Chesterfield Community Church

Loving God, Loving People, Serving the World

 

BYLAWS

I. Church Membership

 

A.  Qualifications:

Membership of Chesterfield Community Church shall consist of people who have made a profession of their faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, and who, having been scripturally baptized by immersion, unless physically unable, and are in agreement with the Articles of Faith, and Covenant of the church.

 

B.  Reception:

Membership in the church may be attained by majority vote of the church in any of its regular business meetings and in one of the following manners:

· By scriptural baptism by immersion after profession of faith in Jesus Christ as personal Lord and Savior.

· By transfer of church letter from another Baptist church.

· By a statement of faith of their prior experience of conversion and scriptural baptism by immersion in another evangelical church of like faith and practice.

· By restoration to the church membership after having been dropped.

 

C.  Termination:

Membership in this church shall be terminated when a member:

· Requests a letter of transfer to join another Baptist church.

· Is dropped from the roll of membership when he or she joins another kind of church. A letter of transfer is not necessary.

· Dies

· Is dismissed by a vote of the church due to reasons and circumstances provided in the church discipline. The pastor and deacons will do all they can to counsel the member for restoration prior to action of dismissal or a request of the member to be dismissed from the church membership.

 

D.  Orientation of New Members:

Candidates for membership and new members need to attend the Church Membership Class to learn and understand the privileges and responsibilities of members to God and the church. Members in good standing shall have the right to a voice and vote in all church transactions and shall have the right and privileges to full participation in the life and work of the church. It shall be the duty of church members to uphold the Articles of Faith, Constitution and Bylaws, Covenant, and Mission of the Church.

 

II.    Church Officers

All church officers must be members of the church in good standing. All church officers (except pastor, church staff, and deacons) are to be nominated to the church and elected by the church to serve according to the same terms of rotation as detailed under Section III. Church Committees.

 

A.  The Pastor:

The qualifications for pastor shall be consistent with those listed in 1Timothy 3:1-7, which describe the pastor as one who is an honorable man, faithful to his current wife, exhibiting self-control, living wisely and with good reputation.  His training, skills, and experiences are needed in this area of leadership.

His responsibilities:

· These generally fall into the following areas: Preaching, teaching, pastoral counseling, administration, planning, and guiding the church to grow and fulfill its purposes.

· He shall lead the church, the organizations, and all leaders of the church in performing their tasks in worship, proclamation, education, and evangelism.

· The pastor shall be an ex officio member of all church standing committees, except the Pastor's Selection Committee.

· He shall assist the deacons in securing pulpit supply for times he is absent from the pulpit.

 

Call:

A pastor shall be chosen and called whenever a vacancy occurs.

A Pastor's Selection Committee shall be appointed by the church to seek out a suitable pastor and this committee's recommendation will serve as a nomination.

The Pastor's Selection Committee will recommend only one candidate at a time.

The pastor's election shall take place at a meeting called for that purpose, of which at least one week notice shall be given to the members.

An affirmative vote of three-fourths (3/4) of those present is necessary for a choice.

 

Terms of Service:

The chosen pastor shall serve until the relationship is terminated by either his request or that of the church. In either case, at least thirty (30) days’ notice shall be given unless otherwise mutually agreed.

There shall be a written mutual contract/agreement made between the pastor and the church.

 

B.  Church Staff:

This church shall employ or call staff, as it shall need.

Staff members other than that of the pastor shall be recommended for employment by the Church Council or a special committee.

A written job description and mutual contract/agreement will be prepared when the need for church staff is determined.

 

C.   Deacons:

Number, term of office:

There shall be five (5) deacons for the first 50 resident member families and one (1) for each additional 10 member families thereof. Deacons shall be elected for a term of service of three years, or for a longer term of service as voted upon by the church membership.

 

Qualifications:

A deacon must meet the qualifications listed in 1Timothy 3: 8-13 and Acts 6:1-5. These passages are interpreted using the Greek New Testament that clarify the original meaning of the Scriptures to mean that a candidate for the office of deacon is presently and currently “husbanding one wife” and is a “one woman man” according to Mark 10: 6 – 12, Matthew 5: 31-32, Matthew 5: 27 – 28, and Mark 11: 25 – 26, shall demonstrate an exemplary Christian testimony in private, family, and public life, is a committed Christian leader and partner of the pastor, supporter and promoter of the church faith, practice, programs, and ministries

 

Election:

When a deacon vacancy or the need to add to the active deacon body occurs, the chairman of the active deacon body shall announce that an election of a deacon will be held during a named church business meeting. The active deacon body will enlist eligible and qualified men and recommend them to the church in business session to fill the vacancy or new position. The duties, qualifications, and importance of the office of a deacon will be interpreted to the candidates and be reviewed to the church prior to the scheduled election of deacons.

 

Ordination:

Selection, election, and ordination of deacons is a privilege of the local church. When ordination of deacons is planned by the church, the church shall authorize the pastor to assemble a council to examine the candidates concerning their fitness to serve as deacons. The council directed to examine the deacons shall be composed of the pastor and ordained deacons and invited ordained pastors and deacons of neighboring sister Baptist churches. When the council recommends the ordination of deacons, the ordination service shall be scheduled and led by the pastor.

 

Duties:

Deacons elected by the church to the active deacon body shall elect the chairman of the active deacon body. The active deacon body is to serve as a committee of counsel to assist the pastor concerning the progress and welfare of the church. Assist the pastor in ministering to the members of the church by implementing a Deacon Family Ministry Plan. Seek to solve any fellowship problem of the church. Assist the pastor in administering the church ordinances.

Serve as church membership committee. In the absence of the pastor, the chairman of the active deacon body shall serve as an advisory member to all organizations, departments, and committees of the church.

 

D.     Moderator:

The church moderator may be the pastor or a lay leader elected to this position. The moderator shall preside at all regular and called business meetings of the church.

In the absence of the moderator, the chairman of deacons shall preside at the regular and called business meetings of the church. In the absence of the moderator and the chairman of deacons and if a quorum of the church is present as defined by the church Bylaws, the church clerk shall call the church to order and an acting moderator will be elected by a majority of the active members present and voting.

 

E.   Clerk:

The church clerk shall be nominated by the Nominating Committee and elected by the church to serve and be responsible for keeping an accurate record of all business meeting transactions of the church and preparing the annual report to the association. He or she shall keep a register of the names and addresses of the church members, with dates of admission, dismissal, dedication of children, and deaths of members of the church family. He or she shall issue letters of dismissal voted by the church and write letters of transfer of membership, prepare written reports of the church, and keep an accurate history of the church. An assistant church clerk may be elected or the clerk's responsibilities or a portion thereof may be delegated to a church secretary as approved by the church in business session if and when the church can afford to employ one.

 

F.   Treasurer:

The church treasurer shall be nominated by the Nominating Committee and elected by the church to serve as custodian of all moneys of the church and shall disburse these moneys by checks as authorized by the church. The church treasurer shall keep, at all times, an itemized account of all receipts and disbursements and shall render a monthly and annual written report of this account to the church. The church treasurer's records shall be audited annually by an Auditing Team that is annually elected by the church from recommendations made by the Nominating Committee. The treasurer shall also be responsible for submitting all of the treasurer's records to an independent professional accountant for an audit that is to be completed at the conclusion of a treasurer’s term of office prior to a new treasurer taking office.

 

G.   Assistant Church Treasurer

The assistant church treasurer shall be nominated by the Nominating Committee and elected by the church to serve as backup to the church treasurer in the absence of the church treasurer.

 

H.   Financial Recorder:

The church Financial Recorder shall be nominated by the Nominating Committee and elected by the church and shall properly credit each contributor for their tithes and offerings. The church Financial Recorder shall be responsible for preparing and mailing or hand delivering to donors a semi-annual and annual record of contribution made by the donors.

 

I.    Trustees:

At least three (3) trustees shall be nominated by the Nominating Committee and elected by the church to hold in trust the property of the church.

They shall have no power to buy, sell, mortgage, lease, or transfer any property of the church without a specific vote of the church authorizing each action.

It shall be the function of the trustees to sign any, and all legal documents involving the sale, mortgage, purchase, or lease of church property or any other legal documents requiring the signature of the trustees for and in behalf of the church. No trustee shall be assigned or assume any power or authority greater than any other member of the church other than as noted in sections 1 – 3 above. No trustee shall grant nor withhold permission or action required to fulfill the duly authorized direction approved by the church membership in business session.

 

J.    Church Council:

The Church Council shall have as regular members the pastor, Minister of Music, Minister of Youth, church clerk, church treasurer, chairman of the active deacon body, Sunday School Director, Discipleship Director, and chairperson of each church standing committee. The duties of the Church Council shall be to recommend to the church objectives and goals; review the coordinated program plans recommended by the pastor, church officers, organizations, and committees; to recommend to the church the use of leadership, calendar time, and other resources according to program priorities; and to evaluate program achievements in terms of church goals and objectives. All matters agreed on by the Church Council calling for action not already provided for shall be referred to the church to be voted upon.

 

K.   Vacancies:

In case of vacancy in any office, except that of the pastor, deacons, and staff members, the vacancy shall be filled by the church at a regular or special meeting as soon as possible after such vacancy has occurred.

 

III. Church Committees

 

All church committee members shall be elected by the church with the consent of the nominee. All committee members are to serve no more than three (3) consecutive years and then must rotate off the committee for one (1) year before being considered again eligible to be reelected to the committee. All committee members are to serve on a three year rotation system with one third (1/3) of each committee’s membership rotating off each year with the same number of newly nominated and elected members coming onto the committee to serve. Members of the same household may not serve on the same committee at the same time and when a member rotates off a committee, the vacancy so created may not be filled by a member of the same household as the member rotating off until a period of one (1) year has elapsed. Each committee is to meet prior to the September meeting of the Church Council each year in order to elect a chairperson to lead the committee and to represent the committee on the Church Council. Each chairperson is to attend all Church Council meetings or send a representative.

 

A.  Nominating Committee:

Church members to serve on the Nominating Committee are to be recommended to the church for approval as follows: One (1) person to be nominated by the Pastor, Two (2) persons to be nominated by the deacons, Two (2) persons to be nominated by the Church Council.

The Nominating Committee shall be responsible throughout the year for nominating to the church, people to serve on the other committees of the church and to serve as the volunteer officers of the church. The Nominating Committee is to nominate candidates to the church for election to fill volunteer officer and committee vacancies created by expiration of term of office, by death, by resignation, by removal, or creation of new positions. Each person contacted shall be informed of his or her responsibilities in writing.

 

B.  All Other Church Committees

Nominations of church members to serve on all other committees are to be from the Nominating Committee or from the floor of the church in business session. There shall be a minimum of three (3) committee members to serve on each committee along with a chairperson. Any committee member elected to fill any vacancy shall serve the unexpired term of the position vacated. Each committee chairperson shall submit an annual budget request to the Stewardship Committee.

 

1.     Stewardship Committee:

This committee shall have the responsibility of assuring that the adopted budget is adhered to. It shall recommend financial policies to the church and shall foster and promote programs of stewardship. In consultation with the Pastor, Church Council, and all committees and teams for the new church year, it shall draw up and submit to the church an annual budget during the month of October for the next fiscal calendar year beginning January1 and ending December 31. This committee shall be responsible for ensuring completion of audits of the treasurer's records including an annually required internal church audit.  This committee shall also be responsible for securing an independent professional accountant to conduct a financial audit at the conclusion of a treasurer’s term of office prior to a new treasurer taking office. This committee shall be responsible for ensuring timely submission to the church of reports of all audits conducted.

 

2.   Teller Committee

(a)    The Tellers shall be nominated by the Nominating Committee and elected by the church and be responsible for seeing that all tithes and offerings are properly received, counted, and deposited in the church's bank account.

(b)    The Tellers shall complete a record of receipts each time an offering is collected.

(c)    For all loose checks the Tellers shall record the donor person’s name and check number received by the church on a loose check record and shall submit the loose check record to the Church Financial recorder to allow proper credit to the person’s donor record.

 

 

3.   Properties Committee:

This committee shall be responsible in matters to relating to properties administration. Throughout the year, this committee shall give attention to and study the condition and state of repair and appearance of church owned and/or leased building and grounds and equipment therein, making arrangements for repairs and improvements as authorized by the church and included in the church budget. All matters of major repairs, changes, improvements or items of equipment not included in the budget shall be referred to the Stewardship Committee for fiscal review. Purchase of equipment shall be through this committee unless another committee is directed specifically to make studies, report to the church, and make necessary arrangements as the church decides.

 

4.     Missions Committee

This committee shall be responsible for discovering possibilities for starting new congregations. If a new church mission is approved by the church, this committee will work out a mutual agreement with the church and mission congregation(s) as approved by the church. It shall seek also possibilities for local, state, national and global mission projects, share findings with church program organizations, and serve the church in establishing and conducting such mission projects. This committee shall lead the church in its mission-related ministries or programs involvement with the Middle District Baptist Association, Virginia Baptist Mission Board, Baptist General Association of Virginia, Southern Baptist Convention, and other mission work as directed by the church. The Church Missions Committee membership is to be the Pastor, and Men’s and Women’s Missions Teams Directors.

 

5.   Other committees and teams may be formed as needed by the church.

 

V. Church Meetings

 

A.     Worship Services:

The church shall meet regularly each Sunday morning for the worship of God, for preaching, instruction, evangelism, and on other days and times as approved by the church for prayer, Bible study, discipleship training, new member training, or fellowship. These meetings will be open to the entire membership of the church and for all people and shall be conducted under the direction of the pastor or designated church officer in the absence of the pastor.

 

B.     Regular Business Meetings:

Regular business meetings shall be held on the second Wednesday of each quarter. The agenda shall be circulated or made known to the church one week prior to the business meeting.

 

C.     Special Business Meeting:

A special called business meeting may be called by the pastor, or by a majority of the Church Council, or by action of the church in business session to consider special matters of significant nature. A one-week written notice or announcement must be given for the specially called business meeting.

 

D.     Quorum:

A quorum consists of at least one-fourth of the active membership roll of the church who in attendance at a business meeting, provided it is a stated meeting or one that has been properly called.

 

E.     Parliamentary Rules:

Robert's Rules of Order (revised edition) is adopted as the authority for parliamentary rules of procedure for all business meetings of the church and for all other meetings that demand voting of the church members, including committee meetings.

 

VI. Licensing and Ordaining to the Gospel Ministry

 

Licensing: Any member of the church who has shown by his life and has felt the call to the gospel ministry may by vote of the membership at a regular meeting be licensed by the church to the Christian ministry.

 

Ordination: When a church of like faith and order shall have called as its pastor a member of this church, who possesses the scriptural qualifications and has demonstrated by his skills and training readiness for ordination to the work of the gospel ministry, and shall have requested in writing that the member be ordained to the gospel ministry, the church shall consider such request and if approved by a majority vote of the church in business session, the pastor shall assemble an ordination council for review of the candidate’s qualifications and to conduct the ordination.

 

VII. Church Discipline

 

Should any unhappy difference arise among members, the aggrieved member shall follow in a tender spirit, the rules given by our Lord in Matthew 18:15-17. Should any case of gross breach of covenant, or of public scandal occur, the deacons shall endeavor to resolve the conflict; and if this effort fails, shall report the case to the church. All such proceedings shall be pervaded by a spirit of Christian kindness and forbearance, but should an adverse decision be reached, the church may proceed to admonish or declare the offender to be no longer in the membership of the church. Any person whose membership has been terminated for any offense may be restored by vote of the church, upon evidence of his repentance and reformation; or if an account of continued absence, upon satisfactory explanation.