Constitution and Bylaws for Quail Lake Community Church  (12/14/03)

 

Article I – Name and Location

The name of this church is Quail Lake Community Church and is located in Clovis, CA 93611.

 

Article II – Affiliation

This church is affiliated with the Evangelical Free Church of America and its EFCA West Region.

 

Article III – Purpose

Quail Lake Community Church exists to glorify God by fulfilling the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20) and by keeping the Great Commandment (Matthew 22:37-39).  It is a community of people committed to changing the lives of the people of the Central Valley into becoming committed followers of Jesus Christ and helping each other grow in their love for God and others within the context of small groups.

 

Our Values:

Q uest Focused…We will focus on our mission of helping people find a relationship with Jesus, the greatest quest of all – we will reach people for Jesus Christ (Matthew 28:19-20).

U nleashed Passion…We will unleash our passion for God through contemporary, celebrative worship services (Romans 12:1-2).

A dventure Groups…We will share the greatest adventure of all – trusting and following Jesus – in small groups – the foundation of our whole fellowship (Acts 2:42).

I ntercessory Prayer…We will treat talking with Jesus as the heart of all ministry that we do (I Thessalonians 5:16-18).

L oving Atmosphere…We will intentionally build an atmosphere of love and acceptance for all people (Hebrews 10:24-25).

L ive to Serve…We will help people grow as ministers to each other in the Body of Christ (Mark 10:42-45).

A ggressive Growth…We will seek to further God’s Kingdom, seeing in our future numerical growth as a church (Acts 2:46-47).

K ids Kount…We will give ourselves to the growing and training of young people and children (Mark 9:36-37).

E mphatic Multiplication…We will take decisive action to plant churches and are committing to plant a new church every five years (Matthew 16:18).

! Enjoy…We will focus on enjoying life together, having fun with each other and drawing others into the real joy of being connected to God and other people (John 10:10; 15:11).

 

Article IV – Statement of Faith

  1. We believe: The Scriptures, both Old and New Testaments, to be the inspired Word of God, without error in the original writings, the complete revelation of His will for salvation of individuals, and the divine and final authority for all Christian faith and life.
  2. We believe: In one God, Creator of all Things, infinitely perfect and eternally existing in three persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
  3. We believe: That Jesus Christ is true God and true man, having been conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. He died on the cross a sacrifice for our sins according to the Scriptures.  Further, He arose bodily from the dead, ascended into heaven, where at the right hand of the Majesty on High, He now is our High Priest and Advocate.
  4. We believe: That the ministry of the Holy Spirit is to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ and, during this age, to convict men, regenerate the believing sinner, indwell, guide, instruct and empower the believer for godly living and service.
  5. We believe: That man was created in the image of God but fell into sin and is therefore lost and only through regeneration by the Holy Spirit can salvation and spiritual life be obtained.
  6. We believe: That the shed blood of Jesus Christ and His resurrection provide the only ground for justification and salvation for all who believe, and only such as receive Jesus Christ are born of the Holy Spirit, and thus become children of God.
  7. We believe: That water baptism and the Lord’s Supper are ordinances to be observed by the Church during the present age. They are, however, not to be regarded as means of salvation.
  8. We believe: That the true Church is composed of all such persons who through saving faith in Jesus Christ have been regenerated by the Holy Spirit and are united together in the Body of Christ of which He is the head.
  9. We believe: That only those who are thus members of the true Church shall be eligible for membership in the local church.
  10. We believe: That Jesus Christ is the Lord and Head of the Church, and that every local church has the right under Christ to decide and govern its own affairs.
  11. We believe: In the personal and premillenial and imminent coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and that this “Blessed Hope” has a vital bearing on the personal life and service of the believer.
  12. We believe: In the bodily resurrection of the dead; of the believer to everlasting blessedness and joy with the Lord, of the unbeliever to judgment and everlasting conscious punishment.
  13. We believe: Marriage is a sacred, legal, and social union ordained by God to be a life-long, sexually exclusive relationship between one man and one woman. History, nature, social science, anthropology, religion, and theology all coalesce in vigorous support of marriage as it has always been understood: a life-long union of male and female for the purpose of creating stable families.

Marriage is not an American invention. It has existed as an institution since the beginning of civilization, and thus supersedes our modern laws.

Marriage is the first institution ordained by God and has served from the beginning as the foundation for continuation of the human race. Genesis tells us that shortly after the creation of the first man, God acknowledged Adam’s incompleteness. God then created Eve as Adam’s partner, his completer, and blessed their union.  Jesus underscored the importance and sacredness of marriage in His own teachings.  The apostle Paul taught that the marital relationship is to be an ongoing demonstration of the sacrificial love that Christ showed His church.

Men and women are uniquely designed to complement each other physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Marriage is the means for melding the two sexes into a stronger and more complete whole. Thus while marriage has intrinsic value of its own, a primary purpose of marriage is procreation. Marriage is the best means for producing and raising a healthy and productive next generation.  

We elevate marriage in our laws over other relationships because marriage has proven over millennia to be an obvious societal good. Society provides benefits to natural marriage because natural marriage uniquely provides necessary benefits to society. Marriage law does not discriminate. Marriage is open to any two individuals provided they meet certain criteria regarding age and blood relationship, and provided the individuals are of the opposite sex.  (Voted November 2, 2008)

 

Article V – Membership

Section I.         Qualifications

Persons who meet the following criteria may be considered for membership in this church:

  1. Able to give testimony of faith in Christ (Romans 10:8-10).
  2. A life in accordance with the Word of God (1 John 2:6).
  3. Attendance at this church on a regular basis (Hebrews 10:25).
  4. Attendance in an Introduction to Quail Lake
  5. At least 16 years of age.
  6. Agreement with the Constitution and Bylaws.
  7. Submission to the authority of leadership of the church (Hebrews 13:7,17).

Section II.       Admission Procedure

New members shall be received into the church in the following manner:

  1. Attendance in an Introduction to Quail Lake class which explains the beliefs, history, organization, vision and core values of our church.
  2. Signed commitment to abide by the Statement of Faith and Constitution and to participate in a small group.
  3. Elder interview and recommendation. At least one elder will meet with each applicant to answer questions, hear their spiritual testimony of salvation, and inquire about their acceptance of and commitment to the Statement of Faith and constitution.
  4. Upon recommendation by the Elders, the congregation will be notified by publication in the weekly worship bulletin of the applicant’s desire to become a member. If any member should question the spiritual qualifications of any applicant, the reason must be shared in writing with the Elders, who shall investigate and offer assistance.  If the membership qualifications are not met, the request for membership shall be denied.  If the Elders receive no objections following congregational notification, the applicant shall be accepted as a member without further action.
  5. After a vote of affirmation by the elders, the applicant shall then be notified.
  6. Applicants admitted to membership shall be officially received and welcomed at a subsequent celebration service.

Section III.     Responsibilities

Members will reflect the following lifestyle:

  1. Praying for one another (James 5:16).
  2. Sacrificially loving one another (1 Peter l:22).
  3. Being truthful and honest with each other (Colossians 3:9; Ephesians 4:15).
  4. Teaching, admonishing and restoring each other (Colossians 3:16-17; Galatians 6:1).
  5. Serving and ministering to each other (1 Peter 4:10).
  6. Seeking the Holy Spirit and voting on issues that the leadership brings before the body as a whole (Acts 6:1-7; 15:22; Proverbs 11:14; 24:6).
  7. Financially supporting the church and its ministries (1Timothy 5:17-18; 2 Corinthians 9:6-7).
  8. Faithfully attending church services and special meetings (Hebrews 10:24-25).
  9. Submitting to the Elders of this church (Hebrews 13:7,17).
  10. Committing themselves to a small group (Acts 2:42).

Section IV.     Voting Rights

All members shall have the right to vote in all matters relating to church property, calling of a pastor, affirmation of the Elders, church budget and amendments to this constitution.   Membership shall be reaffirmed yearly by a written commitment by each member.

Section V.       Withdrawal or Termination of Membership

Members shall be removed from the church membership list for the following reasons:

  1. Death
  2. Written withdrawal request by the member to the Board of Elders.
  3. Transfer of membership request to another church.
  4. Member has neither reaffirmed their commitment to membership nor shown interest in doing so after due notice and effort by the Elders to encourage their reaffirmation of membership.
  5. Unresolved biblical discipline by this or another church.

Any member who has withdrawn or been removed from membership loses all rights of membership in the church and shall have no claim whatsoever upon the church property.

Section VI.     Reinstatement

Former members of the church may have their membership reinstated upon written request to the Board of Elders providing they meet the qualification requirements and agree to abide by the Statement of Faith and Constitution and Bylaws.

Section VII.    Discipline

Any church member or professing Christian in regular fellowship with the church, who engages in conduct that in the judgment of the Board of Elders is not in harmony with what the Bible teaches, shall be encouraged to repent and forsake such conduct.

Sinful conduct necessitating church discipline shall include but not be limited to:  immoral behavior, financial malfeasance, divisive behavior or heretical teaching.

The Bible shall be the guideline for such matters.  Passages such as Matthew 18:15-20; Galatians 6:1-10; 1 Corinthians 5:1-13; I Timothy 5:19-20; Titus 3:10-11; 2 John 7-11 shall compose some but not all of the portions of Scripture that may be used in such cases.  Discipline of unrepentant leaders within the church will be done publicly as I Timothy 5:19-20 states.  Discipline of an unrepentant person involved in a known biblical sin will be carried out according to I Corinthians 5:1-13.  Divisive persons will be warned once and if they remain unrepentant they will be removed from the church according to Titus 3:10-11.  And finally, Matthew 18:15-20 teaches us how discipline should be handled in the cases of interpersonal wrongs and grievances.

The spiritual restoration of the sinning person and the protection of the spiritual health of the church shall be the purpose of all church discipline, in all cases corrective action shall be humbly administered in love and tenderness as directed in Scripture (1 Corinthians 13:1-8; 2 Corinthians 2:5-11; Galatians 5:6; 6:1-2; I Peter 5:3).

A member who ceases to qualify as a member may be removed from membership by a majority vote of the elders after a process consistent with Scripture dealing with discipline (above).  The Board of Elders shall communicate to the congregation their decision with appropriate explanation.

Section VIII.  Restoration

The ultimate purpose of all church discipline is to seek the spiritual restoration to fellowship for any individual who has been disciplined by the church.  When repentance has occurred, the individual is invited to seek re-admittance and restoration to membership as follows:

  1. Submit a written request for re-admittance to the Board of Elders.
  2. Provide satisfactory evidence to the Elders of genuine repentance in the area of wrongdoing and a willingness to forsake such in the future.
  3. Upon recommendation of the Board of Elders, the individual shall be restored to fellowship in the church in a public celebration befitting the grace of God as pictured in the story of the Prodigal Son (Luke 15).

Article VI – Government

This church shall be governed by a congregational form of church government. The congregation shall have the authority to review the church’s ministry to ensure they conform to the church’s purpose, policies and Statement of Faith.  This is defined as the congregation delegating leadership authority to the Elders, who in turn lead the church.  The term that seems to best define this type of relationship is “Elder-led.”

The church is incorporated within the State of California as a non-profit organization.  The Elders shall serve as the legal Board of Directors for the corporation. The directors shall not be personally liable for the debts, liabilities, or other obligations of the church.  All of the corporate powers of the church shall be vested in the Board of Directors in its dealings with the Pastor, pastoral assistants, church staff, committees, church organizations and members.  Except as otherwise provided in this constitution, the Board of Directors shall have supervision over all church operations and transactions with power to act, and shall have authority to hire salaried personnel, other than pastoral staff, which they deem necessary for the operation of the church, within the constraints of the approved budget.

Section I.        Elders – Qualifications, Terms and Selection

  1. Qualifications to be chosen as an Elder, a man must be:
  2. known to be of exemplary spiritual character (1 Timothy 3:1-7, Titus 1:6-9)
  3. full of wisdom, full of the Holy Spirit and full of faith, with great vision for what God can and will do (Acts 6:3-5)
  4. actively involved in the ministries of the church
  5. regularly contributing financially to the church’s ministries.
  6. actively part of a small group
  7. An Elder shall serve indefinitely but shall be reaffirmed annually by a congregational vote of confidence of at least 75 percent.
  8. The Elder board shall be composed of no less than three and no more than seven from the church membership, the Senior Pastor and no more than 1 additional Pastor whom the Senior Pastor may recommend.
  9. In February, Elders shall receive recommendations from the congregation for new Elders. An Elder shall confirm with each recommended person whether or not that man wishes to be a candidate.
  10. In March, the Elders, based upon criteria listed below, will assess each candidate (and wife). The Elders must be in unanimous agreement before a candidate can be recommended to the congregation for approval.
  11. In April, once approved by the Elders, the candidate’s name is to be posted for 1 (one) month for the congregation to pray over. The congregation shall be encouraged to direct comments, concerns to the Elders at this time.
  12. Candidates for Elder shall be presented to the congregation for approval at the annual congregational meeting. Members must approve the recommended candidate by a 75 percent vote.  The number of candidates shall not exceed the vacancies.
  13. The Senior Pastor shall be considered an Elder with full voting rights.
  14. For the purposes of incorporation, the Elders of this church shall serve as its officers and directors.
  15. The Elders may fill a mid-year vacancy for the remainder of the year by a unanimous vote of the Elders.

Section II.       Elders – Responsibilities and Accountability

Elders shall exercise oversight over all areas affecting the spiritual welfare of the church family, serving as its spiritual overseers and policy board, and being responsible for:

  1. Church Goals and Direction – Develop and regularly monitor the church’s annual goals and assist the Pastoral Staff in the development and Biblical balance of their service, teaching and ministry priorities.
  2. Church Policies – Oversee the development and implementation of church policies and changes in the Constitution that will best enable the church to fulfill its Biblical purposes.
  3. Pastoral Care – Insure the development of discipleship, shepherding and care throughout the church family, and assist the Pastoral Staff in carrying out pastoral duties as needed.
  4. Prayer – Pray for the church and for individuals in the church family who are in need.
  5. Church Membership – Be responsible for the reception, discipline, dismissal and restoration of church members.
  6. Conflict Resolution – Mediate any disputes between various ministries or individuals in the church.
  7. Staff Development and Support – Insure healthy staff relations, as well as the proper care and welfare of the Pastoral Staff and their families, including an annual staff evaluation to review salary and other compensation needs, and the calling or dismissal of pastoral staff members.
  8. Communion – Coordinate and lead the administration of regular church communion.
  9. Church Finances – Review and approve the proposed annual church budget with the Treasurer, to be presented at a Church Celebration Meeting at the start of the church’s fiscal year. For unanticipated needs and ministry opportunities, the Elders are authorized to make changes up to three percent (3%) of the total approved church budget, with amounts above that requiring congregational approval.  The Elders shall be given discretion for usage of non-budgeted gifts and annual giving that exceeds church expenditures.  In the event of emergency needs, the Elders are authorized to take any reasonable action to protect life and property.
  10. Ministry Oversight – Appoint ministry directors or ministry teams as needed to provide leadership in areas where there are no Pastoral Staff responsible, delegating to them such powers and duties as may be required, and requiring them to regularly report to the Elders concerning their work.

The Board of Elders shall be accountable to and serve under the direction of the congregation, and shall keep the church well informed concerning its work and any major decisions.  Minutes of all Elder meetings shall be recorded by the secretary and, on a timely basis, be made available to the church membership.  Minutes that are made available to the membership will not include discussion of sensitive personal matters.

Section III.     Elders – Resignations and Termination

  1. An elder, though he serves indefinitely, may, due to life circumstances, not be able to fulfill the stated qualifications and responsibilities of an elder and may resign from his office by submitting a letter of resignation to the Board of Elders. Such a decision shall be communicated to the congregation as soon as possible.
  2. An elder who ceases to qualify as an elder by the criteria of qualifications listed above (Article VI; Section I; 1) may be dismissed from his position by a majority vote of the elders after a process consistent with Scripture dealing with discipline.  The Board of Elders shall communicate to the congregation their decision with appropriate explanation. 

Section IV.     Senior Pastor – Qualifications and Selection

  1. The Senior Pastor shall be considered an Elder with full privileges and responsibilities. As such, he shall demonstrate the following characteristics:
  2. known to be of exemplary spiritual character (1 Timothy 3:1-7, Titus 1:6-9)
  3. full of wisdom, full of the Holy Spirit and full of faith, with great vision for what God can and will do (Acts 6:3-5)
  4. actively involved in the ministries of the church
  5. regularly contributing financially to the church’s ministries.
  6. actively part of a small group
  7. The Senior Pastor shall also be gifted as a teaching Elder (1 Timothy 5:17) Able to present the Word in an accurate and relevant manner. (Nehemiah 8:8)
  8. The Senior Pastor shall cast a vision for the church. This vision must be inspired by the Holy Spirit, constitutionally compatible, congregationally comprehensive and embraced by the leadership and congregation.
  9. The Senior Pastor shall be willing to be ordained by the Evangelical Free Church of America or transfer his ordination to the EFCA.
  10. The selection of the Senior Pastor shall involve the following process:
  11. The Elders shall appoint a Pastoral search committee of no less than six people, of whom no more than three are from the Elders.
  12. The Search Committee shall entertain recommendations from the congregation, like-minded seminaries and denominational leaders and other names the Holy Spirit makes available. It shall reduce the list of candidates to no more than three to recommend to the Elders.  The Search Committee will have had both written and phone interviews with each of the candidates recommended to the Elders.
  13. The Elders will interview the candidates recommended by the Search Committee and unanimously recommend one candidate to the congregation for the position of Senior Pastor.
  14. The Senior Pastor must receive a 75 percent vote of members present at the selection meeting.

Section V.       Senior Pastor – Resignation and Termination

When the Senior Pastor severs the relationship between himself and the church it shall occur as follows:

  1. Two (2) month notice shall precede a severance of relations between the Senior Pastor and the church, unless waived by mutual consent.
  2. The Senior Pastor shall submit a letter of resignation to the Board of Elders.
  3. After accepting the letter of resignation, the Board of Elders shall make know this action to the membership.

When the congregation severs the relationship between the church and the Senior Pastor, it shall occur as follows:

  1. A pastor who ceases to qualify as a pastor by the criteria of qualifications listed above (Article VI; Section IV; 1, 2, 3, 4) may be dismissed from his position after a process consistent with Scripture dealing with discipline.
  2. Termination of relationship shall be acted upon by the Elders, and shall require of three-quarters (3/4) affirmative vote of the Board of Elders.
  3. The Board of Elders shall immediately notify the membership of any termination action.
  4. Termination of the Senior Pastor relationship shall in addition, require a majority vote of the members of the congregation present at a duly convened Church Membership Meeting. The vote shall be by written ballot.

Section VI.     Pastoral Staff – Qualifications and Selection

  1. 1. Each individual called or chosen to become part of the Pastoral Staff must meet the following qualifications:
  2. known to be of exemplary spiritual character (1 Timothy 3:1-7, Titus 1:6-9)
  3. full of wisdom, full of the Holy Spirit and full of faith, with great vision for what God can and will do (Acts 6:3-5)
  4. actively involved in the ministries of the church
  5. regularly contributing financially to the church’s ministries.
  6. actively part of a small group
  7. In addition, the Pastoral Staff member should be gifted by God with the ministry skills, knowledge and experience needed to provide and develop leadership and produce spiritual growth through their assigned area of ministry.
  8. The selection of Pastoral Staff shall involve the following process:
  9. The Elders shall appoint a Pastoral search committee of no less than six people, of whom no more than three are from the Elders.
  10. The Search Committee shall entertain recommendations from the congregation, like-minded seminaries and denominational leaders and other names the Holy Spirit makes available. It shall reduce the list of candidates to no more than three to recommend to the Elders.  The Search Committee will have had both written and phone interviews with each of the candidates recommended to the Elders.
  11. The Elders will interview the candidates recommended by the Search Committee and unanimously recommend one candidate to the congregation for the Pastoral Staff position.
  12. The Pastor Staff Member must receive a 75 percent vote of members present at the selection meeting.

Section VII.    Pastoral Staff – Resignation and Termination

When the Pastoral Staff member severs the relationship between himself and the church it shall occur as follows:

  1. Two (2) month notice shall precede a severance of relations between a Pastoral Staff member and the church, unless waived by mutual consent.
  2. The Pastoral Staff member shall submit a letter of resignation to the Board of Elders.
  3. After accepting the letter of resignation, the Board of Elders shall make know this action to the membership.

When the congregation severs the relationship between the church and the Pastoral Staff member, it shall occur as follows:

  1. A pastor who ceases to qualify as a pastor by the criteria of qualifications listed above (Article VI; Section VI; 1, 2) may be dismissed from his position after a process consistent with Scripture dealing with discipline.
  2. Termination of relationship shall be acted upon by the Elders, and shall require of three-quarters (3/4) affirmative vote of the Board of Elders.
  3. The Board of Elders shall immediately notify the membership of any termination action.
  4. Termination of the Pastoral relationship shall in addition, require a majority vote of the members of the congregation present at a duly convened Church Membership Meeting. The vote shall be by written ballot.

Article VII – Meetings

Section I.        Membership Meeting(s)

  1. The church shall hold at least one annual Membership meeting in June for the purposes of reflection, thanksgiving, discussion and decision on major matters needing congregational input and approval. These shall include but not be limited to the affirmation of Elders, annual budget, construction, changes in location, a merge, dissolution.
  2. The fiscal year shall begin July 1.
  3. Other meetings can be called at the discretion of the Elders with two weeks prior notice.
  4. While anyone may attend, only members may vote and participate in discussion.
  5. A two-thirds majority vote of those present shall decide all issues except acceptance of the Senior Pastor and Elders as well as annual affirmation of the Elders. This must be accepted and/or affirmed by a 75 percent vote.
  6. Voting may be done by secret ballot at the discretion of the Elders.
  7. Quorum shall be defined as at least 25 percent of the voting members.
  8. Notice of the annual Membership Meeting and all pertinent information shall be made available at least two weeks before actual date of meeting.

Section II.       Elder Meetings

  1. The Elders shall meet at least once a month.
  2. At least half, but not less than three elected Elders and the Senior Pastor, must be present for voting to take place.
  3. The Elders shall appoint an Elder Council which shall be composed of a Chairman, who will serve as President of the corporation and moderator of the church business meetings, a Vice Chairman, who will serve as Vice President-Secretary of the Corporation, a Secretary, plus the Senior Pastor.  These appointments should be done during the first meeting of each year.
  4. The Elders will make decisions by a vote of those present. Love, wisdom, the Scriptures, and the Holy Spirit should guide all discussions and decisions.

Article VIII – Property

Section I.        Property Ownership

The church shall have the authority to buy, own, lease, and sell real and personal property in its own name.

Section II.       Use of Church Property

The property of this church is irrevocably dedicated to religious purposes and no part of the net income or assets of the organization shall ever inure to the benefit of any director, officer or member thereof or to the benefit of any private person.

Section III.     Property in the Case of Church Planting

In the event that we birth a church, which we earnestly pray will occur, the property of this church will be evaluated by the Board of Elders to determine which property can be given to support our daughter church.

Section IV.     Property in the Case of Division

In the event of a division within the church, which we earnestly pray will never occur, the property will belong to that segment of the membership that abides by the Articles of Incorporation, the Constitution and the Bylaws.

Section V.       Property in the Case of Dissolution

If this church is dissolved, the remaining assets after payment of debt will become the property of the EFCA West, a regional ministry of the Evangelical Free Church of America.

Article IX – Maintaining Corporate Records

The church shall keep and maintain the following records:

  1. Written minutes of all duly called Church votes, Membership meetings, and Elder meetings.
  2. Adequate and correct financial and assets books and records of accounts.
  3. Current church membership records.
  4. Contribution statements made available for all contributors.
  5. A copy of the church’s Articles of Incorporation, Constitution, and Bylaws as amended to date, which are open to inspection by the members of the church at all reasonable time during office hours.

Article X – Amendments

Section I.

Amendments to this Constitution and Bylaws, unless excepted in this Constitution, must be approved at a membership meeting by a confidential vote of two-thirds of the membership present at the annual meeting or any special meeting called by the Elders, provided that such amendments have been presented in writing and discussed at a prior membership meeting at least one month prior to the vote.

Section II.

Any amendment of the Articles of Incorporation may be adopted by approval of the Board of Elders.

Section III.

Article IV – Statement of Faith cannot be repealed or revised, except to bring it into conformity with the Statement of Faith of the Evangelical Free Church of America.