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CONSTITUTION

Article I - Name

The name of this church shall be Northwest Bible Church, as incorporated under the laws of the State of Missouri.

Article II – Membership

All persons who confess their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ as their personal Savior, and as born-again believers, accept and sign the membership application  and doctrinal statement as adopted by this church, may be received into the membership after favorable action by the Pastor and Elder Board.  Those above the age of 18 are immediately granted voting privileges. 

Any member, who by reason of residence, occupation, or other circumstance, finds it impossible to attend services at Northwest Bible Church or to participate in its activities for a period of one year, may be placed on the Inactive non-voting Membership Roll of the church, by action of the elders.      

Withdrawal from the membership may be by personal request, or action of the Elder Board for conduct that is not in accord with the purposes and harmony of the church.   They shall be guided by the principles set forth in the Scriptures dealing with such conduct (Matthew 18:15-17; Galatians 6:1; Titus 1:9-13).  

Should a member express to the pastor or elders that they are leaving Northwest Bible Church and their views are not in unity with the doctrine, purpose or direction of the church, they will be removed from the membership and voting privileges immediately, until such time as restoration/reconciliation is worked out under the guidance of the pastors and Elder Board. 

Article III - Ordination

It shall be within the power of the church to ordain into the Gospel Ministry those men whom God has called and equipped.  It shall have, through the Elder Board, the authority to call ordination councils and issue proper credentials.

Article IV - Officers Of The Church

Section 1 - The Head

Jesus Christ is the singular, sovereign Head of the church which is His body.  He is the first and chief officer of the church (Colossians 1:17, 18; Ephesians 1:22,23; 5:23).

Section 2 - The Pastor

A. The Pastor shall have general oversight of the spiritual life, regular services, and administration of the church.  He shall be an ex-officio member of all board and committee meetings connected with the church and any of its organizations, and shall conscientiously perform such duties as may be arranged between the Elder Board and Himself.

B. Call of a Pastor -  A Pastor or an Assistant or Associate Pastor may be called by vote of the voting membership for an indefinite call after recommendation by the Elder and Deacon Boards provided that the candidate shall receive seventy-five percent, or more, of the votes cast. 

Section 3 - Elders

A. They are otherwise known as pastors and overseers.  They are the chief leadership officers and governing body of Northwest Bible Church.

B. Responsibilities

1. General

a. Elders are responsible to shepherd and oversee the church in such a way as to fulfill the desires of the Head. (1 Peter 5:1-3; 1 Timothy 5:17).

b. Elders are responsible to shepherd and oversee the church in such a way as to bring the church individually and collectively to maturity in Jesus Christ.

2. Specific

a. Elders are responsible for the pastoral care of the church which involves preaching, teaching, protecting, caring, praying, admonishing, exhorting, disciplining, warning,  and providing an example.

b. Elders are responsible for the administrative oversight of the total ministry and operation of the church. 

c. Elders shall serve as Directors of the Corporation, the legal officers of the church, and as the governing authority in all spiritual and business matters pertaining to the church.

d. The Elder Board shall function as the Pulpit Committee in contacting candidates or pulpit supply during a pastoral vacancy.

C. Qualifications

1. An Elder must be a qualified, baptized, male member of                       Northwest Bible Church.

2. An Elder must evidence the qualifications prescribed for that office in 1 Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:5-9 as well as the qualifications for Deacons listed in Article IV, Section 7.B.3.  (See also the additional emphases in the totality of the Pastoral Epistles and in 1 Peter 5:1-4)

D. Selection

1. Names of the candidates for eldership may be submitted to the elders, not by the candidate himself, but by another member of Northwest Bible Church or by the elders themselves.  

2. The elders will be responsible for the examining and training of a candidate for eldership.

3. Upon the unanimous approval of the elders, the candidate will be recommended to the membership for a vote of affirmation.  By a 75% vote of affirmation at a congregational meeting the membership will express their approval of the candidate’s qualifications and signify their recognition and submission to his shepherding and overseeing ministry. 

E. Term of Office

An elder’s term of office is indefinite.  An elder’s leadership role may be discontinued if he moves or desires to resign, in which case he is expected to confer openly with the other elders.  He may be dismissed if he is in clear rebellion against Scripture or for reasons found in Article IV, Section 8, in which case the matter will be dealt with biblically and compassionately by the Elder Board.  Each elder shall be evaluated annually by the other elders at their first scheduled meeting after the annual business meeting.  An atmosphere of open communication and accountability shall prevail among the elders.  Elders must submit to the counsel of their peers with regard to the need for sabbatical or resignation.

F. Number

We believe in plural elders, preferably no fewer than three, if qualified men are available.  Elders are added if the church has a need.

G. Organization

Positionally, the elders will operate in equality.  Functionally, they will organize themselves to include a chairman, a vice-chairman,  and a secretary.  Only lay elders may serve as chairman and vice-chairman of the Elder Board.  Staff elders are salaried by the church; lay elders are not salaried by the church.

Section 4 - Deacons

A. The Board of Deacons serves under the Board of Elders to administer functions delegated by the Board of Elders.

B. Responsibilities 

1. General - The Board of Deacons serves under the Board of Elders to administer functions delegated by the Board of Elders.  The Deacons shall assist the Pastor and Elders in responsibility for the spiritual welfare of the church. 

2. Specific - They shall be expected to be in readiness to perform any necessary calling, comforting the sick and sorrowing, checking on those who have been absent from services, and endeavoring to  help those who are weak or struggling.  They are responsible for maintenance and repair of the church building and grounds.

C. Qualifications

1. A deacon must be a qualified, baptized male member of Northwest Bible Church.

2. A deacon must evidence the qualifications prescribed in 1 Timothy 3:8-13 and Article IV, Section 7.

D. Term of Office

1. The deacons shall be elected at the annual business meeting of the church for the term of three years, so arranged that their terms do not expire the same year.  After the completion of one full three-year term, a deacon may not be re-elected to that office until the lapse of one year.

2. A deacon’s office may be discontinued if he moves or desires to resign, in which case he is expected to confer openly with the other deacons and/or elders.  He may also disqualify himself through his conduct, or for reasons found in Article IV, Section 8, in which case the matter will be dealt with biblically and compassionately by the Elder Board.

Section 5 - Treasurer

A. The Deacon Board shall choose a member of the finance committee who desires to serve as church treasurer.

B. Duties - The Church Treasurer shall keep record of all money received by the church.  Money shall be disbursed in accordance with procedure established by the Elder and Deacon Boards.  He shall render a report at the annual meeting of the church.  His books shall be available to these boards at any time, and must be submitted to audit or review at the close of each fiscal year (October 1-September 30).

Section 6 - Other Offices

The Elder Board has the authority to make any additional appointments necessary to maintain and operate the physical functions of the church.

Section 7 - Nominating Committee

A. A nominating committee shall be chosen annually to present a slate to the congregation for the election of deacons.  The Nominating Committee shall consist of the Pastor, one other elder, two deacons, and two members of the church (not on either the Elder or Deacon Board).  These two are asked to serve by the Elders and Deacons on the Nominating Committee.  Persons desiring to make suggestions concerning nominations should approach one of the Nominating Committee members as no nominations are allowed from the floor during a congregational meeting.

B. The Nominating Committee shall consider the following questions as they consider nominees for Deacon.

1. Has he confessed Christ as his personal Savior and experienced the new birth as set forth in John 3:3-6?

2. Is he in hearty agreement with the Statement of Faith and Constitution of this church?

3. Is he truly a disciple of Jesus Christ, seeking to obey God’s Word in every area of his life?  Is he evidencing in his life the qualifications for leadership set forth in 1 Timothy 3, such as:

a. Is his moral conduct above reproach?

b. Has he proved himself to be a one-woman man with demonstrated faithfulness, love and honor for his wife?

                                    c. Are things in order in his household?

d. Is he argumentative by nature? 

                                    e. Is intoxication by drugs or alcohol part of his life?

f. Is he friendly and hospitable, looking to the needs of others?

g. Has he been a disciple of Jesus Christ for a sufficient time to be grounded in his faith?

h. Does he have a solid testimony in the community?

i. Does he faithfully attend the church services?

Section 8 - Termination of an Officer

Any Pastor’s or officer’s service may terminate at any time if, after the Elder Board has followed the biblical steps of church discipline as specified in Matthew 18:15-17, said officer or Pastor is found to have violated scripture or to be incompetent in his position.  In the question of incompetence, the Elder Board has the option of calling a confidence vote requiring two-thirds majority of the votes cast by the membership to remove the Pastor or officer.  A Pastor’s resignation of at least thirty days and a maximum of sixty days notice will terminate their pastorate.

Article V - Authority of the Boards

A. The Elder Board and Deacon Board together shall be the church in action in the absence of a general assembly meeting of the membership and shall have authority to attend to any incidental or current business that may of necessity come before it.  A majority shall constitute a quorum at any meeting of a board and the action of the majority of those present shall be official. 

B. The Elder and Deacon boards shall have care of the physical properties and finances of the church including missionary and benevolent expenditures.  They shall have no power to buy, sell, mortgage, lease, or transfer any property or assets over the value of $10,000.00 without special vote of the church authorizing such action.  They shall not spend for non-budgeted expenses over the amount of $10,000 without special vote of the church authorizing such action.

Article VI - Meetings

A. The annual business meeting of the church shall not be later than the last Sunday of October.  All reports for the departments for the past calendar year are to be presented and a record made of the same.

B. Twenty-five percent of the voting members shall constitute a quorum at any called congregational meeting.  Motions pass by a majority vote.

C. The Elder and Deacon Boards will meet as necessary to carry out their functions.

D. Notice of the annual business meeting and any special congregational business meeting shall be provided to members at least two weeks prior to the meeting.  Notifications may be made by mail or by electronic messaging.

Article VII - Voting

Any member eighteen years of age, or over, has a right to vote on matters presented at a congregational meeting.

Article VIII - Membership Record

The names of those received into membership shall be kept as a permanent record. 

Article IX - Amendments

The Constitution may be amended at any time at a congregational business meeting by a two-thirds vote of the ballots cast; the proposed amendments having been approved by the Elder or Deacon Boards and presented to the church at regular Sunday services at least two weeks before voted upon.

Article X - Trustees

The current Elder Board of the church shall be considered the trustees of the corporation and shall assume all the responsibilities and privileges delegated to them by the Articles of Incorporation.

Article XI - Dissolution

No part of the net earnings of this corporation shall ever inure to the benefit of any donor, member, director, or officer of the corporation, nor shall any private individual be entitled to share in the distribution of any corporate assets.  Upon dissolution, any assets of the corporation must be distributed to the Heart of America Church Extension, Inc., or some other church extension endeavor, to be used in the establishment of a new church of like faith and order.

As adopted September 17, 1978,

Revised January 24, 1988,

Revised August 13, 2000

Revised October 1, 2006

Revised October 7, 2007

Revised October 11, 2009

Revised October 10, 2010

Revised October 11, 2015


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