Proposed Amendment to the Bylaws

Article VI. Section B, Board of Elders

Proposed Amendment to the Bylaws Article VI. Section B, Board of Elders

Presented by the Board of Elders for vote by the Membership at the Annual Business Meeting, June 2, 2019, 4 pm

Bylaws Article IX, Amendments:

These Bylaws may be amended by a two-thirds (2/3) majority of those members present and voting by secret ballot at a duly called and constituted congregational meeting, provided the proposed amendment has been approved by the Board of Elders, or has been submitted by a petition signed by not less than twenty percent (20%) of the members, and provided the proposed amendment has been conspicuously posted in written form for two consecutive Sundays.

Summary

This Amendment to the Bylaws establishes a new structure for the Board of Elders. The classification of “sitting” and “standing” elder is removed, and replaced by “elder” of the Board of Elders. Within the Board of Elders is a smaller Oversight Team of elders that the Board of Elders delegates specific organizational leadership responsibilities. The Board of Elders as a whole, including members of the Oversight Team, are responsible for the care and spiritual oversight of the church body. This Amendment also establishes a one-year elder development process prior to a man being put before the membership to be affirmed as a member of the Board of Elders. It modifies the nomination process for potential elders by stipulating that potential elders are invited to participate in the one-year elder development process, and from those who complete the process and have both internal and external call to serve will be nominated by the Board of Elders to be affirmed by the members. This Amendment also reorders several sections of the Bylaws VI.B.

Rationale

It has become clear that, as our membership and congregation grow in numbers, we need more elders who are called and gifted in the care and spiritual oversight of people who are part of this church. Many men are gifted in caregiving ministry, but are not interested or gifted in the organizational responsibilities of leading the church. Therefore, the Board of Elders proposes that men be called and affirmed as elders, and then from among those an Oversight Team be selected by the Elders to perform the duties of organizational leadership on behalf of the whole Board. Not all elders will serve on the Oversight Team, but only such as are invited to do so by the Board of Elders, in recognition of their interest and giftedness in the work of the Oversight Team. Thus, this Amendment is designed to make it possible to have a larger Board of Elders (needed for care and spiritual shepherding) while still performing the specific leadership duties of the Board of Elders in a group small enough to be effective.


Additionally, as our church grows, it is common that men are recommended by the members to be elders whom not all of (or many of) the current elders know. Some men are clearly recognized as leaders among the friends and members they serve alongside or minister with in life groups or other ministry areas, but are not widely known outside their individual circles of influence. Inviting such men to participate in an elder development process will ensure that they are known and their unique gifts from the Lord are recognized and appreciated by the Board of Elders. Selection of new elders each year will be from these men. This is consistent with 1Timothy 5:22 which commands us to “not be hasty in the laying on of hands...”.


This Amendment requires all elders to be affirmed by the membership before each three-year term. It provides opportunity for each elder to continue serving three-year terms (with one-year sabbaticals at least after every two terms), fostering longevity and continuity in the important aspects of care and spiritual oversight that the Board of Elders is responsible for in the local church.

Finally, several subsections of this part of the Bylaws have been reordered, but not changed in any substantive way.

Details

The content below includes the proposed new wording of Bylaws VI.B, Board of Elders. Following this is the current wording of the same section. Note that, in addition to the new aspects discussed above, other items have been reordered, but not changed in substance. According to Bylaws Article XI, Amendments, this proposal must be approved by a 2/3 majority of the votes cast by secret ballot.

Proposed Amendment to Bylaws VI.B, Board of Elders (New Wording)

B. Board of Elders

1. The responsibility of the Board of Elders is that of the spiritual oversight and health of this local body of Christ. The elders shall perform all of their duties with humble dependence on the Lord, through regular individual and corporate prayer. As such, the Board of Elders shall have the power and authority to act on behalf of the Church except as limited within these Bylaws.


a. Spiritual Oversight. It shall be the duty of the Board of Elders to care for the Church in its spiritual condition, to guard the purity of doctrine and life of the Church, and to discipline the Church in accordance with the Word of God. The Board of Elders shall be responsible for examining all who seek membership in the Church. They shall act for the Church in the acceptance and dismissal of members, and shall maintain an active membership roll in conjunction with the Church Clerk. They shall counsel the erring and needy, comfort the sick and afflicted, and share in the responsibility of supplying the pulpit. They shall be responsible for the regular services of the Church and the administration of the ordinances. The Board of Elders has the responsibility to ordain, commission, and/or license a minister, according to the needs of the Church and requirements of law.


b. Direction for Use of Resources. It shall be the duty of the Board of Elders to provide guidance for the Board of Deacons for its use in the development of the church budget to be presented to the members. The Board of Elders shall provide for the Board of Deacons direction for the Church and priorities for the use of resources to the extent resources are available, including recommendations, if any, for the creation of pastoral or ministerial positions.


c. Funds Oversight. The Board of Elders shall have direct oversight of church funds designated for benevolence and for missions pursuant to Article VII below. Both for benevolence funds and mission funds, the Board of Elders may delegate authority where desirable. Should the Board of Elders delegate authority over funds, however, they shall do so in a written policy which shall be made available to the Church by the Church Clerk.


d. Committee Oversight and Delegation. The Board of Elders may delegate authority to a committee or team as the Board of Elders deems necessary for the effectual oversight of the activities of the Church. For any such committee or team there shall be a written policy or resolution including a clear description of the committee's makeup, responsibilities and authority. Such policies and resolutions shall be made available to the Church by the Church Clerk. Decisions made by appointed committees and teams are subject to review and approval by the Board of Elders at its discretion.


2. Limitations. The Board of Elders shall not assume any of the prerogatives, as given in Article IV above, reserved to the members unless otherwise provided by the Constitution or these Bylaws, or unless the Board of Elders has been given expressed congregational consent to exercise such authority.


3. Elder Structure and Organization.


a. The Board of Elders shall consist of all lay elders and staff elders from the pastoral staff. All elders are equal in position, but may function in different roles depending upon giftedness, internal calling, other life responsibilities, and chemistry. All elders are undershepherds and therefore responsible for the duties as outlined in B.1.a.


b. Per bylaw B.1.d. (Committee Oversight and Delegation), the Board of Elders shall designate a standing committee, called the “Oversight Team,” comprised of a subgroup of elders uniquely gifted and called for organizational leadership. The Oversight Team exists to serve the Board of Elders through overseeing and coordinating elder responsibilities. Duties that the Board of Elders may delegate to the Oversight Team may include but are not limited to, strategic planning, setting ministry priorities, calling ministers and pastors and presenting them before the Board of Elders and congregation for vote, and other such organizational leadership responsibilities outlined in B.1c-d. The Oversight Team shall consist of the Lead Pastor, Executive Pastor, Elder Chair, Elder Vice-Chair and at least five (5) additional lay elders. The Elder Chair and Vice Chair shall be lay elders.


c. When anticipated vacancies or changes occur in the Oversight Team, the Board of Elders will be notified by the Oversight Team as soon as possible and preferably 6 months prior to the anticipated vacancy or change. The Oversight Team shall advise the Elder Board of desired gifts/skills/expertise that is preferred in a new oversight elder. Led by the Elder Vice-Chair, the Board of Elders will identify candidates and the position(s) shall be filled by approval through secret ballot of 80% of all elders.


d. The Board of Elders shall review the function and composition of the Oversight Team yearly, prior to the elder candidate nomination process, and approve and/or make changes as necessary.


4. Elder Qualifications and Service.


a. Lay elders shall be men who are members of the Church, who are twenty-five (25) years of age or older,

and who are affirmed at the annual congregational meeting. They shall be men who are called by the Holy Spirit to the office of overseer, and who are affirmed by the existing Board of Elders as qualified under the stipulations of I Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:5-9.


b. There shall be no fewer than seven (7) lay elders, and this number may be increased depending upon the needs of the Church and the leading of the Holy Spirit as determined by the prevailing Board of Elders.


c. All ordained staff pastors are elders. The number of staff pastors on the Board of Elders will not exceed one third of the total number of members of the Board of Elders at the time of the election of new lay elders, or unless there are special circumstances with respect to a staff pastor's responsibilities.


5. Term of Office.


a. An affirmed elder is eligible to serve in this office as long as he is able to do so.


b. Lay elders shall serve on the Board of Elders for a term of three years unless otherwise specified at the time of affirmation. After this first term, they may elect to take a one-year sabbatical. However, elders may serve a maximum of two successive terms, after which they must take a break of not less than one year before they are eligible to serve again on the Board of Elders. After a sabbatical year, it is anticipated that the elder will typically continue service for three years with this renewal pending

congregational reaffirmation.


c. An elder may be invited to serve on the Oversight Team at any time, based upon giftedness and oversight needs. If the invitation is accepted, that elder is expected to serve on the Oversight Team for the remainder of his current term, with an option for another three years, after which they must rotate off for one year. For clarity, the term of service for an elder on the Oversight Team will be congruent with their service on the Board of Elders. When he rolls off the Board of Elders, he will also roll off the Oversight Team.


d. The Lead Pastor and Executive Pastor are permanent members of the Oversight Team.


e. Elders may elect to have an extended leave as needed by life situation but may be called for participation on an ad hoc basis if specific, short term needs arise.


f. Elders that are no longer able to serve as elders will notify the Elder Chair and may be designated as Emeritus Elders.


6. Avenues for elders to be appointed at CHBC.


a. Selection of Lay Elders. At least six weeks before the annual congregational meeting, a request for recommendations of men to be candidates for service as lay elders on the Board of Elders shall be made from the pulpit or published in the bulletin. The scriptural passages dealing with the qualifications for an elder shall be read out and explained or published. Any member of the Church may submit the name of a man for consideration as an elder development candidate. From the names submitted, the Board of Elders shall select candidates who possess the qualifications of an elder and who are willing to enter the elder development process, which is typically 1 year. The number of candidates selected shall depend upon the needs of the Board of Elders. Upon completion of the elder candidate development process, those men who have an internal and external call to serve, will be nominated as Elder candidates by the Board of Elders to the congregation at least three weeks before the next annual congregational meeting for affirmation. From that time until one week before the annual congregational meeting, the Chair of the Board of Elders shall receive any submitted objections to the nominations and questions may be put to the Board of Elders privately. An eighty percent (80%) majority of votes cast by secret ballot shall be required to affirm each Elder nominee. Those affirmed shall take office at the first meeting of the board after the annual congregational meeting. Should a vacancy occur during the church year, the Board of Elders may appoint a temporary officer to serve until the annual congregational meeting.


b. Staff Elders. Male staff members become elders at the time of ordination as a Pastor.


c. Transfers – elders serving previously in another church. These men may be recommended by members of the church, selected by the elders, and successfully complete the elder candidate development process. Exceptions for completing the elder development process can be made by the Board of Elders with an 80% vote for the proven, exceptional candidate on a person-by person basis.


d. Re-affirmation of elders. Each elder that is beginning a 3-year term shall be reaffirmed by an eighty percent (80%) majority of votes cast by secret ballot at the annual congregational meeting.


7. Termination. The office of elder shall be considered vacant upon the death or resignation of an elder, or upon removal from office by the Board of Elders. The Board of Elders may remove an elder from office by an eighty percent (80%) majority vote of all of the other members of the Board of Elders for refusal or failure to fulfill the responsibilities designated in the Constitution or Bylaws, including excessive absences from business meetings that affect his ability to serve well, or if an elder shows himself by person or attitude to be disturbing the purity, peace, or unity of the Church, or has admitted to changing his views regarding the Statement of Faith, or fails to live in harmony with the standards expressed in the Covenant of Fellowship, the Constitution and the Bylaws of the Church.


8. Officers, Meetings, and Quorum.


a. Annually, the elders shall elect from their number a chair and such other officers as they require. The regular meetings of the Board of Elders shall be held monthly at such time and place as the board may determine. This meeting shall be overseen by Elder Vice chair and primarily focused on shepherding and prayer, and all elders are expected to attend. The Elder Vice Chair will work closely with appointed members of pastoral staff whose primary responsibility is the care and discipleship of the congregation to develop the agenda and oversee the meeting.


b. The regular meetings of the Oversight Team shall be held at least once a month at such time and place as the Oversight Team may determine. This meeting shall be overseen by the Elder chair. Staff Elders, Elder Development Candidates and invited guests may audit as non-voting attendees, except during executive session.


c. Special meetings of the Board of Elders may be called at the request of the Chair of the Board of Elders, or a majority of the elders. Notice of a regular or special meeting of the Board shall be given in person, in the bulletin, by telephone, or by electronic means at least one day prior to the meeting. Notice may be waived if waived by all members of the Board of Elders in writing, including by electronic means. A majority of all the board members shall constitute a quorum of the board, and the acts of the majority of the board present and voting shall be acts of the entire board, unless otherwise specifically required by law or by the Constitution or Bylaws.


d. Special meetings of the Oversight Team may be called at the request of the Chair of the Elder Board, or a majority of Oversight Team elders. Notice of a regular or special meeting of the Oversight Team shall be given in person, in the bulletin, by telephone, or by electronic means at least one day prior to the meeting. Notice may be waived if waived by all members of the Oversight Team in writing, including by electronic means. At least seven members of the Oversight team, of which one is either the Executive Pastor or Lead Pastor, shall constitute a quorum of the Oversight Team.


e. The Board of Elders and Oversight Team shall keep records of their meetings and decisions, and shall inform the congregation of all major decisions made in their meetings.

Proposed Amendment to Bylaws VI.B, Board of Elders (Original Wording)

B. Board of Elders

The responsibility of the Board of Elders is that of the spiritual oversight of the body. The Board of Elders shall consist of lay elders and staff elders from the pastoral staff. The term “sitting elders” includes members who are currently serving on the Board of Elders. The term “standing elders” includes current members of the Church who have served on the Board of Elders but are not currently serving on the board, and staff pastors who are not currently serving on the Board of Elders.


1. Lay Elders. The lay elders shall be men who are members of the Church who are twenty-five (25) years of age or older, and who are elected at the annual congregational meeting. They shall be men who feel called by the Holy Spirit to the office of overseer, and who are recognized by the existing Board of Elders as qualified under the stipulations of I Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:5-9. There shall not be fewer than three sitting lay elders, and this number may be increased depending upon the needs of the Church and the leading of the Holy Spirit as determined by the prevailing Board of Elders.


a. Term of Office. Lay elders shall be elected for terms of three years unless otherwise specified at the time of election. Elders may serve a maximum of two successive terms (pending reelection), after which they must take a break of not less than one year before they are eligible for election.


b. Selection of Lay Elders. At least six weeks before the annual congregational meeting, a request for recommendations of men to be nominees for service as lay elders on the Board of Elders shall be made from the pulpit or published in the bulletin. The scriptural passages dealing with the qualifications for an elder shall be read out and explained or published. Any member of the Church may submit the name of a man for consideration as a nominee. From the names submitted, the Board of Elders shall select nominees who, in the elders’ opinion, possess the qualifications of an elder and who have agreed to serve willingly. The number of nominees selected shall depend upon the needs of the Board of Elders. At least three weeks before the annual congregational meeting, the Board of Elders shall announce the names of those so nominated. From that time until one week before the annual congregational meeting, the chair of the Board of Elders shall receive any submitted objections to the nominations and questions may be put to the Board of Elders privately. There shall be no nominations from the floor. An eighty percent (80%) majority of votes cast by secret ballot shall be required to confirm each nominee. Those selected shall take office at the first meeting of the board after the annual congregational meeting. Should a vacancy occur during the church year, the Board of Elders may appoint a temporary officer to serve until the annual congregational meeting.


2. Staff Elders. The Lead Pastor shall be a permanent member of the Board of Elders. Other staff pastors shall ordinarily be sitting members of the Board of Elders unless the number of staff pastors on the board would exceed one third of the total number of members of the Board of Elders at the time of the election of new lay elders, or unless there are special circumstances with respect to a staff pastor’s responsibilities. The Board of Elders, in its discretion, may then choose to designate some staff pastors to be sitting on the Board of Elders, and others to be standing elders, giving due consideration to recommendations made by the Lead Pastor, and based upon the needs of the Church and the Board of Elders, as well as any appointed pastor’s ability to continue his effectiveness in ministry while serving as a sitting member of the Board of Elders. The Board of Elders shall announce the names of the staff pastors who will be serving on the Board of Elders to the congregation.


3. Organization, Meetings, and Quorum. Annually, the elders shall elect from their number a chair and such other officers as they require. The regular meetings of the Board of Elders shall be held monthly at such time and place as the board may determine. Special meetings may be called at the request of the chair of the Board, or a majority of the elders. Notice of a regular or special meeting of the board shall be given in person, in the bulletin, by telephone, or by electronic means at least one day prior to the meeting. Notice may be waived if waived by all members of the Board of Elders in writing, including by electronic means. A majority of all the board members shall constitute a quorum of the board, and the acts of the majority of the board present and voting shall be acts of the entire board, unless otherwise specifically required by law or by the Constitution or Bylaws. The Board of Elders shall keep records of their meetings and decisions, and shall inform the congregation of all major decisions made in their meetings.


4. Duties. The Board of Elders shall have the power and authority to act in behalf of the Church except as limited within these Bylaws.


a. Spiritual Oversight. It shall be the duty of the Board of Elders to care for the Church in its spiritual condition, to guard the purity of doctrine and life of the Church, and to discipline the Church in accordance with the Word of God. The Board of Elders shall be responsible for examining all who seek membership in the Church. They shall act for the Church in the acceptance and dismissal of members, and shall maintain an active membership roll in conjunction with the Church Clerk. They shall counsel the erring and needy, comfort the sick and afflicted, and share in the responsibility of supplying the pulpit. They shall be responsible for the regular services of the Church and the administration of the ordinances. The Board of Elders has the responsibility to ordain, commission, and/or license a minister, according to the needs of the Church and requirements of law.


b. Direction for Use of Resources. It shall be the duty of the Board of Elders to provide guidance for the Board of Deacons for its use in the development of the church budget to be presented to the members. The Board of Elders shall provide for the Board of Deacons direction for the Church and priorities for the use of resources to the extent resources are available, including recommendations, if any, for the creation of pastoral or ministerial positions.


c. Funds Oversight. The Board of Elders shall have direct oversight of church funds designated for benevolence and for missions pursuant to Article VII below. Both for benevolence funds and mission funds, the Board of Elders may delegate authority where desirable. Should the Board of Elders delegate authority over funds, however, they shall do so in a written policy which shall be made available to the Church by the Church Clerk.


d. Committee Oversight and Delegation. The Board of Elders may delegate authority to a committee or team as the Board of Elders deems necessary for the effectual oversight of the activities of the Church. For any such committee or team there shall be a written policy or resolution including a clear description of the committee’s makeup, responsibilities and authority. Such policies and resolutions shall be made available to the Church by the Church Clerk. Decisions made by appointed committees and teams are subject to review and approval by the Board of Elders at its discretion.


5. Limitations. The Board of Elders shall not assume any of the prerogatives, as given in Article IV above, reserved to the members unless otherwise provided by the Constitution or these Bylaws, or unless the Board of Elders has been given expressed congregational consent to exercise such authority.


6. Termination. The office of elder shall be considered vacant upon the death or resignation of an elder, or upon removal from office by the Board of Elders. The Board of Elders may remove an elder from office by an eighty percent (80%) majority vote of all of the other members of the Board of Elders for refusal or failure to fulfill the responsibilities designated in the Constitution or Bylaws, including excessive absences from business meetings that effect his ability to serve well, or if an elder shows himself by person or attitude to be disturbing the purity, peace, or unity of the Church, or has admitted to changing his views regarding the Statement of Faith, or fails to live in harmony with the standards expressed in the Covenant of Fellowship, the Constitution and the Bylaws of the Church.