Bylaws of Zion Missionary Church
Article I – Name and Affiliation
This church shall be known as Zion Missionary Church of Elkhart, Indiana.
This church is a member of the Missionary Church North Central District, Inc., and as such, is also a member of the Missionary Church, Inc., a denomination whose mailing address is P. O. Box 9127, Fort Wayne, Indiana 46807. It shares the privileges, benefits and responsibilities of those affiliations.
Article II – Statement of Faith and Polity
A. Faith – A complete statement of including other important matters related to doctrine and practice may be found in the Constitution and Manual of the Missionary Church
B. Polity – Its government is vested in the body of believers who compose it, subject to the Constitution of the Missionary Church.
Article III – Purpose and Objectives
The purpose of this church shall be to carry out the directives given in the Scriptures as they relate to the body of Christ.
The objectives, being designed to fulfill the stated purpose, then are:
1. Christian Evangelism – Make disciples of everyone we can, and baptize them in the name of Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19). This shall include an aggressive program of local evangelism, and the propagating of the Gospel throughout the world, in keeping with the great commission and the doctrine and practices of the Missionary Church.
2. Christian Worship – Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness and in the spirit and truth (Psalm 29:2; John 4:24). This shall include the maintaining of the public worship of Almighty God.
3. Christian Education – Teach disciples to observe everything Jesus has commanded us (Matthew 28:30). This shall include leading them toward unity in the faith, edification and maturity, an increasing knowledge of and obedience to the Word of God. It shall also include leading toward attaining the whole measure of the fullness of Christ, preparing God’s people for works of service and the exercise of spiritual gifts, so that the body of Christ may be built up (Ephesians 4:12-13)
4. Christian Fellowship – Encourage spiritual and social fellowship, friendship and unity among the members of the body (I John 1:3)
5. Christian Helps – Encourage members of the body to render practical helps to both those in the body of Christ as well as those outside the body of Christ (Philippians 4:3; Acts 18:27; I Corinthians 12:28)
6. Summarizing the above, Zion Missionary Church exists to commune with God, communicate the love of Christ, care about and for the needs of others, and create opportunities for growth.
Article IV - Ceremonies and Facility usage
Section 1 - The facilities may not be used for any events that are in opposition to the Constitution, Policies and Positions of the Missionary Church Inc. and Zion Missionary Church.
Section 2 - For rental of the facilities please see our rental agreement policies.
Article V – Membership
Section 1 – Members of this church must be born again believers in Jesus Christ who are exhibiting genuine evidence of their salvation and who have been baptized by immersion upon their confession of faith. Candidates who have been baptized in another manner may be admitted to membership if they are willing to be immersed as the Lord may lead them. A more detailed description of membership responsibilities is found in the Constitution of the Missionary Church.
Covenant of Membership
Section 2 – Having been led to repentance toward God and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, our Savior, we do now, in the presence of God and this assemble, meet solemnly and joyfully enter this covenant with one another as one body in Christ:
1. We covenant by the aid of the Holy Spirit to walk together in Christian love; to join in mutual labors for the kingdom of Christ; to strive loyally for the advancement of this church in holiness, knowledge and love; to promote its prosperity and spirituality; to sustain its worship, ordinances and doctrines.
2. We covenant to contribute cheerfully and regularly as God prospers us to the support of this church and its worldwide ministries.
3. We covenant to maintain private devotions and family devotions where possible; to endeavor to bring early to a saving knowledge of Christ all over whom we have the care and influence; to walk circumspectly in the world; to be just in our dealings and faithful in our engagements.
4. We covenant further to watch over one another in brotherly love, to remember each other prayer, to aid each other in sickness and distress; to cultivate Christian sympathy in feeling and courtesy in speech; to be slow to take offense and always ready for reconciliation.
5. We covenant to witness faithfully to the saving and keeping power of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ so that in every way we may bring lost men and women to a saving knowledge of Him.
Section 3 – Applicants for membership shall make application through the pastor using such forms as may be prepared and are available for that purpose. Applications shall be reviewed and applicants interviewed by the pastor and the board of deacons before such applications are presented to the church board for approval.
Section 4 – When any person fails to walk faithfully, refuses to be reconciled in case of variance or offense, the case shall be brought before the pastor and board of deacons where the offense may be heard and the matter brought to settlement. Upon genuine repentance and upon evidence that they have found grace and forgiveness, the matter shall be considered settled. Should the pastor and deacon board fail to effect a satisfactory settlement, the matter shall be dealt with according to Article 13-C, Section 3 and Article 14 of the Constitution of Missionary Church.
Section 5 – Members in good standing, moving from one locality to another where there is a Missionary Church, shall, at their request be given letters of transfer to that church. Persons moving to locality where there is no Missionary Church may, at their request, be given letters of recommendation to a church of their choice. In case of a pastor moving from one Missionary Church to another, the membership of the pastor and such members of his family as accompany him and are members in good standing in the Missionary Church from which they move shall automatically transfer to the new church of which he becomes a pastor. Persons, at their request, may be given letters of recommendation to a church of their choice. In no case will open letters of transfer be given.
The church may, after careful consideration, and after consultation with a member, take appropriate action to terminate membership for such reasons as: uniting with another church, prolonged absenteeism, or lack of interest and support.
Article VI – Church Business Meeting
Section 1 – A meeting for the purpose of receiving reports, adopting the annual budget, electing the officers of the church, conference delegates, members-at-large to the Christian Education Board and Finance Committee, and transacting other church business shall be held on the second Sunday of November. The time of the meeting shall be at the discretion of the Church Board. Officers elected at this meeting shall take office January 1.
In cases where more than one person has been nominated for one position, a plurality of votes is sufficient for election. In cases where the position involves more than one length of term, the nominee that receives the greater number of votes shall be awarded the longer term.
Section 2 – All active members of the church who are 16 years of age or over and who are in good standing shall be eligible to vote in the church business meeting.
Announcement of the Meetings
Section 3 – The Annual Business meeting shall be announced at least two weeks or two Sundays prior to the meeting. Special meetings may be called by giving at least one week’s notice to members, and may be called by the District Superintendent or the Church Board.
Section 4 – The fiscal year shall be the calendar year subject to change by the district conference of which Zion Church is a member.
Quorum and Eligibility
Section 5 – A quorum shall consist of all eligible voting members present at any business meeting properly announced. No provision shall be made for proxy voting.
Section 6 – The chairperson and secretary of the Board shall serve as chairperson and secretary respectively of all business meetings.
ARTICLE VII – PASTOR
Section 1 – The pastor shall be chosen from among persons approved as ministers in the Missionary Church. Procedures for the calling of a pastor will be in accordance with Article XI, Section 9 of the Bylaws of the Missionary Church, North Central District.
Section 2 – A pastor shall be an example to the flock of God by keeping himself free from all worldly entanglements and above reproach in all matters of conduct and finance. It shall be his duty to preach the Word, to exercise prayerful and diligent oversight of the church, watching for the souls thereof as one that must give account and to seek earnestly the salvation of the lost that in all things he may be approved unto God. The pastor shall be recognized as head of the local church and shall be responsible for the public services and the general promotion of church activities. It shall be his prerogative, with the approval of the Church Board, to arrange for all special meetings and to engage the necessary help for the same. He shall be an ex officio member of all boards and committees, of the church and Sunday school.
Section 3 – Annually, between October 1 and December 31, the Church Board and the pastor shall objectively review the progress of the church for the purpose of improving pastor-church relationships and communication for a growing church ministry. It should be understood that a congregational vote of confidence may be called for by the Church Board at that time by a ballot vote of its membership present at the meeting. Copies of the review must be submitted to the District Superintendent within 10 days of being completed.
TENURE AND VOTE OF CONFIDENCE
A. When a pastor is called by a church, the call shall require at least a two-thirds majority vote of the Local Conference. They are committing to one another for the foreseeable future. This shall be considered an indefinite call; the relationship is not to be entered into on a trial basis.
B. An indefinite call shall be understood to mean that so longs as relationships are good and the work of the church is progressing well, no pastoral vote of confidence will be called.
C. Annually, between October 1 and December 31, the relationships between the pastor and the church shall be assessed by conducting a pastoral and church board review. Both the pastor and the church board shall submit copies of the reviews to the District Superintendent within 10 days of the reviews being completed.
D. On or before February 15 of each year, each minister shall express to the District Superintendent, via the Annual Ministerial Report, his desire regarding his field of service for the next Conference term. If the pastor thinks that a change of pastors is advisable, he shall inform his Church Board.
E. Should relationships break down or the progress of the church be questioned, either pastor or board may request a vote of confidence from the church board. The vote of the board shall be taken not later than January 31.
1. If an incumbent pastor receives less than a majority of the votes cast by the church board, consultation with the District Superintendent is required.
2. After consultation with the District Superintendent, either the pastor or board may call for a pastoral vote of confidence by the Local Conference. A vote shall be taken not later than February 28.
3. A pastoral vote of confidence shall be announced at least two Sundays prior to the vote. Absentee ballots are not permitted.
4. If an incumbent pastor receives less than a two-thirds majority of the votes cast, the advisability of the pastor remaining at the church shall be determined by the District Superintendent, pastor and the Church Board in consultation. The final determination shall rest with the District Superintendent.
5. The District Superintendent shall be informed of the results of the vote within 48 hours by either the church secretary or the Board Chairman.
CHANGE OF PASTOR
Section 5 – Change of pastor will be in accordance with the Pastoral Relations Policy set forth by the Missionary Church, North Central District, Article XI, and Section 11
Section 6 – In the event the church in making a change in pastor cannot come to an agreement regarding the matter, the Church Board, in cooperation with the district executive board, may appoint an interim pastor who shall serve for the ensuing year, of until a regular pastor assumes the responsibility. An interim pastor shall normally not serve longer than one year.
ASSISTANT OR ASSOCIATE PASTOR
Section 7 – An assistant or associate pastor may be engaged by the church provided that the person so engaged shall be chosen from among approved ministers in the Missionary Church, or seeking the same, or that previous approval of the person be given by the District Superintendent.
A. Selection – The Church Board shall objectively review the work of the assistant or associate pastor(s) concurrently with that of the pastor.
B. Duties – The duties of the assistant or associate pastor shall be defined by means of a written agreement of the general duties of this position. One copy of the agreement shall be placed in the church file and the other given to the pastoral assistant or associate.
The assistant or associate pastor shall be responsible to the pastor who may assign additional responsibilities consistent with the outline of general duties and compensation established. He shall be an advisory member of the Church Board and Board of Christian Education.
ADDITIONAL EMPLOYED PERSONNEL
Additional persons may be employed either full or part-time as necessary or desired. Specific job descriptions and compensation details are on file in the Church Board minutes of the meeting when the decision was made and in the church office file.
ARTICLE VIII. OFFICERS AND THEIR ELECTION
Section 1 – The officers of the church to be elected in the Annual Business Meeting shall be the deacons, deaconesses, trustees, board members-at-large, secretary, treasurer, and financial secretary. All officers shall be members of the church, have a Christian testimony, and faithfully attend and support the church. They shall be elected in the following manner:
A. The Nomination Committee shall be the Church Board.
B. The Nomination Committee shall post vacant offices and requirements for those offices for the congregation to make recommendations. The Nominating Committee will post these offices on the first Sunday in September. The body may make nominations for two Sundays. For the first and second Sundays in September.
C. The Church will turn these nominations into the church secretary by the second Sunday in September.
D. The Church Board shall make nominations in their September board meeting.
E. The Nominating Committee shall submit a ballot for each office to be posted at least one two week prior to the election.
F. Nominations from the congregation must be submitted in writing to the chairman of the Nominating Committee at least one week prior to any duly called church election and further that nominees must have read and agree to the Leadership Standard of the Zion Missionary Church, which is contained in the Zion Church Manual under Leadership Policies and Job Descriptions.
G. A plurality of all votes cast shall constitute an election. In the case of a tie vote, a subsequent ballot will be cast, choosing among the nominees with an equal number of votes.
Section 2 – The officers named in Section 1 “OFFICERS” shall have a Christian testimony, be members of the church, and faithfully attend and support the church.
Section 1 – The chairperson of the Board shall preside at all meetings of the church.
Section 2 – The vice chairperson of the Board shall act in the absence of the chairperson.
Section 3 – It shall be the duty of the secretary to keep an accurate record of all business proceedings of the church and take care of correspondence as authorized by the church or the Church Board; to record the minutes of all business meetings; and to serve in any other secretarial capacity when authorized by the Church Board.
Section 4 – It shall be the duty of the treasurer to hold all monies of the church; pay all obligations regularly as directed by the Church Board and to report monthly to the Church Board and annually to the church.
Section 5 – It shall be the duty of the financial secretary to receive and record all monies of the church, except from organizations in the church which may have their own treasurers, and to issue receipts when necessary.
Section 6 – Board members-at-large
A. Board members-at-large shall be elected at the annual business meeting at the rate of one for every 50 members or fraction thereof. They shall serve for a staggered term of 3 years.
B. With the other members of the board, they shall participate in consultation and prayer, and shall help transact the business of the church; they shall endeavor to keep aware of “the pulse” of the congregation concerning issues with which the church board deals, and shall be open to hear and represent what they feel to be the desires of the congregation as a whole, always, as “their representative,” endeavoring to make decisions for the good of the congregation as a whole.
Section 7 – All vacancies in an elective office shall be filled by the appointment of the Church Board, and such appointees shall hold office until the next regular election is held.
The specific duties of the personnel elected or appointed are outlined in the Zion Missionary Church Manual.
ARTICLE IX – CHURCH BOARD
Section 1 – The Church Board shall be composed of the pastor, chairperson of the Board of Deacons, Chairperson of the Board of Christian Education (unless he is on the pastoral staff), chairperson of the Board of Trustees, church secretary, church treasurer, financial secretary, members-at-large, and as many others as the church membership may decide. Members of the Church Board shall be members of Zion Church.
Section 2 – A quorum at any regularly called Board meeting shall be necessary to transact business. A quorum shall consist of one-half of the eligible Board members. No provision shall be made for proxy voting.
Section 3 – At the beginning of each New Year, the Board shall elect a chairperson and a vice-chairperson. The church secretary shall serve as secretary of the Board.
Section 4 – The Church Board shall meet monthly, subject to change by Board action or Board officers. The pastor and/or chairperson shall prepare and post an agenda prior to each regular meeting. The Board shall concern itself with the total ministry of the church and should share with the pastor the burden of evangelism and outreach. Special meetings may be called by the chairperson or at the request of three members of the board.
Section 5 – In addition to those duties outlined in the Constitution and Manual of the Missionary Church, it shall be the duty of the Church Board to make such recommendations to the church as may affect its general welfare, and to delegate as it may deem wise and necessary, its authority to carry out any of its duties. Specific duties are listed in the Zion Church Manual.
ARTICLE X – OTHER BOARDS
Section 1 – Board of Deacons
A. Composition: Deacons shall be elected at the annual business meeting in November, at the rate of one for every fifty members or a fraction thereof. Deaconesses shall be elected at this business meeting at the rate of one for every one hundred members or major fraction thereof. One-third of this number shall be elected annually to serve for a period of three years.
B. Organization: The board shall elect its own chairperson, vice chairperson and secretary from among its membership in its first meeting of each year in January.
C. Duties: The duties of the deacons and deaconesses shall be an outlined in the Zion Church Manual.
D. Meetings: The Board of Deacons shall meet at least quarterly. Special meetings may be called by the chairperson or any three members of the board.
Section 2 – Board of Trustees
A. Composition: Trustees shall be elected at the annual business meeting in November at the rate of one for every fifty members or a fraction thereof, with a minimum of six trustees. One-third of this number shall be elected annually to serve for a period of three years.
B. Organization: The committee shall elect its own chairperson and secretary from among its membership in its first meeting of each year in January.
C. Duties: The duties of the Trustee Board shall be as outlined in the Zion Church Manual.
D. Meetings: The Board of Trustees shall meet at least quarterly. Special meetings may be called by the chairperson or any three members of this board.
Section 3 – Christian Education Board
A. Purpose and Function:
1. To correlate and address all general C.E. issues that are not specific to an area committee.
2. To receive reports and updates from each area committee (Children’s Ministries, Youth Ministries, Adults Ministries).
3. Be a sounding board for the concerns of each area committee.
4. Report the activities of Christian Education to the Church Board through the C.E. Representative to the Church Board.
5. Develop regular and ongoing plans for leadership training within the ministry of Christian Education.
6. Establish a list of appointments to each area committee to be sent to the Church Board at their August meeting for September implementation.
7. Present to the Finance Committee a Christian Education Budget representing the entirety of C.E. Ministry (includes each area committee budget plus C.E. general items).
8. Be the vision casters for C.E. ministry.
B. Frequency of Meeting – The Christian Education Board shall meet on a bi-monthly basis unless additional meetings are necessary to carry out their business.
C. Composition of the Christian Education Board – The Christian Education Board shall be made up of six members. Those members are the heads of each department (adult, youth, children) and three members-at-large elected from the congregation for staggered terms of three years.
D. Appointments to C.E. area ministries are made in July, approved by the Church Board in August, and the term of service is from September 1 through August 31.
E. Chairperson – This Board will elect their own chairperson and will also elect their own representative to the Church Board. This representative would be from the at-large members. The C.E. Representative to the Church Board serves in that position from January 1 to December 31. In the event a C.E. Representative cannot finish a Church Board year, the C.E. Board will submit a name for Interim Representative to the Church Board for their approval to finish out the year.
ARTICLE XI – STANDING COMMITTEES AND MINISTRY LEADERS
Section 1 - All expenses, debt and obligations should be approved by the appropriate department head. Expenditures in excess of budget allocations shall be approved by the Church Board.
Section 2 – The finance committee shall consist of the financial secretary, church treasurer, pastor, and two members-at-large. The financial secretary, the church treasurer, and two members-at-large shall be elected by the church membership for two year terms. The financial secretary and one member-at-large shall be elected in alternate years to the church treasurer and the other members-at-large. The chairperson shall be elected by the committee in the first meeting of each new year. The finance committee shall report to the Church Board.
PASTORAL EVALUATION COMMITTEE
Section 3 – The Pastoral Evaluation Committee shall consist of the Church Board chairperson and two other Board members appointed by the Church Board in January. The Board chairperson shall chair all pastoral evaluation meetings. Members of the Pastoral Evaluation Committee shall serve a term of one year and report to the Board by the October board meeting.
Section 4 - The nominating committee shall consist of the Church Board and the Senior Pastor. The Senior Pastor shall serve as the chairman in the September nominating session of the Church Board.
Section 5 – The auditing committee shall consist of two members who will be appointed by the Church Board in December. The auditing committee shall report to the finance committee.
Section 6 – The scholarship committee shall consist of a designated pastoral associate/assistant and two other members appointed by the Church Board in January, with the chairperson designated by the same. It shall report to the Board of Deacons. Its responsibility is to oversee the scholarship fund and award scholarships from the same.
Section 7 – The Kitchen Committee shall consist of three members appointed by the Deacons in January. The chairperson shall be designated by the Deacon Board.
This committee shall be in charge of the kitchen caring for its general cleaning following special events and being in charge of its general upkeep. They shall report special repair needs to the Board of Trustees. They shall make arrangements for funeral meals and for any other hospitality meals that may be required by the ministry of the church.
OTHER MINISTRY LEADERS
Section 8 – The following leaders shall be appointed by December 1 by the Senior Pastor and ratified by the Church Board in its January meeting:
Missions Committee Chairperson
Best Years Fellowship (BYF) Coordinator
Adult Fellowship Committee Chairperson
Specific duties and committee procedures are outlined in the Zion Church Manual.
ARTICLES XII – AUXILIARY ORGANIZATIONS
Other Organization – Any other organizations such as Women’s Ministries, His Helping Hands, Level Paths, etc., shall be auxiliary organizations of the church, and as such shall carry on their organizations and activities subject to the Church Board and in keeping with the directives of the church. These organizations shall report monthly to the Senior Pastor or his designee. Any new organizations and their organizational procedures must be approved by the Church Board before their inception.
ARTICLE XIII – PARLIAMENTARY AUTHORITY
All proceedings shall be governed by Robert’s Rules of Order.
ARTICLE XIV – AMENDMENTS
Amendments to these bylaws shall be proposed to the congregation two Sundays prior to the business meeting at which they shall be considered for adoption. A two-thirds vote of the church membership present is required for adoption.
ARTICLE XIV - SUSPENSION OF ANY BYLAW
Any one of these bylaws may be suspended during any business meeting of the congregation, suspension to be for the duration of said meeting. A two-thirds vote of the church membership present is required for suspension.