Church Constitution and Bylaws

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Church Constitution and Bylaws

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 Constitution and Bylaws of Henderson Hills Baptist Church of Edmond, Oklahoma.

Vision Statement

“To be a thoroughly biblical church that passionately seeks God’s manifested presence and leadership.”

Purpose Statement

“Our purpose is to help people improve their relationship with God and each other.”

With God …

People matter to God. He wants everyone to have a personal relationship with Him and become fully devoted followers of Christ.

With each other …

People need each other. Our desire is to help people strengthen friendships, marriages, and families.

(Matt. 22:36-40; 28:19-20; Mark 16:15-16; Luke 24:46-47; John 20:21; Eph. 2:10; Phil. 3:10; 1 Tim. 2:3-4; James 4:8; 1 John 5:20).

Principles of Ministry

1. The Bible is our authority.

We see the Bible as the authority for determining our purpose and structure.

(Psa. 1:2; 119:11, 72, 105, 130, 140; Prov. 16:9; 29:18; 2 Tim. 3:16; 2 Pet. 1:21)

2. Methods are not to be confused with purpose.

We recognize that our God-given purpose will never change. It is our understanding that methods must change as the needs of people change.

(Matt. 9:27-30; 20:28; Mark 8:22-23; Luke 19:10; John 6:38; 9:1-7)

3. The spiritual needs of believers and unbelievers differ vastly.

Those who have a personal relationship with God need to worship God and be taught biblical truths. People who are seeking a relationship with God need a trustworthy and safe place to investigate the claims of Christ. We are committed to strive for excellence in developing ministries that are sensitive to the needs of both.

Our weekend worship services are sensitive to all people, communicating the claims of Christ through word, music, drama, and other innovative means.

Our Wednesday evening worship services focus on leading believers to worship God and become fully devoted followers of Christ.

(Unbelievers: 1 Cor. 9:22-23; 14:22-25; Col. 4:2-6; 1 Thes. 2:6. Believers: Matt. 28:19-20; 1 Cor. 11:2; Eph. 1:22; 4:11-12; 5:19-20; Col. 1:24; 4:12; 1 Tim. 2:1-2; 4:6, 13, 16; 2 Tim. 2:2; 3:16; James 1:2-4; 1 Pet. 5:10)

4. Trusting Christ is a process that is most effectively facilitated through friendships with believers.

Salvation is the result of repentance and receiving Jesus Christ as Lord by faith. In a practical way, the Lord often uses believers to lead their friends to Christ. As a result, Henderson Hills is committed to “relational-process” driven evangelism, rather than majoring on “program-driven” evangelism.

(Matt. 5:29-30; John 1:40-48; 12:20-22; 16:23-31; Acts 1:8; 18:2-4; Rom. 9:1-3; Col. 4:4-6)

5. Every believer is a minister, gifted by God for the benefit of the Body of Christ.

Every believer receives spiritual gifts at the time of salvation. Through these gifts, believers find fulfillment and effectiveness in serving Christ. Therefore, we are dedicated to assisting believers in discovering, developing, and demonstrating their gifts. We are also committed to a church organization built on spiritual gifts.

(Rom. 12; 1 Cor. 12; Eph. 4:11-16; 1 Pet. 4)

6. Ministry is a reflection of our love for God and therefore should be done with excellence.

(Rom. 12:2; 1 Cor. 12:31; Phil. 1:9-10; 4:8-9; Col. 1:10-12; 2 Tim. 2:15, 21)

7. Christian character, attitudes, love, and integrity are of ultimate value in all that we do.

(Prov. 10:9; 11:3; 1 Cor. 10:31; 13:13; Phil. 1:9-11; 2:5-11, 15; 4:8; Col. 3:12; 2 Tim. 2:21)

8. Changed lives is our “business.”

The truths of the Bible, ministered in grace within the fellowship of believers, produce changed lives. For lives to be changed, all three elements are necessary. We must always ask ourselves, “How is ‘business?’”

(Rom. 12:1-2; 2 Cor. 5:17; Eph. 2:1-10; 1 Pet. 1:16)

9. Helping people improve their relationship with God is a more urgent need than confronting their actions.

Our focus is to affect change from the inside out, not from the outside in. Society is best changed by changed people.

(Luke 19:1-9; John 8:1-11; John 12:1-11)

10. The church’s priority to equip believers for ministry is accomplished through the exegetical preaching and teaching of the Bible.

“Exegetical” refers to taking the principles, precepts and truths we believe directly from the actual words of a passage of Scripture.

An approach to preaching and teaching, in which we draw our beliefs directly from the words of Scripture, is used in an unparalleled way to win the lost and disciple the saved. We place our emphasis on the Scripture being the tool God uses to develop our faith and equip us for ministry.

(Mark 7:1-23; Rom. 10:17; 1 Cor. 1:21; Eph. 4:11-16; 1 Tim. 1:3; 4:11; 2 Tim. 3:16-17)

As a result of these commitments, we will staff, structure, preach, teach, sing, budget, calendar, evaluate, and build according to the purpose God has revealed in the Bible. This will bring glory to Him through our lives. (Rom. 11:36)

Plurality of Leadership Statement

Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.” (Acts 20:28)

For this reason I left you in Crete, that you might set in order what remains, and appoint elders in every city as I directed you. (Titus 1:5)

The New Testament clearly teaches that the church is to be led by a plurality of godly men. Their assignment falls into four categories. First, these men are given both the responsibility and authority to skillfully and lovingly lead the flock. Next, they are to feed the flock, offering accurate and insightful teaching of the Scripture. Third, they are to care for the flock. This care is shown in the love, concern, prayers, ministry, and adept management of church resources. Finally, they are to protect the flock from harmful influences and beliefs.

These leaders are known by three titles, each of which reveals a separate aspect of their function. All three titles are used in 1 Pet. 5:1-2:

Therefore, I exhort the elders among you, as your fellow elder and witness of the sufferings of Christ, and a partaker also of the glory that is to be revealed, shepherd the flock of God among you, exercising oversight not under compulsion, but voluntarily, according to the will of God; and not for sordid gain, but with eagerness.

They are first called “elders.” An elder (Greek presbuteros) is a godly leader, whose wisdom and maturity are respected by God’s people. Next, these are men who give oversight. That is, they are “overseers” (Greek episkapos). An overseer is a person who is a good manager of resources and guardian of people. Finally, these leaders are called “shepherds,” which is also translated as “pastors” (Greek poimain). This word refers to the role of caring for and leading the flock.

It is important to note that within the New Testament model of church organization, authority for leadership is not granted to just one individual pastor, nor is it given as democratic rule by the congregation. Instead, the Scripture states that authority for leadership is conducted by a plurality of leaders who are appointed by the church and accountable to God. The Scripture further teaches that when the elders are supported by the church, both the church body and individual Christians will flourish (Heb. 13:17; 1 Thes. 5:12-13; 1 Pet. 5:1-5; Acts 20:28). These elders do not form a separated “clergy class” of Christians. Instead, the elders, some of whom fill church vocational roles, others non-vocational roles, are brothers with the people, always seeking God’s best for the members of the church (Acts 14:23; Titus 1:5; 2 Cor. 8:19).

Bylaws

Preamble to the Bylaws

Henderson Hills Baptist Church (HHBC) endeavors to be a church of the Lord Jesus Christ, as described, established, and mandated by the New Testament. These Bylaws are to provide general guidance to HHBC on governance and operation, based upon biblical references. However, the ultimate authority for HHBC governance and operation is the Bible. When a conflict or ambiguity exists with regard to these Bylaws, deference is to be given to the biblical reference to resolve the conflict or ambiguity.

Statement of Affiliation

The Bible teaches that local churches should seek voluntary fellowship with other doctrinally sound churches. This association is to provide help and encouragement while working together as the Lord directs. This is a voluntary association that in no way involves the surrender of the individual church’s freedom or dependence upon God.

Henderson Hills Baptist Church has chosen to affiliate itself with the Southern Baptist Convention. We continue this association, believing that it is God’s will to do so. Fundamental to this affiliation is the understanding that the Southern Baptist Convention is a fellowship of autonomous, biblically sound churches that choose to work together to further God’s Kingdom. This affiliation is maintained by voluntary contributions to local, state, national and foreign mission projects. Support may also be provided by sending messengers to the annual convention for voting on doctrinal, ethical, and procedural positions. Members of Henderson Hills Baptist Church may desire to become personally involved in Southern Baptist evangelism, education, and mission work.

Through the years, Henderson Hills Baptist Church has also associated with other Christian ministries. All of our affiliations are to be with churches and organizations that are biblically sound in doctrine and practice.

Article I—Identification

Section 1: Name

The name of the corporation is Henderson Hills Baptist Church (hereinafter “HHBC”).

Section 2: Principal Office

HHBC’s principal office shall be located in Edmond, Oklahoma.

Article II—Membership

Section 1: Church Membership Defined

Church membership is a commitment to actively function as an appendage of this local body of Christ, rather than merely affiliating with an organization (Rom. 12:3-21; 1 Cor. 12).

Section 2: Requesting Church Membership

Membership in HHBC shall be open to any person who professes faith in the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior and is in harmony with its doctrines and practices. Membership may be requested by an individual in public at a HHBC meeting or in consultation with an elder or those the elders designate.

  1. Every person requesting membership will be asked to give testimony of his or her personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ.
  2. Each person who is a current member of another church associated with the Southern Baptist Convention, or like-minded church, may request that his/her membership be transferred.

Section 3: Acceptance

The Elder Council (see Article IV, Section 1), or their designees, will interview all persons making application for church membership. Membership will be granted to anyone who offers a biblical testimony of salvation, has been scripturally baptized and agrees to accept the responsibilities of membership. Once accepted, the name of the new member shall be added to the HHBC roll and publicized to the membership of HHBC. If no clear evidence of salvation is found, the applicant cannot be accepted into the membership. However, HHBC will diligently offer Christian love, prayer, and Scripture, making every attempt to lead the individual to Christ and then church membership (John 3:16; Rom. 1:16-17; 10:9-10; Eph. 2:8-9; James 2:14-26).

Section 4: Responsibility of Members

  1. Personal Holiness: To bring to HHBC a submitted and Spirit-filled life. Our relationship with the Lord is the source of everything we have to offer one another. It is impossible to help others improve their relationship with God, or others, apart from God working in us (John 15:5).
  2. Christian Relationships: To pursue godly relationships within HHBC. The Bible teaches that the Church is the Body of Christ in the world. We are appendages, members, of that Body. It is imperative that each part of the Body pursue healthy relationships, respecting and caring for the other parts of the Body (Rom. 12; 1 Cor. 12; 2 Cor. 1:12).
  3. The Investment Of Life: To seek to serve more than be served. We live in a society that encourages self-centeredness. As the people of God, we are called to give our time, talents, spiritual gifts and financial resources in service to others (Mark 10:35-45; John 13:12-15; 1 Cor. 12; Rom. 12:3-21; 2 Cor. 4:5).

Section 5: Privileges of Members

  1. Decision Making. HHBC decisions and affirmations are made by the members. To participate in such decisions, a member must be at least 18 years old and be in attendance at such meeting.
  2. Office Holding. Every member is eligible for consideration as a candidate for offices in HHBC, subject to scriptural qualifications (Acts 6:1-7; Eph. 4:11; 1 Tim. 3).
  3. Interest in HHBC Property. Members of HHBC have no property rights in the property of HHBC, and upon termination of membership, shall not be entitled to any interest in HHBC’s assets.

Section 6: Discipline of Members

  1. Purpose. The purpose of church discipline is to glorify God by maintaining: (1) purity in the church (1 Cor. 5:6), (2) protecting believers by deterring sin (1 Tim. 5:20), and (3) promoting the spiritual welfare of the offending believer by calling him or her to return to biblical standards of doctrine and conduct (Gal. 6:1).
  2. Process. Members and all other professing Christians who regularly attend or fellowship at HHBC who err in biblical doctrine or conduct shall be subject to discipline according to Matt. 18:15-18 (such person hereafter will be referred to as an “Erring Person.”) Before such discipline reaches its final conclusion:
    1. It shall be the duty of any HHBC member who has knowledge of the Erring Person’s unbiblical beliefs or misconduct to warn and to correct such Erring Person in private, seeking his or her repentance and restoration. If the Erring Person does not heed this warning, then,
    2. the warning member shall again go to the Erring Person accompanied by one or two witnesses to warn and correct such Erring Person, seeking his or her repentance and restoration. If said Erring Person still refuses to heed this warning, then,
    3. it shall be brought to the attention of the Elder Council. (It is understood that this process will continue to conclusion, whether the Erring Person leaves HHBC or otherwise seeks to withdraw from membership to avoid the discipline process.) The elders will appropriately investigate any allegation brought by one church member against another. If these allegations are warranted, two or more of the Elder Council will contact the Erring Person and seek his or her repentance and restoration. If the Erring Person refuses to be restored, the matter will be presented to the Elder Council, who will act to protect the church by removing the Erring Person’s membership and notifying the church in accordance with Matt. 18. However, even at this point, HHBC will pray for the restoration of the Erring Person.
  3. Reinstatement. If such dismissed member heeds the warning, demonstrates repentance and requests reinstatement, he or she shall be publicly restored to membership through the affirmation of the Elder Council and notification of HHBC.

Section 7: Termination of Membership

HHBC membership shall be terminated and the member’s name removed from the membership roll at the death of the member, transfer of membership to another church, at the written request of a member or as a result of discipline (Article II, Section 6) (1 Cor. 5:12).

Article III—Meetings

Section 1: Annual Meetings

There shall be an annual meeting of HHBC within forty-five (45) days of the end of its fiscal year at its principal place of worship in Edmond, Oklahoma, at which time the Elder Council shall provide detailed presentations of the activities of HHBC during the previous year. They will discuss issues, events, and activities that are anticipated for the coming year. HHBC members shall have the opportunity to discuss such issues as they may consider important at this meeting. The Elder Council will moderate this “family meeting,” in order to provide explanations, answers, insights, and comments as appropriate. The Elder Council shall seek counsel, insights and guidance from the members of HHBC, carefully considering their opinions and desires. (See Article III, Section 7 for decisions and affirmations reserved to HHBC membership.) The minutes of this meeting will be published to the HHBC body by the Elder Council.

Section 2: Special Meetings

Special meetings of HHBC membership shall be held at its principal place of worship in Edmond, Oklahoma. The Elder Council may call a special meeting. Also, the Teaching Pastor, one third of the Elder Council membership, or fifty (50) members of HHBC can cause a special meeting to be called by the Elder Council within thirty (30) days of such request.

Section 3: Notice

Notice of the time of these meetings (Annual and Special) shall be published in writing, in a church-wide publication, to allow each member an opportunity to reasonably know of the meeting. This official notice must be published at least ten (10) days prior to the meeting and not more than thirty (30) days before the date of such meeting. If the place of the meeting is to be at a location other than the principal worship center of HHBC, such location must be provided in the notice. The notice shall state the time and date of the meeting. Notice of a Special Meeting shall state the purpose of the meeting.

Section 4: Presiding Official

The Elder Council shall provide the moderation of all such meetings.

Section 5: Voting

The Elder Council will present issues calling for a decision of the HHBC body. These decisions shall be voted upon by the “Qualified Church Members.” A Qualified Church Member is any person at least 18 years of age who has been received into church membership and is not under the process of church discipline (Article II, Section 6). Each Qualified Church Member shall be entitled to cast one vote. The method of seeking affirmation shall be determined by the moderator of the meeting.

Section 6: Quorum

A quorum for decision-making at a HHBC meeting shall consist of 100 “Qualified Church Members” attending such meetings or a number of Qualified Church Members equal to 10% of the people in HHBC’s worship services on the Sunday morning just prior to the meeting, whichever is the greater number.

Section 7: Matters to be Considered by HHBC

The Elder Council will secure the affirmation of the HHBC body regarding:

  1. Selection, rebuke, or dismissal of the Teaching Pastor.
  2. Selection, rebuke, or dismissal of deacons and elders.
  3. Selection of full-time pastoral staff members.
  4. Building and facilities—major decisions relating to HHBC properties.
  5. Financial budgets of HHBC.
  6. Amending the Bylaws (Article XIV, Section 1)
  7. Other matters in which the Elder Council feel led to seek the members’ advice and counsel.

Article IV—Elders

Section 1: General Scope

HHBC seeks to be a New Testament church committed to the teachings of the Bible. No other authority or tradition is to guide the means, faith or structure of the Lord Jesus Christ’s Church. The administrative and pastoral structure for a New Testament church is to utilize a plurality of leadership. HHBC will follow this scriptural example. To achieve this New Testament model, HHBC requires qualified men to serve as an Elder Council. These men must meet specific moral and spiritual qualifications before they serve (1 Tim. 3:1-7). They must be publicly installed into office (1 Tim. 5:22; Acts 14:23). They must be motivated and empowered by the Holy Spirit to do their work (Acts 20:28). After review, examination and appointment, as noted in Section 4 hereof, men affirmed by HHBC to serve as elders shall constitute the “Elder Council.” To effectively perform their duties, the Elder Council needs the prayers, support (1 Tim. 5:17-18) and assent of members of HHBC (Heb. 13:17). HHBC is called upon to honor their Elder Council and to protect them against false accusations (1 Tim. 5:19). Finally, if an elder falls into sin, and continues in sin, he must be publicly rebuked (1 Tim. 5:20).

Section 2: Responsibilities

The Elder Council shall:

  1. Feed the flock (1 Tim. 3:2; 5:17; 1 Thes. 5:12; Titus 1:9)
  2. Provide leadership to the flock (Acts 20:28; 1 Thes. 5:12; Heb. 13:17)
    1. In practical matters (Acts 6:1-6; 11:29-30)
    2. In matters of doctrine (Acts 15; 16:4)
    3. In matters of discipline and character (Heb. 13:17)
  3. Lovingly care for the flock (James 5:14-15; Acts 20:35; Heb. 13:17)
  4. Protect the flock (1 Pet. 5:2-3; Acts 20:28)

Section 3: Qualifications

Each elder must have a “calling” from God to this office. The qualifications of an elder are described in 1 Tim. 3:1-7 and Titus 1:6-9. He must be:

  1. Blameless as a steward of God; above reproach (1 Tim. 3:2; Titus 1:6-7)
  2. Husband of one wife; a one-woman man (1 Tim. 3:2; Titus 1:6)
  3. Temperate, sober, vigilant (1 Tim. 3:2)
  4. Sober-minded, prudent (1 Tim. 3:2: Titus 1:8)
  5. Of good behavior; orderly, respectable (1 Tim. 3:2)
  6. Given to hospitality (1 Tim. 3:2; Titus 1:8)
  7. Apt to teach; able to teach; he can exhort believers and refute false teaching (1 Tim. 3:2; Titus 1:9)
  8. Not given to much wine (1 Tim. 3:3; Titus 1:7)
  9. Not violent; not pugnacious (1 Tim. 3:3; Titus 1:7)
  10. Patient, moderate, forbearing, gentle (1 Tim. 3:3)
  11. Not a brawler; uncontentious; not soon angry or quick-tempered (1 Tim. 3:3; Titus 1:7)
  12. Not covetous; not a lover of money; not greedy of base gain (1 Tim. 3:3; Titus 1:7)
  13. Manages his own house well. His children are faithful, not accused of rebellion to God (1Tim. 3:4; Titus 1:7)
  14. Not a novice; not a new convert (1 Tim. 3:6)
  15. Has a good report or reputation with people outside the church (1 Tim. 3:7)
  16. Not self-willed (Titus 1:7)
  17. Lover of what is good (Titus 1:8)
  18. Just, fair (Titus 1:8)
  19. Holy, devout (Titus 1:8)
  20. Self-controlled (Titus 1:8)

(Further guidance for an expanded understanding of the qualifications may be found in the Elders Qualifications Statement.)

Section 4: Selection

  1. The Elder Council shall seek the Lord’s leadership regarding the number of additional elders needed to minister at HHBC. While the Bible does not give instruction as
    to the number of elders a church should have, it is recognized that there must be a plurality. A determination of the need for additional elders should be based upon the work of God in the HHBC family and the availability of those with a God-given desire to serve as an elder.
  2. Men who aspire to be elders, due to the calling of God, should express that desire to an elder or the Teaching Pastor of HHBC (1 Tim. 3:1).
  3. A potential elder will be examined by the Elder Council in order to discover his calling and qualifications. If the Elder Council and the man, in search of God’s will for his life in this matter, are of like mind as to his calling, the Elder Council shall recommend him to the HHBC body to be affirmed as an elder. The appointment of a man to serve as an elder is a solemn and serious matter (1 Tim. 5:21-22). Therefore, the Elder Council shall earnestly, without any haste, bias or partiality, seek God’s will with regard to the potential elder’s appointment to the Elder Council.
  4. In a Special Meeting of HHBC (Article III, Section 2), the Elder Council shall recommend the potential elder to HHBC. A three-fourths (75%) vote of the Qualified Church Members in attendance is required for affirmation of the recommendation (1 Tim. 5:21-22, 24-25).

Section 5: Initial Elders or Reconstitution of Elder Council

  1. Initial Elders. The Bylaws Committee shall recommend to HHBC a five-member Elder Examination Team chosen from HHBC’s membership who are in good standing, to seek the Lord’s leadership, regarding the first Elder Council. The Bylaws Committee shall make this recommendation to HHBC in a Special Meeting (Article III, Section 2) for HHBC’s determination of affirmation. The Teaching Pastor shall serve as one of the members of the Elder Examination Team. This team will review scriptural teachings pertaining to church elders and prayerfully recommend men to serve as elders to form the initial Elder Council. When at least four men have been affirmed by HHBC, the Elder Examination Team’s function will be assumed by the Elder Council, and the team shall be dissolved.
  2. Elder Examination Team. When the Elder Examination Team reaches unanimous agreement, they will seek the affirmation of HHBC in a Special Meeting. A three-fourths (75%) affirmative vote of the Qualified Church Members attending the Special Meeting is required to affirm a person to be an elder. These elders shall form the Elder Council and shall begin the process prescribed in Article IV, Section 4: Selection, seeking to appoint additional elders as God directs. (It is understood that much of this work may be performed in preparation for the possible adoption of these Bylaws to avoid an inordinate delay in the establishment of the Elders Council. In that case, the Elder Examination Team may be presented with the Bylaws.)
  3. Reconstitution of Elders. In the event that it is necessary to reconstitute the Elder Council, an Elder Examination Team shall be recommended to HHBC by the Deacon leadership in a Special Meeting (Article III, Section 2) for HHBC’s determination whether to affirm the recommended individuals. Five individuals who are HHBC members in good standing shall be recommended. They are to be qualified to research and review the scriptural teachings on church elders and prayerfully recommend elders to HHBC. Once HHBC has affirmed five elders to the reconstituted Elder Council, the Elder Examination Team shall be dissolved. The process in subsection “b” above shall be followed to reconstitute the Elder Council, if and when required.

Section 6: Term of Office

An elder, called by God, shall serve until such time as God calls him to other service and away from the office of Elder. Additionally, by the improper actions of an elder, he can be removed from office (Article IV, Section 10).

Section 7: Number of Elders

As God calls men to serve in this office of Elder, they shall be considered, examined, and utilized in service. The number of elders is not determined; it is a matter of the revealed will of God. The Bible indicates a plurality of leadership, which implies more than one leader.

Section 8: Authority and Responsibilities

The Elder Council shall have the authority and responsibility to oversee the spiritual and administrative activities of HHBC unless otherwise reserved to the HHBC body elsewhere in these Bylaws. This authority is able to be delegated by the Elder Council. In summary, the Elder Council is to shepherd the “flock” of God (1 Pet. 5:1-5). It is recognized by HHBC and Elder Council that there is only one Lord and Master in God’s Church: the Lord Jesus Christ. All others are His servants (Phil. 2:5-11).

Section 9: Training and Education

There are no specific requirements for formal training or education to be an elder. Becoming an elder is a matter of God’s preparation of the man and His call to the place of service.

Section 10: Discipline and Removal

Any elder may be removed from office if he becomes incapacitated, spiritually unqualified or his inability to serve is established in the minds of the remainder of the Elder Council. HHBC has the right to rebuke an elder due to a continuing sin in his life, based upon the procedure established in 1 Tim. 5:19-20. HHBC also has the right to remove the Elder Council in a Special Meeting (Article III, Section 2), with a majority vote of the Qualified Church Members voting. The Teaching Pastor is not automatically removed with the removal of the Elder Council.

Section 11: Meetings and Organization

The Elder Council shall establish written policies and procedures for the conducting of their activities. All meetings shall have written or otherwise recorded minutes of the matters considered. These minutes shall become a part of the permanent records of the Elder Council.

Section 12: Trustees

The Elder Council shall function as the trustees of HHBC. They manage HHBC property, both real and personal, as fiduciaries. They shall represent HHBC in all of its legal matters. Other HHBC members may be appointed by the Elder Council to be Trustees as necessary.

Article V—Ministry Teams

Section 1: General

HHBC is committed to accomplishing its stated goals through the ministry of its members. To accomplish these goals, HHBC is determined to organize into “Teams” to be more effective. Teams are focused upon accomplishing a stated or determined goal, or set of goals, to fulfill the ministry that God has called those participating to do.

Section 2: Empowerment

Teams organize and function under policies and procedures established by the Elder Council.

Section 3: Ministry

Teams perform the ministry best when it is performed by a plurality. Teams are the basic organizing units of HHBC to accomplish its goals within the guidelines of our Purpose Statement. Teams are not policy-setting entities. Rather, they are the “hands and feet” of the body of Christ. These teams devise and carry out the actions to further determine HHBC ministries. HHBC policies and procedures provide a framework within which teams successfully operate.

Section 4: Structure

Depending upon HHBC membership participation in a ministry, the team may be in a leadership role for the ministry, or the team may be HHBC members, who comprise all of the participants in that HHBC ministry. Team size and function shall meet the needs of its ministry.

Section 5: Dissolution

Teams may be dissolved upon a determination of the Elder Council.

Article VI—Deacons

Section 1: General Scope

Deacons are the servant-ministers of the church. Their purpose is to relieve the elders of the multitude of practical duties of caring for the flock. Deacons are to give their primary attention toward caring for the congregation’s physical welfare. Deacons have the honor of modeling, for the local church and the lost world, God’s compassion, kindness, mercy, and love. As the church compassionately cares for people’s needs, the world sees a visible display of Christ’s love, which will draw some people to the Savior. Deacons are to be an example of commitment, unity, and harmony in their service.

Section 2: Duties and Responsibilities

The deacons are to effectively and carefully administer the church’s charitable activities. They are the collectors of funds, the distributors of relief and agents of mercy. They help the poor, the jobless, the sick, the widowed, the elderly, the homeless, the shut-in, and the disabled. They comfort, protect, encourage people, and help to meet their needs. Although they do in many ways meet spiritual needs of those whom they serve, their primary service is related to physical needs. Specific duties include, but are not limited to:

  1. Service to the physical needs of the membership exhibiting the love and compassion of Christ. Specific attention is to be given to widows and widowers, the needy, and the aged. Collection and administration of the benevolent fund is included.
  2. Assisting the Elder Council in the preparation and serving of the Lord’s Supper to the membership.
  3. Other such duties and responsibilities as determined by the deacons and/or the Elder Council.

Section 3: Qualifications

Deacons must be members in good standing of HHBC and possess the qualifications stated in 1 Tim. 3:8-10, 12-13. These qualifications are listed below:

  1. A man of dignity (1 Tim. 3:8)
  2. Not double-tongued (1 Tim. 3:8)
  3. Not addicted to much wine (1 Tim. 3:8)
  4. Not fond of sordid gain (1 Tim. 3:8)
  5. Holding to the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience. (1 Tim. 3:9)
  6. Tested (1 Tim. 3:10)
  7. Beyond reproach (1 Tim. 3:10)
  8. Husbands of only one wife (1 Tim. 3:12)
  9. Good managers of their children and their own households (1 Tim. 3:12)

(Additional guidance on deacon’s qualifications is found in the Deacon Qualification Statement.)

Section 4: Selection

Nominations will be made by the membership, annually, from those members in good standing, who are perceived to meet the qualification of deacon and have proved themselves to have a heart to serve others. These nominees will be reviewed by the Deacon Officers. They will recommend to the Elder Council those whom they have examined and find to be qualified and who confirm that they sense the Lord’s calling to serve as a deacon. A Special Meeting (Article III, Section 2) will be called by the Elder Council, for the purpose of affirming the deacon candidates. Individual deacon candidates will be affirmed to serve by a three-fourths majority (75%) vote of all Qualified Church Members voting.

Section 5: Ordination

Deacon candidates, who have been affirmed, but have not previously been ordained in a Southern Baptist Church, shall be ordained (set apart for service), by the Elder Council in the presence of the membership. Affirmed deacon candidates will not serve as an active deacon until they have been ordained.

Section 6: Transition Period

Deacons who are active at the time of the adoption of these Bylaws, shall continue to serve their previously established term of service. At the completion of their term, continuance of service will be as stated in Section 7. Deacons, who have less than six months lapse in active service at the time of adoption of these Bylaws, may be recommended for continuance of service, according to the provisions of Section 7.

Section 7: Term of Office

The initial term of office of deacon shall be one year. Consecutive terms are acceptable and encouraged, for those who are serving well as deacons. At the completion of their one-year term of service, with the recommendation of the Deacon Officers and the deacon’s affirmation that God’s leading is for them to continue serving as an active deacon, the Deacon Officers will present the names of those deacons, whom they recommend to continue to serve, to the Elder Council for concurrence. Deacons recommended and approved for continuance of active service will not require reaffirmation by a vote of the membership. Following any lapse of service by a deacon, the procedures stated in Section 4 will be followed for return to active service.

Section 8: Number of Deacons

The number of active deacons will be as determined by the Deacon Officers with the concurrence of the Elder Council.

Section 9: Training and Education

No special education or training is required to serve as a deacon. The deacon must have a heart to serve others and be committed to work together with the other deacons in fulfilling the deacon ministry.

Section 10: Discipline and Removal

A deacon may be removed from active service upon failure to meet the qualifications stated in Section 3 or for reasons as stated in Article IV, Section 10: Discipline and Removal. Removal of a deacon from active service other than by completion of a term of service or resignation shall be by action of the Elder Council at the recommendation of the Deacon Officers.

Section 11: Meetings and Organization

Deacons shall meet regularly for prayer, Bible study and discussion of the fulfillment of the duties and responsibilities of deacons. Frequency of meetings shall be as determined by the Deacon Officers. The Deacon Officers shall prepare written policies and procedures for submission to the Elder Council for concurrence. These shall be submitted to the Elder Council within one year from the adoption of these Bylaws.

Article VII—The Teaching Pastor

Section 1: Selection

In the event that HHBC is without its Teaching Pastor, the Elder Council will act as a search group to seek the Lord’s will regarding the Teaching Pastor. When they are unanimous in their recognition of God’s leadership toward a candidate, they will seek the affirmation of the members of HHBC in a Special Meeting (Article III, Section 2). A vote of at least three-fourths (75%) majority of all Qualified Church Members voting is required to call a Teaching Pastor (Eph. 4:11).

Section 2: Term of Office

He shall remain in office an indefinite period of time subject to the following reservation: If the Elder Council is in unanimous agreement (excluding the Teaching Pastor) with the decision to remove the Teaching Pastor from his position, they have the authority to dismiss the Teaching Pastor, through the affirmation of a majority vote of HHBC, in Special Meeting (Article III, Section 2). Severance compensation shall be determined by the Elder Council. The Teaching Pastor shall give notice of his resignation to HHBC, after having informed the Elder Council.

Section 3: Duties

In addition to his shepherding role, as an elder the Teaching Pastor’s primary responsibility is the ministry of the Word and prayer, in order to provide strategic leadership and vision to the body. He is called to help believers maturing their faith, through insightful and accurate presentation of biblical truths, equipping them to be the true “ministers” of the body. Because of these primary roles, the ministry of the Word and his leadership, the Teaching Pastor will need to prioritize his time, focusing upon these duties first (Eph. 4:11-12).

As shepherds of the flock, the elders are responsible to appoint other leaders, with complimentary spiritual gifts, to undertake areas and aspects of the ministry that cannot be filled by the Teaching Pastor.

Article VIII—Staff

The Elder Council, or their appointees, will select, supervise, and evaluate all staff members in accordance with the HHBC personnel manual.

Article IX—Receipt, Investment and Disbursement of Funds

Section 1: Receipt of Money

HHBC shall receive all monies or other properties transferred to it for the purposes that are consistent with God’s Word. The Elder Council shall determine whether to accept such money or property.

Section 2: Management of Funds

The Elder Council shall manage and distribute any funds or property only for the benefit of HHBC consistent with the expressed purposes of HHBC.

Section 3: Review of Financial Matters

The Elder Council shall require that an annual review of HHBC’s financial records be conducted by an independent accounting firm.

Article X—Compensation

Any person receiving compensation directly or indirectly from HHBC shall not be in a position to determine the nature or amount of such compensation or remuneration.

Article XI—Records and Reports

Section 1: Records

HHBC shall maintain adequate and correct accounts, books and records of its business and properties. All such books, records and accounts shall be kept at its principal place of business in Edmond, Oklahoma. The adequacy and accuracy of the books and records shall be overseen by the Elder Council. The location of the principal place of business of HHBC may be changed from time to time as determined by the Elder Council.

Section 2: Inspection of Books and Records

Every member shall have the absolute right, at any reasonable time, to inspect all books, records, documents of every kind (with the exception of personnel and contribution records) and the physical properties of HHBC. The Elder Council, if necessary to maintain good order, may restrict and limit the number of inspections or establish an orderly manner for such to be conducted. But in no event shall a reasonable inspection of the books and records be denied to a member.

Article XII—Indemnification of Elders

The elders acting together in the Elder Council shall be indemnified and held harmless for actions consistent with the purpose and vision of HHBC. HHBC shall be primarily responsible for liability arising from such actions or inaction of the Elder Council. Reasonable expenses to litigate or otherwise resolve issues arising from the Elder Council’s performance of its duties and responsibilities shall be paid by HHBC. At the election of the Elder Council, this same indemnification shall extend to all individuals performing within the scope of their duties and responsibilities for the benefit of HHBC.

Article XIII—Dissolution

Upon dissolution of HHBC, the Elder Council shall cause the assets herein to be distributed to another Southern Baptist church within Oklahoma County, Oklahoma.

Article XIV—Amendments

Section 1: Amendment Process

These Bylaws may be amended and new and additional Bylaws may be made at any time by the Elder Council, with affirmation of such change, as reflected by a (75%) majority vote of the Qualified Church Members voting.

Section 2: Record of Amendments

Whenever an amendment or new Bylaw is adopted, it shall be copied into the books and records of HHBC, with the original Bylaws. If any Bylaw is repealed or amended, the fact of repeal or amendment, with the date of the meeting at which the repeal or amendment was confirmed, by HHBC, shall be stated in HHBC’s books and records with the Bylaws and the repealed or amended provision, clearly marked as repealed or amended, in the original Bylaws.

 

View the original PDF: Church Constitution and Bylaws

By | 2016-10-12T11:00:44+00:00 December 16th, 2012|All Policies, Governance|

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