ARTICLE I. MEMBERSHIP
SECTION 1. ESTABLISHING MEMBERSHIP
Membership in Godley Western Fellowship (henceforth know as GWF) is open to anyone who meets the following qualifications:
A. A personal commitment of faith in Jesus Christ for salvation.
B. Baptism by immersion after faith in Christ as a testimony of salvation.
Membership may be established in the following ways:
Candidates who are members in good standing of another church of like faith and order may petition the GWF to acquire a letter of membership from their previous church.
Candidates who have previously been members of another church may join by affirming that they are baptized (immersed) believers in the Lord Jesus Christ, holding to the historic teachings of Christianity, and desiring membership in the Godley Western Fellowship.
Candidates accepting Christ as their Savior and requesting Christian baptism by immersion will be accepted as members upon baptism.
All candidates for membership shall give a verbal testimony of their conversion, baptism, and walk with Christ to a pastor or elder.
SECTION 2. TERMINATION OF MEMBERSHIP
A personís membership in the Godley Western Fellowship may be terminated in one of the following ways:
A letter of dismissal for any member in good standing shall be granted to any church of like faith and order upon request from said church.
If a member conducts himself in a manner which brings the name of Christ and the church into disrepute, it will be the responsibility of the elders under the guidance of the pastor to attempt to restore the member in a spirit of love according to the guidelines set forth in Matthew 18:15 -17. If the member fails to respond positively to these attempts, they will be excluded from the church membership.
If a member requests erasure or offers proof of membership in a church of another denomination, his name will be removed from the roll.
If a member has been absent from Godley Western Fellowship for a period of time exceeding (1) one year, they may be removed from the roll.
SECTION 3. RIGHTS OF MEMBER
Each member present, 18 years of age and older, shall be entitled to one (1) vote on each matter submitted for a vote at any called church conference. The right of a member to vote shall cease upon the termination of his membership in the church. Members have the right to vote on the following matters: the call of the pastor, the annual church budget, indebtedness associated with land acquisition and/or building improvements, cumulative indebtedness for all other aspects of church business that exceeds 20% of the annual church budget, the disposition of all or substantially all of the assets of the church, the merger or dissolution of the church, and any other matter submitted by the Board of Advisors to the church for a vote.
ARTICLE II. MINISTERIAL LEADERSHIP
SECTION 1. PASTOR
Upon the pastorís termination, a church conference will be called and the church will elect a pastor search team. This team will consist of no fewer than two and no more than eight members. This team will seek out and evaluate prospective pastoral candidates until they achieve complete consensus on a single candidate. They will then report to the elders who will set a time and date for the candidate to be received by the church. On that date, a church conference shall be called and after a full discussion, a vote will be taken by secret ballot. A three-fourths (3/4) vote of the church members present and voting is required to extend a call. If a call is not extended by the church to the candidate, or if the candidate declines to accept, then the pastor search team will begin a new search and come before the church with a second recommendation. This method will proceed until a pastor is secured.
Godley Western Fellowship shall be a pastor led, board advised congregation. As such, the senior pastor shall be the spiritual leader of the congregation. In that capacity, under the Lordship of Jesus Christ and the leadership of the Holy Spirit, he shall preach and teach the word of God, lead the church in regular worship services, administer the ordinances of the church, serve as moderator at church conferences, provide leadership to the ministerial staff, serve as over all administrator of the church, and generally fulfill all his pastoral duties as set forth in Scripture.
The pastorís duties with the church may be terminated by resignation, death, or dismissal. Such dismissal will require a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the members present and voting at a called business meeting. The moderator for such a meeting will be a disinterested third party appointed by the Board of Elders.
SECTION 2. BOARD OF ADVISORS
The board of Advisors shall be made up of Elders elected by GWF and/or men appointed by the senior pastor who meet the following qualifications: They shall be members in good standing, they shall be regular attenders of GWF, and they shall be regular financial contributors to GWF.
SECTION 3. PROFESSIONAL MINISTERIAL STAFF
Professional ministerial staff sufficient for fulfilling the churchís mission may be employed by the church. Such ministerial staff will be appointed by the senior pastor and Board of Advisors. Professional ministerial staff are those who receive
monetary compensation, hourly and/or salaried.
Professional ministerial staff persons will have specific and written job descriptions as outlined by the pastor and Board of Advisors.
The service of professional staff persons may be terminated by resignation, death, or by an agreement by the senior pastor and Board of Advisors. If the senior pastor feels that the staff member is not carrying out the responsibilities of his/her job description or is uncooperative with the senior pastor, then a meeting will called for that staff member to meet with the senior pastor and Board of Advisors. If after the meeting corrective steps are not carried out by the staff member then that staff member will be terminated by the consensus of the senior pastor and Board of Advisors.
SECTION 4. ELDERS
A. Purpose and Function
Elders shall serve to provide spiritual leadership and accountability to the church in accordance with scripture. They will provide a brotherhood of support and accountability for the senior pastor, assist the ministry teams with difficult issues, serve as arbiters in matters of conflict or church discipline and in general, provide spiritual leadership, guidance and assistance wherever and whenever appropriate. The elder body shall be made up of men appointed as needed by the senior pastor, who is also an elder.
Because elders may be called on to handle the weightiest matters of the church, they should above all be men filled with wisdom, love, and the Holy Spirit. All elders must meet the Biblical qualifications set forth in 1 Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:6-9. The senior pastor shall be an elder.
Any member of the church may bring a written scriptural reason for removal of an elder. Elders may be removed from office by their own decision or by consensus decision of the other elders. Removal shall be based upon being spiritually unqualified or the inability to serve.
ARTICLE III. SUPPORT STAFF
The senior pastor will employ and terminate other employees as necessary for the efficient conduct of the business of the church.
ARTICLE IV. MINISTRY TEAMS
SECTION 1. GENERAL MINISTRY TEAMS
A. Purpose and Function
Ministry teams shall be organized to carry out the specialized ministries of the church. Each ministry team shall have specific functions and responsibilities as assigned or approved by the senior pastor.
Ministry teams will be made up of an even number (usually 4-10) of people organized to carry out a necessary ministry or function of the church. Each team member will have individual functions and responsibilities as assigned by the team. One member of the team shall be designated by the senior pastor to be team leader and will be responsible for ensuring that the team functions properly. Teams will function by majority vote. If the team vote results in a tie, the matter shall either be tabled or placed before the senior pastor who shall be the deciding vote.
Team members must: be members of the church in good standing, love the Lord and have a desire to see his kingdom grow, have credibility with other church members, have a passion for the mission of the team, be determined to make the team a top priority in their lives (this means that they are willing to rearrange their daily schedules or do whatever it takes to participate in team meetings and activities), and desire to use their talents and abilities to accomplish the teamís mission. Team members must be present at regular scheduled church services at least 40 weeks per year. If there are extenuating circumstances that prevent the team member from attending regularly, it will be looked at on a case by case basis.
D. Formation of Teams
General Ministry teams may be formed as needed by the senior pastor and Board of Advisors, or any church member with the senior pastorís approval.
E. Selection and Term of Office
Members of general ministry teams may be appointed by the senior pastor and/or elders, or be enlisted by a ministry team leader. Ordinarily, members will be enlisted by the team leader or directly responsible for the team. In an effort to procure the right personnel for that specific team, all team leaders and team members shall be placed on a ninety day provisional period before becoming a team leader or team member. During the provisional period, candidates shall perform their specific duties in a normal manner. At the end of the ninety day provisional period, upon consensus of the candidate, pastor and/or elders, the candidate shall become a team leader or member with their provisional period included in their full term.
If a team member causes conflict, fails to carry out his or her responsibility to the team, or otherwise hampers the work of the team, every effort should be made by the team leader and assigned staff person to rectify the issue in a positive redemptive manner. However, if the problem persists, a team member may be removed by the senior pastor and Board of Advisors, or by consensus decision of the other team members.
ARTICLE V. OFFICERS
SECTION 1. PRESIDENT
The senior pastor shall serve as the president and overall administrator of the church.
He will serve as moderator at church conferences and be responsible for ensuring that the daily business affairs of the church are appropriately and effectively executed.
SECTION 2. TRUSTEES
A. Purpose and function
When authorized and instructed by the senior pastor and Board of Advisors, Trustees shall sign the title to church property; all legal documents involving the sale, mortgage, purchase, or rental of property; all notes and loan instruments; and such other legal documents as may require execution on behalf of the church.
B. Selection and Term of Office
Trustees shall be appointed by the senior pastor and Board of Advisors.
A trustee may be removed by death, resignation, or consensus decision of the senior pastor and Board of Advisors.
SECTION 3. CLERK/SECRETARY
A. Purpose and function
The Church Clerk shall serve as secretary of the church. The responsibilities of the clerk will be to keep the minutes of all church conferences, board meetings, insure that a proper file of all members is maintained and prepare an annual report.
B. Selection and Term of Office
The Church Secretary shall serve as Church Clerk.
SECTION 4. VACANCIES
In the event a vacancy occurs in any church office, the senior pastor and Board of Advisors shall appoint a successor to fill the unexpired term.
ARTICLE VI. CHURCH BUSINESS
SECTION 1. FINANCES
A. Fiscal year
The fiscal year of the church will be on a calendar year basis beginning on Nov. 1 and ending on Oct. 31 of each year.
B. Accounting Procedures
A system of accounting that will adequately provide for the handling of all funds shall be the responsibility of the Board of Advisors.
The Board of Advisors, in consultation with the senior pastor and ministry team leaders, shall prepare and submit a budget for congregational approval prior to the beginning of each fiscal year.
D. Checks, Drafts, Etc.
All checks, drafts or orders for the payment of money, notes or other evidences of indebtedness issued in the name of the church shall be signed by those designated by the Board of Advisors for that purpose.
All funds of the church shall be deposited from time to time to the credit of the church in such banks, trust companies or other depositories as determined by the Board of Advisors.
SECTION 2. CHURCH CONFERENCES
A. Church Conferences
Church conferences may be called by the senior pastor or by written petition of 25% of the active resident members presented to the senior pastor and Board of Advisors. An active resident member is one who lives in or around the Johnson County area and has attended the churchís regular worship services at least 6 times in the 90 days preceding the circulation of the petition.
Notices of the time and place of all church conferences shall be given not later than the Sunday prior to such meetings by publication in the church newsletter or worship bulletin, or by public announcement at a regular Sunday morning worship service.
C. Place of Church Conferences
All church conferences shall be held on the premises of the church.
The church members present at any duly called church conference shall constitute a quorum.
Voting by proxy at any church conference shall not be allowed or recognized.
F. Absentee Voting
Absentee voting shall be allowed and honored under certain mitigating circumstances:
1) Voting must take place within 7 days of original vote. 2) Voter must include their name and date, to verify church membership in good standing. 3) Absentee voting must be approved by church vote during the original vote.
G. Will of the Church
All Ministry Teams, officers, and organizations of the church shall carry out the will of the church on any given matter, duly expressed by its vote.
H. Rules of Procedure
The order of proceedings at church conferences shall be determined by the rules of practice contained in Robert's Rules of Order, Revised.
I. Conduct of Church Business
All business of the church shall be conducted in a manner that honors Christ and respects others. The church shall strive to seek the will of God by prayerful deliberation and common consensus.
SECTION 3. CONTRACTS
The Trusteeís shall execute and deliver any contract or instrument in the name of the church which may be authorized by the church to be so executed and delivered. In this connection, the church body as a whole shall be the ultimate authority for all actions taken by the church and no other person, organization or corporate officer shall have any authority to contract or otherwise bind the church without express authorization from the church body.
SECTION 4. BOOKS AND RECORDS
The church shall keep and maintain a complete and accurate record of all financial accounts, membership lists, and church conference minutes at its principle office. All books and records of the church may be inspected by any member, or his agent or attorney, for any purpose at any reasonable time.
SECTION 5. OPERATIONS AND DISSOLUTION
A. This Church is organized and operated primarily for the purpose of engaging in religious worship and promoting the spiritual development or well being of individuals. It is to be operated in a way that does not result in the accrual of distributable profits, realization of private gain resulting from payment of compensation for services rendered, or realization of any other form of private gain.
B. GWF pledges its assets for use in performing the organizationís religious functions. It directs that on discontinuance of the Church by dissolution or otherwise, the assets are to be transferred to a charitable, educational, religious, or other similar organization that is qualified as a charitable organization under Section 501 ( c ) (3), Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended.
SECTION 6. NON PROFIT STATUS
Godley Western Fellowship shall operate as a nonprofit organization.
ARTICLE VII. AMENDMENTS
These Bylaws may be amended by the senior pastor and Board of Advisors.
Amendments may be proposed by 25% of the resident membership by written petition presented to the senior pastor and Board of Advisors. Proposed amendments for church consideration shall be in written form available to members in good standing who are eligible to vote, two weeks prior to the church conference. Congregational amendments must receive a three-fourths (3/4) vote of the members present at a church conference called for that purpose.
I Corinthians 14:40
"Let all things be done decently and in order."