We declare and establish these bylaws to preserve and perpetuate the principles of our common Christian faith and to govern this body in an orderly and Biblical manner. These bylaws will seek to preserve the liberties of each individual church member and the freedom of action of this body to accomplish its God-given purpose.
ARTICLE I — NAME
This body will be known as the Bible Church of Brownsburg.
ARTICLE II — PURPOSE
The purpose of the Bible Church of Brownsburg is as follows:
- To exalt the Lord Jesus Christ through the preaching and teaching of the Word of God and through Christ-centered worship services and fellowship.
- To equip and edify believers for the ministry of the church, both corporate and individual.
- To evangelize the lost with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
ARTICLE III — DOCTRINAL STATEMENT
This church believes that the Bible is the only source of authority for all matters of faith and practice. On the basis of the scriptures:
We believe that the sixty-six books of the Bible are the written revelation of God. We teach that the Bible is verbally inspired in every word by the Holy Spirit, inerrant in the original documents, and is the infallible and authoritative Word of God (2 Timothy 3:16, 17; 2 Peter 1:20, 21; 1 Thessalonians 2:13). We teach the literal, grammatical-historical, interpretation of Scripture, which affirms the belief that the opening chapters of Genesis present creation in six literal days (Genesis 1:31; Exodus 31:17). We believe that His Word is the complete revelation of His will for the salvation of men and the divine and final authority for all Christian faith and life (Revelation 22:18-19, Psalm 19:7-9).
We believe that there is but one living and true God (Deuteronomy 6:4; Isaiah 45:5-7; 1 Corinthians 8:4), perfect in all His attributes, one in essence, existing eternally in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19; 2 Corinthians 13:14), coequal, consubstantial, equally deserving of worship and obedience.
We believe that Jesus Christ is God (John 1:1, 30), who added humanity to His deity, becoming the God-man, emptying Himself in becoming a man without divesting Himself of any of His Divinity (Philippians 2:5-8). Jesus Christ was conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of a virgin (Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:23; John 1:1, 2, 14). We believe that Jesus Christ accomplished redemption for believing sinners through the shedding of His blood and His sacrificial death on the cross and that His death was voluntary, vicarious, substitutionary, propitiatory, and redemptive (John 10:15; Romans 3:24, 25; 5:8; 1 Peter 2:24, I John 2:2). Jesus Christ rose bodily from the dead on the third day and ascended to the Father’s right hand, where He presently mediates as our Advocate and High Priest (Matthew 28:6; Luke 24:38-39; Acts 2:30-31; Romans 8:34; Hebrews 7:25; 1 John 2:1).
We believe that Adam was created by God in His image, free of sin. Adam was tempted and committed the sin of disobedience to the revealed will and Word of God. Because of Adam’s sin, man lost his innocence; inherited original sin; incurred the penalty of spiritual and physical death; became subject to the wrath of God; and became inherently corrupt and totally incapable of choosing or doing that which is acceptable to God apart from divine grace and the ministry of the Holy Spirit (Genesis 2:16, 17; 3:1-19; Psalm 51:5; Jeremiah 17:9; Romans 3:9-12, 23; 5:12; 6:23; 1 Corinthians 2:14; Ephesians 2:1-3).
We believe that salvation consists of the remission of sins and the imputation of Christ’s righteousness, and is the gracious, unmerited gift of God, accomplished only through the finished redemptive work of Jesus Christ’s death on the cross, and is received by faith alone, apart from works (Acts 4:12; Ephesians 2:8-10; 1 Peter 1:18, 19; Titus 3:5).
We believe that the Holy Spirit is the supernatural agent of regeneration who convicts men of sin and gives spiritual life to the sinner who repents of his sin as he is enabled by the Holy Spirit to respond in faith to the divine provision of salvation. The Holy Spirit baptizes all believers into the body of Christ, indwelling them at the moment of salvation, sanctifying, instructing, and empowering them for service, and sealing them unto the day of redemption (Romans 8:9; 2 Corinthians 3:6; Ephesians 1:13, 14; Titus 3:5).
We believe that the Holy Spirit sovereignly administers spiritual gifts to believers at the moment of regeneration and are discovered through sanctification, and that these gifts are for the edification of the body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:4-11; 1 Peter 4:10, 11). We teach that speaking in tongues, the working of sign miracles, and healing in the first century church were temporary sign gifts and are not for the church today (1 Corinthians 13:8-13). They were for the purpose of pointing to the person of Jesus Christ and authenticating the authority of the apostles as revealers of divine truth and were never intended to be characteristic of the lives of other believers (1 Corinthians 12:4-11; 13:8-10; 2 Corinthians 12:12; Ephesians 4:7-12; Hebrews 2:1-4).
We believe that the church, the body and bride of Christ, distinct from Israel, consists of all those who through saving faith in Jesus Christ, have been regenerated by the Holy Spirit at the moment of conversion and are united together in the body of Christ, of which He is the head. These believers are eternally secure and are kept by the power of God (1 Corinthians 10:32; 12:12-13; Matthew 16:16-18; Colossians 1:18; John 10:27-30; Philippians 1:6).
We believe that the two ordinances of the church are baptism and the Lord’s table (Communion). Baptism is by immersion, and is the believer’s act of obedience, as a sign of identification with Christ and His church. Communion is the celebration of the Lord’s death until He comes, and is preceded by careful self-examination. Baptism and communion are ordinances only and are not to be regarded as a means of salvation (Acts 2:41-42; Romans 6:3-5; 1 Corinthians 11:23-32).
We believe that the return of Jesus Christ at the Rapture is imminent and personal. He will meet His church in the air, and “so shall we ever be with the Lord” (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18). We teach that the Rapture is pretribulational and after the seven-year period of tribulation, Christ will visibly return with the saints to occupy the throne of David (Luke 1:31-33) and establish His 1,000 year kingdom reign upon the earth (Zechariah 14:4-11; Revelation 19:11-16; 20:1-6).
We believe that those who have died in Christ will experience a bodily resurrection, being raised to eternal life and blessedness in heaven, and that non-believers will be physically raised to stand in judgment, where they will be relegated and condemned to Hell for eternal and conscious punishment in the lake of fire (Matthew 25:41, 46; Revelation 20:11-15; John 5:28, 29; 11:25, 26).
ARTICLE IV — RELATIONSHIPS
The Bible Church of Brownsburg is a non-denominational church and as such is not aligned with, or a part of any other denomination or organization of churches. For purposes of ministry outreach or mission involvement, the church may participate with other churches or organizations, which are like-minded in doctrine and practice. The elders shall approve such participation.
ARTICLE V — CHURCH MEMBERSHIP
Section 1. Members – The membership of this church is comprised of persons who profess a personal faith in Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord, have been baptized by believer’s baptism (immersion) according to the New Testament, and actively follow the Lord Jesus Christ in discipleship. Participation in the ordinances of the church as administered by the church is not limited to members
Section 2. Membership – A person shall be considered a member upon approval by the elders. A person may be received for membership upon the following:
- Clear Profession of Faith – A person who can by writing or verbally confirm their acceptance of Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, as demonstrated to two elders.
- Attend and complete the membership class
- Support of the doctrinal statement in Article III as the doctrinal position of the church.
- Be 16 years or older.
Section 3. Voting Privileges of Members – Every member of the church is entitled to one vote on all matters requiring a congregational vote, provided the member is present. Proxy voting is prohibited.
Section 4. Responsibilities of Members – Members shall seek to exercise their spiritual gifts for the mutual benefit of all the church body and are expected to be faithful in discipleship and service. Members shall also submit to the loving rule of the elders.
Section 5. Discipline of Members – This church will make every effort to adhere to the principles of church discipline as set forth in Matthew 18:15-17. The discipline steps of a believer based on first-hand knowledge of unrepentive sin are:
- Reprove him privately (Matt. 18:15, Luke 17:3)
- Reprove him before one or two witnesses (Matt 18:16, Deut. 19:15)
- Reprove him before the church (Matt 18:17, I Tim 5:20)
- Exclude him from the church (Matt 18:17, I Cor. 5:5, I Tim 1:20)
A member under church discipline should not expect confidentiality of unrepentive sin. The guiding motivation behind church discipline is love and restoration, but exclusion from the church is the ultimate discipline for unrepentive sin. Any member subject to church discipline shall not be entitled to vote during the period of the discipline as determined by the elders.
A non-member believer fellowshipping with the church is subject to the same discipline as members set forth above.
Section 6. Termination of Membership. – Membership shall be terminated for the following reasons: (1) death, (2) acknowledgment when a member has joined another church, (3) resignation, (4) inactivity as defined by failure to respond to formal contact from the elders seeking explanation for their absence from the church, (5) exclusion by action of the elders as a result of church discipline.
ARTICLE VI — CHURCH MEETINGS
Section 1. Regular Church Services – The church shall meet regularly each Sunday for worship, for preaching, for teaching, for evangelism, and for fellowship; and additionally may meet on any other day(s) the church so determines. These services will be open to everyone (unless excluded for church discipline reasons) and shall be conducted under the direction of the elders. The elders shall determine the number of and times of services.
Section 2. Annual Business Meeting – A business meeting shall be held annually at a time the elders determine provided at least four weeks notice has been given to members. An elder shall serve as moderator of that meeting. At that meeting, the budget and confirmation of any elders or deacons and deaconesses shall be considered. The elders shall provide a ministry report for the previous year including an actual financial statement for the previous year.
Section 3. Special Business Meetings – A special business meeting may be called by the elders to consider any matter requiring immediate action, which cannot wait until the Annual Meeting. Notice of the subject, date, time and location of the meeting must be mailed or electronically transmitted to all members of the church as far in advance as practical but at least one week in advance of the meeting.
Section 4. Quorum – At all meetings of members, a quorum exists when ten percent (10%) of the members are present.
Section 5. Polity and Parliamentary Rules – The government of this church resides in the body of believers who compose it. It is subject to the control of no other body. This church will seek to conduct its business under the Lordship of Jesus Christ and according to the spirit and authority of the New Testament. Should questions arise as to parliamentary procedure this church will refer to the rules stated in Roberts Rules of Order.
Section 6. Matters subject to Member Vote and percentage of votes present at meeting required for passage:
- budget (simple majority vote)
- call of any pastor (75% vote)
- elder confirmation (75% vote)
- deacon and deaconess confirmation (75% vote)
- non budget purchases in excess of five percent (5%) of the total budget including real estate purchases (simple majority)
- amendment to bylaws (75% vote)
ARTICLE VII — ORGANIZATION FOR MINISTRY
Section 1. Ministries and Programs
A ministry is an attempt to accomplish one or more purposes of this church or may be a new endeavor seeking to meet a pressing or newly discovered need. For a ministry to be deemed a ministry of this church it does need to be approved by the elders to begin. Any member or group in this church may start a ministry as God so leads that member or group, but for that ministry to be deemed a ministry of this church and if church assets or funds are necessary for the starting or continuation of the ministry then elder approval is required. Should it be desired that a ministry become a church program a proposal to that effect should be made to the elders.
A program is a ministry or combination of ministries designed to accomplish one or more of the purposes of this church. It is adopted by the church, funded by the church and controlled by the church. Its director is a church member and its workers, any curriculum and plan of action are approved by the elders.
- Evaluation of Programs
The elders will annually evaluate all church programs and make recommendations to the church members concerning their contribution and viability to the ongoing work of the church as it seeks to accomplish its purposes.
Section 2 Personnel
All church staff and all persons appointed to program and ministry leadership positions must be members of the church.
- The qualifications and responsibilities for the position of Pastor-Teacher of this church shall be according to the teachings of 1 Timothy 3:1-7, 2 Timothy, Titus, and Ephesians 4:11-16.
- Election shall be by an affirmative vote of at least seventy- five (75%) of those members present at a regular or special business meeting of the church. Voting shall be by secret ballot. Only one pastoral candidate is to be presented to the church for consideration at a time.
- Should the pastor resign, he is to give one month’s notice to the church in writing.
- The church may dismiss a pastor only by a unanimous vote of the lay elders and a seventy-five percent (75%) vote of the members present at a special business meeting called for that purpose.
- The Pastor’s salary and benefits will be determined by the elders and agreed upon by the prospective candidate prior to his call. The salary and benefits will be reviewed annually and will be included in the annual budget confirmation process.
- When a vacancy in the pastorate occurs, the elders shall either serve as a Pulpit Committee or may appoint a separate Pulpit Committee to seek a new pastor. The elders recommendation shall constitute a nomination.
- Unless otherwise so stated in these bylaws the pastor shall serve as President of the Corporation for legal purposes.
Men members meeting the requirements of I Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:6-9 and presented by the elders, shall be confirmed by the members of the church at a meeting of the members. Lay elders shall be confirmed annually. The process shall be as follows: Nomination by members, consideration by elders, presentation to members by elders and confirmation by members.
The elders are the governing board of the church.
An elder appointed by vote of the other elders shall be considered the Vice President and Secretary of the Corporation for legal purposes.
- Deacons and Deaconesses
Men and women members meeting the requirements of I Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:6-9 and presented by the elders shall be confirmed by the members of the church at a meeting of the members. The Deacons and Deaconesses shall be responsible for certain service ministries and other acts of service for the church.
An individual appointed by the elders shall serve as Treasurer for the church. The treasurer shall maintain a record of all receipts and expenses, make necessary disbursements promptly, and submit a monthly report of all financial transactions to the elders. The Treasurer shall make disbursements and perform other duties in accordance with procedures established by the elders. The treasurer is the corporate Treasurer for legal purposes.
Standing and Special committees will be elected and named by the elders for the purpose of sharing responsibilities of the ministry of the church. The pastor may serve as ex officio member of any standing committee.
- Standing Committees – Standing committees shall be organized by the elders and each member shall be selected with special attention given to assure that continuity is maintained.
- Special Committees – Special committees shall be organized by the elders as needed and will continue until such time as the particular need is met.
ARTICLE VIII — AMENDMENTS
Changes in these bylaws may be made at any regular meeting of the church, provided each amendment has been presented in writing in advance of said meeting, and that written copies of the proposed amendment has been made available to all resident members of the congregation at least 4 weeks in advance. Amendments to these bylaws shall be ratified by seventy-five (75%) of all members present and voting.
ARTICLE IX – INITIAL ADOPTION
These bylaws shall be considered adopted and in immediate effect when ratified by the initial elders of the church as evidenced by their signatures below.
AMENDMENT X – POLICIES AND PROCEDURES
Section 1. Policies – The elders shall write policy documents that deal with personnel matters, financial matters and property matters as the need arises for these policies. When policies are written and approved by the elders they immediately become a part of the operating policy of the church. Any such policy may not be inconsistent with any specific provision in the bylaws of the church. A simple reference system may be used and the policies must be kept on file in the church office and accessible to all church members on proper notice.
Section 2. Procedures – Procedures for this church may be written documents or generally understood operating procedures. Should they be written they should be kept on file in the church office and accessible to all church members on proper notice. However, since they may be construed to be generally understood operating procedures, should a question or dispute arise concerning a policy that cannot be resolved, the elders will be responsible for clarifying the procedure and preparing a written copy which will be read to the church in a meeting it will be filed as a written procedures document.
AMENDMENT XI – STATEMENT ON MARRIAGE AND SEXUALITY
We believe that term “marriage” has only one meaning and that is marriage sanctioned by God which joins one man and one woman in a single, exclusive union, as delineated in Scripture. We believe that God intends sexual intimacy to only occur between a man and a woman who are married to each other. We believe that God has commanded that no intimate sexual activity be engaged in outside of a marriage.
We believe that any form of sexual immorality, such as adultery, fornication, homosexuality, bisexual conduct, bestiality, incest, pornography or any attempt to change one’s sex, or disagreement with one’s biological sex, is sinful and offensive to God.
We believe that in order to preserve the function and integrity of the church as the local Body of Christ, and to provide a biblical role model to the church members and the community, it is imperative that all persons employed by the church in any capacity, or who serve as volunteers, should abide by this Statement on Marriage and Sexuality and conduct themselves accordingly.
We believe that God offers restoration to all who confess and forsake their sin, seeking His mercy and forgiveness through Jesus Christ.
We believe that every person must be afforded compassion, love, kindness, respect, and dignity. Hateful and harassing behavior or attitudes directed toward any individual are not in accordance with Scripture or the doctrines of the church and will be repudiated.