Here are some of the common questions we have received about the Constitution Update.
Question - Why are we changing the constitution at this time?
Answer - Growing ministries need to keep the document that spells out how they do ministry up to date with current practices.
Question - I don’t feel like comparing the two documents. What major changes have been made?
1. Elder Appointment: The elders will appoint future elders. In a church of our size it is impossible for everyone to know the elder candidates well enough to affirm. Our elders vet candidates in a very serious manner and will approve them. This is in keeping with the Scriptures of Acts 14:23 and Titus 1:5 where Paul told them to appoint Elders in every town.
2. Membership: Our members will have to affirm their membership annually. People leave our church regularly for many reasons and never tell us they are gone. Historically we had a pastor spend much time chasing down each person to see if they still were part of our church. This is unsustainable at our membership size. A simple click by each member annually saves time for staff and allows each of us to be reminded of the commitments we made when we became members originally.
3. Membership Transfer from other churches and classes: These kinds of details are best handled in the norms of membership as managed by the team that oversees membership.
4. Formatting and wording details: Examples: Names our church goes by were added; “Board of Elders” was changed to “Elders”; “Senior Pastor” was changed to “Lead Pastor” throughout the document. It is no longer called out the gender of who can be on Lead pastor search team. The age of membership was removed.
5. Fiscal Year Dates: There was an addition to the statement regarding the dates of the fiscal year that says "unless determined otherwise by staff". Best practices of the church our size are managed by the paid staff.
6. Elder Guidelines: The statement regarding Elder guidelines has been removed. Operational methods of each ministry will not be addressed in this document. All of our ministries and the way they operate are governed by "guidelines" that we call "norms".
7. Deacons: The selection and approval process of Deacons are now accomplished by Elders. Further, there was an attempt of the subject "Responsibilities" to create a more biblical definition of what a Deacon's role should be (as spelled out in Acts 6).
8. Articles of Faith: In the original document there was a section entitled Amendments. The two items under Amendments were rolled into one statement which clarifies how changes can be made to the Constitution and the Doctrinal Statement. This requirement in the Constitution is why we are sending it to you at this time, after being approved by our Elders.