NEHEMIAH BIBLE CHURCH
Church By-Laws | 10-2012
- Introduction—Leadership principles
- Session 1—Nature of the office of Elder
- Session 2—Elder qualifications from the New Testament
- Session 3—Review of Nehemiah Bible Church Statement of Faith and core values
- Session 4—Role of elders at Nehemiah Bible Church including Competent to counsel—review of shepherding principles
- #1–Screening Questionnaire
- #2–Bylaws of Nehemiah Bible Church
- #3–Doctrinal summaries for background for elders
- #4–Governance guidelines
What does the Bible say about church leadership?
Many books have been written about leadership. Leadership in the church must be different than what we see of leadership in the world. Often the difference is in emphasis and vocabulary. The words that are standards for us at NBC in regards to leadership are “spiritual’ and “shepherd”. Those types of words fit the N.T. role for leaders and we aspire to have leaders who follow that model.
Brian Dodd has written a stimulating book on leadership entitled Empowered Church Leadership. In it he describes several characteristics that NBC strives to achieve in our leaders:
1—Leaders are Spirit empowered, Christ centered, and cross reflecting (2 Cor. 10:3-5)
2—Leaders are followers of Jesus and the Holy ppp
3—Leaders will suffer as we lead to the Savior
4—Leaders are vessels of clay
5—Leaders need to be examples
6—Leaders lead in community—equip saints for ministry
8—Leaders are servants
This is a short description which fits a N.T. model of leadership. Our goal at NBC is to be leading as “under-shepherds” of the chief shepherd. We need to strive to make our leadership fit under the terms –servant, shepherd, for the good of others, in humility, and ultimately for the furthering of HIS kingdom and the glory of God.
Session 1 — Nature of the Office of Elder
Nature of the office of elder-Biblically defined
- Terms used in the New Testament
- Elder (presbuteros)—Mature, qualified leaders—Who a man is
- Bishop (episcopos)—Overseer, leader—What the man does
- Pastor (poimen)—Pastor, shepherd, caring, feeding—What the man feels
- Features of eldership (Strauch—p.1-98)
- Pastoral leadership—shepherding—I Pet. 5:1
- Protecting—Acts 20:28
- Feeding the flock—Titus 1:9
- Leading the flock—I Tim. 5:17
- Caring for practical needs—James 5:14
- Shared leadership—I Tim. 5:17
- Term elder is frequently used in the plural (I Pet. 5:1, Phil. 1:1)
- Benefits to plurality
- Balance the weakness of any one person
- Lightening the load
- HOWEVER, can be tedious
- “First among equals” principle—Peter, James
- Male leadership
- Qualified leadership—discussed more fully later
- Servant leadership
- Jesus is an example—John 13:12-14
- Paul is an example—2 Cor. 10:1
- Pastoral leadership—shepherding—I Pet. 5:1
- 2 key elder passages in the New Testament
- I Peter 5:1-4—ATTITUDE OF ELDERS
- Shepherd the flock (exercise oversight)
- NOT of compulsion—BUT—voluntarily—DO GOD’S WILL
- A for gain—BUT—eagerly—RIGHT MOTIVE
- NOT lording—BUT—by example—LIVE RIGHT
- Shepherd the flock (exercise oversight)
- Acts 20:17-30—MISSION STATEMENT OF ELDERS
- Example of Paul—20:17-27
- Humility, tears, trials—19
- Not evasive in teaching truth—20-21
- Sensitive to Spirit’s leading—22-23
- Persevering priorities (ministry over life)—24-27
- Command to elders—28—BIG 2
- Guard yourselves
- Guard the flock
- Holy Spirit has appointed you
- Joe is to oversee and shepherd
- Jesus loves and died for the church
- Warning—false leaders and teachers
- Example of Paul—20:17-27
- I Peter 5:1-4—ATTITUDE OF ELDERS
- 2 key elder passages in the New Testament
Elder Selection Process at Nehemiah Bible Church
- Elders agree upon the process for selection and rough number of new elders needed in the May meeting.
- Call for nominations from congregation as appropriate.
- Selection team reviews list of submitted names plus previous names.
- Team brings in recommendation for new elders for discussion and consensus at the Elder meeting in June
- The selection team will bring in candidates for elder consensus in the July meeting
- Candidates who agree to go through the process will:
- Read Biblical Eldership by A. Strauch
- Submit questionnaire & 3 written references (must include employer, spouse)
- Attend four teaching sessions
- Session 1: Nature of the Offices of Elder and Deacon –
- Session 2 The Qualifications of Elders –
- Session 3 Doctrinal Statement and core values
- Session 4 The role of elder at NBC
- Candidates and their families are interviewed by the selection team. The team also interviews existing elders who are being nominated again
- The slate of new elder nominees will be presented to the church in a Sunday service prior to the annual meeting to give their testimonies.
- Recommended to the congregation for approval at the annual business meeting.
- Elders that are elected will be installed at business meeting
Session 2 — Elder qualifications from the New Testament
Biblical qualifications found in the Scripture: (be prepared to explain the following:) Self evaluation of the qualifications in I Tim and Titus (well along in growth in these areas)
- Above reproach
- One woman man
- Sober minded
- Self controlled
- Able to teach
- Not a drunkard
- Not violent but gentle
- Not quarrelsome
- Not a lover of money
- Able to manage his own household well
- Not a recent convert
- Well thought of by outsiders
In addition to the above qualifications, elders are nominated, interviewed & selected based on the following areas specifically
- Moral Integrity
- Doctrinal beliefs
- Personal giftedness
- Ministry interest & personal desire
- Lead and govern their family well
- Ability to commit time required
Spiritual Life of the Elder
I. In the area of personal faith
1. Do you believe in the necessity of regeneration? Have you been born anew?
2. Do you know God? Is your trust in Christ? Is your life God-centered?
3. Do you use the means of growth such as prayer and Bible study on your own regularly?
II. In the area of support of the church
1. Will you attend the regular worship services of the church?
2. Will you attend regular elder meetings?
III. In the area of stewardship
1. Do you believe in regular financial giving to the church and will you do so as God enables?
2. Will you give of your time as needed to carry on the leadership of the church
IV. In the area of Church Body Life
1. Are you in good relations with the church and its members?
2. Are you in good relations with the other elders?
3. Are you in good relations with the pastors?
V. In the area of seeking the purity, peace and unity of the church
1. Will you try to put down murmurings and complaining?
2. Can you handle them frankly, deal with them fairly and then stand loyally with the majority in their decisions?
VI. In the area of family life
1. Do you have any serious domestic troubles?
2. Do you and your wife know how to hold your tongues against needless spreading gossip or talking critically about others?
3. Are you involved in financial difficulties that might embarrass the church?
4. Do you make an effort at regular family devotions?
5. Do you control your own household as called for in I Tim. 3: 4,5
6. Do you have any areas of sin in your life that would damage your testimony and the name of Christ?
VII. In the area of social life
1. Have you seriously considered the admonitions in Scripture about the dangers of being a stumbling block and the need for specific caution and exemplary conduct in every area for a church officer?
2. To your knowledge are you above reproach in the eyes of your family, community, workplace, etc.?
Session 3 — Review of Nehemiah Bible statement of Faith and Core Values
The issue of doctrinal beliefs is important to us as leaders. We recognize that merely having a written doctrinal statement or creed or confession of faith, does not constitute a full statement of what is true nor does is constitute a true and saving faith. However, we do believe that there are core beliefs that can be stated about God and his work in this world that will help us to monitor our adherence to maintaining God in the center of His church. The following are some of the statements we believe sum up briefly our understanding of God and his actions and therefore help us to guide this community with God at the center. The Scriptures are our guide on this quest, but our center is God as revealed by Jesus and illuminated by the Spirit.
- Articles of Faith of Nehemiah Bible Church
- The mission and values that make NBC and its leadership unique? All local churches have unique facets to their culture. As leaders we must have insight and agreement to, not only the doctrinal basis of NBC, but we must also agree to the mission and values of this particular church. This section is very important—particularly for leadership. We must be unified around our theology, but our unity must also be seen in our agreement as to the cultural setting in which we will carry out our mission. We all must whole heartedly agree with our mission statement and the accompanying strategy and values statements,
- Mission Statement: “Igniting a passion to follow Jesus”
- Three strategies to accomplish the mission
- Exalting Christ
- Experiencing community
- Embracing your calling
- Six Core Values
Session 4 — Role of elders at Nehemiah Bible Church
- Our role as elders
- The elders own the vision/direction of the church
- Budget oversight
- Strategic plans
- The elders are responsible, before God, to shepherd the flock:
- Small group oversight
- Church member care and discipline
- The elders actively lead the ministry of prayer
- Lead in corporate prayer
- Praying for healing
- The elders are responsible for ensuring sound doctrine and teaching
- Doctrinal statements
- Pulpit ministry
- The elders oversee the work of the saints in ministry
- Ministry directions and fit to vision
- Elder pastoral selection
- Equipping the saints for ministry
- The elders seek to be an example to the flock through the integrity and godliness of their lives.
- The elders own the vision/direction of the church
- Elder’s specific responsibilities
- Regularly attend Sunday morning worship
- Regular prayer for and over the body at Nehemiah Bible. Lead corporate prayer during Sunday AM services.
- Be available to do the work of the ministry in areas of giftedness
- Shepherd the flock by caring for leaders and members of flock groups under their care and through other ministries as God enables.
- Oversight of the ministries at Nehemiah Bible
- Active participation at monthly elder meetings and monthly elder accountability
- In regular accountability
- Committed to regular personal and family devotions
Nehemiah Bible Church
This is one part of our early screening and interviewing process. The following set of questions is intended to help us clarify several areas of understanding regarding you and your professional/personal fitness for candidacy with Nehemiah Bible Church in an elder role. Please respond as candidly and concisely as possible, but do not be afraid to express yourself. While this is not a writing assignment it is important that you express yourself as clearly as possible. The Elders will be reviewing this information as part of the interview process.
CONFIDENTIALITY STATEMENT: The information you provide is confidential and for the use of the Elders of Nehemiah Church only, within the context of process and will not be disseminated in any way outside of the process.
- Briefly share your Christian testimony.
- Please share your call to be an elder.
- How do you lead and shepherd your family?
- Does your life reflect the qualifications to be an elder listed in Timothy & Titus
- What are your major areas of gifting that God might be able to use as an elder?
- How have you used these gifts in ministry in the past?
- What brings you the deepest joy in church ministry?
- What is your greatest desire in life?
- What is the most difficult thing you have ever had to personally overcome?
- What are your favorite things to read? (List a few of the books you have read in the last year outside of the Bible).
- Please describe your method of teaching.
- Describe how ‘shepherding the flock’ fits into your ministry experience?
- Describe what spiritual disciplines you have in place in your life.
CODE OF BYLAWS
NEHEMIAH BIBLE, INC.
We, the members of Nehemiah Bible Church, Inc., desiring to faithfully serve the Lord Jesus Christ, to foster the spirit of harmony, to promote good order in the Church and to better set forth our position before the world, ordain and establish the following articles to which we voluntarily submit ourselves together with the Confession of Faith of the Church.
ARTICLE I – NAME
This assembly shall be known as Nehemiah Bible Church, Inc., and is herein referred to simply as the “Church.”
ARTICLE II – PURPOSE
The purpose of the Church shall be:
- To exalt the Lord Jesus Christ as the Son of God, the Savior of the world, and the Head of His Church. (Matthew 16:1318; Romans 10:811; Ephesians 5:23; Colossians 1:1519)
- To establish a local congregation of believers patterned after the New Testament church and obedient to the teaching of the Scriptures.
- To build and advance the universal Church of which Christ is the Head by:
- Teaching believers the doctrines of Scripture and training them for the work of the ministry. (II Timothy 2:15; Ephesians 4:1112)
- Providing a place where believers can assemble to worship the Lord. (Hebrews 10:25)
- Preaching the Gospel of Christ to the lost and leading them to the Savior. (Matthew 28:1820; Acts 1:8)
ARTICLE III – ASSOCIATION
The Church, recognizing Christ as its Head and the Scripture as its only rule for faith and practice, shall not be subject to any other authority. It may associate in fellowship with those of like faith and practice and may declare itself in agreement with others in a common cause, but under no circumstances shall such association be construed as bringing the Church under the authority of any such person, group, or body.
ARTICLE IV – MEMBERSHIP
Section 1 Qualification
Membership in the Church shall be restricted and limited to regenerated believers who have received baptism by immersion (except in extraordinary circumstances) subsequent to regeneration.
Section 2 Application
Applicants for membership shall be interviewed by the Elders, or their desingees, concerning their salvation, baptism and Christian life. Applicants must complete an informational course as designated by the Elders. Additionally, Elders shall receive from the applicants their intention to (a) support the program of the Church; (b) abide by and be governed by the Confession of Faith and these Bylaws; (c) be in substantial agreement with the Confession of Faith of the Church and; (d) support the Church with financial contributions and to personally attend its activities. The interviewers shall make a recommendation to the Elder Council for the applicant’s nomination for membership. Otherwise, the applicant’s name shall not come before the Church members.
Section 3 Acceptance
Applicants shall be received into membership of the Church on a majority vote of the members in attendance at any regular service or at a duly called special or annual meeting of the Church, and pursuant to Article VIII, Section 3 of these Bylaws.
Section 4 Restoration
The Elders shall seek to aid erring and delinquent members to restoration. They may recommend to the Church members proper action in relation to erring or delinquent members who refuse to show evidence of repentance. A majority vote of the members in a special or annual meeting of the congregation, or in a regular service, shall be sufficient for removal of the name of a member from the membership rolls of the Church and any other final steps of discipline determined prudent in the reasonably discretion of a majority of the Elders. The procedures set forth in Matthew 18:1517 and I Corinthians 5 shall be followed. If an unrepentant member is removed from the Church membership, all contact with that person from that point forward (except by family members) must be for the sake of restoration. All members shall submit to the discipline process if and when it is administered, and no member shall attempt to remove him or her self from membership, pursuant to Section 5 of this Article or otherwise, to avoid such process.
Section 5 Exclusion
Members who do not attend the regular services of the Church for a period of six months shall be presumed to have excluded themselves from membership in the Church, unless otherwise determined by the Elders or their designees. Exceptions to this rule shall apply in cases of illness or infirmity, missionary and Christian service, absence due to military service and temporary employment not involving a permanent relocation. The names of members who have excluded themselves may be brought, without notice to such members, before the Church congregation at any business meeting and a vote to remove their name(s) from the membership roll taken. A simple majority of the voting members present shall order removal.
Section 6 – Internal Matters
Determinations of the internal affairs of the Church are ecclesiastical matters and shall be determined exclusively by the Church’s own rules and procedures, as amended from time to time.
Section 6 – Membership Rights
- A member, upon five-business days prior written request made upon the Church, may inspect, but not copy or remove, the most recent financial statements of the Church that have been reviewed or audited by an independent CPA firm, the minutes of the proceedings of Church meetings and Elder meetings, subject to the right of the Church to redact confidential information.
- A member may not, under any circumstances, inspect or copy any record relating to member discipline, individual contributions to the Church, any non-public list of names and addresses of Church members, or the accounting books and financial records of the Church, including, but not limited to personally identifiable information such as compensation, leave, or benefits.
- Nothwithstanding anything herein to the contrary, the Church shall have the discretion, exercised in good faith, to redact from any records information that the Elders reasonably believe should remain confidential.
ARTICLE V – GOVERNMENT AND OFFICERS
Section 1- Congregational Authority
The Church observes congregational polity that finds its authority in the majority vote of the congregation. The congregation shall, as it deems advisable from time to time, assign responsibilities and delegate authority concerning those responsibilities to its officers and auxiliary organizations in order to carry out its mission in an orderly fashion, but only in accordance with these Bylaws and the Articles of Incorporation. Further, the groups of members serving the congregation, including the Elders and the Deacons, shall organize themselves so that majority rule governs their respective activities. However, no amendments to these Bylaws shall limit the congregation’s responsibility or authority to (a) approve the expenditure of funds under the control of the Church, whether by predetermined budget limitation or individual approvals; (b) to elect those who will serve as Elders and Deacons; and (c) to administer Church discipline.
Section 2 – Council of Elders; Pastors; Deacons
The Council of Elders shall serve as the Board of Directors. Elders shall be responsible for the general oversight and teaching of members. Pastors (not all of whom may be elders) shall be employees who are responsible for such things as discipleship, instruction, and oversight for various ministries in the church. Deacons shall be responsible for serving members.
- Number and Term – The Elders shall determine the number of men who shall serve on the Council after taking into considerartion the number it reasonably believes is necessary or useful to adequately do the work of the ministry. The Elder Council shall always have more non-staff Elders than permanent staff Elders as voting members. Should the Church have more permanent staff Elders than non-staff Elders, the Council shall determine which staff Elders will serve as voting members and which staff Elders will be non-voting. Elders shall be elected to three-year terms and after serving a full three-year term shall be eligible for nomination and re-election unless the Elder no longer meets the criteria set forth in Section 2(A)(4) of this Article.
- Nomination and Election
- Candidates for the office of Elder shall be nominated by seventy-five percent (75%) of the voting Elders present at a duly called Elder meeting or by not fewer than 5 members of the Church who have signed a nominating petition and presented the petition to the Elders not less than sixty (60) days prior to the annual Church business meeting. Elder nominees must meet the criteria and qualifications set forth in Section 2(A)(4) of this Article.
- Elders shall be elected individually by the members. The approval of seventy-five percent (75%) of the members present at a duly called Church business meeting shall be necessary to elect each Elder
- Responsibilities – The Elders shall be responsible for overseeing and administering the affairs of the congregation, and shall assign responsibilities to officers and respective members of their number to accomplish assigned tasks and offices. Elder oversignt and adminsitration shall include, but not be limited to, the following:
- nominate Pastors for consideration and approval by members
- appoint officers of the Church;
- administer employees of the Church;
- nominate Deacons for consideration and approval by the members;
- direct the Deacons;
- nominate Elders for consideration and approval by the members;
- appoint from their number a Chairman of all meetings of the Elders and of the congregation; and
- all other lawful actions in furtherance of the Church’s purposes.
- Eligibility – Any man who meets the following criteria may be nominated to serve as an Elder:
- satisfy those requirements set forth in I Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1: 5-9;
- be twenty-one (21) years of age; and
- be a voting member of the congregation in good standing for at least one year prior to election, or, in the case of a Pastor, commit to become a member upon election as an Elder.
- Removal; Vacancies – Elders may be removed from the office of Elder for unbiblical conduct or abandonment of office, as determined by the Elders. An Elder shall be removed upon a vote of seventy-five percent (75%) of the remaining voting members of the Elder Council present at a duly called meeting. In the event an Elder is removed or resigns before his term expires, the Elders may nominate a qualified member to fill the vacancy for the remainder of the term. Such nominee shall be brought before the congregation as set forth in Section 2(A)(2)(b) of this Article. In the event the Elders elect to increase the number of Elders on the Council, the Elders shall nominate qualified members to fill the new seats on the Council. Such w shall be brought before the congregation as set forth in Section 2(A)(2) of this Article.
- Regular Meetings – Unless otherwise determined by the Chairman, a regular meeting of the Elder Council shall be held monthly on any day designated not less than seven (7) days in advance by the Chairman of the Elders. The Elder Council may provide by resolution the time and place within Marion County or Hamilton County, Indiana for the holding of additional regular meetings of the Council without q notice than the resolution.
- Special Meetings – Special meetings of the Elder Council may be called by or at the request of the Chairman, the President or 25% of the Elder Council. The persons authorized to call special meetings of the Council may fix any place within Marion County or Hamilton County, Indiana as the place for holding any special meeting of the Elder Council.
- Notice – Notice of any special meeting of the Elder Council shall be given to each Elder at least two (2) days previously by written notice delivered personally, faxed, or by email. If notice is sent by postal mail, such notice shall be deposited in the US mail first class or by next-day delivery, not less than seven (7) days before such special meeting. Notice shall be sent to the Elder’s last known address as shown by the records of the Church. Any Elder may waive notice of any meeting. The attendance of an Elder at any meeting shall constitute a waiver of notice of such meeting, except where an Elder attends a meeting for the express purpose of objecting to the transaction of any business because the meeting is not lawfully called or conducted. Neither the business to be transacted at, nor the purpose of, any regular or special meeting of the Council need be specified in the notice of waiver of notices of such meeting, unless specifically required by law or by these Bylaws.
- Quorum – A majority plus of the Elder Council shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business at any meeting of the Council; but if less than a majority of the Elders are present at the meeting, a majority of the Elders present may adjourn the meeting from time to time without further notice.
- Manner of Acting – The act of a majority of the Elders present at a meeting at which a quorum is present shall be the act of the Elder Council, unless the act of a greater number is required by law or by these Bylaws.
- Informal Action by Elders – Any action required by law to be taken at a meeting of the Elders, or any action which may be taken at a meeting of Elders, may be taken without a meeting if a consent in writing, setting out the action so taken, shall be signed by all of the Elders.
- The Lead Pastor will be the main preaching pastor and responsible for leading in the development of vision.
- Pastors shall be those men elected by the members and employed by the Church in recognition of their call by God to lead and teach. A Pastor may be elected to serve with regard to a specific role, such as Pastor of Education.
- The Elders will be responsible to find candidates, either from among Church staff or Church membership or external to it, to fill pastoral roles as needed (including the Lead Pastor and any other positions deemed necessary by the Elders). After due process a 75% of the voting Elders shall be required to nominate a candidate for the pastorate to Church members.
- The candidate will become a Pastor upon the approval of seventy-five percent (75%) of the members present at a duly called Church business meeting as set forth in Article VIII, Section 2.
- Any Pastor’s term of service will be open ended until terminated by resignation or a 75% vote of the voting Elders at a duly called meeting of the Elder Council for that purpose.
- A Pastor may only become an Elder through the process designated for the nomination and election of Elder as set forth in Section 2(A)(2) of this Article.
- The term of a Pastor as an Elder shall be the same as any other Elder as set forth in Section 2(A)(1) of this Article.
- Number and Term – The Deacons shall be elected, by a 75% vote of the members of the Church present at a duly called Church business meeting, in sufficient number to provide for the needs of the Church membership, shall serve for a term of three (3) years, and be eligible for reelection. In addition to nomination by the Elders as provided in this Article V, Deacons may be nominated by not fewer than 5 members of the Church who have signed a nominating petition and presented the petition to the Elders not less than sixty (60) days prior to the annual Church business meeting.
- To be qualified to be nominated and serve as a Deacon, each nominee and Deacon must:
- meet the requirements of I Timothy 3:8-13;
- be willing to accept instruction, training and oversight from the Elders; and
- be at least twenty-one (21) years of age and a voting member in good standing for at least one (1) year.
- Responsibilities – The Deacons will be servants of the Church under the authority of the Elders. The Elders will give them direction and areas of responsibility. These areas may include:
- caring for the needs of the people; and
- caring for the physical property of the Church.
- Removal; Vacancies – Deacons may be removed from office for unbiblical conduct or abandonment of office as determined by a 75% vote of the voting members of the Elder Council present at a duly called meeting, or as determined by the President and upon written notice from the President to the removed Deacon. In the event a Deacon is removed or resigns before his or her term expires, the Elders may, at the discretion of the Elders, nominate a qualified member to fill the vacancy, which nominee shall be brought before the congregation pursuant to Section 2(C)(1) of this Article.
Section 3 – Officers
- Appointment; Removal – The officers of the Church shall be its President, Secretary and Treasurer, and such Vice Presidents and deputy secretaries and deputy treasurers as the Elders shall from time to time appoint, to have the authority and perform the duties prescribed by the Elder Council. All officers of the Church shall be appointed by the Council of Elders from among the members of the Church who are in good standing. One person may hold two or more offices and each officer shall serve until his or her successor has been appointed, unless the officer is no longer a member, no longer a member in good standing, or it is in the best interests of the Church to remove the officer, as determined by the Elders, in which event the officer shall be removed from office immediately. The Elders shall appoint qualified members to fill any vacancies in the offices of the Church.
- Lead Pastor – Candidates for the position of Lead Pastor shall receive a memorandum of engagement that sets forth the candidate’s duties, responsibilities, range of benefits and other material terms of employment. The memorandum of engagement shall first be approved by a 75% vote of the voting members of the Elder Council present at a duly called Elder meeting and then be made available to the congregation within a reasonable period of time before the members vote on the question of whether or not to employ the Lead Pastor. Subsequent modifications may be made in the memorandum of engagement by the Elders, provided that any material modifications shall be presented to the congregation in any business meeting. The material modifications shall be deemed approved by the congregation upon a vote of seventy-five percent (75%) percent of the members present at a duly called meeting.
- President – The Lead Pastor of the Church shall serve as the President. In the absence of a Lead Pastor, the Elders shall appoint a President from among the Elders. The President shall be the principal executive officer of the Church and shall in general supervise and control all of the business and affairs of the Church. He may sign, with the secretary or any other proper officer of the Church authorized by the Elders, any deeds, mortgages, bonds, contracts, or other instruments that the Elder Council has authorized to be executed, except in cases where the signing and execution shall be expressly delegated by the Elder Council or by these Bylaws or by statute to some other officer or agent of the Church; and in general he shall perform all duties incident to the office of President and such other duties as may be prescribed by the Council of Elders.
- VicePresident – The VicePresident shall perform all duties incumbent upon the President during the absence or disability of the President and perform such other duties as this code of Bylaws may require or the Council of Elders may prescribe.
- Treasurer – The Treasurer shall have charge and custody of and be responsible for all funds and securities of the Church, receive and give receipts for money due and payable to the Church from any source, and deposit all such moneys in the name of the Church in such banks, trust companies or other depositories as shall be determined by the Church. The Treasurer shall, in general, perform all the duties incident to the office of Treasurer, and such other duties as may be assigned to him or her by the President or by the Elder Council.
- Secretary – The Secretary shall keep the minutes of the meeting of the Elder Council in books provided for that purpose, see that all notices are given in accordance with the provisions of these By-laws or as required by law, be custodian of the corporate records, and in general perform all duties incident to the office of Secretary and such other duties as may be assigned by the President or by the Elder Council.
- Assistant Treasurers and Assistant Secretaries – The assistant Treasurers and assistant Secretaries, in general, shall perform the duties assigned to them by the Treasurer or the Secretary, the President, and the Elder Council.
ARTICLE VI – FINANCES
Section 1 Fiscal Year
The fiscal year shall coincide with the calendar year.
Section 2 Disbursements
- All monies shall be disbursed by check, except amounts of fifty ($50) dollars or less, which may be paid out of a petty cash fund accounted for by vouchers.
- Items requiring expenditures over four thousand dollars ($4,000) not covered by the budget approved by the members (the “Financial Budget”) shall be approved by a majority of the members present during a duly called business meeting.
- Items requiring expenditures less than four thousand dollars ($4,000) not covered by the Financial Budget shall be approved by a majority vote of the voting Elders present at a duly called meeting.
Section 3 Funds
- All regular funds for the Church shall be raised by voluntary tithes and offerings.
- Special accounts created by vote of the members may be funded by loans, mortgages, or bonds.
- The Church will engage a qualified accounting firm or otherwise qualified individual to conduct an audit or a financial review at the conclusion of each fiscal year. The Treasurer will arrange for the audit.
Section 4 Allocation of Funds
The Church will designate not less than ten percent (10%) and strive toward fifty percent (50%) of its general fund giving for benevolent and missionary work.
Section 5 – Budgeted Staff Positions
The Church may only hire staff to the extent its budget includes funds for such a position. The members shall vote to adopt the Financial Budget at the Church’s annual meeting and material revisions to the Financial Budget shall be adopted upon the vote of the members at a specially called meeting or a regularly scheduled service. Full-time paid staff (director level or above) other than full time Pastors who must be approved by the members shall be first approved by the Elder Council. All other positions included in the budget will be recruited and approved by the appropriate person(s) on staff.
ARTICLE VII – MINISTRIES
Ministries may be formed as deemed appropriate by the Elders to carry out the ministry and fellowship of the Church. Such ministries as Sunday School, Awana, youth groups, flock groups, and others established from time to time, shall report to and be under the supervision of the Elder Council and its designees.
ARTICLE VIII – CHURCH BUSINESS MEETINGS
Church business may be conducted any time the Church meets as stipulated below. The teaching of the Word of God shall govern the conduct of business in all sessions. Where the Bible is silent, Robert’s Rules of Order shall be the guide.
Section 1 Annual Business Meeting
- The annual business meeting of the Church shall be held during a Sunday service in November.
- The meeting shall be for the election of Elders and Deacons, the approval of the Financial Budget for the next fiscal year, and any other business that shall be on the agenda published at least two (2) Sundays prior to the meeting.
- The meeting must be preceded by formal announcement from the pulpit on at least two Sundays prior to the date of the meeting and the date must appear in printed or electronic media for at least two (2) Sundays prior to the date of the meeting.
Section 2 Business Meetings
Subject to Article IX, special business meetings may be called by the Elders at any time, or by petition of at least five per cent (5%) of those members eligible to vote at a business meeting, with notification at least two weeks prior to the date of the meeting, which notification shall include the proposed agenda for the meeting. Notification for a special business meeting shall be issued in the same manner it would be issued for the annual business meeting.
Section 3 – Limited Business Meetings
Limited business meetings for the sole purpose of voting new members into the congregation may be convened during any regular church service without prior notification.
Section 4 Eligible Voters
The voting age shall be eighteen (18) years or older except in cases where the law may require the voter to be of legal age.
Section 5 Quorums
A quorum shall be the members present at a duly called Church business meeting with that number being no less than 10 voting members. Notification of a business meeting must be issued via a formal announcement from the pulpit on at least two Sundays prior to the date of the meeting and the date must appear in the Sunday bulletin and the Church website for at least two (2) Sundays prior to the date of the meeting. Absentee ballots will be available upon request of a voting member.
ARTICLE IX – AMENDMENTS
- The Confession of Faith and the Bylaws of Nehemiah Bible Church can be amended only during a duly called annual or special business meeting as set forth in Article VIII, Section 2.
- Copies of the proposed amendment(s) or change(s) must be provided for each voting member of the Church two (2) weeks prior to the business meeting.
- The approval of seventy-five percent (75%) of members present at a duly called Church business meeting shall be required for passing any amendments.
ARTICLE X – INDEMNITY CLAUSE
Members of the Church shall agree not to pursue civil litigation against the Church corporation, its members, its officers, its paid staff, its Elders, its Deacons, or its Pastors. This provision will not prevent a member from pursuing a claim for personal injury against an insurance company.
ARTICLE XI – DISSOLUTION CLAUSE
In the event of the dissolution of the Church corporation, all of its debts shall be fully satisfied before any assets are otherwise disbursed. None of its net assets or holdings shall be divided among members or other individuals but shall be irrevocably designated by congregational vote prior to dissolution to such notforprofit religious corporations as are in agreement with the letter and spirit of the Bylaws, Confession of Faith adopted by this Church and in conformity with the requirements of Section 501(c)(3) of the United States Internal Revenue Service Code of 1954. In the event a quorum of members is not achieved after two (2) attempts for the purpose of voting on matters under this Article XI, then the Elders shall designate the distribution of the Church assets and holdings.