XPastor tries to help churches by providing some of the essentials for running a church—items like job descriptions, employment applications, review forms and policies. Below are the Church Bylaws of Life Community Church of Allen, Texas.
Article 1—Statement of Faith
We believe God is the Creator and the Ruler of the universe. God has eternally existed in three persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. The three are coequal and are all God (Gen. 1:1; Psa. 19:1; Matt. 3:16-17; Acts 5:32; 1 Pet. 3:10-11).
Jesus Christ is the Son of God. He is coequal with the Father and the Holy Spirit. He was born of a virgin, Mary. Jesus lived a sinless life and offered Himself as the perfect sacrifice for the sins of all men by dying on a cross. He arose from the dead after three days to demonstrate His power over sin and death. He ascended to Heaven and will return again to the earth to reign as King of Kings and Lord of Lords (Matt. 1:22-23; Isa. 9:6; John 1:1-5, 14, 10-30; Heb. 4:14-15; 1 Cor. 14:3-4; Rom. 1:3-4; 1 Tim. 6:14-15; Titus 2:13).
The Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit is coequal with the Father and the Son as God. He is present in the world to make people aware of their need for Jesus Christ. He also lives in every Christian from the moment of salvation. He provides the Christian with power for living, understanding of spiritual truth, and guidance in doing what is right. The Christian seeks to live under His direction daily (2 Cor. 3:17; John 14:16-17, 16:7-13; Acts 1:8; 1 Cor. 2:23, 3:16; Eph. 1:13; Gal. 5:25).
People are made in the spiritual image of God, to be like Him in character. We are the supreme object of God’s creation. Although people have tremendous potential for good, we are marred by a nature of disobedience toward God called sin. This attitude separates us from God. People were created to exist forever. We will either exist eternally separated from God by sin or in union with God through forgiveness and salvation. To be eternally separated from God is Hell. To be eternally in union with Him is Heaven. Heaven and Hell are places of eternal existence (Gen. 1:27; Psa. 83:6; Isa. 53:6; Rom. 3:23; Isa. 59:1-2; John 3:15-16; John 2:25; Rom. 6:23; 2 Pet. 1:11; Rev. 20:15; Matt. 25:41, 46).
Salvation is a gift from God to man. Man can never make up for his sin by self-improvement or good works. Only by trusting in Jesus Christ as God’s offer of forgiveness can man be saved from sin’s penalty. Eternal life begins the moment one receives Jesus Christ into his life by faith. The believer is secure in salvation for eternity. Salvation is maintained by the grace and power of God, not by the self-effort of the Christian (Eph. 2:4-5, 8; Acts 4:12; John 3:16; Rom. 6:23; Rom. 3:20-22, 24- 26; Luke 24:47; Acts 16:30-32; Eph. 1:9-12, 2:4-6; John 10:24-30; 2 Tim. 1:12; Heb. 7:25, 10:10, 14; Rom. 8:35-39; 1 John 5:1; 1 Pet. 1:23; 2 Cor. 5:17; 2 Pet. 1:4; Rom. 8:9; 1 John 4:4; Eph. 2:10; Rom. 8:28; 1 Cor. 10:13; Phil. 1:6, 2:12-13; 1 Pet. 1:3-5; Heb. 13:5).
The Bible is God’s Word to all people. It was written by human authors under the supernatural guidance of the Holy Spirit. It is the supreme source of truth for Christian beliefs and living. Because it is inspired by God, it is truth without any mixture of error (2 Tim. 1:13, 3:16-17; 2 Pet. 1:20-21; Prov. 30:5; Psa. 12:6, 119:105, 160; 1 Cor, 2:13).
Jesus Christ started His church as a means for the gospel to be spread and believers to be edified. Church attendance is not required for salvation, but is necessary for the believer’s growth in Christ. There are two ordinances of the church: baptism and the Lord’s Supper (Matt. 4:18-22; Matt. 16:18; Matt. 28:19-20; Mark 1:14-20; John 1:35-51; Eph. 3:21; Acts 8:12, 38; Rom. 6:4; 1 Cor. 5:11-13; 1 Cor. 11:1-2, 17-20, 26).
The Church is autonomous and maintains the right to govern its own affairs, independent of any denominational control. Recognizing, however, the benefits of cooperation with other churches in world missions and otherwise, this Church may voluntarily affiliate with any churches (Christian Churches and ministries) of like precious faith.
Article 3—Purpose and Limitations
3.01 Purposes. The Corporation is organized and shall be operated exclusively for religious, charitable and educational purposes within the meaning of Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended. More particularly, the purposes of this Corporation are:
- To spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the worship of God among its attendants and practice the Christian virtues inculcated in the Holy Scriptures by any and all means possible.
- To ordain, employ and discharge ordained ministers of the Gospel, and others, to conduct and carry on divine services at the place of worship of the Corporation, and elsewhere, and to collect and disburse any and all necessary funds for the maintenance of said Corporation and the accomplishment of its purpose within the State of Texas and elsewhere.
- To handle affairs pertaining to property and other temporal matters as required by the civil authorities.
- To make distributions to organizations that qualify as exempt organizations under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 as amended.
- To educate the body of Christ through any and all educational means deemed appropriate.
- This Corporation is also organized to promote, encourage, and foster any other similar religious, charitable and educational activities; to accept, hold invest, reinvest and administer any gifts, legacies, bequests, devises, funds and property of any sort or nature, and to use, expend, or donate the income or principal thereof for, and to devote the same to, the foregoing purposes of the Corporation; and to do any and all lawful acts and things which may be necessary, useful, suitable, or proper for the furtherance of accomplishment of the purposes of this Corporation. Provided, however, no act may be performed which would violate Section 501 (c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as it now exists or as it may hereafter be amended.
3.02 Limitations. In order to carry out the above-stated purposes, the Corporation shall have all those powers set forth in the Act, as it now exists or as it may hereafter be amended. The powers of the Corporation to promote the purposes set out above are limited and restricted in the following manner:
- No part of the net earnings of the Corporation shall inure to the benefit of or be distributable to its incorporators, officers or other private persons, except that the Corporation shall be authorized and empowered to make payments and distributions (including reasonable compensation for services rendered to or for the Corporation or reimbursement of expenditures) in furtherance of its purposes as set forth in these Articles. No substantial part of the activities of the Corporation shall be the carrying on of Propaganda, or otherwise attempting to influence legislation, and the Corporation shall not participate in, or intervene in (including the publication or distribution of statements) any political campaign on behalf of any candidate for public office. Not withstanding any other provisions of these Articles, the Corporation shall not carry on any other activities not permitted to be carried on by (i) a corporation exempt from Federal Income Tax under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, or corresponding provisions of any subsequent federal tax laws, or (ii) a corporation, contributions to which are deductible under Section 170(c)(2) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, or corresponding provisions of any subsequent federal tax laws.
- Notwithstanding any other provisions of these Articles, in the event this Corporation is in any one year a “private foundation” as defined by Section 509(a) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, or corresponding provisions of any subsequent federal tax laws, it shall be required to distribute its income for such taxable year at such time and in such manner as not to subject the foundation to taxation under Section 4942 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, or corresponding provisions of any subsequent federal tax laws; and further shall be prohibited from: (i) any act of “self dealing” as defined in Section 4941 (d) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, or corresponding provisions of any subsequent federal tax laws; (ii) retaining any “excess building holdings” as defined by Section 4943 (c) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, or corresponding provisions any subsequent federal tax laws; or (iii) making any investments in such manner as to subject the foundation to taxation under Section 4944 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, or corresponding provisions any subsequent federal tax laws; or (iv) making a taxable expenditures as defined in Section 4945(d) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, or corresponding provisions of any subsequent federal tax laws.
- The Corporation shall not accept any gift or grant if the gift or grant contains major conditions which would restrict or violate any of the Corporation’s religious, charitable or educational purposes or if the gift or grant would require serving a private as opposed to a public interest.
- Upon the liquidation, dissolution or winding up of the Corporation, the Ministry Leadership Team of the Corporation shall, after paying or making provision for payment of all the liabilities of the Corporation, distribute all Corporation to any organization designated by the Ministry Leadership Team of the Corporation which is of like faith and order and is exempt from taxes under Internal Revenue Code Section 501(c)(3) (or the corresponding provision of any future tax law of the United States).”
4.01 Membership: The Church shall have one class of membership. Membership in this Church shall consist of all persons who have met the qualifications of membership and are listed on the membership roll. Candidates for membership shall be presented to the Ministry Leadership Team for consideration. After approval of the members serving on the Ministry Leadership Team, the new members shall have all the rights, privileges and responsibilities of a member of the Church. Plenary power to manage and govern the Church shall be vested in the Ministry Leadership Team as set forth in Article 5 of these Bylaws. As such, members are not entitled to vote in person, by proxy or otherwise. The Ministry Leadership Team may adopt and amend application procedures for membership in the Church.
4.02 Qualifications for Membership: The minimum qualifications for membership are as follows:
- A personal commitment of faith in Jesus Christ for salvation;
- Baptism by immersion as a testimony of salvation;
- Completion of the Church’s membership class; and
- A commitment to abide by the Church’s membership covenant.
4.03 Termination and Dismissal of Membership: Members shall be removed from the Church roll for the following reasons: (a) the request of the member, (b) the transfer of membership to another church, (c) death, or (d) termination of membership by the Ministry Leadership Team.
The Ministry Leadership Team may terminate a person’s Church membership when, in the opinion of the Ministry Leadership Team, the member’s life and conduct is not in accordance with the membership covenant in such a way that the member hinders the influence of the Church in the community. Dismissal of Church membership shall require direct action by the Ministry Leadership Team.
4.04 Restoration of Membership: Dismissed members may be restored by the Ministry Leadership Team according to the spirit of 2 Cor. 2:7-8, when their lifestyles are judged to be in accordance with the membership covenant. Restoration of Church membership shall require the approval of the Ministry Leadership Team.
Article 5—Management of the Church—Ministry Leadership Team
5.01 Number and Term of Members: The members of the Ministry Leadership Team (the “Ministry Leadership Team Members”) shall consist of the Senior Pastoral Staff (including the Lead Pastor, Executive Pastor, and Worship Pastor) and, until changed by amendment of the Articles of Incorporation or by Bylaws duly adopted by the Church, such number of additional members as may, from time to time, be nominated and elected in accordance with Section 5.03 of this Article, provided that such number shall not be less than three (3).
The Lead Pastor shall serve as the Chairman of the Ministry Leadership Team and shall be present and preside at Ministry Leadership Team meetings. In the event that the Lead Pastor is unable to preside, the Executive Pastor shall preside in the place of the Lead Pastor. Each Ministry Leadership Team Member, other than the Senior Pastoral Staff, shall hold office for a period of two years or until his successor is elected, appointed, or designated herein, and may serve successive terms. The Senior Pastoral Staff shall be full participating members of the Ministry Leadership Team.
5.02 Powers: The Ministry Leadership Team shall be considered the board of directors of the Church. The Ministry Leadership Team shall have all of the rights, powers, and responsibilities of a board of directors pursuant to the Act, subject to any limitations under the Act, the Articles of Incorporation of the Church and these Bylaws. All corporate powers shall be exercised by or under the authority of the Ministry Leadership Team. The Ministry Leadership Team shall have final authority for affairs pertaining to property and other temporal matters as required by civil law for nonprofit corporations. In particular, the Ministry Leadership Team shall be responsible for the acquisition and disposition of Church property, which includes the management of its financial resources. The Ministry Leadership Team shall have the power to buy, sell, mortgage, pledge or encumber any church property and incur related indebtedness.
5.03 Appointment: The Senior Pastoral Staff shall appoint persons deemed qualified to serve on the Ministry Leadership Team. In addition, the Senior Pastoral Staff may appoint a Nomination Advisory Team to report to the Senior Pastoral Staff regarding suitable nominees. Members shall be natural persons, but need not be residents of Texas.
5.04 Vacancies: The Senior Pastoral Staff shall appoint persons deemed qualified to serve on the Ministry Leadership Team to fill any vacancy occurring on the Ministry Leadership Team, and any position to be filled due to an increase in the number of Members serving. A person so appointed to fill a vacancy shall be appointed for the remainder of the term of his predecessor in office.
5.05 Meetings: Regular or special meetings of the Ministry Leadership Team may be held either within or outside the State of Texas, but shall be held at the Church’s registered office in Texas if the notice thereof does not specify the location of the meeting. A regular or special meeting may be held at any place consented to in writing by all of the Ministry Leadership Team Members, either before or after the meeting. If such consents are given, they shall be filed with the minutes of the meeting. Any meeting, regular or special, may be held by conference telephone or similar communication equipment, as long as all Ministry Leadership Team Members participating in the meeting can hear one another. All Ministry Leadership Team Members shall be deemed to be present in person at a meeting conducted in accordance with the foregoing sentence.
- Regular Meetings: Regular meetings of the Ministry Leadership Team may be held without notice if the time and place of such meetings are fixed by a resolution of the Ministry Leadership Team.
- Special Meetings: A special meeting of the Ministry Leadership Team may be called by the Lead Pastor or any three (3) Ministry Leadership Team Members.
- Notice of Special Meetings:
- Manner of Giving. Notice of the time and place of special meetings shall be given to each Ministry Leadership Team Member by one of the following methods: (a) by personal delivery of written notice; (b) by first class mail, postage paid; (c) by telephone communication, either directly to the Ministry Leadership Team Member or to a person at the Ministry Leadership Team Member’s office or home who the person giving the notice has reason to believe will promptly communicate the notice to the Ministry Leadership Team Member, or (d) by email to the Ministry Leadership Team Member’s office or home.
- Time Requirements. Notice sent by first class mail shall be deposited in the United States mail at least four (4) days before the time set for the meeting. Notices given by personal delivery, telephone, or email shall be delivered, telephoned, or faxed to the Ministry Leadership Team Member or given at least twenty-four (24) hours before the time set for the meeting.
- Notice Contents. The notice shall state the time and place for the meeting. However, the notice does not need to specify the place of the meeting if the special meeting is to be held at the Church’s principal office. Unless otherwise expressly stated herein, the notice does not need to specify the purpose or the business to be transacted at the special meeting.
- Waiver. Attendance of a Ministry Leadership Team Member at a meeting shall constitute waiver of notice of such meeting, except where the Ministry Leadership Team Member attends a meeting for the express purpose of objecting that the meeting is not properly called.
5.06 Action Without Meeting: Any action required or permitted to be taken by the Ministry Leadership Team may be taken without a meeting, if all of the Ministry Leadership Team Members, individually, or collectively, consent in writing to the action. Such action by written consent or consents shall be filed with the minutes of the proceeding of the Ministry Leadership Team Members.
5.07 Quorum: A majority of the number of Ministry Leadership Team Members then in office, shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business at any meeting of the Ministry Leadership Team. The Ministry Leadership Team Members present at a duly called or held meeting at which a quorum is present may continue to transact business even if enough Ministry Leadership Team Members leave the meeting so that less than a quorum remains. If a quorum is present at no time during a