CHRISTOVAL BAPTIST CHURCH
Constitution and By Laws
December 5, 2010
We agree to be known as Christoval Baptist Church, located on the southwest corner of Church Street and FM 2081, Christoval, Texas, 76935, and we agree to be bound by this Constitution and By Laws. This Constitution and By Laws supersedes all prior versions.
Table of Contents
Article I: Statement of Faith 2
Article II: Goals 4
Article I: Church Leadership 5
Article II: Church Membership 8
Article III: Church Staff 10
Article IV: Teams and Ministries 11
Article V: Church Meetings and Voting Eligibility 14
Article VI: Church Facilities and Equipment 14
Article VII: Disputes 15
Article VIII: Amendments to Constitution and By Laws 15
Jesus Christ is the Head of His Universal Church, and the Head of this local church body - Christoval Baptist Church (Colossians 1:18; Ephesians 1:22).
Honor God in faith, love, and commitment.
We seek to:
Glorify God through our personal faith in Jesus Christ and our commitment to Him as our Lord and Savior (Acts 4:10-12; Joel 2:32; 1 John 5:1-5).
Demonstrate faith and commitment to God as displayed through corporate worship, fellowship, prayer, Word study, discipleship, evangelism, and missions (1 John 1:3-4; Jude 20-23; Acts 2:42-47; Matthew 28:18-20).
Commit to love and edify one another as a body of believers through the unity of the Holy Spirit and to assist one another in growing in Christ-like maturity (1 Corinthians 11:12-31; Ephesians 4:1-13).
All Biblical references contained in the Constitution and By-Laws are taken from the New International Version (NIV) and the New American Standard Bible (NASB).
ARTICLE I: STATEMENT OF FAITH
We believe in the following truths:
We believe that the Bible is the written, inerrant, and complete revelation of God written by the Holy Spirit. (1 Corinthians 2:7-14; 2 Peter 1:20-21; Isaiah 30:8). We believe that the Bible is verbally inspired in every Word (2 Timothy 3:16), infallible, and God-breathed (2 Timothy 3:16). We believe that the Bible is powerful (Hebrews 4:12).
We believe in one God (Genesis 1:1; Deuteronomy 6:4; Isaiah 45:5,6; 46:9) eternally existing in three persons: God the Father; God the Son; and God the Holy Spirit; yet being only one God (Matthew 3:16,17; 28:18-20; John 10:30; 15:26, 2 Corinthians 13:14; James 2:19).
We believe that Genesis 1:1-29 is factually true. Consequently, we believe that the universe, including man, is the product of God’s creation out of nothing (Creation ex nihilo), and not the result of naturalistic or theistic evolution (Genesis 1:1-2:3; Job 38-1-7; John 1:1-3; Colossians 1:15-17).
The Fall of Man:
We believe that man was created in the image of God, but that he willfully sinned and consequently experienced immediate spiritual death (i.e., separation from God) and eventually physical death. As a result, all people are born with a predisposition to sin, and in fact do personally sin. Apart from Jesus Christ all are eternally lost (Genesis 1:26-27, 2:17, 3:6; Romans 3:23, 5:12; Ephesians 2:1-3).
Christ and His Kingdom:
We believe in Jesus Christ, one of three in the Godhead, co-equal and co-eternal with God the Father and God the Holy Spirit (John 1:1; 8:58), God’s unique Son (John 1:14; 3:16), as the God-man born of a virgin (Matthew 1:18-25), sinless in His life (Hebrews 4:15), that He died for our sins, according to the Scriptures, as a substitutionary sacrifice for each of us (1 Corinthians 15:3-8), that all who believe in Him are justified on the grounds of His shed blood and reconciled by His death (Romans 3:21-30; 5:9-11), that He not only died on the cross for our sins, but that He resurrected bodily for our justification (Romans 4:25); that He is now at the right hand of God the Father (1 Peter 3:22; Hebrews 10:12), acting as our High Priest (Hebrews 3:1, 14-16; 5:6, 10; 8:1-2; 9:11-27) and our Advocate (1 John 2:1-2) before the Father; that He is coming again in power to rapture His church by raising the dead and translating the living believers (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18). After the Great Tribulation on this earth, He will come again to establish His millennial kingdom upon earth (Revelation 20:4-6), to judge the world (Revelation 21:1-27; 22:1-5) with great and commensurate rewards for the believers and punishment for the unbelievers (1 Corinthians 3:12-15; John 5:28, 29).
The Holy Spirit:
We believe in the person of the Holy Spirit, one of three in the Godhead, (John 14:16-17; 15:26; Acts 2:32-33), co-equal and co-eternal with God the Father and God the Son (2 Corinthians 13:14) and who exists in the world today to reveal the fullness of Christ (John 15:26), convicting the world of sin, of righteousness and judgment (John 15:8-11), regenerating (John 3:3-8; Titus 3:5-7), sanctifying (1 Peter 1:2) and sealing forever (Ephesians 1:13-14) those who have been born again through faith in Jesus Christ (Romans 5:21-26). We believe that no one can be saved from sin or be born again without a supernatural activity of the Holy Spirit in his life. We believe that no one can attach himself to the Body of Christ unless the Holy Spirit energizes that attachment (1 Corinthians 12:13; Ephesians 1:13; 4:30).
We believe that anyone who trusts Jesus Christ as his personal savior is given spiritual life by the Holy Spirit, who immediately and permanently indwells him and baptizes him into the body of Christ as a child of God. A personal relationship with Jesus Christ requires that one confesses with their mouth and believes in their heart that “Jesus is Lord” (Romans 10:9). This salvation is a gift. It is not based on any human effort or merit, but on the grace of our sovereign God; thus once granted, it can never be lost (John 1:12, 3:1-16; Ephesians 2:8-9; Romans 3:28, 8:9, 38-39; John 14:16-17; 1 Corinthians 12:13).
We believe that each Christian still has a sinful nature, but that God is in the process of changing every believer to be more like Christ, by the working of the Holy Spirit. The believer’s responsibility is to yield himself to Jesus Christ as the Lord of his life (Romans 6:1-14, 8:11-13, 12:1; Ephesians 2:10; Galatians 5:16).
We believe that the Holy Spirit gives at least one spiritual gift to every believer, to be used for building up other believers and the church. These gifts are to be exercised according to Biblical guidelines and priorities (Romans 12:4-8; 1 Corinthians 12:1-11, 28-31, 13:8-10; Ephesians 4:11-13; 1 Peter 4:10-11).
We believe that God hears and answers the prayer of the faithful in accord with His own Will and His own Time (Matthew 6:5-16; Luke 18:1; Philippians 4:6-7; 1 Thessalonians 5:17; 1 John 5:14; James 5:16(b)). We also believe that prayer must be earnest and to the Father; not performed to impress man (Matthew 6:5-16).
The Universal Church:
We believe that those who have personally believed on the Lord Jesus Christ (Ephesians 1:13-14), who are born again, and baptized into His Body by the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:13) are members of Christ’s Church (The Universal Church), regardless of what denomination or local fellowship of which they participate. These believers constitute the Body or the Bride of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:12-27; Ephesians 5:25-32; Revelation 19:7-10; 21:2). This universal church consists of individual believers meeting and worshipping as groups of believers anywhere in the world (Hebrews 10:25; Revelation 5:9, 10). No one belongs to the church of Jesus Christ universal simply by virtue of belonging to a local Bible-believing and Bible-preaching church.
In spite of minor doctrinal differences and practices existing among local churches, members of the Body of Christ are to love, appreciate and bear the burdens of other Christians (John 15:12; 1 Thessalonians 4:9-10, Romans 15:1-7).
The Local Church:
We believe that each local church is to be nurtured and governed by a group of elders who operate under the headship of Jesus Christ. These are men called by God to be a shepherding ministry and are recognized on the basis of Biblical qualifications. Local church elders are to be assisted by deacons, who must also be Biblically qualified and who perform ministries of service (Acts 14:23, 20:17, 28-31; 1 Timothy 2:9-12, 3:1-13; Titus 1:5-9, 2:3-5; 1 Corinthians 14:34-35).
We believe that Christ has commissioned each local church to regularly practice the baptism of believers and the Lord’s Supper (Matthew 28:19; Acts 8:21-39, 16:30-34; Luke 22:14-20; 1 Corinthians 11:23-26).
Angels, Demons, and Satan:
We believe that angels are real beings, created by God, and are sent out by Him to minister especially to believers. We also believe in the existence of fallen angels-demons- who work to thwart God’s purposes in the world. Chief among them is Satan, who attempts to defeat believers through deception and temptation to sin. Christians can overcome Satan’s schemes by applying Biblical truth through the power of the Holy Spirit (Job 1:6-12, 38:6-7; Isaiah 6:1-3; Ezekiel 28:12-19; John 8:44; Hebrews 1:14; Jude 6; 1 Peter 5:8-9; Ephesians 6:10-18).
Resurrection and Judgments:
We believe that all people will be physically resurrected after death. Non-believers will be judged by God and will suffer eternal separation from Him. Believers will be examined by Jesus Christ and will be rewarded according to their faithfulness. All believers will enjoy eternal fellowship with God in Heaven (John 5:24-29; 1 Corinthians 3:10-15; 2 Corinthians 5:9-10: Revelation 20:11-15).
The Great Commission and the End Times:
We believe that because the Church Age will end at any moment (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; 1 Corinthians 15:51-58), we must continually strive to fulfill Christ’s Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20).
ARTICLE II: GOALS
We hold these responsibilities to all members of Christoval Baptist Church in accordance to our mission:
To worship and praise God in prayer, music, and service (Matthew 6:5-13; Psalms 147:1; Psalms 149: 1-3; Psalms 150; Romans 10:1; Ephesians 2:10; James 1:22; 1 Peter 4:11).
To teach God’s Word (the Bible) in context, striving to utilize the expository method - verse by verse, chapter by chapter, book by book (Revelation 22:18-19). To assist believers to become committed followers of Christ through continuous individual and corporate study of God’s Word
(2 Timothy 3:16-17; Titus 2:1-10). To prepare believers to disciple other believers, who will then disciple other believers (Hebrews 5:12-14; 6:1-3).
To share the message of God’s love, sacrifice, and His plan of salvation through His Son, Jesus Christ, hoping to persuade men and women to repent and confess Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior (Matthew 28:19-20). To lead by example, just as Jesus and the ministry of the Holy Spirit does for us (Matthew 5:13-16; James 1:22-27).
ARTICLE I: CHURCH LEADERSHIP
A. Jesus Christ is the head of Christoval Baptist Church. The government of the Church shall be focused on seeking and maintaining the Lordship and direction of Jesus Christ over His body. All those in authority shall continually seek His mind and will, through His Spirit and the Word of God in all actions and decisions (Colossians 1:18; 1 Timothy 3:1-7; Titus 1:6-9; 1 Peter 5:1-3).
B. Elder Team. Under His headship, we are governed by an Elder Team, who are men called by the Holy Spirit to oversee the life of the church. The Elder Team, headed by the Senior Elder (Pastor), shall be the governing body of the Church and its ministries (Act 15:1-29). The Elder Team will consist of a minimum of three and maximum of thirteen men (proportional to the size of the congregation). They will prayerfully seek unanimous agreement in all matters since the Holy Spirit guides with oneness of mind. If a unanimous agreement is not achieved, it will be a sign that more prayer and consideration should be given to the issue (Acts 15:1-29). The Biblical qualifications for Elders as stated in 1 Timothy 3:1-7 are:
1. Must be a man.
2. Must be above reproach. (Not engage in any pursuits or activities that would hamper his Christian witness or ability to function effectively)
3. Husband of one wife. (Must be morally pure. This passage does not refer to divorce unless the divorce was for reasons other than infidelity and/or the divorcee is not repentant. It means that an Elder must be totally consecrated and devoted to his wife.)
8. Able to teach. (The primary responsibility of an Elder is to understand and teach the Word of God. This does not mean that every Elder needs to be a gifted speaker or teacher in public assembly. It means that an Elder must discern and articulate to others the Truths held in the Word of God.)
9. Not addicted to wine or pugnacious, but gentle, peaceable. (Elders must always be ready with clear thinking and self-control. The bible does not forbid drinking in general but does forbid drunkenness. Christoval Baptist Church Elders will not socially drink. This will avoid a perception of evil and not cause a brother to stumble.)
10. Free from the love of money. (An Elder must be trusted to handle money. An Elder’s goal for life must not be monetary but for service.)
11. Manages his own household well, keeping his children under control with all dignity. (An Elder must show management ability of his children and family as a proving ground for managing service in the church. He must also provide for the needs of his family first before the needs of the church).
12. Not a new convert, so that he will not become conceited and fall into the condemnation incurred by the devil. (Spiritual maturity is an absolute prerequisite of an Elder. A new believer, however enthusiastic, is not prepared to discern and apply the Word of God.)
13. Have a good reputation with those outside the church, so that he will not fall into reproach and the snare of the devil (This passage refers to hypocrisy. An Elder must exhibit these Biblical qualifications in the world as well as the church.)
C. Elder Responsibilities.
1. Senior Elder (Pastor).
(a) Equip the saints for the work of service and to build up of the body of Christ (Ephesians 4:11-16).
(b) Provide general superintendence over the church, the flock of God (Acts 20:28; John 21:15-17). Oversee the staff, operations, and ministries of the church (1 Timothy 5:17).
(c) Study and teach the Word of God (1 Timothy 3:2, 5:17; 1 Thessalonians 5:12; Titus 1:9)
(d) Be a good manager and steward of God over his God-given ministry (Titus 1:7).
(e) Help those in need (Galatians 6:10; 1 Thessalonians 5:14-22).
(f) Give diligent labor, caring leadership, and guided counsel in the Word (1 Thessalonians 5:12; Romans 12:9; 1 Timothy 3:4-5; 5:17; Hebrews 13:7).
(g) Exercise pastoral care (1 Thessalonians 5:14-15; James 5:14) and hospitality (1 Timothy 3:2; Titus 1:8).
2. Lay Elders.
(a) Exercise a shepherd’s watch over the church, the flock of God (Acts 20:28; John 21:15-17).
(b) Study and be prepared to teach the Word of God (1 Timothy 3:2; 1 Timothy 5:17; Acts 6:4). Be prepared to provide sermons in the event the Senior Elder (Pastor) is unavailable.
(c) Encourage others by providing sound doctrine, and for those who oppose and contradict the Word of God, turn them from the error of their ways through biblical church discipline delivered in love (James 5:19-20).
(d) Give diligent labor, caring leadership, exhortation, and guided counsel in the Word (1 Thessalonians 5:12-22; 2 Timothy 2:24-26).
(e) Pray for the sick (James 5:13-16).
(f) Oversee the ministries of the church, and responsible for the church’s ordination process (1 Timothy 5:17).
(g) Facilitate and moderate church business meetings (1 Timothy 5:17)
(h) Serve as the Church’s legal officers (trustees) with authority to execute legal documents relating to real estate, church property, and church finances. A minimum of two elders are required to execute any legal document. Any such action will be directed by the unanimous decision of the Elder Team (Acts 4:32-35; Acts 20:28).
(i) Serve as the Church representatives to the Executive Board of the Concho Valley Baptist Association.
(j) Lay Elders serve for a three year term, and must sit out at least one year in between terms. The Church will strive to develop staggered terms for Lay Elders to ensure continuity.
3. Lay Elder (Teaching Director). One Lay Elder will be designated as the Teaching Director. The Teaching Director will provide oversight of all teachings in the Church, including but not limited to: Sunday School, Children’s Church, Youth, Bible Studies, Vacation Bible School, and the Bible teaching within the After School Program.
D. Elder Selection and Accountability. Elders will be selected and held accountable to the qualifications stated in Article I, B, items 1 through 13 of the By Laws. The selection process for Elders is:
1. Senior Elder (Pastor). A Pastoral Search Team will be appointed by the Elder Team. The Pastoral Search Team will actively advertise the position and seek scripturally qualified candidates (1 Timothy 3:1-7). The Team will screen resumes and provide the Elder Team the resumes of the top three candidates. The Elder Team will interview the top candidates and obtain their concurrence (in writing) to the vetting process detailed below to ensure that he meets all of the qualifications of 1 Timothy 3:1-7. At a minimum, the vetting process will include:
(a) Texas Department of Public Safety Background Check
(b) Credit Report (to verify he is meeting his financial obligations and thus “has a good reputation with outsiders” (1 Timothy 3:7)
(c) Current and former employer interviews
(d) Peer and neighbor interviews
(e) Wife (if married) interview
(f) Elder Team Selection Board (In addition to answering any doctrinal questions the Elders may have for the candidate, this board gives him the opportunity to address issues that may have surfaced during the interviews, credit check, and background check).
(g) Sermon. If the Elder Team determines the Pastor candidate meets the scriptural qualifications, the candidate will be scheduled to provide a sermon to the congregation. Upon completion of the Pastoral candidate’s sermon, the Elder Team will vote on the candidate and, if the vote is unanimous, they will present their selection to the congregation for an affirmation vote during a specially-called business meeting. Upon affirmation of two-thirds of those members in attendance, the Elder Team will lay hands on the Pastor and pray for the Holy Spirit’s anointing.
2. Lay Elders.
(a) The Church Membership will recommend candidates for open Lay Elder positions. The Church will provide recommendation forms, on which will be listed the spiritual qualifications (1 Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:5-9) for Elder and a place to write in the recommended candidate name(s). A man must be a member of Christoval Baptist Church for at least six months prior to being considered for service as an Elder.
(b) The Elder Team will review the recommendations and nominate Elder candidate(s) from the list provided by the congregation. The decision to nominate an Elder must be a unanimous decision of the Elder Team.
(c) The Elder Team will conduct the vetting process. At a minimum, the vetting process will include the same procedure as outlined in Article I, D, 1, a through f of the By Laws, and the candidate will be required to provide a sermon to the congregation or conduct an Adult Sunday School class. This requirement may be waived if the candidate has already provided a sermon to the congregation or served as a primary Adult Sunday School teacher within the past year.
(d) The Elder Team will vote on the candidate. If the vote is a unanimous “yes”, the candidate will be presented to the congregation for an affirmation vote during a specially-called business meeting. Upon affirmation, the Elder Team will lay hands on the new Lay Elder(s) and pray for the Holy Spirit’s anointing (Acts 14:23; Acts 20:28). In the event that a currently serving Deacon is affirmed as an Elder, he will no longer serve as a Deacon (Acts 6:2).
(e) Unexpected vacancies created in a Lay Elder position will be filled in the same manner as above except the term for the selected Lay Elder will be for the remaining period of time left that was caused by the vacancy. Vacancies created within six months of the end of a term will not be filled until the particular term has expired.
E. Resignation and Involuntary Removal of Elders (Senior Elder and Lay Elders).
1. Resignation. An Elder may voluntarily resign his position, in writing, at any time. Requests for reinstatement will be decided upon by the Elder Team and the procedures outlined in these By Laws. In the event of resignation of the Senior Elder (Pastor), the Elder Team will propose a severance package (based on length of service and other factors), to include relocation expenses, if necessary. The proposal must be affirmed by a majority vote of the congregation at a business meeting.
2. Involuntary Removal. Any member of the Church may bring written Scriptural reasons for removal of an Elder. The reasons must be substantiated (first-hand knowledge, not hear-say) by two or more witnesses (1 Timothy 5:19). Removal shall be based upon being biblically unqualified or the inability to serve (1 Timothy 5:19-20). The Elder Team will take every reasonable measure to assist and counsel a troubled Elder. Elders may be removed from office by a decision of the Elder Team and an affirmation vote of two-thirds of the congregation during a specially-called business meeting. In the event of involuntary removal of the Senior Elder (Pastor), the Elder Team will propose a severance package (based on length of service and other factors), to include relocation expenses, if necessary. The proposal must be affirmed by a majority vote of the congregation at a business meeting.
ARTICLE II: CHURCH MEMBERSHIP
A. Church Members. Members of Christoval Baptist Church are persons who confess faith in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior and who have been received into its membership according to this Constitution and By-Laws.
B. Qualifications and How to Become a Member. Membership in Christoval Baptist Church shall be open to anyone who professes personal faith in Jesus Christ for eternal salvation and His Lordship, and has been baptized by immersion after conversion. Any person may offer himself/herself as a candidate for membership in this church in any of the following ways:
By profession of faith and baptism
By promise of letter of recommendation from another church of like faith
By statement of prior conversion experience and prior baptism by immersion
The Senior Elder (Pastor) will present applicants for membership to the congregation for affirmation during a Sunday Service. The Elder Team will provide each new member with a copy of the Constitution and By Laws (if the new member does not already have a copy). New members are required to complete a new member orientation class to further understand church doctrine and their expected role as a member (Ephesians 2:19-22).
C. Responsibilities of Members. A member of this church is responsible before God as a spiritually-enabled believer-priest, disciple, servant, and prayer warrior to edify the universal church and assist Christoval Baptist Church to accomplish the Great Commission. This involves determining the will of Christ for his or her own individual life by identifying and developing the spiritual gifts that God gives each born-again believer, such as service, teaching, exhortation, giving, leading, mercy, discernment of spirits, prophecy, and administration (Romans 12:6-9, Matthew 28:18–20; Ephesians 4:12; 1 Peter 4:10-11; Hebrews 10:24; 1 Corinthians 16:1-2; 2 Corinthians 8:3-5).
D. Member Commitment. In response to God’s Love, members shall commit to:
1. Being active in an on-going discipleship opportunity and worship (Matthew 28:19-20; Romans 12:1-2; 2 Peter 3:18).
2. Being passionate in prayer for family, this fellowship, the lost, and self (Colossians 4:2; 1 Peter 4:7).
3. Being faithful to Christ in the stewardship with all their resources (Malachi 3:8-10; Acts 4:32-35; 1 Corinthians 12; 2 Corinthians 8:5; 2 Corinthians 9:6-7; Ephesians 4:11-12; 1 Peter 4:10-11).
4. Being consistent in sharing faith with those that don’t know Christ (Matthew 28:19-20 2 Corinthians 5:18-20; 1 Peter 3:15).
5. Being persistent in living a way that others see God dwelling in them (Matthew 5:14-16; Ephesians 5:22-6:4; Colossians 3:22-23; Galations 6:2-5; 1 Peter 3:1-7).
6. Actively supporting the leadership, fellowship, purpose and beliefs of Christoval Baptist Church (Hebrews 10:23-25; Colossians 1:9-10; Galations 6:6; 1 Thessalonians 5:12-22, 1 Peter 5:1-4).
7. Becoming more Christ like (2 Corinthians 3:18; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Ephesians 5:1; Galations 2:20).
8. Active and regular participation in business meetings including voting privileges.
E. Discipline. Our discipline process will be congruent with God’s Word and will be the responsibility of the Elders to “keep watch for themselves and all of the church body of which the Holy Spirit has made them overseers” (Acts 20:28). Biblical discipline deals with and applies to sin. The goal of discipline is to provide for repentance and restoration to the Body of Christ (Matthew 18; Proverbs 11:13; 1 Corinthians 6:1-4; Galatians 6:1-5; 1 Timothy 5:19-20; 2 Timothy 2:23-26; Titus 1:7-13; Titus 2:15; Titus 3:9-11; James 3:1).
F. Termination of Membership. Membership may be terminated by and of the following:
1. Transfer of Letter. Any member in good standing may request that a letter of membership be transferred to another fellowship of like faith. No letter will be granted to a member who is under the corrective discipline of this church or to a member who seeks to transfer to a church which, based on the judgment of the leaders, is not loyal to “the faith which was once delivered unto the saints” (Jude 3)
2. Non-Letter Transfer. Any member who attends another church and becomes inactive with Christoval Baptist Church for a period of six months will be contacted by the Elder Team to ascertain the reason for non-attendance. After examining the circumstances for the non-attendance, the Elder Team will propose, if necessary, a vote during the next regular business meeting that the person be dropped from the membership. A majority vote of those in attendance is required in order to drop someone from membership. There may be extenuating circumstances for non-attendance, such as military obligation, college, long-term travel, etc. The Elder Team will take all circumstances into account prior to making a proposal for termination of membership.
3. Personal Request. Any member who requests that his/her name be dropped from the membership roll shall be removed after due counsel, when appropriate.
4. Physical Death. When a member dies, his/her name shall be removed from the membership roll.
5. Continuous Sinful Conduct and/or Erroneous Teaching. After examining the circumstances for the Sinful Conduct and/or Erroneous Teaching, the Elder Team will propose, if necessary, a vote during the next regular business meeting that the person be dropped from the membership. A majority vote of those in attendance is required in order to drop someone from membership.
G. Reinstatement of Membership. If a former member who departed for reasons other than sinful conduct or erroneous teaching chooses to reinstate their membership, he/she may do so following the procedures in Article II, Section B of the By Laws. If a former member who departed due to sinful conduct or erroneous teaching chooses to apply for membership, it will be reviewed by the Elder Team, and the Elder Team will decide whether or not to allow that individual to go before the congregation for affirmation.
ARTICLE III: CHURCH STAFF
A. Ministerial Staff. The Senior Elder (Pastor) and Youth Leader are the paid ministerial staff.
1. Senior Elder (Pastor). Article I of the By Laws outlines the spiritual qualifications and responsibilities of the Senior Elder (Pastor).
2. Youth Leader. The Youth Leader must meet the spiritual qualifications as stated in 1 Timothy 3:8-13, since those qualifications relate to service in the local church body. Selection of a Youth Leader will be accomplished in accordance with the procedures outlined in Article I, Section D of the By Laws. The Senior Elder (Pastor) will oversee the activities of the Youth Leader and work with him to develop his goals and responsibilities. The Senior Elder (Pastor) will formally counsel the Youth Leader semi-annually to review performance and revise goals and responsibilities as needed (Titus 2:6-7; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; Hebrews 5:12-14).
B. Non-ministerial staff. Non-ministerial staff positions may include Administrative Assistant, Nursery Workers, and Custodians. The duties for these positions are determined by the Elder Team. Personnel in these positions are under the supervision of the Senior Elder (Pastor). The Senior Elder (Pastor) will formally counsel personnel serving in non-ministerial staff positions semi-annually to review performance and revise goals and responsibilities as needed.
C. Position Classification/Determination and Hiring Actions. The Elder Team will determine the need to add, combine, or reduce the number of ministerial and non-ministerial staff positions as needed. For non-ministerial staff positions, the Elder Team will rely on the recommendation of the Personnel Team for all hiring actions. The Personnel Team will be formed according to Article IV, D (Church Teams, Personnel Team) of the By Laws. The Elder Team will provide a list of qualifications for an open position to the Personnel Team. The Personnel Team will advertise the position, collect and review applications/resumes, conduct interviews of top candidates, and make a recommendation to the Elder Team. The Elder Team will either hire the recommended applicant, or ask the Personnel Team for another recommendation.
D. Staff Compensation.
1. Ministerial Positions. Compensation, to include raises or reduction in salary and/or benefits, will be determined by the Elder Team with input from the Finance Team. The Elder Team will obtain an affirmation vote of the congregation at a regularly scheduled business meeting for any adjustments to pay and/or benefits.
2. Non-ministerial Positions. Compensation, to include raises or reductions in salary and/or benefits, will be determined by the Elder Team with input from the Finance Team. There is no requirement for adjustments in non-ministerial compensation to be affirmed by the congregation.
E. Resignation and Dismissal Procedures.
1. Ministerial Positions. Resignation and dismissal procedures for ministerial positions are as per Article I, Section E of the By Laws.
2. Non-ministerial Positions (Resignation). Non-ministerial paid staff employees have the right to voluntarily resign at any time, for any reason. It is common courtesy for an employee to provide at least two weeks’ notice prior to voluntary resignation.
3. Non-ministerial Positions (Dismissal). Dismissal is an immediate termination as a result of a serious and gross violation of personnel policies. Dismissals may also result because of failure to heed counseling session(s) concerning substandard performance. Counseling sessions related to performance must be documented in writing as they occur. Church employed staff members may be dismissed by the Elder Team, only after a thorough review of the circumstances and documents by the Personnel Team. The Personnel Team will recommend to the Elder Team whether a staff member should be dismissed, or other corrective action is required.
4. Probationary Period. New employees in non-ministerial positions will consent to a 90-day probationary period as a condition of employment. This time is set aside to confirm compatibility between the church and new employee. Either the employee or the church may initiate termination at any time during probation. Dismissals during the probationary period do not require review and recommendation from the Personnel Team.
ARTICLE IV: TEAMS AND MINISTRIES
A. General. We believe that each believer is gifted by the Holy Spirit to serve to edify the body of believers. Therefore, each church member, after being equipped by the Holy Spirit, is expected to serve in some form of ministry. We equate membership with a commitment to ministry and service. The Elder Team will foster an environment that encourages, enables, empowers, and authorizes believers to minister according to their God-given talents, passions, abilities, and gifts (1 Corinthians 12:4-30).
B. Role of Women in the Church. Throughout the Old and New Testament, the Bible relates how women have held very important positions and played an active part in biblical history, spreading the gospel, and serving in local congregations. In Galatians 3:28, Paul points out that in Christ Jesus male and female are one -- equal before the Lord. Women are to perform distinctive roles in the ministries of the local church. The Bible teaches that in the oneness of the marriage bond, the two being one body, there can be only one head and that head is the man (1 Corinthians 11:3). This does not mean that a woman cannot know more than a man or be a leader in certain areas, but in the church she should not do anything or assume any role that may adversely affect the husband-wife relationship. For example, a woman should not teach or have authority over men in public assembly (1Timothy 2:2-4). The mutual dependence of men and women and their common origin in God teach that the male has no exclusive place “in the Lord” (1 Corinthians 11:11-12). Women should be allowed to serve in the capacity in which the Spirit enables. This opens up many avenues of service.
In the local church, God has given specific roles to both men and women. Some roles are reserved for men (1 Timothy 3:1), such as Elders. The roles given to women in turn complement and enhance the total ministry of the local body of believers (e.g.: Romans 16; 1 Timothy 2:9-10; 5:10, 14, 16; Titus 2:3-5). The Bible does not hamper men or women in their service roles, but rather seeks to direct them in fulfilling their roles in a way that promotes holiness in daily life, fruitfulness in service, unity in the body of Christ and harmony in the family (Ephesians 4-5; Colossians 3).
C. Role of Deacons. Deacons shall be spirit-filled believers who know their spiritual gifts, meet the qualifications of 1Timothy 3:8-13, are members of Christoval Baptist Church, and have a desire to serve. They are anointed to minister to the physical needs of the flock, to relieve the Elders so they have time to concentrate on prayer and on the Word (Acts 6:2). The congregation will recommend individuals to be Deacons on an annual basis. The Nominations Team will review the recommendations and then nominate Deacons for Elder review and affirmation vote of the congregation. Upon congregational affirmation, the Elders will pray over the Deacons. Their role is to serve by facilitating the Church Teams that serve and minister to the flock and community. A woman serving as a Deacon and facilitating a Church Team does not violate the Biblical prohibition of women teaching men or having authority over men (Romans 16:1). The definition of “team” is “a cooperatively functioning group: a number of people organized to function cooperatively as a group.” As a team facilitator, a woman serving as a Deacon will not be in a position to exercise authority over men.
D. Church Teams. The Church may maintain the Teams listed below. The Elders will recommend to the congregation any proposal for adding or removing a team, or substantial changes to the responsibilities of a team. The congregation will then vote on the proposal.
Teams may include, but are not limited to the following:
1. Nominations Team. The Nominations Team will be appointed by the Elder Team on an annual basis, not later than the June Business Meeting. Their mission is to nominate people to serve on Church Teams, and to nominate the Team Deacons (facilitators). The Team Deacon must be a member of Christoval Baptist Church and meet the spiritual qualifications found in 1Timothy 3:8-13. A Church Team member need not necessarily be a member of Christoval Baptist Church; however, he/she must profess to be a born again Christian and attend on a regular basis. Only church members will have voting privileges on the Team. The Nominating Team will submit their nominations list to the congregation for affirmation not later than the August Business Meeting. Interim vacancies for any Team shall be appointed by the Elder Team.
2. Personnel Team. The Personnel Team assists the Elder Team in matters related to employment of non-ministerial staff. They perform duties as described in Article III, C and E(3). Due to the critical importance and potential legal implications inherent in personnel actions, the Elder Team will provide guidance to the Nominations Team for the type of spiritual gifts that members of the Personnel Team must possess.
3. Finance Team. The Finance Team develops and recommends a unified church budget, and recommends the budget for each Church Team. They present the Treasurer Report at monthly business meetings and keep the congregation informed of the Church’s financial status. They adjudicate church expenses and maintain stewardship and accounting policies as approved by the Elder Team. The Finance Team presents the proposed annual budget for congregation approval at the September Business Meeting. All expenditures in excess of $100 must receive approval from the Finance Team, whether or not they have already been budgeted.
4. Building and Grounds Team. The Building and Grounds Team is responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of all the buildings and grounds. In addition, they will evaluate the needs of the Church regarding construction or changes.
5. Ushers, Greeters, and Visitations Team. Ushers insure that the offering plates are passed at the appropriate times, assist with handing out materials in a service, and assist in the seating of members or guests if needed. Greeters shall welcome members and guests, hand out church bulletins, and direct guests to the locations within the Church, i.e. Nursery, Annex, Sanctuary, Sunday School rooms, Youth House, etc. This team will also have the responsibility to make follow-up contact with first-time church visitors (James 2:2-4).
6. Missions, Outreach, and Benevolence Team. The Missions, Outreach, and Benevolence Team is a robust team with enough people to oversee all missions (local and distant) that the Church conducts or supports, and provide outreach ministries to the community (helping local people who have suffered a setback) and benevolence. They fulfill the LORD’s instructions in the Book of James (2:14-19).
7. Hospitality and Kitchen Team. The Hospitality and Kitchen Team is responsible for coordinating the preparations (including food, if necessary) for any special event or group that shall visit our church and need special assistance. The Team is also responsible for the acquisition and accountability of all kitchen supplies.
8. Audio and Video Team. The Audio and Video Team will operate and maintain the Church’s Audio and Video equipment. They will ensure the equipment is available and operational for all activities where it is utilized.
9. Music Team. The Music Team will provide praise and worship music for church services and special occasions. They will lead the congregation in music that appropriately reflects the diverse congregation during worship. The Music Team will coordinate with the Elder Team for all upcoming services and events.
10. Youth Leader. The Youth Leader will have at least one lay leader from the Church Body who will help in leading Junior and Senior High School age youth in their attainment of spiritual maturity and Word Study. The Youth Leader, with the assistance of the Lay Leader, will coordinate the activities of the Youth with those of the Church. The Youth and Lay Leader, in consultation with the Elders, will work together in filling other leadership roles needed within the Youth Department.
11. History and Library Team. The History and Library Team will maintain the Church library and all Church historical documents, photographs, magnetic media, films, etc. They will work to remind the congregation of the history of Christoval Baptist Church. The Team will appoint a librarian who will supervise the operation of the Church library. The Team will also designate someone as the recorder for all regular and special business meetings, and that individual will assist the Church Administrative Assistant in retaining meeting minutes for future reference.
12. After School Program (ASP) Team. The ASP Team will consist of a three-person oversight board, ASP Director, and ASP staff. The Nominations Team, with input from the Elder Team and the ASP Director, will nominate the oversight board for affirmation by the congregation. The ASP and the ASP oversight board will remain autonomous with respect to personnel actions (qualifications, hiring, etc) of the ASP paid employees.
13. Children's Ministry Coordinator. The Children’s Ministry Coordinator will work to find spiritually gifted people willing to coordinate AWANA, VBS, and other special programs designed to relay the gospel of Jesus Christ to children. The Coordinator, with the assistance of others, as needed, will ensure that events are planned, budgeted and executed appropriately.
14. Women’s Enrichment Coordinator. The Women’s Enrichment Coordinator will work with other women in organizing and collaborating together to use their spiritual gifts in support of the CBC mission, the fulfillment of Christ’s Great Commission, and community outreach. The Coordinator will work with women to build each other up so they can individually and collectively build upon their spiritual gifts and serve the LORD.
15. Men’s Ministry Coordinator. The Men’s Ministry Coordinator will work with men to organize them for spiritual growth and Biblical maturity. The Coordinator will work other men to focus on the God-directed spiritual leadership role of men in the Church and their families. The Coordinator will work with men so they can individually and collectively build upon their spiritual gifts to be the Spiritual leaders God intended them to be in His service.
16. The Congregation may add additional teams as needed.
ARTICLE V: CHURCH MEETINGS AND VOTING ELIGIBILITY
A. Monthly Business Meetings. Business meetings shall be held monthly on the third Sunday of the month immediately following the Sunday Service unless changed by the Elder Team. The Elder Team and all Team Deacons are required to attend the monthly business meetings and present an update of their team’s service.
B. Special Business Meetings. Notice of all specially called business meetings of the Church shall be given by announcement one week prior to the meeting. Only those items that have been announced may be discussed.
C. Conduct of Meetings. All Church meetings will be conducted in accordance with Robert’s Rules of Order and be facilitated/moderated by an Elder. A representative from the History and Library Team will record the meeting minutes. A quorum consists of those who attend the business meeting.
D. Voting Eligibility. Any member who is in good standing is encouraged to participate in any vote that is brought before the general church membership. Only those members (18 years of age or older) in attendance may vote on items addressed at meetings. Voting by proxy will not be allowed without prior coordination with the Elder Team. The Elder Team will decide on a case by case basis if a proxy vote will be allowed.
ARTICLE VI: CHURCH FACILITIES AND EQUIPMENT
A. Nursery. Nursery facilities are provided for children age birth through four years of age for all regular Church services and special Church events. Special event organizers shall arrange for the availability and staffing of the nursery. Nursery workers must be approved by the Elder Team and have a current health card on file in the church office. No ill or feverish child shall be admitted to the nursery. Should a child become ill during a session, he/she shall be isolated from other children, and his parents shall be notified immediately. No child shall be administered medication unless approved by his/her parent or guardian.
B. Use of Church Facilities and Equipment. Church facilities and equipment shall not be loaned to groups outside the church without the prior approval of the Elder Team. Members of Christoval Baptist Church may utilize facilities and borrow equipment when it is to be used for a church-sponsored event (i.e. Sunday School class party, etc.) and must be signed out for use by the Church Administrative Assistant. Facilities and equipment must be returned in like condition as when received.
C. Use of Church Facilities for Special Events. Church facilities may be used for anniversary receptions, weddings, baby showers, funerals, and other special events. All weddings performed on church property must be legal by the State of Texas. The individual performing the marriage ceremony must be a licensed minister or an ordained minister and must be approved by the Elder Team. Use of Church facilities by outside organizations or individuals must be approved by the Elder Team. Non-members will pay a $35.00 building fee and a refundable $25.00 deposit to cover the cleaning of the Church facility, if needed. Alcoholic beverages, tobacco, and illegal drugs are forbidden on Church property.
ARTICLE VII: DISPUTES
Disputes between a church member and the church cannot be litigated in the civil courts as this is Biblically forbidden (1 Corinthians 6:1-8), but if such a dispute arises, the matter will be arbitrated in a Biblically- based Christian manner.
ARTICLE VIII: REVIEW AND AMENDMENTS TO CONSTITUTION AND BY-LAWS
During the last regularly-scheduled business meeting of each calendar year, the Elder Team and Congregation will review and validate this Constitution and By Laws to ensure its viability and conformance to the mission of Christoval Baptist Church. The annual validation will be accomplished via a majority vote of members in attendance and recorded in the business meeting minutes.
Proposed changes to the Constitution and/or By-Laws must be presented to the Elder Team for consent, and affirmed by the congregation at a specially-called business meeting. Proposed changes will be made available in writing to each church member two weeks prior to the meeting called for the purpose of voting on the amendments.
Amendments to the Constitution and By Laws must be approved by two-thirds vote of the eligible members present at the meeting.
Approved by the Congregation of Christoval Baptist Church at the Regular Business Meeting on December 5, 2010.
____________________________________ Senior Elder, Pastor