What We Believe
HARVEST CHURCH STATEMENT OF FAITH
From its inception, the Church has always found it helpful to summarize its core convictions in succinct statements such as hymns, creeds, and confessions, with the purpose of imparting truth, clarifying convictions, preventing confusion, protecting from false teaching, and otherwise holding fast to the historic landmarks of our heritage. Christian confessions are merely a response to God’s revelation in Scripture, and thus, should correspond to the boundaries and contours of biblical truth already revealed by God. Though Christians everywhere say they believe the Bible, creeds, confessions, and statements help to clarify what we believe the Bible says.
We accept the Bible, including the 39 books of the Old Testament and 27 books of the New Testament, as the written Word of God. The Bible is an essential and infallible record of God revealing Himself to mankind. It leads us to salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. Given by God, the Scriptures are both fully and verbally inspired by God and are thus, free of error. Each book is to be interpreted according to its context and purpose, and in reverent obedience to the Lord who speaks through it in living power. All believers are exhorted to study the Scriptures and diligently apply them to their lives. The Scriptures are the authoritative and normative rule and guide of all Christian life, practice and doctrine. They are totally sufficient and must not be added to, superseded, or changed by later tradition, extra-biblical revelation, or worldly wisdom. Every doctrinal formulation, whether of creed, confession, or theology, must be tested by the full counsel of God in Holy Scripture.
(2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:21; 1 Corinthians 14:37; John 16:13-14; Numbers 23:19; Matthew 24:35; 1 Peter 1:10-11)
The Triune God
There is one God: infinite, eternal, almighty and perfect in holiness, truth and love. In the unity of the Godhead, there are three Persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit, co-existent, co-equal and co-eternal. The Father is not the Son. The Son is not the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is not the Father. Yet each is truly Deity. One God—Father, Son and Holy Spirit—is the foundation of Christian faith and life.
(Deuteronomy 6:4; Matthew 16:16; 2 Corinthians 6:16; 1 Timothy 4:10; Hebrews 3:12; Revelation 7:2; Matthew 28:19; 2 Corinthians 13:14)
God the Father
God the Father is the Creator of heaven and earth. By His word and for His glory, He freely and supernaturally created the world out of nothing. Through the same word, He daily sustains all creation. He rules over all and, together with the Son and the Spirit, is the only Sovereign. His plans and purposes cannot be thwarted. He is faithful to every promise, works all things together for good to those who love Him and, in His unfathomable grace, gave His Son, Jesus Christ, for mankind’s redemption. He made all things for the praise of His glory and intends for man, in particular, to live in fellowship with Himself.
(1 Corinthians 8:6; 1 Peter 1:3; Philemon 1:3; John 1:18 Genesis 1:1; 2:7; Exodus 3:14; 6:2-3; 15:11ff.; 20:1ff.; Leviticus 22:2; Deuteronomy 6:4; 32:6; 1 Chronicles 29:10; Psalm 19:1-3; Isaiah 43:3,15; 64:8; Jeremiah 10:10; 17:13; Matthew 6:9ff.; 7:11; 23:9; 28:19; Mark 1:9‐11; John 4:24; 5:26; 14:6‐13; 17:1‐8; Acts 1:7; Romans 8:14‐15; 1 Corinthians 8:6; Galatians 4:6; Ephesians 4:6; Colossians 1:15; 1 Timothy 1:17; Hebrews 11:6; 12:9; 1 Peter 1:17; 1 John 5:7)
Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, is the eternal Word made Flesh, supernaturally conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary. He is fully God and fully man. Through Him, all things came into being and were created. He was before all things, and in Him, all things hold together by the word of His power. He is perfect in nature, teaching and obedience and is the only Savior for the sins of the world, having shed His blood and died a vicarious death on the cross. By His death in our place, He revealed divine love and upheld divine justice, removing our guilt and reconciling us to God. Redeeming us from sin, He rose bodily from the grave on the third day, victorious over death and the powers of darkness and performed many convincing proofs of His resurrection. He ascended into heaven where, at God’s right hand, He intercedes for His people and rules as Lord over all, awaiting His return. He is the Head of His body, the Church, and should be adored, loved, served and obeyed by all.
(John 20:31; John 1:1-3; John 5:18; Matthew 1:23; Romans 9:5; Colossians 1:15-16; Colossians 2:9; Hebrews 1:3; Revelation 22:13)
The Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit, the Lord and Giver of life, convicts the world of sin, righteousness and judgment. Through the proclamation of the gospel, He persuades men to repent of their sins and confess Jesus as Lord. By the same Spirit, a person is led to trust in divine mercy. The Holy Spirit unites believers to Jesus Christ in faith, brings about the new birth and dwells within the regenerate. The Holy Spirit has come to glorify the Son who, in turn, came to glorify the Father. He will lead the Church into a right understanding and rich application of the truth of God’s Word. He is to be respected, honored and worshiped as God, the Third Person of the Trinity.
(1 Corinthians 2:10-11; Romans 8:27; John 14:26; John 15:26; 1 Corinthians 12:11; Ephesians 4:30; John 16:8)
God made man—male and female—in His own image, as the crown of creation so that man might glorify Him through enjoying fellowship with Him. Tempted by Satan, man rebelled against God. Being estranged from his Maker yet responsible to Him, man became subject to divine wrath, inwardly depraved, and apart from a special work of grace, utterly incapable of returning to God. This depravity is radical and pervasive. It extends to his mind, will, and affections. Unregenerate man lives under the dominion of sin and Satan. He is at enmity with God, hostile toward God and hateful of God. Fallen, sinful people, whatever their character or attainments, are lost and without hope apart from salvation in Christ alone.
(Genesis 2:7; Genesis 1:27; James 3:9; Ecclesiastes 7:29; 2 Corinthians 11:3; Genesis 3:1-13; Romans 6:16-20; Romans 5:12-19; Ephesians 2:1-3; 1 Corinthians 2:14)
The gospel is the good news of God’s grace invading the darkness of this world. It is the grand narrative of creation, fall, redemption and consummation ordained by God and orchestrated through the life, death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ. Christ’s crucifixion is the heart of the gospel. His resurrection is the power of the gospel. His ascension is the glory of the gospel. Christ’s death is a substitutionary and propitiatory sacrifice to God for our sins. It satisfies the demands of God’s holy justice and appeases His holy wrath. It also demonstrates His mysterious love and reveals His amazing grace. Jesus Christ is the only mediator between God and man. There is no other name by which men can be saved. At the heart of all sound doctrine is the cross of Jesus Christ and the infinite privilege that redeemed sinners have in glorifying God because of what He has accomplished. Therefore, we want all that takes place in our hearts, churches and ministries to proceed from and adorn the gospel.
(Romans 5:18-19; 1 Corinthians 15:3; 1 Peter 2:24; 1 Peter 3:18; Romans 3:24-25; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Galatians 1:4; Romans 5:6; Acts 13:38; Acts 4:12; 1 Timothy 2:5)
Man’s Response to the Gospel
The proper response to the gospel is faith in the person and work of Jesus Christ, a faith that is naturally accompanied by repentance from sin. Biblical repentance is characterized by a changed life, and saving faith is evidenced by kingdom service and works. While neither repentance nor works save, unless a person is willing to deny himself, pick up his cross and follow Christ, he cannot become His disciple. This response to the gospel is rooted and grounded in the free and unconditional election of God for His own pleasure and glory. This gospel of grace is to be sincerely preached to all men in all nations.
(Mark 1:15; Romans 3:21-22; 2 Timothy 2:24-25; Acts 11:18; Ephesians 2:8-9; Acts 2:37-38)
Man’s Inheritance Through the Gospel
Salvation, the free gift of God, is provided by grace alone, through faith alone, because of Christ alone, for the glory of God alone. Anyone repenting of sin by the miracle of regeneration and looking to Christ and His substitutionary death receives the gift of eternal life and is declared righteous by God as a free gift. The righteousness of Christ is imputed to him. He is justified and fully accepted by God. Through Christ’s atonement for sin, an individual is reconciled to God as Father and becomes His child. The believer is forgiven the debt of his sin and liberated from the law of sin and death into the freedom of God’s Spirit.
(Romans 3:23-24; Ephesians 2:8-10; Titus 3:5-7; Romans 5:1; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Philippians 3:9)
The Holy Spirit is the active agent in our sanctification, seeking to produce His fruit in us. Our minds are renewed, and we are conformed to the image of Christ. Though indwelling sin remains a reality, the Spirit leads us to grow in the knowledge of the Lord, freely keeping His commandments and endeavoring to so live in the world that all people may see our good works and glorify our Father in heaven. All believers are exhorted to persevere in the faith, knowing they will have to give an account to God for every thought, word, and deed. The spiritual disciplines, especially Bible study, prayer, worship and confession, are a vital means of grace in this regard. Nevertheless, the believer’s ultimate confidence to persevere is based in the sure promise of God to preserve His people until the end.
(2 Corinthians 3:17-18; Acts 26:18; Romans 6:11-13; Romans 6:19-22; Galatians 5:16-18; Philippians 3:12; James 2:17-20, 26; Hebrews 3:12-13; 1 Peter 1:1-2; 1 Thessalonians 5:23; 1 Thessalonians 4:7; 2 Thessalonians 2:13; 1 Timothy 6:12)
Empowered by the Spirit
The Holy Spirit empowers believers for Christian witness and service. The promise of the Father is freely available to all who believe in Jesus Christ, enabling them to exercise the gifts He sovereignly bestows for ministry and mission. The Holy Spirit desires to continually fill each believer with power to bear witness to the gospel and imparts His gifts for the edification of the body and the work of ministry in the world. All the gifts of the Holy Spirit at work in the first century church are available today and are to be earnestly desired and practiced in an orderly manner. Gifts of the Spirit include those gifts that are considered miraculous, as well as those that might be seen as more mundane. The healthy exercising of diverse gifts within a unified body is essential to the mission of the Church in the world today.
(Acts 1:8; Luke 24:49; 1 Corinthians 12:7-10; Hebrews 2:4; Romans 15:18-19)
God, by His Word and Spirit, creates the Church, calling sinful men out of the whole human race into the fellowship of Christ’s body. By the same Word and Spirit, He guides and preserves that newly redeemed humanity. The Church is not a religious institution or denomination. Rather, the
Church is made up of those who have become genuine followers of Jesus Christ and have personally appropriated the gospel. The Church exists to worship and glorify God as Father, Son and Holy Spirit. It also exists to serve Him by faithfully doing His will on earth. This service involves a commitment to see the gospel preached and churches planted in the entire world. The ultimate mission of the Church is to bring glory to God by making disciples. Upon conversion, newly redeemed men and women are added to a local church in which they devote themselves to teaching, fellowship, the Lord’s Supper and prayer.
All members of the Church are to be a vital and committed part of a local church. In this context, they are called to live out the implications of the gospel as the people of God and demonstrate the reality of the kingdom of God. The ascended Christ has given gift ministries to the Church, including prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers, for the equipping of Christ’s body so that it might mature and grow. In the context of the local church, God’s people receive pastoral care and oversight and the opportunity to steward their gifts for His glory and the good of the others.
(Matthew 16:15‐19; Matthew 18:15‐20; Acts 2:41‐42,47; Acts 5:11‐14; Acts 6:3-6; Acts 13:1‐3; Acts 14:23,27; Acts 15:1‐30; Acts 16:5; Acts 20:28; Romans 1:7; 1 Corinthians 1:2; 1 Corinthians 3:16; 1 Corinthians 5:4‐5; 1 Corinthians 7:17; 1 Corinthians 9:13-14; Ephesians 1:22‐23; Ephesians 2:19‐22; Ephesians 3:8‐11,21; Ephesians 5:22‐32; Philippians 1:1; Colossians 1:18; 1 Timothy 2:9‐14; 1 Timothy 3:1-15; 1 Timothy 4:14; Hebrews 11:39‐40; 1 Peter 5:1‐4; Revelation 2‐3; Revelation 21:2‐3; Acts 8:1; 1 Corinthians 16:19; Ephesians 4:11- 12; Romans 12:6-8)
Ordinances of the Church
Water baptism is only intended for an individual who has received the saving benefits of Christ’s atoning work and become His disciple. In obedience to Christ’s command, and as a testimony to God, the Church, oneself, and the world, a believer should be immersed in water in the name of
the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Water baptism is a visual and symbolic demonstration of a person’s union with Christ in the likeness of His death and resurrection. Baptism, in the burial signifies, one’s former way of life has been put to death and fully judged for sin. Baptism, in the resurrection, signifies one is a new creation, forgiven, and empowered by the Spirit to live in obedience to Christ’s commands.
As with water baptism, the Lord’s Supper is to be observed only by those who have become genuine followers of Christ. We believe that the Lord’s Supper is an ordinance of the Lord in which gathered believers eat bread, signifying Christ’s body given for His people, and drink the cup, signifying Christ’s blood shed on our behalf. The Lord’s Supper is to be observed repeatedly throughout the Christian life as a sign of continued participation in the atoning benefits of Christ’s death. As we come to the table with faith and self-examination, we remember, celebrate, and proclaim the death of Christ, receive spiritual nourishment for our souls, signify our unity with one another, and look forward in eager anticipation of the return of Christ, the Marriage Supper of the Lamb, and the consummation of His Kingdom.
(Matthew 28:18-20; 1 Corinthians 11:23-26; Colossians 2:12; 1 Peter 3:21; Galatians 3:26-27; Acts 2:38; Acts 18:8; Romans 6:3-4; Acts 8:36-39; John 3:23; 1 Corinthians 10:16-17; John 6:53-57, 63)
The consummation of all things includes the future, physical, visible, personal and glorious return of Jesus Christ, the resurrection of the dead and the translation of those alive in Christ, the judgment of the just and the unjust, and the fulfillment of Christ’s kingdom in the new heavens and the new earth. In the consummation, Satan, with his hosts and all those outside Christ, are finally separated from the benevolent presence of God, and will endure eternal punishment, but the righteous, in glorious bodies, will live and reign with Him forever, serving Him and giving Him unending praise and glory. Then the eager expectation of creation will be fulfilled, and the whole earth shall proclaim the glory of God, who makes all things new.
(Titus 2:13; Acts 1:9-11; Philippians 3:20-21; Luke 21:27; 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17; 1 Corinthians 15:22-24; Luke 22:28-30; Daniel 12:2; 2 Thessalonians 1:9; Hebrews 9:27‐28; James 5:8; 2 Peter 3:7ff.; 1 John 2:28; 1 John 3:2; Jude 14; Revelation 1:18; Revelation 3:11; Revelation 20:1‐22:13)
HARVEST CHURCH COVENANT
Harvest Church exists to glorify God by worshiping Jesus, loving the Church, and reaching the world.
The church is the primary vehicle by which God is accomplishing His purposes in the world. The church exists to display the glory of God because all things exist for His glory. Followers of Jesus have been graciously invited into God’s redemptive purposes for the world. In light of this reality, joining a local church is much more than a commitment to attendance; it is also a sacred call to be involved in the redemptive work of our sovereign God and to be a microcosm of the universal household of God. Therefore, we covenant together to fulfill these purposes and hold one another accountable to this high calling.
1. Pastors’ Obligations to the Church Body
As overseers of a local church, pastors are men entrusted with Knowing, Feeding, Leading and Protecting the corporate church body and her individual members. The following are the commitments and expectations of Harvest Pastors.
The Pastors Covenant To:
- KNOW the Church
- Oversee the growth of members as disciples of Christ as those who will give an account for their growth in grace, truth, and love (Matt. 28:16-20; Eph. 4:15-16; Jam. 5:14; Heb. 13:17; 1 Pet. 5:1-4).
- FEED the Church
- Provide teaching and counsel from the whole Scripture (Acts 20:27-28; 1 Tim. 4:16; 2 Tim. 4:1-5; Titus 2:1).
- LEAD the Church
- Appoint elders and deacons according to the qualifications assigned to them in Scripture (1 Tim. 3:1-13; Titus 1:5-9; 1 Pet. 5:1-4).
- Prayerfully seek God’s will for our church and steward her resources to the best of our ability as we study of the Scriptures and follow the guidance of the Spirit (Acts 20:28; 1 Pet. 5:1-4).
- Equip and deploy the members of the church for the work of ministry according to their gifts and passions (Eph. 4:11-16; 2 Tim. 2:2).
- Set an example and join covenant members in fulfilling the obligations of church membership stated in the Church Covenant (Acts 20:28; Phil. 3:17; 1 Tim. 4:12; Titus 2:7-8; 1 Pet. 5:3).
- PROTECT the Church
- Be on guard against false teachers and teachings (Matt. 7:15; Jn. 10:12-13; Acts 20:28-31; 1 Tim. 1:3-7; 1 Jn. 4:1).
- Lovingly oversee the exercise of discipline when necessary, for the glory of God, the good of the one disciplined, and the health of the church as a whole (Matt. 18:15-20; 1 Cor. 5; Gal. 6:1; Jam. 5:19-20).
2. Members’ Covenant Obligations to the Church Body
Harvest Church believes that church membership should be meaningful. Therefore, we believe it is important to covenant together as a church family. Members of Harvest Church partner together with the pastors, staff and other covenant members to see people locally and globally come to Worship Jesus, Love the Church and Reach the World.
Harvest Members Covenant To:
- WORSHIP JESUS
- Having been born again by the work of Christ, to submit to him as King in all areas of life and submit to the authority of Scripture as the final arbiter on all issues (Ps. 19:7-11, 119:105-112; 2 Tim. 3:14-4-5; Jn. 6:44; Acts 3:19, 16:31, 17:30, 20:21; Rom. 10:9-10; Eph. 2:8-10, Lk. 14:25-33).
- Following the command and example of Jesus by participating in the ordinances prescribed to his Church:
- Be baptized after one’s conversion. (Jn. 3:3; Acts 8:38, Acts 10:44-48)
- Regularly remember and celebrate the person and work of Christ through taking the Lord’s Supper. (Lk. 22:7-23; Acts 2:42; 1 Cor. 11:23-32)
- By God’s grace and the Spirit’s power, to walk in holiness in all areas of life as an act of worship. I will strive to put certain attitudes and actions to death while pursuing love and good deeds through the Spirit. I will refrain from such activities that the Scripture deems foolish. I will regularly pursue Jesus through Bible reading, prayer, fellowship and the practice of spiritual disciplines (Ps. 119;2 Tim. 3:14-17; Rom. 14:14-23; 2 Pet. 1:19-21)
- LOVE THE CHURCH
- Regularly participate in the life of Harvest Church by attending weekly worship services, engaging deeply in Community Group and serving those inside and outside the church (Acts 2:42-47; 1 Pet. 3:15, Gal. 2:14; Hebrews 10:25)
- Steward all the resources God has given me (time, talent, gifts, finances), which includes regular financial giving, service and participation in community that is sacrificial, cheerful and voluntary (Ephesians 6:18-20; Romans 12:9-13; 2 Cor. 8-9; 1 Pet. 4:10-11)
- Take seriously the responsibility of Christian freedom, especially in relation to actions or situations that could present a stumbling block to another (2 Cor. 8:1-13)
- Submit to the discipline of God through the Holy Spirit by:
- Following the biblical procedures for church discipline where sin is evident in another with the hope of such discipline being repentance and restoration.
- Receiving righteous and loving discipline with humility when approached by fellow believers. (Ps. 141:5; Mt. 18:15-20; 1 Cor. 5:1-13; Gal. 6:1; Heb. 12:5-11)
- To do the following when I sin:
- Confess my sin to God and to fellow believers.
- Repent and seek help in putting my sin to death (Rom. 8:13; Col. 3:5; 1 Jn. 1:6-10)
- Submit to the pastors and appoint leaders of Harvest Church and eagerly strive for unity and peace within the church (Heb. 13:7, 17; Ac. 6:1-7; 20:28-31; Eph. 4:3, Eph. 4:11-12; 1 Thess. 5:12-13; 1 Tim. 3:1-7; 5:17-20; 1 Pet. 5:1-4).
- To do the following should I leave Harvest Church for a righteous reason:
- Seek the counsel of and notify my leaders and pastors.
- Seek another church with whom I can covenant and carry out my biblical responsibilities as a follower of Christ.
- REACH THE WORLD
- Seek to intentionally know, love, serve, speak and display the gospel to all those in my sphere of influence.
- Leverage my time, money and gifts to see disciples made locally and globally (Matt. 28:18-20; 2 Tim. 2:2; Ps. 67:1-2; Rev. 7:9-10)..
- Participate regularly in outreach and evangelism initiatives of Harvest Church.
- Maintain margin in my life to live on mission for Jesus in my places of home, neighborhood, work and play.
May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with us all. Amen.
Print Name: _____________________________________
Sign: ___________________________________________ Date: ___________
HARVEST CHURCH BYLAWS
The purpose of this Constitution lies in an effort to assist Harvest Church in the task of Biblically organizing and conducting its ministries, which have been entrusted to us by our Head, Jesus Christ. It must be readily acknowledged, however, that this document, despite its usefulness and precision, will avail nothing apart from the grace of God, Jesus’ work of building His Church, and the Spirit’s presence. It is with this keen awareness of our absolute dependence upon our great God that this Constitution is set forth.
Harvest Church organizes itself and adopts this Constitution as its articles of governance, to be interpreted at all times to reflect the character of and bring glory to Jesus Christ.
ARTICLE I. NAME
The name of this body is Harvest Church. The mailing address for the church is 505 Reedy Creek Road, Cary, NC 27513.
ARTICLE II. AFFILIATION
The government of Harvest Church is vested in the body of believers who compose it. This church is subject to the control of no other ecclesiastical body, but it recognizes and sustains the obligations of mutual counsel and cooperation, which are common among Southern Baptist churches. Insofar as is practical, the church will cooperate with and support local Baptist associations, the North Carolina Baptist Convention, and the Southern Baptist Convention.
ARTICLE III. CHURCH MEMBERSHIP
Section 1: Membership
The membership of the Harvest Church shall consist of persons who profess their faith in Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord, having given public testimony to their Christian faith through believer’s baptism by immersion as set forth in the New Testament. All candidates will be required to complete the membership process, affirm the church covenant by signature, affirm the church’s Core Beliefs, and be in sympathy with the Harvest Church Statement of Faith. For these Bylaws, membership is defined as covenant members who have met the above requirements, and the terms “covenant members,” “members” and “membership” are used interchangeably herein.
Section 2: Termination of Membership
Membership shall be terminated in the following ways: (1) proof of membership in another church, (2) exclusion of the member by action of this church, (3) death of the member, or (4) as a result of a non-disciplinary meeting with an elder. A member who is inactive in the church for one year may be considered for termination of membership.
Section 3: Discipline and Restoration
Members of the church are expected to conduct their lives in accordance with biblical standards of holiness as they grow to become more like Christ. When a member knowingly, blatantly and publicly ignores the direct commands and prohibitions of Scripture, principles of discipline and restoration will be applied. These principles are found in passages such as Matthew 7:1-5, 18:15-17; 1 Corinthians 5:1-13; Galatians 6:1-2; 2 Thessalonians 3:6-15. Corrective discipline will be handled by the elders who will determine whether a matter should be brought before the covenant membership for action.
ARTICLE IV. ELDERS
Section 1: Responsibilities and Qualifications
As used in Scripture, the term “elder” is synonymous with “pastor” and “overseer.” The elders will be responsible for the oversight of the church and its ministries. They will meet regularly for prayer, personal accountability, and the fulfillment of their ministry responsibilities. The elders are responsible for leading the church to function as a New Testament church. The elders shall be covenant members of the church. The elders of the church shall also be referred to as the Elder Council and be comprised of “staff elders” and “lay elders,” where staff denotes those compensated by the church and lay denotes those not compensated by the church. The staff and lay elders shall have equal authority but differing responsibilities as determined by the Elder Council. The staff elders will meet more often as necessary than the whole Elder Council for administration of the church.
Elders will be men of prayer and the Word. Their qualifications are defined by specific Scripture passages in 1 Timothy 3:1-7, Titus 1:5-9, Ephesians 4:11-12, 1 Timothy 5:17, and 1 Peter 5:1-4. If at any time an elder is not fulfilling his role, fails to meet the biblical qualifications, or no longer desires to serve, the other elders along with the covenant members will evaluate the situation. If necessary, the elders will recommend steps to be taken and ask the membership for affirmation. The membership may provide input about an elder’s lifestyle and performance according to biblical qualifications at any time in accordance with 1 Timothy 5:19-20.
The elders shall serve as Directors of the Corporation. When signatures of the Directors of the Corporation are needed to transact business, the signatures of at least two active elders reflecting the unity of the elders shall represent the Corporation. Prior affirmation of the membership will be obtained where necessary according to Article VII Section 3.
Section 2: Selection
Should the need for additional elders arise, there will be an active search initiated by the elders for men who meet the biblical qualifications. The elders will examine each candidate to determine if they meet the biblical qualifications. The number of candidates presented to the membership for affirmation will depend upon the needs of the church. There is neither a preset number of elders, nor a preset term of service. Compensation for elders shall be determined by the active elders in accordance with Article VII Section II.
ARTICLE V. DEACONS
Section 1: Responsibilities and Qualifications
As used in Scripture, the term deacon means minister or servant. The deacons, under the leadership of the elders, will serve in areas where ministering to the needs of the church is of primary importance.
Deacons will be believers of spiritual maturity and wisdom, who demonstrate a servant spirit. Their qualifications are defined by specific Scripture passages in Acts 6:1-7 and 1 Timothy 3:8-13. If at any time a deacon is not fulfilling his or her role, fails to meet the biblical qualifications, or no longer desires to serve, the elders will evaluate the situation. If necessary, the elders will recommend steps to be taken and ask the membership for affirmation.
Section 2: Selection
As the need for deacons arises, there will be an active search initiated by the elders for men and women who meet the biblical qualifications and who have been active members for a minimum of one year. The covenant membership may also recommend names of potential candidates. The elders will examine each candidate to
determine if they meet the biblical qualifications and present them to the membership for affirmation. There is neither a preset number of deacons, nor a preset term of service.
ARTICLE VI. ADMINISTRATIVE STAFF
Section 1: Administrative Staff
The administrative staff shall consist of those employees who assist the elders. The administrative staff shall be under the direction of the elders. Compensation for administrative staff shall be determined by the active elders in accordance with Article VII, Section II.
Section 2: Membership
All administrative staff personnel shall be covenant members of the church as defined in Article I.
ARTICLE VII. SERVE TEAMS
Section 1: Responsibility
Selected ministries of the church will be carried out by ministry teams that allow members to exercise their spiritual gifts. The SERVE teams will be coordinated by the elders and empowered by the church to fulfill their mission.
Section 2: SERVE Team Members
The elders will assign an elder for oversight of each SERVE team and select a team leader (this includes Community Groups). The team leader and assigned elder will bring recommendations for team members to the elders for approval. There will be no preset term for team members, but the team leader and/or assigned elder can recommend rotation or sabbatical years for team members. The SERVE team may then enlist members to help assist carrying out their mission. Elders can at any point remove a team leader from their area of responsibility or a SERVE team as a ministry of the church. Budget and cost expenditures for each ministry team shall be determined by the appointed elder of oversight, along with the aid of the SERVE team leader.
ARTICLE VIII. CHURCH SERVICES AND ORDINANCES
Section 1: Worship Services
The church shall meet for worship each Sunday or at other times as authorized by the elders.
Section 2: Baptism
Baptism shall be of believers by immersion in water. An elder will oversee the administration of this ordinance.
Section 3: Lord’s Supper
The church shall observe the Lord’s Supper regularly. An elder will oversee the administration of this ordinance.
ARTICLE IX. COVENANT MEMBER MEETINGS
Section 1: Stewardship Meeting
The church shall hold an annual meeting for the purpose of discussing and affirming the proposed annual financial ministry plan. The elders shall develop and present the annual financial ministry plan.
Section 2: Special Covenant Member Meetings
The elders may call additional meetings to consider matters of a special nature or significance, including matters of discipline. Proper communication of the matter will be disseminated to the church body in order to allow ample time for intercessory prayer, the membership to ask questions, provide feedback, and express
confidence and support for decisions recommended by the elders. An elder will lead the meeting.
Section 3: Affirmation by the Membership
Affirmation shall be a 2/3 vote by the covenant membership present at the meeting and not by proxy. Voting members shall be those covenant members of 18 years old or older. The membership will be asked to affirm the recommendations of the elders for the following items:
– Annual financial ministry plan
– Capital purchases, building or indebtedness activities where the value exceeds 10 percent of the annual financial ministry plan
– Deacon selection
– Calling or dismissing elders
– Changes to the church Bylaws
– Other items the elders believe to be of significant importance
– Exclusion of a member by action of the church
Section 4: Meeting Minutes
Minutes of church covenant member meetings shall be maintained indefinitely.
ARTICLE X. DESIGNATED FUNDS
From time to time the church, at the discretion of the elders, may establish various designated funds to accomplish specific purposes. Contributions to these established funds shall be used for the intended purposes. Contributions marked with any other designation will not create a financial obligation to use the contribution for a particular purpose, but will be deemed as advisory rather than mandatory in nature.
ARTICLE XI. OTHER ITEMS
All other items not specifically covered by these Bylaws will be governed by the policies and procedures of the church.
ARTICLE XII. AMENDMENTS
Recommendation for amendments to the Bylaws may be brought to the elders by the covenant membership. After prayerful consideration by the elders, amendments to the Bylaws may be presented at a special called covenant member meeting provided each proposed amendment has been presented to the membership in writing at least thirty (30) days prior to the meeting. Amendments to the Bylaws shall require a two-thirds (2/3) majority vote of church members present and voting, and not by proxy.