Grace Ministry Center
Established July 2006
Amended May 18, 2008
For the purpose of establishing and maintaining a place for the worship of Almighty God, our Heavenly Father; to provide edification and fellowship for Christians of like precious faith; to assume our share of the responsibility and privilege of spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ and for the advancement of God’s kingdom among all people; we the members of Grace Ministry, do hereby recognize ourselves as a local body of believers and adopt the following articles of church order and voluntarily submit ourselves to be governed by them.
Article I STATEMENT OF NAME
The name of this body of believers shall be Grace Ministry Center.
Article II STATEMENT OF PURPOSE
Grace Ministry Center exists to spread the Gospel message of Jesus Christ in our community and around the world for the advancement of the Kingdom of God. We believe this great privilege and responsibility will be accomplished as we:
1. Invest in the lives of people over buildings and programs.
2. Serve according to our spiritual giftedness rather than from a source of guilt.
3. Seek unity in the Body of Christ, not competition.
4. Offer up to God authentic worship.
5. Show worship and Scripture as relevant in our lives today.
Article III STATEMENT OF PREROGATIVES
Section 1 Grace Ministry Center shall have the right to govern itself and to conduct its own affairs according to the standard of the New Testament Scriptures. This right shall specifically include such matters as the calling, licensing and ordaining of pastors for the local body, election and/or appointment of Leadership Team members, disciplining of members, and conducting its own services and programs.
Section 2 In connection with, or incidental to Grace Ministry Center’s right to conduct its own affairs, it shall have the right to buy, rent, acquire by gift or otherwise and to own, operate, maintain and use such real estate and personal and mixed property as shall be necessary for the maintenance, operation and carrying on of the business of the church; and to lease, sub-rent, sell, assign, transfer, convey and otherwise dispose of said properties upon such terms and conditions as may be necessary for the furtherance of its purposes; in all accordance with its Constitution and Bylaws, or as the same may be hereafter modified or amended.
Section 3 In connection with, or incidental to Grace Ministry Center’s right to conduct its own affairs, it shall have the right to borrow money for the purpose of purchasing such real estate, personal or mixed property as may be necessary to properly and adequately carry on the objectives and purposes of the body’s business and undertakings and to execute notes, deeds of trust, Constitution and Bylaws, or as the same may be hereafter modified or amended. mortgages and other evidences of indebtedness on behalf of the body; in all accordance with the Constitution and the By-Laws, or as the same may be hereafter modified or amended.
Article IV STATEMENT OF AFFILIATION
While Grace Ministry Center does not fall under the authority of a larger Denomination or Christian organization, we are part of the Christian Church universal and will strive to maintain the unity of the faith by seeking to establish bonds of fellowship therein.
Article V STATEMENT OF FAITH
1) The Holy Trinity: We believe in one living and true God, eternal and of infinite power, wisdom, goodness, and righteousness. He is a faithful God who is the Creator and Preserver of all things. (Ge 1:1, 26, Dt 6:4, Isa 40:28-29, Jer 10:10, Jn 1:1-2, Ac 17:24-25, Col 1:16-17, I Ti 1:17) In the unity of this Godhead there are three persons of one substance with identical qualities and attributes: the Father (God), the Son (Jesus), and the Holy Spirit. (Mt 3:16-17, 28:19, Jn 4:24, Php 2:5-6)
2) The Father God: We believe the Father is the source of all that exists, whether by matter or by spirit. He created everything by divine will, out of nothing, and without the aid of evolution, in six literal days. With the Son and the Holy Spirit, He made mankind in His image. (Ge 1:1-31, Eph 3:9) By intention, He relates to mankind as Father. (Ps 68:5, Isa 64:8, Ro 8:15, I Pe 1:17) We believe that He concerns Himself mercifully in the affairs of mankind, that He hears and answers prayer, (Mt 7:11) and that He saves from sin and death all who come to Him through Jesus Christ. (Jn 3:17)
3) The Son of God: We believe in the divine nature of Jesus Christ, God’s only Son, (Mt 11:27, Jn 1:1-3, I Jn 4:14) who was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin, Mary. (Mt 1:20, 23, Lk 1:27, 31, 35) Christ was both fully man and fully God. (Jn 1:14, Php 2:5-8, Heb 2:17) He walked the earth, suffered at the hands of men, was crucified, died and was buried as a sacrifice for the sins of men and women everywhere. (Mk 10:45, 15, Gal 2:20, Eph 5:2, Heb 7:27, I Jn 2:2) The purpose was to restore our relationship to God, which was broken by sin (disobedience). (Jn 3:16-17, 14:6, Ac 4:12, Ro 3:24-25, 5:10, 18, II Co 5:18-19, Gal 1:4, Eph 1:7, I Ti 1:15, I Pe 2:24) Christ rose from the dead and ascended into heaven in full victory over Satan and sin. (Mt 28:5-7, Mk 16:6-7, Lk 24:4-8, 23, Jn 20:26-29, Ac 1:2-3, 2:24-31, 10:40, I Co 15:3-8, Col 1:18) He now intercedes for the body of believers to God the Father. (Ro 8:34, Heb 9:24) He sits at the Father’s right hand until He returns to judge all humanity at the last day. (Mt 16:27, Jn 1:18, 5:22, II Co 5:10)
4) The Holy Spirit: We believe in the Holy Spirit as the person of the Holy Trinity who lives within us, giving us the power to live a holy life. (Ge 1:1-2, Mt 28:19, Jn 4:24, Ro 8:9, 27, II Co 3:17-18, Gal 4:6, Eph 5:18) He is the Administrator of grace to all mankind, and is particularly the effective Agent in convicting the world of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment. (Jn 16:8-11, Ac 5:3-4) He is the Divine Counselor who guides all believers to the Truth. (Jn 14:16-17, 15:26, 16:5-7, 13-15)
5) The Sufficiency and Full Authority of Scripture: We believe that the sixty-six books of the Old and New Testaments combined constitute the Holy Bible; no books may be added or deleted. The Holy Bible is the inspired and inerrant (that is, without error or failure of basic contents and meaning in the original manuscripts) written Word of God. (Ps 19:7, I Th 2:13, II Pe 1:20-21) The Holy Bible contains all the necessary truth to lead men and women into salvation. (Jn 17:17, II Ti 3:15-16, I Pe 1:23) Ultimately, we believe whatever the Bible teaches on any subject. (Ro 15:4) It is the final authority in all matters pertaining to conduct and doctrine. (Mt 5:18, Ac 17:2, 11, He 4:12) Whatever is not read therein, nor may be proved thereby, is not to be required of any man. (II Ti 3:17)
6) Mankind: We believe that God directly and immediately created man in His image and likeness. Mankind was created free of sin, with a rational nature, intelligence, free will, self-determination, and moral responsibility to God. (Ge 2:7, 15-25, Jas 3:9) We teach that God’s purpose for creating mankind was that mankind should glorify God, enjoy God’s fellowship, and live his life in the will of God. (Isa 43:7, Col 1:16, Rev 4:11) As a result of Adam’s sin of disobedience to God, mankind lost its innocence; incurred the penalty of spiritual and physical death; became subject to the wrath of God; and became inherently corrupt and incapable of choosing or doing that which is acceptable to God apart from divine grace. Mankind has no recuperative powers to enable him to recover himself, and is hopelessly lost. Mankind’s salvation is thereby wholly of God’s prevenient grace, available to all, through the redemptive work of our Lord Jesus Christ. (Ge 2:16-17, 3:1-19, Jn 3:36, Ro 3:23, I Co 2:14, Eph 2:1-3, I Ti 2:13-14, I Jn 1:18)
7) Salvation: We believe that Jesus Christ, Son of God, was given by God as a sacrifice, to atone for the sins of mankind. Christ died on the cross to mend the broken relationship, which was caused by man’s sin of disobedience. It is through the shedding of His precious blood on the cross that we find forgiveness of our sins. (Lk 5:32, 24:47, Jn 1:12-13,29, 3:16, Ac 2:38-39, 17:30, Ro 2:4, 10:8-10, I Co 5:7, Eph 2:8-10, 5:2, II Th 2:13, II Ti 2:25, Heb 9:22, I Pe 1:18-19, 2:24) Salvation is the free gift of God, offered to all mankind by the prevenient grace of God and received by mankind through repentance, personal choice, and faith in Jesus Christ. The ability comes from God, but the act is the individual’s. We believe that when one repents of personal sin and believes on the Lord Jesus Christ, that at the same moment that person is justified, (Ac 13:38-39, Ro 1:17, 3:28, 4:2-5, 5:1-2, Ga 3:6-14) regenerated, (Jn 3:3,5-8, II Co 5:17, Eph 2:19, Col 3:10, Tit 3:5, I Pe 1:3-4) and adopted (Ro 8:15, Ga 3:26, 4:5-7) into the family of God, and assured of personal salvation through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. (Ro 8:16-17, Ga 4:6)
8) Good Works: We believe that even though mankind cannot receive salvation by good works, their good works are still pleasing to God, and they are the fruit of faith in God, and Jesus as Lord of the believer’s life. (Mt 5:16, 7:16-20, Ro 3:20, Ga 2:16, Jas 2:18-22)
9) Restoration: We believe that after we have experienced salvation, it is still possible to fall into sin, for in this life there is no such height or strength of holiness from which it is impossible to fall. But by the grace of God, one who has fallen into sin may by true repentance and faith find forgiveness and restoration. (Mal 3:7, Mt 18:21-22, Jn 15:4-6, I Ti 4:1,16, Heb 10:35-39, I Jn 1:9, 2:1,24-25)
10) Sanctification: We believe that sanctification is the work of God and power of the Holy Spirit acting as a catalyst in the life of the believer in order to produce a growing commitment, dedication and purity of heart before God. (Dt 30:6, I Co 6:11, I Th 4:37) Sanctification begins when a person is saved, continues throughout life and is the will of God for all believers. (Eph 4:13, I Pe 2:2) We are sanctified progressively by the Word of God as the desire to live for self decreases, and the desire to live totally for the glory of God increases. (Jn 3:30, 17:17) It is the desire and goal of every Christian to be holy as God is holy. (I Co 1:2, Eph 4:24, I Pe 1:15-16, II Pe 3:11)
11) Gifts of the Spirit: We believe that the Holy Spirit has given spiritual gifts to all believers for the purpose of building up the body of Christ and enabling the believer to bring glory to God. These gifts are to be exercised in love and to emphasize the need for unity in the body. The Holy Spirit Himself is to be desired more than any gift the Spirit might give. (I Co 12:4, 18, 21-25 specifically, and 12:1-14:40 generally, Eph 4:11-16)
12) The Second Coming of Christ: We believe in the personal return of Jesus Christ to receive His believers into a literal heaven and to eternal life. (Jn 14:1-3, I Th 4:13-18, Rev 22:1-5) The time of His return is unknown, but may be at any moment. (Jas 5:7-8, Rev 22:12, 20) We also believe that all will be judged by God in His perfect judgment, (Ecc 12:14, Ro 2:16, 14:10-12, II Co 5:10, Rev 20:11-13) and those who have not accepted Christ as their personal Savior, and are unrepentant, will be doomed to a literal hell and to eternal punishment and separation from God. (Mt 25:31-46, Lk 16:19-31, Rev 20:10, 14-15)
13) Sacraments: We believe that God ordained two sacraments: Water Baptism and the Lord’s Supper. By them, He works within us to quicken, strengthen, and confirm our faith. These sacraments are in no way to be regarded as a means of salvation, but as a token of our profession of Christian faith, and of God’s gracious ministry toward us.
We believe that Water Baptism is a sacrament of the Church, commanded by our Lord and administered to all believers. It signifies that the believer has repented from sin, accepted Jesus Christ as Savior and is a means of declaring one’s faith in Him as a crucified, buried, and risen Savior. Baptism is an outward symbolic act signifying salvation and cleansing of sin. (Mt 3:13-17, Mk 16:16, Ro 6:3-5, Col 2:11-13)
We believe that the Lord’s Supper is a sacrament of the Church, received in remembrance of Christ’s death for our sins; the bread representing His body and the wine His blood. It is a reminder of God’s love and grace toward us, of our hope in His victorious return and a sign of the love that Christians have for each other. (Mt 26:26-28, Mk 14:22-24, I Co 10:16, 11:23-30)
14) Marriage: We believe that every person is created in the image of God. (Ge 1:27-28) That woman was created as a result of God’s desire that man should have a suitable companion. (Ge 2:18, 20, 23-24) God’s word makes use of the marriage relationship as the supreme metaphor for His relationship with his covenant people and for revealing the truth that that relationship is of one God with one people. (Isa 62:5, Jer 3:14, Hos 2, Eph 5:23-32, Rev 19:7-8) Therefore, God’s plan for human sexuality is that it is to be expressed only in a monogamous, lifelong relationship between one man and one woman within the framework of marriage. (Mt 19:4-6, Mk 10:7-9, Jn 2:1-2, I Co 9:5) This is the only relationship, which is divinely designed for the birth and rearing of children, and is a covenant union made in the sight of God, taking priority over every other human relationship. (Mal 2:14, Heb 13:4)
Article VI STATEMENT OF MEMBERSHIP
The official membership of Grace Ministry Center shall consist of those individuals who have met the requirements for official membership as stated in the Bylaws.
Article VII STATEMENT OF GOVERNMENT
The government of this church shall consist of the official Membership, Pastoral Team, and Leadership Team. All authority not specifically granted to others by the Constitution and Bylaws shall rest with the Pastoral Team. All leaders of the church shall continually seek input from the official membership in the decision-making process. Specific duties of the Teams and other descriptions of the governing process are described in the Bylaws.
Article VIII STATEMENT OF CORPORATE OFFICERS
The officers designated as follows shall sign all deeds, notes, mortgages, leases and other documents of every character and description; and shall attach the corporate seal to such thereof as may be necessary, for and on behalf of the corporation; and shall manage, direct, superintend and carry on the business of the corporation; subject to the decision of the Pastoral and Leadership Team: One President and Two Trustees
The office of President shall at all times be filled by the Lead Pastor. One member of the Leadership Team shall be elected each church year by the Pastoral and Leadership Team to serve in the capacity of a Trustee for a period of two years.
Article IX STATEMENT OF GATHERING
The Pastoral and Leadership Team shall decide the time, number and place of regular church services.
Article X STATEMENT OF FINANCES
Funds for the maintenance of Grace Ministry Center shall be provided by the voluntary contributions of the tithes and offerings of the members and friends of the organization, except as provided under the Statement of Prerogatives, Sections 2 and 3, of the Constitution.
Grace Ministry Center is organized exclusively for charitable, religious, educational and scientific purposes including for such purposes, the making of distributions to organizations that qualify as exempt organizations under section 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code, or corresponding section of any future tax code.
No part of the earnings of Grace Ministry Center shall inure to the benefit of, or be distributed to its members, trustees, officers, or other private persons, except that the organization shall be authorized and empowered to pay reasonable compensation for services rendered and to make payments and distributions in furtherance of the purposes set forth in the purpose clause hereof. No substantial part of the activities of Grace Ministry Center shall be the carrying on of propaganda, or otherwise attempting to influence legislation, and Grace Ministry Center shall not participate in, nor intervene in (including the publishing or distribution of statements) any political campaign on behalf of any candidate for public office. Notwithstanding, any other activities not permitted to be carried on (a) by an organization exempt from federal income tax under Section 501(c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code, or corresponding section of any future federal tax code, or (b) by an organization, contributions to which are deductible under Section 170 (c) (2) of the Internal Revenue Code, or corresponding section of any future federal tax code.
Article XI STATEMENT OF PROPERTY
All real property of Grace Ministry Center shall be deeded to Grace Ministry Center and held in its corporate name. No real property of Grace Ministry Center shall be sold, leased or mortgaged or otherwise disposed of without the same having first been approved by the Pastoral and Leadership Team.
Article XII STATEMENT OF DISSOLUTION
Grace Ministry Center could be dissolved by a three-fourths vote of its official membership present at a duly authorized church business meeting. Should this happen, the Pastoral and Leadership Team shall assume responsibility of the dissolution and all assets shall be liquidated, all debts shall be paid and all net proceeds shall be transferred to another incorporated church or non-profit organization of like faith according to the following guidelines stipulated by the Internal Revenue tax code.
“Upon the dissolution of the organization, assets shall be distributed for one or more exempt purpose within the meaning of section 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code, or corresponding section of any future federal tax code, or shall be distributed to the federal government, or to a state or local government, for a public purpose. Any such assets not disposed of shall be disposed by the Court of Common Pleas of the county in which the principle office of the organization is then located, exclusively for such purposes or to such organization or organizations, as said Court shall determine, which are organized and operated exclusively for such purposes.”
Article XIII AMENDMENTS
This Constitution may be amended or changed by a three-fourths vote of the official membership of Grace Ministry Center, who are in attendance at any regular or special meeting called for that purpose; provided due notice of such proposed change shall have been made at all services at least two Sundays preceding the time of such meeting and a copy of the proposed change shall have been posted.
Grace Ministry Center
The business of Grace Ministry Center shall be conducted according to the current edition of Robert’s Rules of Order, Newly Revised, and in accordance with the Constitution and Bylaws and duly authorized policies of the local church.
Article II MEMBERSHIP
Membership in the Body of Christ requires submission to Jesus Christ—a desire to bring each phase of one’s life under His Lordship. It therefore involves obedience to the scriptural principles of commitment and accountability to the body of Christ, as summarized below.
Knowing that time is a limited resource and a constant source of pressure, Grace Ministry Center encourages its members to carefully and prayerfully consider their use of it. Time should be allotted for regular public worship for the exaltation of Christ. Edification should also be a scheduling priority, both for building personal faith and the faith of others. Time for small group and educational ministries is encouraged for edification. Each believer as well should allow time to develop relationships with unbelievers so that lifestyle evangelism might take place.
We recognize that the body of Christ is composed of interdependent members, each uniquely gifted by the Holy Spirit for fulfilling the mission God has given to the local body. Each believer should seek to discover, develop and practice his of her spiritual gifts and abilities and should seek a place of service within the body. People failing to use their spiritual gifts may cause the Church to fail to accomplish all that God has in store for it. The body in turn provides support and affirmation as each believer ministers to others. Lay involvement is understood to be an important part of each Christian’s spiritual development.
Realizing that we were bought with the price of Christ’s blood and that everything we are and have belongs to Him, His Kingdom should become the true treasure we pursue.
We recognize the tithe as a biblical standard of giving for the support of the body. But moreover, in response to Christ’s abundant giving, we should increasingly seek to submit our personal resources to His Lordship, displaying a spirit of generosity and cheerfulness, knowing that as we give, our lives will be enriched in everything for all liberality.
D. Personal interview and recommendation by a member of the Leadership Team
E. Approval vote by a three-fourths vote of the Leadership Team
H. Upon a denial of membership, a follow-up interview shall be conducted by a member of the Pastoral and Leadership Team.
Only one or more of the following may terminate church membership:
Our emphasis as a church should always be on the restoration of the weak member.
Termination should result only after every attempt to restore has been exhausted.
Article III LEADERSHIP OFFICES
A. Will be lead by Lead Pastor
B. Is made up of those men and women called, licensed or ordained by Grace Ministry Center to serve this local church.
C. Each pastor or minister shall be chosen according to the specific giftedness and call for which God has equipped him or her.
D. Those chosen by the Lead Pastor and the Pastoral Team shall serve in conjunction with the Leadership Team to make physical and spiritual decisions that concern Grace Ministry Center.
The goal of the Lead Pastor is to mature the saints for the work of ministry. He shall be responsible for the scriptural teaching and preaching of God’s Word and to share the Vision of Grace Ministry Center. He shall be the president of the corporation and shall be the chairman of all business meetings of the body and the Leadership Team. He shall be the administrative overseer of the other Pastors, Ministers and Leadership Team members, and Ministry Leaders. He shall oversee all departments of the church and be an ex-officio member of all groups, committees and departments that are raised up. He shall devote himself to the study of scripture, to prayer, to the conversion of sinners and to the general guidance of all the religious services and worship. He shall administer the sacraments of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper, solemnize the rite of matrimony, comfort the bereaved and bury the dead. He shall recommend the employment and supervise all paid employees and staff of the church. He shall be the spiritual overseer of Grace Ministry Center.
A. The Qualifications of the Lead Pastor
The Lead Pastor of this church shall be a male and an ordained Pastor of the Gospel. The qualifications shall be such that he can fulfill his duties and give adequate leadership to the church so that its goals are realized. In addition, the Lead Pastor must agree to abstain from the purchase and consumption of alcoholic beverages, any form of gambling, and the use of tobacco products, living a lifestyle that is above reproach and a godly example to the church and the lost world. The qualifications for his character are laid out in the New Testament as that of an elder or leader in the church.
B. Selection of the Lead Pastor
In the event of a vacancy in the office of the Lead Pastor, the Pastoral and Leadership Team shall be responsible to conduct a search for possible candidates to fill the position. Once the Pastoral and Leadership Team have selected a candidate, that candidate shall be presented to the membership of the congregation for a vote. The Lead Pastor shall be elected by a three-quarters majority vote of the official members present at a regular or special business meeting, providing due notice of the meeting has been given. The Lead Pastor and his wife (if applicable) will automatically become members of this church upon his approving vote by the congregation and his acceptance of the call to be Lead Pastor.
C. Term of Office
The Lead Pastor shall be elected to serve for an indefinite time period. However, three-quarters of the Leadership Team or one-third of the official membership (by petition) may call for a vote of confidence should serious questions arise concerning his ministry. Should he receive less than a three-fourths vote of the official members present at a regular or special business meeting, providing due notice of the meeting has been given, he shall resign.
D. Removal from Office
The Lead Pastor shall serve until his pastorate is terminated by a resignation, or by the request of three-fourths of the acting-voting members. He will give the church a minimum of thirty days notice before termination of his service. If the congregation terminates the pastor’s service, the church will give him thirty days notice or thirty days salary in advance unless otherwise mutually agreed. When a vacancy in the office of Lead Pastor occurs, the Pastoral and Leadership Team shall arrange for pastoral care. The Pastoral and Leadership Team will also elect a chairman/president who shall serve in this capacity until the vacancy in the office of the Lead Pastor is filled.
Ordained Pastors of Grace Ministry Center are identified as being called by God to the ministry of Jesus Christ. They are responsible for the spiritual direction, vision and leading of the specific ministries for which they are called and equipped. They are under the authority and direction of the Lead Pastor. They shall administer the sacraments of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper, solemnize the rite of matrimony, comfort the bereaved and bury the dead.
A. Qualifications of an Ordained Pastor
Ordained Pastors shall follow the scriptural example of Godly Leadership. The qualifications shall be such that they can fulfill adequate leadership to the Church so that its goals are realized. In addition, Ordained Pastors must agree to abstain from the purchase and consumption of alcoholic beverages, any form of gambling, and the use of tobacco products, living a lifestyle that is above reproach and a godly example to the church and the lost world. As pertains to Grace Ministry Center, their role will be customized according to their spiritual giftedness and the needs of the church.
B. Selection and Ordination Process
The ordination process will consist of an interview and request from the local governing body to be considered for ordination. The candidate will then, after a proper time of prayer and consideration by the Pastoral and Leadership Team, be eligible to receive a minister’s license from Grace Ministry Center upon approval vote by three-quarters majority vote of the Pastoral and Leadership Team. A candidate for ordination must have served for a minimum of one year as a licensed minister of Grace Ministry Center before being considered for ordination. During that minimum time period, the candidate will be observed to identify the call of God upon his life and the seriousness of that commitment. After the minimum period of one year as a licensed minister, a vote can be taken by the Pastoral and Leadership Team. If a three-quarters approval vote is obtained, the candidate can be voted on by the official members at an Annual Conference for acceptance by a three-quarters majority vote. If reasonable doubt is raised at this time as to the character of the candidate, further investigation may be required.
C. Term of Ordination
Grace Ministry Center sees Ordination as a life-long calling. When the Ordained Pastor leaves the service of Grace Ministry Center, they will continue to hold their credentials.
D. Term of Position
Pastors will be appointed for one-year increments. Each year the position will be assessed by the Pastoral and Leadership Team. A Lead Pastoral recommendation and a three-quarters approval vote by the Pastoral and Leadership Team will secure a second year of employment. It is not the intention or practice to hire any Pastor for only a one-year position unless it is previously agreed upon by both parties.
E. Removal of Credentials
The Grace Ministry Center Governing Body shall have the right to remove Ordination Status if the Ordained Minister has been proven to have fallen from the Character and Biblical guidelines from which he received their ordination. In this situation the Ordained Pastor has the right to call a church trial before their peers made up of members of Grace Ministry Center. An Ordained Pastor has the right to relinquish their credentials as well.
F. Removal from Church Held Staff Position
Because all pastors and staff work under the authority and recommendation of the Lead Pastor, the Lead Pastor also has the right to terminate an associate position if that position or person is detrimental to the vision and health of the church. A Lead Pastor would be wise to consult the Pastoral and Leadership Team in making this decision, if possible.
A licensed minister will serve for the advancement of a specific ministry of Grace Ministry Center. He or she will serve under the direction of the Lead Pastor. His or her role is to give spiritual direction and leadership according to his or her job description provided by Grace Ministry Center. Approval may be given by the Pastoral and Leadership Team to administer the sacraments of the Lord’s Supper and Baptism, solemnize the rights of matrimony, comfort the bereaved and bury the dead.
A. Qualifications for Licensing
A Minister’s license may be assigned for those men and women who have been identified by Grace Ministry Center as being called by God to ministry over and above the average Christian. In addition, a Licensed Minister must agree to abstain from the purchase and consumption of alcoholic beverages, any form of gambling, and the use of tobacco products, living a lifestyle that is above reproach and a godly example to the church and the lost world. A Licensed Minister must serve in the capacity of ministry, under the authority and direction of Grace Ministry Center. Licensed Ministers must take a minimum of one class, seminar or training event within the licensing year in the field of ministry in which he or she serves. Monetary compensation may or may not accompany this license.
B. Licensing Procedures
The candidate for licensing will meet with the Pastoral and Leadership Team for an interview and explanation of his or her call and plans for ministry. After an adequate time of prayer and consideration, a vote will be taken by the Pastoral and Leadership Team to approve or deny the candidate for licensing. A three-quarters vote of approval is necessary for licensing. If approved, he or she will be under the direction of, and in submission to, the Lead Pastor or other Ordained Pastor assigned by the Lead Pastor.
C. Term of Credentials
Licensing will be issued for one-year increments. License may be renewed upon examination of the Licensee and by an approval vote of three-quarters of the Pastoral and Leadership Team.
D. Termination of License
License may be terminated by the Pastoral and Leadership Team with a three-quarters vote after the licensee has had an opportunity to plead his or her case before the Pastoral and Leadership Team.
The Leadership Team, in conjunction with the Pastoral Team, is the governing body of the church, elected by the official membership of Grace Ministry Center to make the physical and Spiritual decisions of this local Body of Christ. The Leadership Team consists of the Lead Pastor and 2 additional Pastors or Ministers chosen by the Lead Pastor, Treasurer, Secretary, and no less than four and no more than seven members at large, voted on at the annual church conference.
A. Qualifications to be on the Leadership Team
Those on the Leadership Team must be official members of Grace Ministry Center and have accepted all membership conditions. There is an expectation that individuals holding leadership positions will be seeking to continually grow in their faith through the reading and study of God’s Word and seeking greater power and wisdom in Prayer. A Leadership Team member is expected to seek a minimum of one form of training per year as a Leadership Team member, such as a class, seminar or training event. A leadership role should be taken seriously and prayerfully, for we seek the mind of Christ in all matters. It is considered to be a role of a mature Christian, which is a privilege and sometimes a personal sacrifice to be in the service of the Kingdom of God. A person on the Leadership Team is expected to follow the biblical directions given in 1st Timothy 3. A ministry leader should be vigilant in their life style to prevent others from stumbling according to 1st Corinthians 10: 23-33.
B. Selection of Leadership Team Members
1. The existing Leadership Team members shall appoint a Nominating Team consisting of three Leadership Team members. The Lead Pastor shall be the chairperson of the Nominating Team and shall serve in addition to the three who have been appointed.
2. Church members shall be provided with teaching regarding the biblical and local church qualification for Leadership Team members and their role. With these in mind, members of the congregation will be asked to prayerfully submit the names of members for consideration as Leadership Team members.
3. Persons whose names are submitted shall be so informed and they shall be urged to engage in self-appraisal and personal evaluation in light of the scriptural and local church qualifications for its Leadership Team members. Any person may withdraw his or her name at any point if he or she does not feel called to the position or meet the qualifications.
4. The Nominating Team shall review the names of nominees and shall conduct interviews with each nominee. The nominating committee will consider spiritual qualifications for Leadership Team members as well as gifts and experience befitting a specific role. Following the review, those nominees who are not recommended shall be informed by the nominating committee.
5. The names of prospective Leadership Team members shall be brought before the members of the church, who will be given fourteen days to show cause why any of the prospective Leadership Team members would not qualify to serve. Any member with hesitation must first express his or her concern to the prospective Leadership Team member and then with the Nominating Team.
6. The Nominating Team shall make its final recommendation to the Leadership Team for approval. Final names will be voted on at the annual scheduled or a specially called conference. A three-fourths vote by the official members present will elect the Leadership Team members to be.
7. The process shall begin in February and be concluded at the Annual Conference in May.
C. Term of Office
Leadership Team members shall be elected for a period of three years on a rotating basis in order that the terms of approximately one-third of the Leadership Team members shall expire each year. A Leadership Team member would take office on June 1 of each year and would be eligible for reelection at the close of his or her term.
D. Removal from Office
Any Leadership Team member may be removed from office at any regular or specially called Pastoral and Leadership Team meeting if he or she is found to be physically, mentally, or spiritually unqualified. After a thorough investigation by the Pastoral and Leadership Team, according to these bylaws, and a sufficient opportunity for the Leadership Team member in question to explain his or her situation, a vote will be taken.
Section 6. The Role of Ministry Leaders
Ministry Leaders are in charge of specific ministries of Grace Ministry Center. Ministry Leaders will play a major role of laying out goals and objectives that will align with those goals and objectives of Grace Ministry Center. Ministry Leaders lead by example, so their Christian Character is of utmost importance.
A. Qualifications for Ministry Leaders
Ministry Leaders must be members of Grace Ministry Center. Ministry Leaders must lead by example in word and deed. Not only does a Ministry Leader serve, but also should be able to equip others to serve, through enlisting, training and proper promotion of that ministry for which they are responsible. Ministry Leaders must operate within the parameters of the Job Description assigned. Ministry Leaders are responsible to submit and justify a yearly budget of operation and operate within that amount of financial support for the year. Ministry Leaders work under the supervision of a Pastor assigned to them. Ministry leaders are expected to follow the biblical directions given in 1st Timothy 3. A ministry leader should be vigilant in their life style to prevent others from stumbling according to 1st Corinthians 10: 23-33.
B. Selection of Ministry Leaders
Ministry Leaders are placed by the Pastors or the Leadership Team of Grace Ministry Center according to their spiritual giftedness, talents, passion and experience.
C. Term of Position
For most positions, unless otherwise agreed upon by both parties, a one-year commitment is expected.
D. Removal from Position
A Ministry Leader may be removed from their respective ministry if they are unable to perform in a manner that produces its goals because of physical, mental or spiritual inadequacy, such as living a sinful lifestyle according to scriptural guidelines. The Lead Pastor will have the authority to remove a Ministry Leader from his or her position. If this is not acceptable to the Ministry Leader in question, he or she is entitled to state his or her case before the Pastoral and Leadership Team and a vote will be taken by which a three-fourths vote will dismiss the Ministry Leader from his or her position.
Article IV LEGAL OFFICES
The President of the corporation shall be the Lead Pastor, as stated in Article 8 of the Constitution.
A. Duties. The duties of the secretary shall be to keep accurate record of all proceedings of the regular and special business meetings; to see that a current roll of membership is kept, including all admissions and dismissals; to preserve all records and papers belonging to the church. All books, records, and accounts kept by the secretary shall be the property of the church.
B. Election. A Nominating Team comprised of three official members appointed by the Pastoral and Leadership Team shall present no more than three names in nomination to the official membership for election. Election shall be by a three-fourths vote. Each nominee shall be an official member of Grace Ministry Center.
C. Term of Office. The secretary shall serve for a term of one year. He or she may be reelected.
D. Removal. The church secretary may be removed from office by a three-fourths vote by either the Pastoral and Leadership Team or the Official membership of the church.
E. Vacancy. Any mid-term vacancy in this office shall be filled through appointment by the Pastoral and Leadership Team. The appointed person shall fill the unexpired term of office.
A. Duties. The church treasurer shall be the custodian of the funds of the church and shall keep an accurate account of the same and shall pay out sums as have been scheduled as regular appropriations. He or she shall provide monthly reports to the Pastoral and Leadership Team. At the end of each calendar year he or she shall prepare a statement for each giver showing the total amount of contributions made during the year.
B. Election. A Nominating Team, comprised of three official members appointed by the Pastoral and Leadership Team, shall present no more than three names to the official membership for election. Election shall be by a three-fourths vote. Each nominee shall be an official member of Grace Ministry Center.
C. Term of Office. The church treasurer shall serve for a term of two years. He or she may be reelected.
D. Removal. The church treasurer may be removed from office by a three-fourths vote of either the Pastoral and Leadership Team or the official membership of the church.
E. Vacancy. Any vacancy in this office shall be filled through appointment by the Pastoral and Leadership Team. The appointed person shall fill the unexpired term of office.
A. Duties. Trustees are responsible for the management of the physical property of the church. Trustees are the designated officers of the church along with the Lead Pastor who shall sign all deeds, notes, mortgages, leases and other documents of every character and description; and shall attach the corporate seal to such thereof as may be necessary, for and on behalf of the corporation; and shall manage, direct, superintend and carry on the business of the corporation; subject to decision of the Pastoral and Leadership Team.
B. Election. Two members of the Leadership Team or members of the congregation shall be elected for a two year term by a three-fourths vote of the Pastoral and Leadership Team to serve in the capacity of Trustees.
C. Term of Office. Trustees serve for two years non concurrently and are eligible for reelection by the Leadership Team at the end of their term.
D. Removal. A Trustee may be removed from the office by a three-fourths vote by either the Pastoral and Leadership Team or the official membership of the church.
E. Vacancy. Any mid-term vacancy in this office shall be filled through appointment by the Pastoral and Leadership Team. The appointed person shall fill the unexpired term of office.
Article V PROPERTY RIGHTS
Article VI BUSINESS MEETINGS
Article VII ORDINATION AND LICENSING
It shall be within the power of this church to license or ordain into the gospel ministry those men and women whom God has called and equipped. The church shall have authority to issue proper credentials by a passing vote of three-quarters of the Pastoral and Leadership Team or the official voting members of the church.
Article VIII AMENDMENTS
The By-Laws may be amended or changed by a three-fourths vote of the official membership of Grace Ministry Center who are in attendance at a regular or special meeting called for that purpose, provided due notice of such proposed change shall have been made at all services at least two Sundays prior to the time of such meeting and a copy of the proposed change shall have been posted.