BYLAWS OF HERITAGE BIBLE CHURCH
These bylaws provide a framework for maintaining Biblical principles, practices and perpetuating order in this body by providing organizational guidelines and a climate where all believers can move toward Christ-centered maturity.
The name of this church shall be Heritage Bible Church, an Idaho non-profit Christian organization hereinafter referred to as The Church.
The Church is organized and operated primarily for the purpose of engaging in religious worship that glorifies God and to make disciples and mature followers to further spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ everywhere through the power of His Spirit and authority of His Word (Matthew 28:18-20).
STATEMENT OF FAITH
Section 1: The Holy Scriptures. The Bible, comprised of the 66 books of the Old and New Testaments, is inspired by God in both words and ideas. It is without error in the original writings and is the complete and objective written revelation of God. The Bible is completely true, and is the all sufficient, ultimate authority for life and godliness. We believe that the Bible is to be interpreted grammatically, contextually, literally and historically. 2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:19-21.
Section 2: God. There is one God who is personal and eternally existent in three persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Each of these persons possess all of the divine attributes. Each is in Himself God, and all three together are God. God is in essence spirit and totally perfect in His character and attributes. He is Maker and Supreme Ruler over all that exists.
God, the Father. His general fatherhood extends over all creation. He is a personal Father to those who are His sons and heirs as a result of receiving His gift of salvation. Ephesians 4:6.
God, the Son. Jesus, the Christ, while being totally God became man, being conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of a virgin. His becoming man was voluntary and, while He laid aside His visible glory to become man, he never ceased to be God. He lived a sinless life and provided for our redemption through the shedding of His blood in His sacrificial death on the cross. This provides the only effective sacrifice for our sins, making salvation available to all men. Jesus then rose bodily from the dead and ascended to heaven, where He is now the High Priest and Advocate of those who believe in Him. Matthew 1:24-45; Philippians 2:5-11; Hebrews 4:14-16
God, the Spirit. The Spirit's ministry glorifies Jesus, convicts the unsaved of their need for salvation, regenerates, indwells, and sanctifies believers. He empowers believers and grants spiritual gifts to each one. Through the Spirit's power, believers are able to live a life of godliness and grow to maturity. The gift of the indwelling Spirit is given by God to every believer at the time of conversion. John 16:8, 14; Romans 8:9; 1 Corinthians 12:4-13.
Section 3: Man. Man was created in the image and likeness of God. Through Adam, man sinned and fell from his created position of sinlessness. With sin came the judgment of death and separation from God. All men are guilty of sin and under its curse. The creation of man was on the sixth of six consecutive, literal days of creation. Genesis 1:26-27; Romans 3:23, 5:12.
Section 4: Salvation. God provided a way for each individual to be spared His judgment on sinful mankind. Salvation is a free gift from God, offered to all. Through God's grace, salvation is given to all who put their trust and faith in Jesus and receive His gift of forgiveness. It is only through Jesus' sacrifice that this gift can be offered to anyone, and only through faith and trust in Him can it be received. Good works are an evidence of faith and salvation, but are not a means to salvation. Romans 6:23; Ephesians 2:8-10, John 3:16,14:6
God's gift of Salvation, once given, cannot be revoked or lost. The Holy Spirit is the earnest God gives each believer. Eternal life with God begins at salvation. 1 Peter 1:3-5; 2 Corinthians 1:22.
Section 5: The Church. The true church is comprised of all who have saving faith in Jesus and have been regenerated by the Spirit. Jesus is the head of the church, which is called the "body of Christ." The primary function of the church is to glorify God through the worship of God, the edification of believers, and the evangelism of the world. This local church, part of the universal church of God, is self-governed with Jesus as the head. 1 Corinthians 12:13; Ephesians 1:22-23; Acts 2:42.
Water baptism and the Lord's Supper are the only two ordinances to be observed by believers. They are symbols of spiritual truths and not requirements of salvation. They are observed out of obedience to God's word. Matthew 28:19-20; 1 Corinthians 11:23-26.
Section 6: Angels and Demons. Angels are spirit beings created by God to serve Him. God uses angels to do His will in the affairs of men. They are not to be worshiped. Hebrews 1:14.
Satan is a created angel who rebelled against God, taking approximately one third of all angels with him in his rebellion. He is the leader of the fallen angels which are called demons. Satan and his demons oppose the work of God and are the ultimate source of all false doctrine. Satan and his demons will ultimately be eternally punished in the Lake of Fire. Matthew 25:41; Revelation 12:3-4.
Section 7: Last Things. We believe in the personal, premillennial return of Jesus. This return will begin the events that will lead to all believers living in God's presence in His everlasting kingdom. There will be a bodily resurrection of the dead: the believer to everlasting joy with God in Heaven; and the unbeliever to everlasting punishment and separation from God in the Lake of Fire. John 5:28-29; Revelation 19:11-20:15.
Section 1: Qualifications. Membership is restricted to individuals who confess Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, are in agreement with The Church Statement of Faith and complete the procedures as prescribed by the Council of Elders.
Section 2: Application for Membership. All requests for membership shall be made to a Pastor, Elder, or Deacon. Upon making such a request, the person shall be given an application for membership, along with a copy of the Statement of Faith contained in the Articles of Incorporation and a copy of the Bylaws. A Pastor, Elder, or Deacon shall meet with the applicant following receipt of the application.
Section 3. Denial of Membership. If, upon review of an application for membership or after meeting with a prospective member, the Council of Elders unanimously determines that the applicant does not confess Jesus Christ as his or her Lord and Savior, or that there is a lack of evidence of a godly lifestyle, membership shall be denied and there shall be no appeal to any court.
Section 4: Voting Privileges. Voting privileges are restricted to members who are in good standing, who are not under any disciplinary action, and who have passed their eighteenth (18) birthday.
Section 5: Responsibilities. Members are expected to be faithful in all spiritual duties essential to the Christian life, to regularly attend the services of The Church, to give regularly for its support and benevolence and to share in its organized work. Members must agree to be in submission to the Council of Elders as they govern by the Word of God and these Bylaws.
Section 6: Termination and Restoration. Members shall be dropped from membership for any of the following reasons:
- The member's request–submitted in writing (except when discipline is being considered in accordance with Section 7 below)
- Lack of participation. When a member has been absent from The Church and has not communicated with The Church for six months, The Church shall attempt to contact the member, ascertain the reason for absence and inform the member that he or she will be dropped from membership if the absence without cause continues over the next six months. Members who have been inactive for a period of one year shall be dropped from membership.
Section 7: Discipline of members. The threefold purpose of church discipline is to glorify God by maintaining purity in the local church (1 Corinthians 5:6), to edify believers by deterring sin (1 Timothy 5:20), and to promote the spiritual welfare of the offending believer by calling him or her to return to a biblical standard of doctrine and conduct (Galatians 6:1). Members of this church and all other professing Christians who regularly attend or fellowship with this church who err in doctrine, or who engage in conduct that violates Scripture as determined by the Council of Elders, shall be subject to church discipline, including dismissal according to Matthew 18:15-18. Before such dismissal, however, (1) it shall be the duty of any member of this church who has knowledge of the erring individual's heresy or misconduct to warn and correct such erring individual in private, seeking his or her repentance and restoration. If the erring individual does not heed this warning, then (2) the warning member shall again go to the erring individual, seeking his or her repentance, but this time accompanied by one or two individuals who shall confirm that the sin has occurred or is continuing to occur, and/or that the erring individual has been appropriately confronted and has refused to repent. If the erring individual still refuses to heed this warning, then (3) it shall be brought to the attention of the Council of Elders (or a duly appointed committee of the Council). If the Council of Elders (or a duly appointed committee of the Council) unanimously determines after thorough investigation in accord with the procedures prescribed by pertinent Scripture, including Matthew 18:15-18, 1 Timothy 5:19, and Titus 3:10, that there is corroborating evidence that the erring individual has sinned or is continuing to sin, that he or she has been appropriately confronted, and that he or she has refused to repent, then the Elders shall inform the congregation at a regularly-scheduled worship service in order that The Church may call the erring individual to repentance. If the erring individual demonstrates repentance, then notice to that effect may be given at a regularly-scheduled worship service. If, however, the erring individual does not repent in response to The Church in its collective call to repentance, then (4) he or she shall be publicly dismissed from the fellowship and/or membership of The Church at a regularly-scheduled worship service. The members of the congregation will treat the unrepentant individual, who has been dismissed, as one who needs to hear the gospel message and come to repentance. If after being dismissed, the erring individual heeds the warning, demonstrates repentance, and requests reinstatement before the Council of Elders, then he or she shall be publicly restored to all the rights, duties, privileges, and responsibilities of fellowship and/or membership. The members of this church, and all other professing Christians who regularly attend or fellowship with this church, agree that there shall be no appeal to any court because of the dismissal or because of public statements to the congregation at the third or fourth stages of church discipline. Members who are under discipline by The Church, as defined in the previous paragraph, forfeit and waive the right to resign from this church. This restriction prevents erring members from avoiding God’s commandments regarding church discipline. Resignations from membership are possible only by members who are in good standing and who are not under any disciplinary action.
Section 8: Regular Annual Meeting. A regular annual meeting of the church members shall be held at the principal meeting place of the church in January of each year. At such regular annual meeting, the members shall consider reports of the affairs of The Church, and transact such other business as the Elders determine shall be brought before the meeting, including but not limited to affirmation of those nominated to serve as Elders and deacons for the ensuing year. (See Article VI, Section 3.) Voting shall be by secret ballot.
Section 9: Special Meetings. Special meetings of the members may be called at any time by order of the Pastor-Teacher, a quorum of the members of the Council of Elders or by a petition submitted by 20% of the members.
Section 10: Notice of Meetings. Notice of regular meetings shall be given from the pulpit for two successive Sundays prior to the meeting. In addition, notice shall be published in the regular church bulletin for two successive Sundays prior to such meeting. Notice of special meetings shall be given from the pulpit at least seven (7) days prior to the meeting and shall also be published in the regular church bulletin on the Sunday immediately preceding the meeting. All members in good standing are eligible to vote.
Section 11: Quorum. At all meetings of the members, whether regular, special or adjourned, the members present shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business.
Section 1: Council of Elders - Duties and Responsibilities.
- The administrative government of The Church shall be vested in the Council of Elders. The Elders are responsible for shepherding and general oversight of the spiritual life of The Church. The Council’s action shall be subject to review by the membership at any meeting called in accordance with the provisions of Article V, Section 9 of these by-laws. Members of the Council of Elders are to be servant leaders, regarding the needs of the congregation more highly than their own interests. The Council of Elders shall be the executive council of The Church in its dealing with the pastor, church staff, church ministries, standing committees, members and organizations of The Church. The Council of Elders, serving as trustees of the corporation, shall have supervision over all church operations and transactions with power to act, except that they shall not encumber The Church with a loan, that they shall not transfer, sell or purchase any real estate except by authority conveyed through a majority vote of The Church membership at a legally called business meeting. The Council of Elders shall handle and consider suggestions, recommendations and grievances from or upon any member or organization affiliated with The Church. The Council of Elders shall have authority to approve the appointment of all budgeted salaried personnel except as otherwise provided in these by-laws.
- To assist the Pastor-Teacher with discipling members using Biblical wisdom and counsel so that members learn, teach and admonish one another. Colossians 3:16; Romans 15:14
- To publish and maintain Position Papers declaring the Biblical perspectives of The Church on issues of importance. These papers will help in defining and clarifying the position or function of The Church and will be available to the congregation.
Section 2: Elder Qualifications. Each Elder shall be a man who is an active member in good standing of The Church, shows evidence of established Christian character and meets the scriptural requirements found in 1 Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:6-9.
He shall be:
- above reproach as God's steward (1 Timothy 3:2; Titus 1:6-7)
- the husband of one wife (1 Timothy 3:2; Titus 1:6)
- temperate, prudent, respectable (1 Timothy 3:2)
- hospitable (1 Timothy 3:2; Titus 1:8)
- able to teach, able both to exhort in sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict (1 Timothy 3:2; Titus 1:9)
- not addicted to wine (1 Timothy 3:3; Titus 1:7)
- not pugnacious, not self-willed, not quick-tempered (1 Timothy 3:3; Titus 1:7)
- gentle (1 Timothy 3:3)
- uncontentious (1 Timothy 3:3)
- free from the love of money, not fond of sordid gain (1 Timothy 3:3; Titus 1:7)
- managing his own household well, keeping his children under control with all dignity, having children who believe (1 Timothy 3:4; Titus 1:6)
- not a new convert (1 Timothy 3:6)
- of a good reputation with those outside the church (1 Timothy 3:7)
- not accused of dissipation or rebellion (Titus 1:6)
- loving what is good, sensible, just, devout (Titus 1:8)
- self-controlled (Titus 1:8)
Eldership is determined by the scriptural and spiritual qualifications of life rather than by merely organizational position (i.e. appointment to the Council of Elders). Nevertheless, Elders that are not serving on the Council will assume no Council authority.
Section 3: Nomination, Selection, and Tenure of Office
- Recommendations to fill the office of Elder shall be requested once a year from all church members. The Council of Elders shall review all nominations and determine each nominee's qualifications and desire to serve. No one may nominate himself for Elder or Deacon. The Council shall then finalize the slate of nominees. The secretary shall publish the nominees approved by the Elders in alphabetical order at least three weeks prior to the annual meeting of The Church members. At this meeting, each nominee shall be presented to the members for their affirmation of each nominee. Each nominee who is affirmed as an Elder by at least three-fourths (3/4) majority of all votes cast shall assume office immediately. Each Elder shall serve until the next annual meeting. Following affirmation, the Council of Elders shall meet to appoint Elders to the Nominating Committee, to each of the Ministry Committees and to elect their own officers.
- Elders are affirmed to serve a one-year term and may be reaffirmed for up to four (4) consecutive terms. Elders who have served four (4) consecutive terms may be reaffirmed as members of the Council of Elders after an absence of one full term. Prior to the initiation of a new term, each Elder should undertake his own personal evaluation of his qualifications for spiritual service.
- Regular meetings of the Council of Elders shall be held monthly. Special meetings may be called by the Pastor-Teacher, Chairman of the Council of Elders, or by a majority of the Elders. All matters requiring church action shall be reviewed by the Council of Elders before they are brought to the membership for action.
Section 4: Vacancies
- Any Elder may resign effective upon giving written notice to the Chairman of the Council or the Secretary of the Council. A vacancy in the Council shall be deemed to exist in case of the death, resignation, or removal of any Elder.
- Vacancies on the Council of Elders that occur during the year may be filled by a nominee from the Nominating Committee, approved and seated by the Council of Elders and affirmed at the next church business meeting.
- When the Council of Elders finds that it is necessary to increase its size, it shall notify the Nominating Committee of its need.
Section 5: Removal of Elders. An Elder who misses two meetings during the year without a satisfactory excuse or conducts himself in such a way as to violate the qualifications for the office shall appear before the Council of Elders to explain his reasons for his absence or alleged misconduct. Any Elder may be removed from office at any regular or special meeting of the Council if he is found to be physically or mentally incapacitated or spiritually unqualified (according to pertinent Scripture, including 1 Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:5-9), after thorough corroborating investigation by the Elders (or a duly appointed committee of the Council), in accord with the procedures prescribed by pertinent Scripture, including Matthew 18:15-18 and 1 Timothy 5:19. An Elder will be removed, by unanimous vote of the Council of Elders (the erring Elder cannot vote), when he has sinned in a manner that is deemed sufficient to disqualify him from shepherding, and if he refuses to repent from that sin, his removal from the Council and The Church shall be accompanied by a public rebuke, and notice shall be made before the congregation at a regularly-scheduled worship service as prescribed in 1 Timothy 5:20.
Section 6: Place of Council Meetings. Notwithstanding anything to the contrary provided in these Bylaws, any meeting (whether regular, special, or adjourned) of the Council of Elders of The Church may be held at any place within or without the State of Idaho.
Section 7: Regular Council Meetings. Regular meetings of the Council shall be held without call or notice at a time agreed upon by the Council each month, unless otherwise modified by the Council. Regular Council meetings shall be open to all church members with the understanding that church members will be listeners, not active participants. Members who wish to submit a comment or address the Council must contact the Council Chairman to place an item on the agenda of a meeting as soon as practical. Members who attend a Council meeting may be asked to leave during discussion of a confidential matter involving an individual.
Section 8: Special Council Meetings. Special meetings of the Council of Elders may be called at any time by order of the Chairman or Vice-Chairman or the Secretary of the Council of Elders, by the Pastor-Teacher, or by a quorum of the members of the Council of Elders.
Section 9: Notice of Special Council Meetings. Special meetings of the Council shall be held upon four days notice by first-class mail or a 48 hour notice given personally or by telephone or other similar means of communication. Any such notice shall be addressed or delivered to each Elder.
Section 10: Quorum. Except as otherwise provided herein, a majority of the Elders currently serving shall constitute a quorum except when a vacancy or vacancies prevents such majority, whereupon a majority of the Elders in office shall constitute a quorum, provided such majority shall constitute either one-third of the number of Elders or at least two Elders, whichever is larger, or unless the number of Elders is only one. Whenever the matter to be considered concerns calling or dismissing a pastor or Elder, or buying or selling real estate, then a quorum is not sufficient, rather all members of the Council of Elders must participate (except the pastor or Elder being considered for dismissal) and arrive at a unanimous decision.
Section 11: Council Meetings by Conference Telephone. Members of the Council may participate in a meeting through use of conference telephone or similar communications equipment, so long as all members participating in such meeting can hear one another.
Section 12: Adjournment. A majority of the Elders present, whether or not a quorum is present, may adjourn any Elders’ meeting to another time and place.
Section 13: Action Without Meeting. Any action required or permitted to be taken by the Council may be taken without a meeting if all members of the Council shall individually or collectively consent in writing to a duly prepared resolution to such action. Such consent or consents shall have the same effect as a unanimous vote of the Council and shall be documented by attaching the signed resolution with the minutes of proceedings of the Council.
Section 14: Decisions of the Council of Elders. Decisions shall be reached, after prayerful consideration, by unanimous vote in a spirit of humility, with each Elder regarding one another before himself. If, after attempts to reach unity on a decision have failed in at least four meetings, the Council shall drop the proposed action completely or ask for advice from The Church members at a special meeting, then reconsider. If unity still cannot be attained at the next Council of Elders meeting, then the proposed action must be dropped. Any Elders who are unwilling to support and uphold Council decisions and actions must resign from the Council.
Section 15: Council of Elders Committees. Committees of the Council may be appointed by resolution passed by a majority of the whole Council. Committees shall be composed of two or more members of the Council and shall have such powers of the Council as may be expressly delegated to it by resolution of the Council of Elders, except with respect to:
- The approval of any action for which the Idaho Nonprofit Religious Corporation Law also requires members’ approval (must be approved by the Council as a whole).
- The filling of vacancies on the Council or on any committee.
- The amendment or repeal of Bylaws or the adoption of new Bylaws.
- The amendment or repeal of any resolution of the Council, which by its express terms is not so amendable or repealable.
- The appointment of other committees of the Council or the members thereof.
The Council shall have the power to prescribe the manner in which proceedings of any such committee shall be conducted. In the absence of any such prescription, such committee shall have the power to prescribe the manner in which its proceedings shall be conducted. Minutes shall be kept of meetings of each committee.
Section 16: Fees and Compensation. Elders (as such) shall not receive any stated or fixed salary for their services, however, nothing herein contained shall be construed to preclude any Elders from serving The Church in any other capacity and receiving compensation. Any person receiving compensation directly or indirectly from The Church shall not be in a position to determine the nature or amount of said compensation.
Section 17: Deacons. The Deacons shall operate under the general supervision of the Council of Elders. The Deacons shall consist of members possessing the qualifications described in 1 Timothy 3:8-13 and shall be nominated by members of The Church. The Council of Elders will compile and confirm the nominations and submit the names to the members for affirmation at the annual meeting. Deacons shall serve for a term of one (1) year. The Deacons shall assist the Elders in the shepherding of the saints, aid in the general spiritual care of The Church, and perform other duties as assigned by the Council of Elders. No Deacons will incur debt that will increase the total liability of The Church without the approval of the congregation.
Section 18: Nomination and Selection. The nomination and selection of Deacons shall be done in the same manner as for Elders, as set forth in Article VI, Section 3 of these Bylaws.
Section 19: Vacancies. In the event any of the above-mentioned offices becomes vacant during the period between annual elections, the Council of Elders may fill such vacancy for the unexpired term.
PASTOR-TEACHER AND OFFICERS OF THE CHURCH
Section 1: Pastor-Teacher Selection/Election/Dismissal. The Council of Elders shall prescribe and publish the process for examination prior to beginning a pastoral search. The Pastor-Teacher shall be selected by the Council and confirmed by the members of The Church at its annual meeting or at a special business meeting, and such confirmation shall be a three-fourths (3/4) majority of all the votes cast. He shall remain in office an indefinite period of time subject to the following reservations: The Council of Elders reserves the right to unanimously recommend dismissal of the Pastor-Teacher, and such dismissal shall be confirmed by a majority of members’ votes cast at a meeting called for the purpose of considering the dismissal. If the vote confirms the dismissal, termination is immediate and the Pastor-Teacher shall be granted two months severance pay.
Section 2: Pastor-Teacher Duties. The Pastor-Teacher shall perform the duties as outlined in his job description and is responsible to the Council of Elders. The Duties of the Pastor-Teacher shall be to have general oversight of the spiritual life of The Church with the Elders, to preach the Word of God consistently and faithfully in the regular services of The Church, to administer the ordinances, and to act as leader in the shepherding of The Church and in the organizing of the outreach of The Church. He shall be an ex-officio member of all the councils and committees of The Church.
Section 3: Pastor-Teacher Resignation. The Pastor-Teacher must give the Council of Elders at least one month’s notice of his intention to resign.
Section 4: Associate Pastors. Associate Pastors shall be subject to the same process of selection/election/dismissal as the Pastor-Teacher (Article VII, Section 1). Associate Pastors must demonstrate the qualities of an Elder, may serve on the Council of Elders, and shall perform the duties as outlined in their job descriptions and other duties as directed by the Pastor-Teacher. In the absence of the Pastor-Teacher or the vacancy of the office of the Pastor-Teacher, the Associate Pastors shall perform the duties of pastor as directed by the Council of Elders. An Associate Pastor must give the Council of Elders at least one month’s notice of his intention to resign.
Section 5: Pastoral Interns. Pastoral Interns shall perform duties as outlined in their job descriptions and other duties as directed by the Pastor-Teacher or an Associate Pastor and may receive compensation. Pastoral Interns shall be chosen by the Council of Elders and serve at the discretion of the Council. Pastoral Interns may, at the discretion of the Council of Elders, be non-voting participants in Council meetings and they may become candidates for Associate Pastor.
Section 6: Chairman of the Council of Elders. The Chairman of the Council of Elders shall be elected from the Council of Elders, be the President of the Corporation and serve as church moderator at all church business meetings. He shall have general supervision of the administrative affairs of The Church as provided in these by-laws and/or directed by the Council of Elders. He shall sign all instruments of The Church as authorized by the Council of Elders or The Church and shall perform other duties incident to this office. The Elder elected as Chairman of the Council of Elders is limited to two consecutive terms as Chairman.
Section 7: Vice Chairman of the Council of Elders. The Vice Chairman shall be elected from the Council of Elders. He shall exercise the functions of the Chairman during his absence.
Section 8: Secretary. The Secretary of the Council of Elders shall be elected from the Council of Elders. He shall be the Secretary of the Corporation, shall assure that an accurate record is kept of the proceedings of all meetings of the congregation and the Council of Elders, shall oversee maintaining accurate membership rolls, shall keep a copy of all church letters of membership dismissal and shall perform such other duties as the Council of Elders may direct.
Section 9: Treasurer
- The Chairman of the Finance Committee shall be the Treasurer. The Treasurer shall be responsible for the receipt, deposit and disbursement of all funds and securities as authorized by the Council of Elders, keep books of account and shall render a current financial statement at the annual meeting of the members and such other reports as may be directed by the Council of Elders. The Treasurer shall send financial statements to members and other regular contributors showing their record of contributions by January 31 each year.
- The Council of Elders may take out a surety bond on the Treasurer and all who are approved to sign checks to assure faithful performance of the duties herein described and for restoration to The Church of all books, papers, vouchers, money and other property of every kind in their possession or under their control, on their death, resignation, retirement or removal from office.
Section 1: Structure
- The work of The Church shall be carried out through Ministry committees as determined by the Council of Elders, one of which must be the Finance Committee. Unless otherwise stated these committees consist of at least one Elder and two additional voting members. Voting members shall be members of The Church, recommended by the committee chairperson and the Elder assigned to the committee and approved by the Council of Elders. They shall serve for one year and may be reappointed. Each committee shall develop and carry out policies and regulations that are consistent with the total church ministry.
- The chairpersons shall be appointed by the Council of Elders. The chairperson of each committee, and those appointed to major leadership roles shall be members of The Church, and meet the scriptural qualifications as set forth in 1 Timothy 3:8-13.
- Additional non-voting committee members may be appointed by the chairperson with the approval of the Elder assigned to the committee. Non-voting committee members need not be church members, but they must agree with the Statement of Faith.
- Each ministry committee may adjust line items within their committee budget as long as expenditures do not exceed the committee's total budget. Request to exceed their total budgets must be approved in accordance with Section 2 below.
Section 2: Finance Committee. The Finance Committee shall present the annual budget for review by the Council of Elders and adoption by the congregation, be responsible for stewardship training and the raising of special funds, review the compensation of staff members and make appropriate recommendations to the Council of Elders regarding compensation. All expenditures that exceed a ministry committee's budget shall be pre-approved by both the Finance Committee and the Council of Elders. The Finance Committee shall have supervision over the handling of church monies, keeping the financial books and records and the preparation of financial reports. It shall coordinate the yearly budgets as submitted by each committee. The Finance Committee shall serve in an advisory capacity to the various church committees and organizations. It shall make provision for necessary insurance for personnel, liability, property and equipment.
Section 3: Removal of Committee Members. Appointed committee members may be removed from the committee of which they are members if they fail to attend without reasonable cause the regular meetings of the committee or conduct themselves in such a way as to impair the efficiency of the committee. A decision to remove any appointed committee member shall be made by the committee chairman with the approval of the Council of Elders.
ORDINATION, LICENSING, COMMISSIONING
Section 1: Ordination. Ordination refers to the unanimous recognition by the Council of Elders of a man’s call to the ministry, qualification according to 1 Timothy 3:1-13 and preparation as a shepherd. Ordination shall be conferred for life, so long as the man continues to manifest the qualifications of the office.
Section 2: Licensing. A license is issued by the Council of Elders and is given in recognition of a man’s call to that ministry. Its aim is to allow a man to perform the ecclesiastical duties and functions of The Church. Licenses will be for up to a year, and may be renewed by the Council of Elders. Ordination supercedes licensing.
Section 3: Commissioning. When local-church certification is required for ministry where ordination would be unnecessary or inappropriate, a person is commissioned by the Council of Elders to minister. This authorization continues as long as the opportunity to minister remains in effect and as long as the person maintains the qualifications for ministry.
Section 4. Marriages and Weddings
All who are ordained, licensed, commissioned or otherwise authorized by this church to solemnize marriages may do so, in the exercise of religious freedom, only where the participants are one man and one woman (Gen. 2:21–24; Matt. 19:4–6; Mark 10:6–9). Church facilities may be used for weddings only where both prospective spouses are church members in good standing of Heritage Bible Church or a church of like faith and views on marriage, or approved by the Council of Elders based on their agreement with Heritage Bible Church’s position on marriage, divorce, remarriage and sexuality. Church facilities are not available to the general public for weddings.
SETTLEMENT OF DISPUTES
In any dispute arising between church members, pastors, or staff pertaining to any matter of spiritual teaching or practices, church finances, or title to property purchased with church contributions, the dispute shall be resolved by the Council of Elders (or a duly appointed committee at the sole discretion of the Council). A unanimous decision shall be reached after prayerful consideration, in a spirit of humility, with each Elder regarding one another before himself and striving to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace (Ephesians 4:1-3).
Section 1: Policy. The financial policy of The Church, and of all auxiliary organizations, is predicated upon personal, voluntary giving as an act of worship. All contributions shall be kept confidential. Gifts which are designated for special purposes shall be used for the specific purpose indicated. Except for church approved projects, funds designated for special purposes which have not been used for three years, shall be reviewed by the Finance Committee and subject to transfer to the general fund.
Section 2: Budget. The budget shall be adopted at the annual meeting in January. It shall include all proposed expenditures for the calendar year.
Section 3: Benevolent Fund. The Benevolent Fund is to be used for the purpose of giving emergency relief or aid to members and friends of The Church or other worthy benevolent objectives. Monies for this fund shall come from contributions designated for this fund and/or from any other monies which the Council of Elders may designate for the fund. The Benevolent Fund shall be administered with the highest possible level of confidentiality by a committee of three, comprised of Elders and deacons.
Section 4: Outside Solicitation of Funds. No outside solicitation for funds or projects to raise money for any cause shall be presented to The Church in any of its services or organizations without first obtaining approval from the Council of Elders.
Section 5: Fiscal Year of The Church (Corporation). The fiscal year of The Church (Corporation) shall be the calendar year.
RECEIPT, INVESTMENT AND DISBURSEMENT OF FUNDS
The Corporation shall receive all monies or other properties transferred to it for the purposes for which the Corporation was formed (as shown by the Articles of Incorporation). However, nothing contained herein shall require the Council of Elders to accept or receive any money or property of any kind if it shall determine in its discretion that receipt of such money or property is contrary to the expressed purposes of the Corporation as shown by said Articles. The Corporation shall hold, manage, and disburse any funds or properties received by it from any source in a manner that is consistent with the expressed purposes of this Corporation.
ARTICLE XIII. CORPORATE RECORDS AND REPORTS
Section 1: Records. The Church (Corporation) shall maintain adequate and correct accounts, books, and records of its business and properties. All such books, records, and accounts including the original or copy of the Articles and Bylaws as amended to date shall be made available at its principal place of business in the State of Idaho.
Section 2: Inspection of Books and Records. Every Elder shall have the absolute right at any reasonable time to inspect all books, records, documents of every kind, and the physical properties of The Church (Corporation), and also of its subsidiary organizations, if any.
ARTICLE XIV. DISSOLUTION
Upon dissolution of this Church (Corporation), the Council of Elders shall cause the assets herein to be sold. All liabilities shall be cured prior to the release of any cash assets. The cash shall then be distributed to the nonprofit evangelical missionary organizations that The Church regularly supported during the previous five years. Each organization’s share shall be in the same proportion as The Church’s contribution to the organizations being considered.
ARTICLE XVI. PENSION
The Council of Elders shall appoint, as deemed necessary by the Council, a pension and retirement review committee and their findings shall be presented, whenever requested, to the Council of Elders.
ARTICLE XVII. MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS
Section 1: Endorsement of Documents, Contracts. The Council of Elders, except as in the Bylaws otherwise provided, may authorize any officer or officers, agent or agents, to enter into any contract or execute any instrument in the name of and on behalf of the Corporation. Such authority may be general or confined to specific instances. Unless so authorized by the Council of Elders, no officer, agent or employee shall have any power or authority to bind the Corporation by any contract or agreement, or to pledge its credit, or to render it liable for any purpose or to any amount. Subject to the provisions of applicable law, any note, mortgage, evidence of indebtedness, contract, conveyance, or other instrument in writing and any assignment or endorsement thereof executed or entered into between this Corporation and any other person, when signed jointly by the Chairman or Vice-Chairman, and the Secretary and the Treasurer of this Corporation shall be valid and binding on this Corporation in the absence of actual knowledge on the part of the other person that the signing officers had no authority to execute the same.
Section 2: Instruments in Writing. All checks, drafts, demands for money, notes and all written contracts of The Church (Corporation) shall be signed by such officer or officers, agent or agents, as the Council of Elders may from time to time by resolution designate.
Section 3: Staff personnel. All church staff members shall confess Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior and be in agreement with The Church Statement of Faith. They shall be under the direct supervision of the Pastor-Teacher unless otherwise determined by the Council of Elders.
Section 4: Bylaw Amendments. Whenever an amendment or new Bylaw is adopted, it shall be copied in the book of minutes with the original Bylaws, in the appropriate place. If any Bylaw is repealed, the fact of repeal with the date of the meeting at which the repeal was enacted or written assent was filed shall be stated in said book. Amendments to these Bylaws may be made at any business meeting upon the submission of a petition signed by twenty percent (20%) of the membership and/or the recommendation of The Council of Elders provided that notice of the change has been announced and posted at least two Sundays before said meeting. A three-fourths (3/4) affirmative vote of the members present and voting is required.
These Bylaws were adopted by vote of the charter members of Heritage Bible Church on May 2, 2004
Amended October 23, 2005
Amended January 25, 2015
Amended January 26, 2020