 12:3-8; 1 Corinthians 12:4‑11; 2 Corinthians 12:12; Ephesians 4:7‑12).
Movements Contrary to the Faith
We are opposed to all forms of theological compromise, apostasy and liberalism. We are opposed to movements that promote unscriptural beliefs and practices such as modernism, ecumenical evangelism, neo‑orthodoxy, neo‑evangelicalism, and ecumenical movements of our day. We believe that all are out of harmony with the Word of God, and are opposed to the Word of God (Matthew 24:9-12; 1 Timothy 4:1; 2 Timothy 4:3; 2 Peter 3:17).
Since we believe that evil, false doctrine, and spiritual compromise are all contagious, we thereby believe that the only way the purity, peace, and reputation of the church can be maintained is by separation ‑ both personal and ecclesiastical. Christians are to be in the world, but not of it, having no friendship, affiliation, nor identification with it (personal separation). Likewise, Christians should not attempt to “Christianize” the world’s principles and practices and bring them into the Church as part of Christian worship, fellowship, prayer, preaching, or communion. We also believe in the separation from detractors of orthodox doctrine; unbiblical ecclesiastical practices (i.e., neo‑ evangelicalism, ecumenism, ecclesiastical apostasy, modernism/liberalism), immoral unrepentant believers, and the state [primary separation](1 Corinthians 5:11; Acts 2:42; Hag. 2:11‑13; Amos 3:3; 2 Chronicles 19:2; Psalms 1:1; 1 Timothy 6:3‑5; 2 Timothy 2:20, 21; James 1:27; 4:4; John 17:15, 16; 1 John 2:15‑17;
2 Corinthians 6:14; 6:17‑7:1; 1 Corinthians 10:18‑21; Galatians 1:8, 9; Romans 16:17; Titus 3:10; Matthew 18:17; 2 Timothy 3:1-5; 1 Corinthians 15:33; Ephesians 5:11; Revelation 18:4; 2 Thessalonians 3:6, 14, 15; 2 John 10, 11).
We are firmly opposed to all societies, lodges, and organizations of an un‑Christian or anti‑Christian character. We avoid membership or participation in any organization that in its objectives, ceremonies, or practices is opposed to the Gospel of Jesus Christ or the faith and life of the Christian church.
Attitude Toward Civil Government
We believe that God has ordained and created all authority consisting of three basic institutions: (1) the home; (2) the Church; and (3) the state. Every person is subject to these authorities, but all (including the authorities themselves) are answerable to God and governed by His Word. God has given each institution specific Biblical responsibilities and balanced those responsibilities with the understanding that no institution has the right to infringe upon the other. The home, the Church, and the state are sovereign in their respective Biblically assigned spheres of responsibility under God.
We believe that civil government is ordained of God for the welfare of human society to promote and protect the good and to restrain and punish evil. Therefore, we consider it the duty of Christians to pray for rulers and for those that are in authority over them and to give due loyalty, respect, and obedience to them. However, where the demands of civil law would be against the supreme law and will of God, Christians should obey God rather than man (Daniel 4:17; Matthew 22:17‑21; Acts 4:19, 5:29; Romans 13:1‑7; 1 Timothy 2:1‑4; Acts 23:5; Titus 3:1;
1 Peter 2:13, 14).
We believe that God has commanded that no intimate sexual activity should be engaged in outside of a marriage between a man and a woman. We believe that any form of homosexuality, lesbianism, bisexuality, bestiality, incest, fornication, adultery, and pornography are sinful perversions of God’s gift of sex (Leviticus 20:12-16; Romans 1:26, 32; 1 Corinthians 6:9).
We believe that human life begins at conception and that the unborn child is a living human being. Abortion constitutes the unjustified, unexcused taking of unborn human life. Abortion is murder. We reject any teaching that abortions due to rape, incest, birth defects, gender selection, birth or population control, or the mental well‑being of the mother are acceptable (Psalm 139).
We believe that Christians are prohibited from bringing civil lawsuits against other Christians or the Church to resolve disputes. We believe the Church possesses all the resources necessary to resolve disputes between members. We do believe, however, that a Christian may seek compensation for injuries from another Christian’s insurance company as long as the claim is pursued without malice or slander.
‑ GOVERNMENT ‑
This Church recognizes Jesus Christ, the One revealed in the inerrant and infallible written Word of God, as the only preeminent Head of His Church. It accepts no civil authority in ecclesiastical matters pertaining to biblical and spiritual principles. The Pastor and the Elders hereinafter referred to as “the Elder Board” or “the Board” shall be recognized by the congregation as the ruling body in matters pertaining to the affairs of this Church.
In the event that this Church does not have men who meet the requirements as stated in the Bylaws to form a Board, the pastor shall select men to function in an advisory capacity.
‑ DISSOLUTION ‑
“Dissolution” means the complete disbanding of this Church so that it no longer functions as a congregation or as a corporate entity. Upon the dissolution of the corporation and after paying or making full provision for the payment of all of the debts and liabilities of the corporation, the net assets of the corporation shall be distributed as determined by the Elder Board to a nonprofit religious organization or organizations as defined under Sec. 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, which is exempt under Sec. 501(a) of the Internal Revenue Code (or of any future corresponding provision of any future United States Internal Revenue Code) and which is in agreement with the Doctrinal Statement (Article V) contained herein.
‑ AMENDMENTS ‑
The Constitution of this Church may be amended in the following manner:
Section 1 ‑ Elder Board Approval
The proposed amendment shall be submitted to the Elder Board. At least thirty (30) days shall elapse between the proposal of the amendment and the vote on the amendment by the Elder Board. The quorum of the Elder Board shall be fifty‑one percent (51%) and one hundred percent (100%) of the Elder Board present must vote in favor of the proposed amendment before it shall be approved.
Section 2 ‑ Adoption
This Constitution was adopted on March 1, 1999 by a unanimous vote of the elders and communicated to the congregation within thirty days at a duly‑called meeting of the Church and supersedes any other Constitution of this Church.
‑ THE CONGREGATION ‑
Section 1 ‑ Membership Classification
MEMBER ‑ One who has appeared before the Elder Board for review and has been approved by the Elder Board for membership.
- No inactive membership shall be established. Every six (6) months the Board shall review the membership roll. If a member is not regularly present in the church services for a period of six (6) months and/or if after personal consultation with this member he or she indicates no desire to fulfill their obligations as members according to Section 4 of this Article, he or she shall be notified that they have been removed from the church membership roll unless they are under church discipline. Any who desire reinstatement will be required to follow the usual procedure for obtaining membership.
Section 2 ‑ Membership Requirements
The requirements to become a member are as follows:
- Give a verbal or written testimony of one’s personal faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior to the Elder Board and the Pastor.
- Be baptized, except in extenuating circumstances which will be determined by the Pastor and the Elder Board.
- Be in agreement with the Abbreviated Statement of Faith and the Constitution and Bylaws of this Church. Agreement with the Abbreviated Statement of Faith (Article IV of the Constitution) is acceptable for membership even if there is not yet complete agreement with the full Doctrinal Statement (Article V of the Constitution). Those seeking leadership positions (elder, deacon) and key teaching positions as determined by the Elder Board must also be in substantial agreement with the full doctrinal statement in Article V of the Constitution.
- Complete the requirements of a Membership or Discipleship Course unless waived by the Elder Board. This requirement may also be waived for charter members.
- Demonstrate a life of submission to Christ as Lord through worship, a holy life, the support of and service to one another and a right attitude toward receiving exhortation.
- Evidence a burden for those without Jesus Christ as Savior and desire to be used to share the Gospel.
- Demonstrate commitment to each other and to God by giving one’s time, talents and financial support to the ministry of the Church.
- Appear before the Elder Board to be examined in the above areas, sign a Membership Commitment which includes an agreement to the Constitution (Article IV can be substituted for Article V) and Bylaws of this Church, and upon unanimous approval of the Elder Board be received into membership.
Section 3 ‑ Letters of Transfer
- No candidate for membership shall be received on the basis of a letter of transfer of membership from another church. The candidate in question must follow the regular procedure to become a member.
- Letters of transfer shall be recognized only as a release of membership from a church. A letter of transfer may be granted by this Church at the request of a member and upon the approval of the Board.
Section 4 ‑ Church Covenant (Membership Duties)
- Having been born‑again by the Word of God and the Spirit of God through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ according to the provisions of the abounding grace of God, and being justified on the grounds of the shed blood of Jesus Christ, and acknowledging our willingness to confess Him as our Savior before men as demonstrated in our baptism by immersion, we do now in the presence of God, the Holy Angels, and this Assembly, most solemnly and joyfully enter into Covenant with one another as one body in Christ.
- We strive, therefore, by the power of the Holy Spirit, to walk together in Christian love, to strive for the advancement of this local assembly, within the body of Christ, in knowledge, holiness, and comfort; to promote its prosperity and spirituality; to sustain its worship, ordinances, disciplines and doctrines; to contribute cheerfully, scripturally and regularly to the support of the ministry, the expenses of this Church, the relief of the poor, and the spread of the Gospel through all nations by means of our missionaries and fundamental faith missions.
- We also strive to maintain family and private devotion; to bring up our children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord; and to seek the salvation of our kindred, our acquaintances, our enemies, and all children and adults within the area of this assembly.
- Through the provision that God has made for victorious Christian living it shall be our desire to abstain from fleshly lusts that war against the soul, and to live a life of separation from sinful and worldly practices, with a desire to grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Through the love of Christ we will put away from us all bitterness and wrath, anger, clamor and evil speaking, and be kind one to another, tender hearted, forgiving one another even as God for Christ’s sake has forgiven us.
- We recognize that one of the outstanding evidences of Christianity is love, according to the words of our blessed Lord when He said: “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one for another.”
- We further strive to watch over one another in brotherly love, submit to one another, remember each other in prayer; to aid one another in sickness and distress; to cultivate Christian sympathy in feeling and courtesy in speech; to be slow to take offense, but always ready for reconciliation, and mindful of the rules of our Savior to secure it without delay or accept any necessary discipline. And this we do depending entirely upon the aid of our Heavenly Father, who so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son for our salvation, and of Jesus Christ our Savior, Who has redeemed us with His Own precious blood, and the indwelling Holy Spirit, our Comforter, Teacher, and Guide.
Section 5 ‑ Membership Privileges
This Church functions, not as a pure democracy, but as a body under the Headship of the Lord Jesus Christ and the direction of the Pastor and Elder Board. Membership in this Church does not afford the members with any property or contract rights. Determinations of the affairs of this Church are ecclesiastical matters and shall be determined exclusively by the procedures as determined by the Elder Board.
The membership of this Church has certain limited areas of exercising a vote. Members may not vote to initiate any Church action, but the vote of a member is to confirm and ratify the direction of the Church as determined by the Elder Board in three areas:
- The purchase or sale of church property.
In order for the church to purchase or sell church property, the Elder Board must call a special congregational meeting giving a two (2) week notice. The Elder Board shall state the reasons during the congregational meeting for the desired action. A quorum for this meeting shall consist of sixty percent (60%) of the voting members. Votes are to be on written, secret ballots. A seventy‑five percent (75%) majority vote shall be required on the first ballot in order to purchase or sell church property.
- The selection of a new Senior Pastor (See section 4-The Pastoral Call of Article II of the Bylaws).
- The termination of the Senior Pastor (See section 5 – Termination of article II of the Bylaws).
Section 6 ‑ Membership Precautions
- Only members of this Church will be considered for leadership and teaching positions.
- The church may establish and maintain policies and procedures regarding worker qualifications, selection, supervision, and reporting obligations
Section 7 ‑ Membership Termination
- Any of the following events are reasons for the termination of membership: (1) Death of the member, (2) Letter of transfer according to Section 3‑B of this Article, (3) Elder Board action according to Section 1‑B of this Article, (4) Church discipline according to Section 11 of this Article, (5) Inactive attendance of a regular worship service of this Church in the preceding six months unless waived by the Elder Board and/or (6) Becoming a member of another church.
- All privileges of membership shall immediately cease on the termination of his/her membership.
Section 8 ‑ Conflict Resolution
This Church is committed to resolving all disputes in a biblical manner. This commitment is based on God’s command that Christians should strive earnestly to live at peace with one another (Matthew 5:9; John 17:20‑23; Romans 12:18; and Ephesians 4:1‑3). When disputes arise, Christians should resolve them according to the principles set forth in Scripture (Proverbs 19:11; Matthew 5:23‑25; 18:15‑20; 1 Corinthians 6:1‑8; Galatians 6:1). We believe that these commands and principles are obligatory on all Christians and absolutely essential for the well‑being and work of the church. Therefore, any and all disputes in this Church shall be resolved according to biblical principles, as provided in this Bylaw.
When a member of this Church has a conflict with, or is concerned about the behavior of another member, he shall attempt to resolve the matter as follows:
- The offended or concerned person shall prayerfully examine himself and take responsibility for his contribution to the problem (Matthew 7:3‑5), and he shall prayerfully seek to discern whether the offense is so serious that it cannot be overlooked in love (Proverbs 19:11; 12:16; 15:18; 17:14; 20:3; Ephesians 4:2; Colossians 3:13; 1 Peter 4:8).
- If the offense is too serious to overlook, the offended or concerned person shall go, repeatedly if necessary, and talk to the offender in an effort to resolve the matter personally and privately, having first confessed his own wrongdoing (Matthew 18:5).
- If the offender will not listen and if the problem is too serious to overlook, the offended or concerned person shall return with one or two other people who will attempt to help the parties resolve their differences (Matthew 18:16); these other people may be members or officers of the church, other respected Christians outside the church, or trained conciliators. At the request of either party to the dispute, the church shall make every effort to assist the parties in resolving their differences and being reconciled.
- Conflicts involving doctrine or church discipline shall be resolved according to the procedures set forth in the Bylaws on Church Discipline.
- The Elder Board may adopt Employee Policy Manuals and employment disputes shall be resolved according to the procedures as may be established by the Elder Board.
Section 9 ‑ Confidentiality
All members are expected to refrain from gossip (Proverbs 16:28) and to respect the confidences of others. However, when the pastor(s) and the Elder Board of this Church believe it is biblically necessary, they may disclose confidential information to appropriate people in the following circumstances:
- When advice from other godly people is needed either within or outside this Church (Proverbs 11:14);
- When any person is in imminent danger of serious physical harm unless others intervene (Proverbs 24:11‑12);
- When it becomes necessary to institute disciplinary proceedings (Matthew 18:15‑20);
- Whenever required by law.
- Except as provided in Section 9, confidential information may not be disclosed to anyone outside this Church without the approval of the Elder Board and the consent of the person who originally disclosed the information. The Elder Board may approve such disclosure only when it finds that all internal efforts to resolve a problem have been exhausted (1 Corinthians 6:1‑8) and the problem cannot be satisfactorily resolved without the assistance of individuals or agencies outside this Church (Romans 13:1‑5).
Section 10 ‑ Biblical Counseling
- Whenever a Christian is unable to overcome sinful attitudes or behaviors through private efforts, God commands that he should seek assistance from other godly members. Therefore, this Church encourages and enjoins its members to make confession to (James 5:16) and seek counsel from each other and especially from spiritual leaders (Galatians 6:1‑2).
- All counseling in this Church shall be based on scriptural principles rather than those that are contrary to scripture such as some secular counseling practices. Any counseling that is in conflict with scripture is not authorized by this church.
- Since some members may work in professional fields outside this church, when serving as pastoral or lay counselors within this Church, they do not provide the same kind of professional advice and services as when they are hired in their professional capacities. Therefore, members who have significant legal, financial, medical, or other technical questions should seek advice from independent professionals. The pastoral and lay counselors of this Church shall be available to cooperate with such advisors and help members to consider their advice in the light of relevant scriptural principles.
Section 11 ‑ Church Discipline
Since it is vital to the testimony of this Church and the glory of our Lord that the purity of the church be preserved and its peace protected, the discipline of this Church shall be entrusted to a Discipline Committee consisting of the Pastor and the Elder Board. These men shall have sole authority in determining heretical deviations from the Doctrinal Statement (Article V of the Constitution) and violations of the Church Covenant. It shall be their duty to seek diligently to reclaim any member known to be living in disregard of his Biblical and covenant obligations. If the Pastor or an Elder Board member is the subject of a disciplinary matter, he shall not sit as member of the Discipline Committee.
- The object of discipline is to: (1) demonstrate obedience to the Word of God, (2) restore the erring brother (Galatians 6:1) and (3) restrain sin (1 Corinthians 11:31, 32).
- The basic reasons for discipline are: (1) immorality (1 Corinthians 5), (2) false doctrine (1 Timothy 6:1‑5), (3) disorderly conduct (2 Thessalonians 3:7,14), (4) an unrepentant attitude or unresolved conflicts between members (Matthew 18:17), (5) unwholesome talk and gossip (Ephesians 4:29-32), (6) a lack of respect and submission to the leadership of the Elder Board (Hebrews 13:17), (7) divisiveness (Romans 16:17) and (8) unbecoming conduct that may include, but not limited to the issues found in Titus 3:10, Proverbs 6:16-19, I Thess. 5:14, Galatians 5:19-20, and I Cor. 5:11.
- Members are expected to demonstrate special loyalty and concern for one another. When a member becomes aware of an offense of such magnitude that it hinders spiritual growth and testimony, he is to go alone (phone call, letter or face to face conversation) to the offending party and seek to restore his brother. Before he goes, he should first examine himself. When he goes, he should go with a spirit of humility and have the goal of restoration.
- If reconciliation is not reached, a second member, either an Elder Board member or the Pastor, is to accompany the one seeking to resolve the matter. This second step should also be preceded by self‑examination, and exercised in a spirit of humility with the goal of restoration.
- If the matter is still unresolved after the steps outlined in subsections (D) and (E) have been taken, the Discipline Committee shall hear the matter. The accused shall be given the opportunity to appear before the Discipline Committee in his own defense to hear the charges made against him/her by the Discipline Committee, or any other person. No accusation shall be brought against any member except upon the written testimony of two (2) or three (3) witnesses (Matthew 18:16, 2 Corinthians 13:1, 1 Timothy 5:19). Any disciplinary action that is deemed necessary shall be in the spirit of love and meekness. If the accused is found guilty by the Discipline Committee, he/she shall remain under discipline until there is a demonstration of repentance (confession of the sin, forsake the sin, replace the sin), godly behavior and submission to those in spiritual leadership.
- Disciplinary action can be any one or more of the following: (1) a private admonishment, (2) public censure, (3) personal separation, (4) being prohibited from attending church services and other church functions and (5) removal from membership.
- No matter may be heard by the Discipline Committee unless the steps outlined in subsections (D) and (E) have been taken, except in the case of a public offense.
- The Discipline Committee shall convene a meeting of the church members for the purpose of disclosing public disciplinary action and for prayer for those who refuse to repent and be restored after following the steps outlined in subsections (D), (E), and (F).
- If an unrepentant offending party is removed from the Church membership, all contact with the person from that point forward must be a loving ministry of reconciliation for the sake of restoration.
- Members under discipline shall not hold any office or leadership position until the matters are resolved to the Discipline Committee’s satisfaction.
- There may be some “non-members” who attend but for one reason or another do not become official members. Any non-member who attends the Sunday morning services for a three month period may also come under the steps of church discipline as described in this Constitution and Bylaws.
‑ THE PASTOR ‑
Section 1 ‑ Definition
The office of pastor is important in the church, both for dignity and usefulness. His duties include acting as the overseer of the flock; feeding spiritual food to the flock; serving Christ by ministering to the needs of the flock; being an example and an administrator as an Elder; bearing the message of reconciliation to sinners as an ambassador of Christ; administering the ordinances of the Church as a steward of God, and humbly being a servant of Christ, separated unto God. The pastor shall be recognized as the “leader among leaders” of this Church as he serves both this Church and the Elder Board.
Section 2 ‑ Qualifications
The pastor is to be a man of God. He is to demonstrate a life of godliness and faithfulness as characterized in 1 Timothy 3:1‑7, Titus 1:5‑9 and 1 Peter 5:1‑4 and out of conviction uphold the Constitution and Bylaws of this Church.
Section 3 ‑ The Pulpit Committee
The Elder Board shall act as a pulpit committee or appoint a pulpit committee to investigate possible candidates.
The responsibilities of the pulpit committee must include but are not limited to the following:
- Prepare a list of possible candidates. Send an identical church resume to each one including the Constitution, Bylaws, brief history of this Church, current number of members, families and attendance; the date the pulpit became vacant and other information considered pertinent. The possible candidate is required to respond with a professional resume / application, a personal theological statement, and a list of at least six (6) references. Each possible candidate is to be informed of the committee’s ultimate decision regarding his candidacy.
- The references shall be contacted and requested to provide information regarding the individual’s preaching, pastoral and administrative abilities and basic Christian character. The information will be used to construct a list of potential candidates. Only one (1) candidate shall be contacted and considered at a time.
- The committee shall invite the potential candidate to the church to preach as a pulpit supply speaker and be interviewed in private.
- A list of thought provoking questions shall be prepared to assist the pulpit committee in evaluating each potential candidate during the personal interview. The same list shall be used for each candidate and the answers recorded.
- After the interview and hearing the potential candidate preach, a decision shall be made to invite him to come as “The Candidate.” Arrangements shall be made for the candidate to spend a minimum of three (3) days, including a Sunday, with this Church to be exposed publicly and privately to as many people of the church as possible. Arrangements shall have been made to have a congregational meeting to consider a call to the candidate within seven (7) days after his candidacy.
Section 4 ‑ The Pastoral Call
- A pastor shall not be called to serve this Church except by approval of the Elder Board members, who shall express their convictions by means of a ballot which shall be delivered to the elders in person at a congregational meeting called for the purpose of voting on a candidate.
- A quorum for this meeting shall consist of fifty‑one percent (51%) of all members in good standing and approval to extend a call shall consist of a minimum of a ninety percent (90%) vote in favor of acceptance by those present and voting on the first ballot.
- All members in good standing from eighteen (18) years of age and upward shall be eligible to receive a ballot and vote.
- If the vote is affirmative the candidate shall be formally notified within five (5) days by letter including exact salary, housing provisions, professional reimbursements, hospitalization, moving allotment, retirement benefits, vacations, other benefits and the percentage of the vote with the number voting.
- If the vote is negative the candidate shall be formally notified within five (5) days by letter. The pulpit committee should repeat the procedure in Section 3 and may elect to start at paragraph C.
Section 5 ‑ Termination
- The pastor of this Church shall serve until his services are terminated by resignation or by request of the membership (see G and H below). The pastor shall give a minimum of thirty (30) days notice before termination of his services.
- The Elder Board by a majority vote of those present may grant a severance pay following the general guideline of one week of pay for every year served at the church.
- The Elder Board must remind the congregation that in order to avoid malicious and provocative accusations against the pastor, the accuser must realize that he/she stands to be judged with the same severity with which he/she judges, if the accusation proves false (Matthew 7:1, 2).
- The same procedure as described in Article I, Section 11, D and E of these Bylaws shall be used to “win” the brother, even if he is a pastor.
- In the case of an admitted act of immorality or heresy, the Elder Board may act without congregational authority to demand the resignation of the pastor if a resignation has not been received by the Elder Board within a reasonable time; and in such case, the pastor shall not fill the pulpit from the time such evidence is received by the Elder Board until the matter is resolved.
- In circumstances having nothing to do with immorality or heresy, such as extended illness, or incompetence in the performance of pastoral or ministerial duties, the pastor should be advised of the problem and specific efforts should be made to remedy the situation.
- If a conflict between pastoral staff and Elders/congregation is not resolved in a timely manner, the Elders should call in a panel of at least 5 men including pastors and godly Elders from outside the church to mediate the matter. The mediation team will make a recommendation to the Elders. The mediation team’s recommendation is not binding unless their role becomes that of arbiters and agreements are signed.
- In order for the members to remove the pastor from office, the Elder Board must call a special congregational meeting giving a two (2) week notice. The Elder Board shall state the charges during the congregational meeting. A quorum for this meeting shall consist of sixty percent (60%) of the voting members. Votes are to be on written, secret ballots. A seventy‑five percent (75%) majority vote shall be required on the first ballot in order to dismiss the pastor. If the congregation votes not to dismiss the pastor and finds no wrong, the matter will be dropped, unless the Elder Board believes that disciplinary action should be taken against the accusers.
‑ THE ELDER BOARD ‑
Section 1 ‑ Trustees
The pastor and the Elders shall be recognized by the congregation as the ruling body of this Church. By virtue of their office, the Elders also serve in the capacity of trustees or directors as those terms are used in chapter 187 of the Wisconsin statutes which is the chapter under which this church is incorporated.
Section 2 ‑ Qualifications
Candidates for Elder must be men of forty (40) years of age or over, who have been saved at least three (3) years, have been a Member of this Church for at least two (2) years (Elder Board may wave this requirement in the first two years of the Constitution and Bylaws), and completed the requirements of an “Elders in Training” course. They must meet the qualifications of this office as outlined in the Scriptures, especially in 1 Timothy 3:1‑13 and Titus 1:5‑9.
Section 3 ‑ Oversight
The Elders shall be responsible to assist the Senior Pastor in ministering to the needs of the congregation; to maintain the spiritual welfare of this Church; to supervise the affairs and activities of the Church; to hold title to property in its role as corporate board of trustees, and to maintain and supervise all properties of this Church; and to receive reports from and review the activities of all organizations of this Church. Certain powers and responsibilities included as duties of the Elder Board may be delegated to other organizations or to individuals within the church, but such powers and responsibilities shall always be subject to the discretion and review of the Elder Board. Beside the exceptions noted in section 5 of Article 1 of the Bylaws final authority for all decisions shall rest with the Elder Board.
Section 4 ‑ Protect the Church
The Elder Board shall be diligent to protect the flock that is under their care (Acts 20:17, 28, 29, 30). Therefore, the Elders shall give careful attention to assure that sound doctrine which is consistent with the Word of God and the full Doctrinal Statement of this church is always taught. They shall also insure the highest standards of morals are maintained in the church. If a visitor comes to this church who is under discipline from another church, or who has major areas of doctrinal differences with this church, or who has a significant unconfessed moral failing or who refuses to come under the leadership of the Elders of this church or who is divisive or who otherwise has anything in his or her life that would be reason for church discipline if that person was a member, then the Elders may take whatever action is necessary to carry out their responsibility to protect the flock. The action taken by the Elders may include talking with the visitor about the Elders’ concerns, and if necessary prohibiting the visitor form further church attendance until the concerns are resolved to the Elders’ satisfaction.
Section 5 – Committees
The Elder Board may establish standing and special committees and determine their composition, functions and terms of service.
Section 6 ‑ Regular Meetings
The Elder Board shall hold regular meetings quarterly, with exceptions as the Elder Board may approve. Special meetings may be called at any time by the pastor, or upon request of the majority of the Elder Board Members. A quorum shall consist of the majority of the Board. Decisions of the Board will generally be made by a unanimous vote of those present and voting unless otherwise stipulated in the Constitution and Bylaws of this Church. If a consensus cannot be reached then only after much prayer and discussion can a decision be made by simple majority (51%). No meeting of the Elder Board shall take place without the Senior Pastor being present. If the matter to be considered involves calling or dismissing a pastor, or buying or selling property, the quorum shall consist of not less than two thirds of the members of the Elder Board.
Section 7 ‑ Communications
At least two (2) weeks before the Elder Board convenes, the pastor may announce the meeting and certain items to be discussed that may require congregational suggestions and comments by the members which would assist the Elder Board in making decisions. The pastor and the Elder Board shall communicate decisions that are apropos to the congregation for prayer and information at least one (1) week following a meeting.
Section 8 ‑ Officers
As an accommodation to legal relationships outside the Church, the officers of the Elder Board/Trustees are as follows:
- CHAIRMAN/PRESIDENT ‑ The pastor by virtue of his office, shall be recognized as the Chairman of the Elder Board. The pastor is an officer having full rights of voting, proposal and discussion. The pastor may temporarily waive his chair to another Elder Board Member if he desires.
- VICE‑CHAIRMAN/VICE‑PRESIDENT ‑ The Elder Board shall elect, annually, from among its own members a Vice‑Chairman.
- SECRETARY ‑ The Elder Board shall elect, annually, from among its members a Secretary who shall keep an accurate record of the proceedings of all meetings.
- TREASURER ‑ The Elder Board shall elect, annually, from among church members a Treasurer who keeps accurate records of the finances of this Church and disburses such funds as the Elder Board shall authorize. If necessary, a Financial Secretary and/or Business Manager may be appointed by the Elder Board to assist the Treasurer.
- ADDITIONAL PERSONNEL ‑ The Elder Board may elect assistant officers and agents who shall serve at the pleasure of the Elder Board.
Section 9 ‑ Selection & Terms
- The number of Elders shall be the number of men within this local body who are recognized as being scripturally qualified as Elders according to I Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:5-9. The duration of service on the Elder Board shall be for life, subject to the provisions of Article III, Section 8.
- Any male member of the local church who believes himself to be qualified may submit his name at any time to the Elder Board for consideration as an elder. The Elder candidate will be considered by the Elder Board and if found qualified, shall go through a period of Elder training. When the Elders feel the candidate is ready his name shall be submitted to the congregation for comments concerning the scriptural qualifications of the Elder candidate. The congregation shall have two weeks to present in writing to the Elder Board any scriptural disqualifications related to the proposed candidate for Eldership. If the congregation also finds the candidate to be qualified he will be appointed by the Elder Board to begin service as an Elder.
- A public installation service shall be held at a public Church service within one month.
- Elders shall not receive any salaries for their services, except that certain elders who are designated as Staff Elders shall be paid salaries and benefits as determined by the Elder Board.
- An Elder may be removed from the Elder Board at his own request, or by the consensus of the remaining Elders if he no longer qualifies as an Elder.
- Any member of the congregation may bring scriptural reasons for an Elder’s disqualification. Any question concerning an Elder’s qualifications or sin will only be received for consideration with the testimony of two or three witnesses (I Timothy 5:19).
Section 10 ‑ Financial Indebtedness
The Elder Board shall not borrow money for any reason.
Section 11 ‑ Extra Members
The Elder Board may permit pastoral staff to attend its meetings to express their opinions. However, they shall not have the authority to cast a vote, move, or second a motion. Interns may attend as observers only.
Section 12 ‑ Termination
If for any reason any person elected or employed by the Elder Board is (1) deemed to be misusing his position, (2) is in disharmony with this Church, (3) is considered unfit, or no longer meets the qualifications as stated in this Constitution and Bylaws, (4) neglects his prescribed duties for a period of three months, that person can be removed by a unanimous vote of the remaining Elder Board. Such removal shall not deny any contractual rights such individuals may have.
Section 13 ‑ Bond
The Board may require and pay for bond of any of its officers, agents or employees of the corporation.
-THE DEACON BOARD-
Section 1 – Selection
Potential Deacons shall be recommended to the Elder Board by the congregation upon the request of the Elder board. The Deacon candidates shall be considered by the Elders according to the criteria set forth in 1 Tim. 3:8-13. Those candidates who are scripturally qualified shall be appointed by the Elder Board and presented to the congregation in a Sunday morning service.
Section 2 – Functions of Deacons
Deacons shall assist the Elder Board in the following ways: (1) Have general oversight of the social needs of the congregation with special attention given to the poor, the orphan, the widowed and the foreigner. (2) They shall also provide for the physical comfort and well-being of the congregation during all worship services and other church functions. (3) Provide the bread and cup for the Lord’s Supper. (4) Serve the Lord’s Supper to the congregation. (5) Assist the pastor at Baptismal services. (6) Serve the Elder Board in any way that will further allow the Elders to give themselves to Bible study and prayer.
Section 3 – Term of Office
Deacons shall serve at the convenience of the Elder Board.
Section 4 – Removal of Deacons
Any Deacon may be removed from office by action of the Elder Board whenever, in its judgment, the best interests of the congregation shall be served by such removal.
‑ CONGREGATIONAL MEETINGS ‑
Section 1 ‑ Frequency
An Annual Meeting of the congregation shall convene during the first quarter of each fiscal year at a date determined by the Elder Board. The basic function of this meeting is to provide an overview of the progress and direction of this ministry. Special meetings of the congregation may be held at any time upon the call of the pastor and the Elder Board. All meetings and their purpose must be announced at all regularly scheduled services on two (2) consecutive Sundays preceding the date of the meeting. This requirement may be waived in case of an emergency by a unanimous vote of the Elder Board.
Section 2 ‑ Qualifications
A quorum of all congregational meetings shall be sixty percent (60%) of the Members in good standing. Members from the age of eighteen (18) years of age and upward shall be permitted to vote. Passage of any decisions must be decided by a seventy‑five percent (75%) vote of those present and voting unless otherwise stipulated in the Constitution and Bylaws of this Church.
Section 3 ‑ Chairman
The pastor shall preside at all congregational meetings. In the event of the absence of the pastor, the Chairman of these meetings shall be the Vice‑Chairman of the Elder Board.
Section 4 ‑ Agenda
The agenda of all congregational meetings shall be prepared at least two (2) weeks in advance by the Elder Board and only what is on the agenda shall be discussed at these meetings.
‑ FINANCES ‑
Section 1 ‑ Methods
The programs of this Church shall be supported primarily by the freewill offerings of those who are led by the Holy Spirit to contribute to its support. At no time may this Church be permitted to use any unscriptural method of raising funds. All methods must be approved by the Elder Board as being in harmony with Biblical principles.
Section 2 ‑ Gifts
The Elder Board may accept on behalf of the corporation any contribution, gift, bequest, or devise for the general purposes or for any special purpose of the corporation.
The Elder Board has full and complete discretion in the use of all funds. Those giving relinquish all rights to direct the use of funds once the gift has been made.
The Elder Board may dispense funds as it pleases for any approved project after prayerfully investigating and evaluating the proposed project unless otherwise stipulated in the Constitution and Bylaws of this Church.
Section 3 ‑ Fiscal Year
The fiscal year of this church shall be fixed by resolution of the Elder Board.
Section 4 ‑ Budget
An annual budget shall be prepared and approved by the Elder Board during the last quarter of the fiscal year. This budget will be presented in a form approved by the Elder Board at the Annual Meeting. This Church shall operate under a unified budget system.
Section 5 ‑ Audit
The financial records shall be audited annually by someone in the church who is qualified in accounting but not presently involved in the finances of the church or by an outside accounting firm and presented to the Elder Board who shall present it at the Annual Meeting.
Section 6 ‑ Corporate Checks
All checks or demands for money and notes of the church shall be signed by such officer or officers or such other person or persons as the Elder Board may from time to time designate.
‑ EDUCATION ‑
Section 1 ‑ Purpose
This Church believes that it is to provide the members’ children with instruction which is based upon and consistent with Biblical teachings. This Church believes that the home and Church are responsible before God for providing Christian instruction. To this end, this Church shall engage in ministries in education in keeping with the following dictates:
Section 2 ‑ Church Participation
All educational programs or courses of instruction formulated and offered by this Church shall be primarily for the benefit of the members of this Church; however, the Elder Board may permit non‑Church members to participate in Church educational programs or courses of instruction if they deem it in the best interest of this Church.
Section 3 ‑ Staff Membership
Key instructors, teachers, and administrators shall be members of this Church. This may be waived by the Elder Board in the first two years of the Constitution and Bylaws. This provision shall not apply to visiting missionaries, evangelists, or preachers engaged for the purpose of delivering sermons or other special meetings on a temporary basis.
Section 4 ‑ Doctrinal Statement Accord
All educational programs or courses of instruction shall be taught and presented in full accord with the Full Doctrinal Statement of this Church.
Section 5 ‑ Unity
All educational programs or courses of instruction shall be conducted as an integral and inseparable ministry of this Church.
Section 6 ‑ Teaching
All educational programs or courses of instruction shall be conducted consistent with the teaching of the inerrant Word of God. Any assertion or belief which conflicts with or questions a Bible truth is a pagan deception and distortion of the truth which will be disclaimed as false. It is the responsibility of every instructor or teacher to present the inerrant Word of God as the sole infallible source of knowledge and wisdom.
Section 7 ‑ Christian Lifestyle
All administrators, instructors and teachers shall continue or adopt a lifestyle consistent with the precepts which they teach, whether in or out of the classroom.
‑ MISSIONS ‑
Section 1 ‑ Missions Committee
The Elder Board may appoint a Missionary Committee which would be responsible to communicate with all missions and missionaries, in whom this Church has an interest, and to investigate and report to the Elder Board any matters requiring action.
Section 2 ‑ Commitments
All new commitments shall be approved by the Elder Board. A stated missionary policy shall be adopted by the Elder Board and this Church, and published, with revisions, from time to time. Every missionary and organization supported by this Church shall affirm their agreement with the doctrinal positions of this Church by signing a statement to that effect.
‑ ORDINATION ‑
Section 1 ‑ Statement
When, in the judgment of the Elder Board, a man who is a Member of this Church, or in very special cases a nonmember, is called to the Christian ministry, it shall be within the power of the Board to call and conduct a Council of Ordination.
Section 2 ‑ Council
The Council of Ordination must be composed of at least seven (7) men and consist of at least one Elder Board member, one appointed Member, the Pastor of this Church and four (4) other ordained ministers approved by the pastor and the Elder Board as representatives of this Church. The council shall thoroughly examine all applicants for ordination as to their call to the Christian ministry, education, Christian experience, reputation, character, doctrinal belief, and demonstrated ability in Christian service. The examination should last for at least four (4) hours and include testimony from at least three (3) witnesses.
Section 3 ‑ Public Service
Upon completion of the examination of the applicant, a unanimous vote shall be required by the council to recommend his ordination to this Church. When so recommended, a public ordination service shall be arranged by the pastor of this Church in consultation with the council.
Section 4 ‑ Minutes
The minutes of the Council of Ordination and of the public service shall be incorporated into the records of the Board meetings and a Certificate of Ordination shall be presented to the newly ordained minister.
Section 5 ‑ Restrictions
The following shall not be ordained to the ministry by this church:
- One who has not served twenty‑four (24) months as a pastor, assistant pastor, or in definite Christian work in such a manner to convey reasonable evidence of God’s call to the ministry.
- One who cannot meet the requirements of Article II, Section 2 of these Bylaws.
- No woman shall ever be ordained by this Church.
Section 6 ‑ Discipline
The Elder Board shall have the power to discipline, even to the revoking of the ordination credentials of any minister ordained under this Constitution and Bylaws if said minister if found guilty of doctrinal or moral defection or brings disrepute upon his Christian life and ministry, after an impartial trial conducted by the Elder Board whose decision cannot be overruled by the congregation of this Church.
Section 7 ‑ Appeal
The minister under discipline shall have the privilege of appealing his case within six (6) months if he can establish his innocence to the pastor and Board.
‑ INDEMNIFICATION, INSURANCE & LIABILITY ‑
Section 1 ‑ Indemnification
- The Elder Board may reimburse, advance and indemnify the church‑related expenses of any officer, employee, or agent of this Church.
- Subject to the provisions below, this Church shall indemnify any officer or former officer and elder or former elder of this Church against claims, liabilities, expenses and costs necessarily incurred by him in connection with the defense, compromise or settlement of any action, suit or proceeding, civil or criminal, in which such person is made a party by reason of being or having been an officer or Elder, to the extent not otherwise compensated, indemnified or reimbursed by insurance, provided the Elder Board is satisfied that:
- The officer or Elder acted in good faith;
- The officer or Elder reasonably believed that his conduct was in the best interest of this Church, or at least not opposed to its best interest; and
- In the case of any criminal proceeding, the officer or Elder had no reasonable cause to believe that his conduct was unlawful.
- This Church may not indemnify an officer or Elder in connection with a proceeding brought against him by or in the right of this Church, in which he was adjudged liable to this Church, or where the officer or Elder is charged with receiving an improper personal benefit and he is adjudged liable on that basis.
- By adopting these provisions for indemnification of officers, this Church has in no manner and to no extent waived the liability protection which is or may be afforded to officers, Elders, volunteers and any other church member or officer under Wisconsin law governing nonprofit corporations or religious societies.
Section 2 ‑ Insurance
The church shall have power to purchase and maintain insurance on behalf of any person who is or was an officer, Elder, employee or agent of the church against any liability asserted against him and incurred by him in any such capacity, or arising out of his status as such, whether or not the church would have the power to indemnify him against such liability.
Section 3 ‑ Liability
To the fullest extent permitted by Wisconsin law, as now in effect and as amended from time to time, an Elder of the church (by virtue of his position of acting as a trustee or a director) shall not be personally liable for monetary damages for any action taken or failure to take any action.
‑ TAX‑EXEMPT PROVISIONS ‑
The tax exempt provisions of this church are contained in the Certificate of Organization of this church (then known as New Berlin Church) which was recorded with the Waukesha County Register of Deeds in May 1992. The tax exempt provisions contained in the Certificate of Organization are incorporated by reference into these Bylaws.
‑ AMENDMENTS ‑
Section 1 ‑ Approval
The Bylaws of this Church may be amended in the same manner as presented in Article VIII of the Constitution.
Section 2 ‑ Adoption
These Bylaws were adopted on March 1, 1999 by a unanimous vote of the Elder Board and supersedes any other Bylaws of this Church.
Apostasy: The renunciation of a religious faith, an abandonment of what one has voluntarily professed.
Dispensations: A period of time in the biblical past and future which man has been or will be tested in areas of obedience to some specific revelation of the will of God.
Doctrinal: Formulations of dogma based on biblical truths.
Edification: To spiritually instruct and enlighten.
Ecclesiastical: Of or relating to the church as a formal and established institution, or relating to the government of the church.
Ecumenical Movements: Efforts to promote cooperation and unity between various denominations, regardless of their doctrinal differences and error.
Ecumenism: Principles and practices of the ecumenical movement.
Evangelicalism: Christian faith emphasizing salvation by faith in the atoning blood of Jesus Christ, through personal conversion rather than ritual, and stressing the authority of Scripture and the importance of preaching and sharing the gospel.
Heresy: From the Greek word “hairesis”. The term refers to doctrinal error and a departure from accepted Biblical rules of faith.
Immersion: Act of Baptism in which the entire body is submerged under water.
Indemnify: To protect against hurt, loss, or damage or to make compensation for
Inerrant: Without error
Infallible: Containing no error.
Justification: Completion of Christ’s redemptive work in that man responds to Him, and
God in his mercy accepts us through the righteousness of Christ.
Liberalism: A movement emphasizing intellectual liberty and the spiritual and ethical aspects of Christianity, and not constrained by a literal interpretation of the Bible as God’s word. Liberalism is similar to modernism.
Millennium: One-thousand year period at the end of the age when Christ will reign on earth over a perfect world order.
Modernism: A movement that seeks to establish the meaning and validity of the Christian faith in relation to present human experience and to reconcile traditional theological concepts with modern, worldly concepts of science and history.
Neo-evangelicalism: New philosophies of evangelical faith which shift emphasis away from traditional evangelicalism while minimizing the whole gospel, the authority of scripture and discipleship.
Neo-orthodoxy: A religious philosophy that denies absolute truth and the authority of God’s Word in favor of a belief based on personal interpretations of scripture, individual experience and personal choice. This philosophy has its roots in a secular philosophy that rejects the idea of universal, God given, absolute truth.
Ordination: The separation and commissioning of particular men in the church for work
in the Christian ministry. The outward calling is done by the church but the inward calling is of the Holy Spirit.
Preeminent: Supreme rank.
Premillennial: Before the Millennial Kingdom. At Christ’s return, the dead saints will be raised, living believers will be caught up to meet Him and all will reign on earth with Christ for 1,000 years.
Pretribulational: The time prior to the great tribulation in which great distress will come upon the earth as described in Matthew 24: 4-36.
Regenerating Work of the Holy Spirit: A supernatural work of the Holy Spirit in an individual’s heart in which a new and holy spiritual life is given.
Sectarian: Pertaining to the specific beliefs of particular denominations or church organizations.
Sovereign: God’s supreme power that is absolute and unlimited in extent.