Charlotte Grace One Christ Church
Charlotte Grace One Christ Church Bylaws
ARTICLE I. PURPOSE AND STATEMENT OF FAITH
We are a family that magnifies God through Gospel-transformed lives, grace-overflowing community, and cross-cultural mission.
2. Statement of Faith
2.1 Bible: We believe that the Holy Bible is the Word of God. It was written by individuals inspired by God and is God's revelation of Himself to humankind. It consists of 66 books, and it is without error in its content. It is man's authoritative and sufficient guide in all matters of faith and practice.
2.2 God: We believe that there is one living and true God. He is the Creator, Redeemer, Preserver, and Ruler of the universe. He exists in three Persons eternally as Father, Son and Holy Spirit, each of whom is equal in power and glory.
2.3 Jesus Christ: We believe that Jesus Christ is the eternal Son of God, and He is the Savior and the Lord of all who are saved. He was conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. He honored the divine law by His personal obedience, and in His substitutionary death on the cross He made provision for the redemption of men from sin. He was raised from the dead, ascended into heaven, and is now sitting at the right hand of God interceding for all believers.
2.4 Holy Spirit: We believe that the Holy Spirit is divine. He enables men to understand truth, and he exalts Christ. He convicts men of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment. He calls men to the Savior, and effects regeneration. He cultivates Christian character, comforts believers, and bestows the spiritual gifts by which they serve God through His church.
2.5 Salvation: We believe that salvation is by the grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ, who by His own blood obtained eternal redemption for the believers. There is no salvation apart from personal faith in Jesus Christ as Lord. Those whom God has accepted in Christ, and sanctified by His Spirit, will never fall away from the state of grace, but shall persevere to the end.
2.6 Church: We believe that a New Testament church of the Lord Jesus Christ is a local congregation of baptized believers, associated by covenant in the faith and fellowship of the gospel. The Church is the Body of Christ which includes the redeemed of all the ages from every tongue and people and nation.
2.7 Ordinances: We believe that Baptism and The Lord’s Supper are the only two ordinances established by the Lord Jesus Christ. The purpose is to remind believers, through the symbolic expressions, about the salvation accomplished by the Lord Jesus Christ.
2.8 Future Things: We believe that Christ will return at the end in glory and power, and there will be
resurrection and judgment for both the redeemed and the unredeemed. The redeemed will enter eternal glory and the unredeemed will be condemned to eternal punishment.
3. Final Authority for Matters of Belief and Conduct
The statement of faith does not encompass the maximum extent of our beliefs. The Bible, as the inspired and infallible Word of God who speaks with final authority concerning truth, morality, and the proper conduct of mankind, is the sole and final source of all that we believe. For purposes of faith, doctrine, practice, policy, and discipline of Charlotte Grace One Christ Church, our Elders Team is the final interpretive authority on the Bible’s meaning and application.
ARTICLE II. GOVERNANCE STRUCTURE
All policies and decision-making procedures shall be consistent with God’s Word, the Scriptures.
All who serve as officers of the church shall be members of this church. The officers shall be: Chair, Vice-Chair of the Elders Team, secretary, and Treasurer. The senior pastor shall serve as chairman of the Elders Team and one of the lay elders shall serve as Vice Chair. The chairman presides over the meetings of the Elder Team and presides over plans and actions suggested to the Elders Team. of the Elders Team.
The essential qualification of an elder is that of a godly character.
1 Timothy 3:1-7 – 1 Here is a trustworthy saying: Whoever aspires to be an overseer desires a noble task. 2 Now the overseer is to be above reproach, faithful to his wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, 3 not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. 4 He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him, and he must do so in a manner worthy of full respect. 5 (If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God’s church?) 6 He must not be a recent convert, or he may become conceited and fall under the same judgment as the devil. 7 He must also have a good reputation with outsiders, so that he will not fall into disgrace and into the devil’s trap.
Titus 1:6-9 – 6 An elder must be blameless, faithful to his wife, a man whose children believe and are not open to the charge of being wild and disobedient. 7 Since an overseer manages God’s household, he must be blameless—not overbearing, not quick-tempered, not given to drunkenness, not violent, not pursuing dishonest gain. 8 Rather, he must be hospitable, one who loves what is good, who is self-controlled, upright, holy and disciplined. 9 He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it.
The nominee must have been an active member of the church for at least 2 years, and his wife must be a believer and a member at the same church. In addition, the nominee must demonstrate commitment to the church with his financial resource, time and energy.
The elders oversee the worship, fellowship, witness, education, mission and other ministries of the church. The elders model and teach biblical godliness, equip the saints for the work of the ministry, shape policy, pray, teach, uphold doctrine, oversee church discipline and shepherd the flock. The Elders Team leads and shepherds the church body in all decision-making matters, which includes gathering the entire congregation for discussion, proposals, information, prayer, and/or voting (Acts 6 and 15) at times while at other times making decisions on the congregation’s behalf (Acts 6; Acts 15; Hebrews 13:17; I Timothy 5:17; I Thessalonians 5:12).
2.3 Selection and term:
Elders shall be selected by the Elder Selection Committee, comprised of the senior pastor as chairman of
the committee, two elders from the Elders Team, current and last term’s chairmen of deacons. The church’s temporary governing body, the Shepherding Team, shall serve as the 1st Elder Selection committee. Upon the completion of Elders Team’s selection and approval process, The Shepherding Team shall be dissolved immediately.
Elders Team shall have up to 3 pastoral elders, and the number of lay elders shall be at least one more than but not more than twice the number of pastoral elders. The Elders Team shall reflect a fair representation of English speaking members and Chinese speaking members.
After serving a first 3-year term, a lay elder shall be eligible for continued service immediately. But after
serving two consecutive terms, a lay elder shall be eligible for reinstatement to the Elders Team only after the lapse of at least one year. In the event of any unexpected vacancies or unexpired terms of the lay elders on the Elders Team, the senior pastor shall nominate a lay elder from ordained elders who are off the Team or go through the above selection process to fill the remainder of the unexpired term.
Once one is ordained and/or installed as an elder, he remains an elder of the church until he (1) is
removed in accordance with the Bylaws; (2) resigns; (3) is no longer a member of Charlotte Grace One
The pastoral elders will be nominated by senior pastor to the Elder Selection Committee for service on the Elders Team. Upon the unanimous recommendation of the Elder Selection Committee, the names shall be given to the church for approval.
After serving a three-year term, a pastoral elder shall be eligible for continued service immediately. In the event of any unexpected vacancies or unexpired terms of the pastoral elders on the Elders Team, the senior pastor shall nominate a pastoral elder and follow the above procedures to fill the remainder of the unexpired term.
The lay elders shall be selected by the Elder Selection Committee who will pray and discuss whether
those on the list meet the biblical qualifications of an elder and shall then contact and interview the
candidates. If a person on the Elder Selection Committee is nominated as a candidate for the Elders Team and wishes to be considered for that position, he cannot continue to serve on the Elder Selection
Committee. Upon the unanimous recommendation of the Elder Selection Committee, the names of candidates shall be given to the church for approval.
The Elders Team shall meet on a regular basis with notice of the regular meeting schedule given to the
congregation. The Elders Team may have special meetings as needed and occasionally meet in
A quorum shall consist of 2/3 of the members, and the Elders Team shall strive for unanimity among
themselves in all decision matters. In the event where a vote is necessary on any issue, a decision would
require a 2/3 majority of those voting.
The Elders Team shall call a joint meeting with the Deacons at least on a quarterly basis, and the Elders
will decide what matters to bring to the joint meeting for discussion and voting. One of the lay elders will be selected by the Elders Team to chair such joint meetings.
2.5 Discipline or Termination:
The principles of Matthew 18:15-20 and I Timothy 5:19-20 shall be used when dealing with issues affecting the Elders. Complaints against an Elder should be brought to the Elders Team. The Elders Team shall conduct an investigation with a team that shall include the Deacon’s chair, 2 inactive Elders, and two active Elders other than the Elder of concern. Elders Team will mediate for reconciliation and proper discipline if matter is revocable. If matter is deemed irrevocable, Elders Team with the support of the investigation team will bring termination recommendation to church member meeting for approval.
3. Senior Pastor
The senior pastor shall be the spiritual leader of the church and shall be responsible for leading the church to fulfill the mission and purpose of the church biblically. A senior pastor shall be chosen and called by the church whenever a vacancy occurs.
Charlotte Grace One Christ Church Bylaws (11-29-2018) Page 6
When a senior pastor vacancy occurs, it becomes the spiritual leadership responsibility of the elders and
the deacons to be a stabilizing influence for Charlotte Grace One Christ Church:
3.1 Call the church to intercessory prayer for the Holy Spirit’s leadership and to schedule prayer
meetings at regular intervals.
3.2 Form a committee of four (4) elders whose responsibility shall be to engage temporary speakers until an interim pastor is selected.
3.3 The Elders Team shall be responsible for the process of selecting an interim pastor until such time a
new senior pastor is called by the church.
3.4 Form Senior Pastor Selection Committee. The Elders team will solicit nominations from the congregation and select a team of seven within one month of the senior pastor’s resignation. The selection team shall reflect a fair representation of the number of brothers and number of sisters in the church. The Elders team will support, spiritually guide and enable the Senior Pastor Selection Committee in the searching, scheduling, presentation, and voting for a new senior pastor.
3.5 A recommendation from the Senior Pastor Selection Committee will constitute a nomination. The
committee shall bring only one candidate at a time to the church members for their consideration.
Election shall be by ballot, an affirmative vote of three-quarters of those voting being necessary for a choice. The senior pastor, thus elected, shall serve until the relationship is terminated by his request or the church’s request. The senior pastor may relinquish the office of Senior Pastor by giving the church a notice of at least two weeks before the time of resignation.
The essential qualification is that of a godly character.
1 Timothy 3:8-12 – 8 In the same way, deacons are to be worthy of respect, sincere, not indulging in much wine, and not pursuing dishonest gain. 9 They must keep hold of the deep truths of the faith with a clear conscience.10 They must first be tested; and then if there is nothing against them, let them serve as deacons. 11 In the same way, the women are to be worthy of respect, not malicious talkers but temperate and trustworthy in everything. 12 A deacon must be faithful to his wife and must manage his children and his household well.
The nominee and his wife /her husband must have been an active member of the church for at least 1 year and must demonstrate commitment to the church with his/her financial resource, time and energy. In principle an active elder’s wife shouldn’t be serving as a deacon, nor should a brother and his wife both be serving as deacons at the same time.
In accordance with the scriptures, deacons are to be leaders and servants of the church. Their task is to serve with the pastors and the elders team in leading the church to accomplish its mission.
4.3 Selection and Term
The Elders Team shall present nominees for deacon at a church meeting for approval. Deacons shall serve on a rotation basis for a three-year term. After serving a term of three years, a deacon shall be eligible for serving on deacon board again only after the lapse of at least one year. Their task is to serve with the pastor, elders and ministerial team in performing the pastoral ministries tasks of leading the church in the achievement of its mission and purpose, and in caring for the church's members and other persons in the community.
Deacons shall annually elect a chairman, vice-chairman and other officers which are determined as
needed by the deacon fellowship.
The Deacons shall meet on a regular basis with notice of the regular meeting schedule given to the
congregation. A quorum shall consist of 2/3 of the members but Deacons Committee shall strive for unanimity among themselves in all decision matters. In the event where a vote is necessary on any issue, a decision would require a 2/3 majority of those voting.
Upon recommendation of the Elders Team, the church may form standing or ad hoc committees that may be necessary to perform relevant administrative or operational tasks.
5.1 Standing Committees
The Standing Committees of the church shall be a Finance Committee, a Personnel Committee and a Mission Committee. Upon recommendation of the Elders Team, the church may also form ad hoc committees.
5.2 Committee Responsibilities
In accordance with the Scriptures and the church’s Bylaws, each committee is responsible for establishing its rules and governance polices that are necessary to perform relevant administrative or operational tasks.
5.3 Committee Member Qualifications
Committee members must have been an active member of the church for at least 1 year and must demonstrate commitment to the church with his/her financial resource, time and energy.
Standing committee members shall serve on a three-year rotation basis with one-third to be elected each year. Members of a committee will select one individual among themselves to chair the committee.
5.5 Committee Meetings
Committees shall meet on a regular basis with notice of the regular meeting schedule given to the
congregation. A quorum shall consist of 2/3 of the members but a Committee shall strive for unanimity among themselves in all decision matters. In the event where a vote is necessary on any issue, a decision would require a 2/3 majority of those voting.
ARTICLE III. CHURCH MEMBERSHIP
A person may become a member in this church by profession of faith and by baptism according to the
policies of this church, or by statement of prior conversion experience and baptism. The church reserves the exclusive right to determine who shall be members of this church and the
conditions of such membership.
2. New Member Orientation
A person who comes by profession of faith or statement shall complete a new member orientation if
desiring for church membership. Upon completion of the orientation and all other requirements for church membership, the candidate shall become a church member. This member status shall be reported by the church secretary at the next annual church meeting.
Only active members of the church have the privilege to vote at elections and on any questions submitted to the church in a scheduled or a specially called church meeting. Only active members of the church are eligible for consideration by the membership as candidates for leadership positions and committees in the church.
Every member is expected to be an active participant in the ministry of Grace One Church by: attending
worship, attending a Bible study class, staying active in a Sunday morning service ministry, praying for
the church and its leadership, giving financial support, serving in the ministry areas for which they are
5. Removal from Membership
Membership shall be removed for any of the following reasons:
5.1. Request by the member himself / herself to be removed.
5.2. A member will be put into inactive status once he /she moves away but will be removed from membership after one year.
5.3. Death of the member.
5.4. Referral to another Baptist church or upon request or proof of membership in a church of
5.5. By action under Section 6 below.
5.6. Bedsides removal, the Elders Team also can recommend to place a member in inactive status for lack of participation.
This church shall take every reasonable measure to restore any unrepentant and/or disruptive member
gently. Should certain serious condition with a member exist which would become detrimental to the
welfare of the church, the elders will take every measure to resolve the problem in accordance with
Matthew 18:15-17 and other scriptures. If it becomes necessary to remove a member from membership, a unanimous assent of the Elders Team in an official meeting is required.
ARTICLE IV. CHURCH ORDINANCES
This church shall baptize any person who has received Jesus Christ as savior by faith and who indicates a
commitment to follow Christ as Lord. A person’s baptism should in principle be by immersion in water upon completing baptism training classes by the church. The senior pastor, or whomever he shall authorize, shall administer baptism.
The church shall observe Communion monthly, and at such other times as the senior pastor deems
appropriate. The senior pastor or his designee shall administer the Communion. All who confess Jesus
Christ as Savior and Lord will be invited to participate.
ARTICLE V. PURCHASING AND SELLING REAL PROPERTY
1. Purchasing Real Property
Property may be purchased by the approval of two-thirds of the members voting in a special church
meeting or an annual meeting. The deed shall be signed by the chair or vice chair and treasurer of the church corporation.
2. Selling Real Property
Property may be sold by the authorization of the majority of those members voting in an annual or special church meeting. The deed of conveyance shall be signed by the chair or vice chair and treasurer of the church corporation.
ARTICLE VI. FINANCE
The Finance Committee shall work with all church leadership teams to prepare an annual budget. The budget must first be approved by Elders Team and will subsequently be submitted to the annual church meeting for approval.
2. Accounting Records
The Finance Committee will ensure that all offerings or funds received for any purposes shall be properly recorded on the books of the church and follow accounting system rules and regulations by federal, state and local governments.
3. Bank Accounts
The church will maintain accounts at banks approved by the Finance Committee. The Finance Committee determines who should have authority to sign checks or orders of withdrawal. The Elders Team’s Chair or Vice Chair, treasurer or corporate secretary shall sign financial resolutions or contracts and affix the church corporation seal.
4. Acquiring Debt
The church may borrow and pledge the assets of the church as collateral of the loan by approval of two thirds of members voting in a special church meeting or an annual meeting. Debt instruments will be executed by the Elders Team’s Chair or Vice Chair and the treasurer of the church corporation.
ARTICLE VII CHURCH MEETINGS
1. Worship Services
The church shall meet regularly on Sundays, and at various other times for the worship of God. Worship, prayer, praise, preaching, instruction, and evangelism shall be among the ingredients of these services. The senior pastor’s designee or pastor himself shall lead the services.
2. Special Services
Special services and any other church gatherings to the advancement of God’s Kingdom shall be placed on the church calendar.
3. Regular Church Meetings
The church shall hold an annual meeting at a designated time and provide quarterly updates to the members. Church votes will be taken on matters such as the annual church budget, affirmation of certain full-time ministerial team members, elders, deacons, standing committees, any acquisition or disposition of real estate, the incurring of any debt, and bylaw amendments.
4. Special Church Meetings
The church may call church meetings to consider matters of special nature, significance, or urgency. At least two-week notice must be given for a special church meeting unless it’s under extreme urgent circumstances when such notice is impractical. The notice must be given in such a manner that all active members have opportunity to know of the meeting. Special church meetings shall only be called by the Elders Team.
The quorum consists of those members who attend the annual church meeting or special church meeting that has been properly called and announced.
6. Parliamentary Rules
Robert's Rules of Order is the authority for parliamentary rules of procedure for all church meetings that would require voting.
During the annual or special church meetings, the vote may be by voice, rising, show of hands or ballot. Unless otherwise stated in these bylaws or the Articles of Incorporation, a motion will be adopted by a 2/3 majority of those voting (absentee ballot included). Only members present at a church meeting are eligible to vote. However, a 3/4 majority (absentee ballot included) will be adopted for Senior Pastor selection and bylaws amendment, or any other issue that Elders team deems necessary.
8. Motions from Church Members
Any church member may make a new main motion at the annual church meeting. Such motions shall be immediately tabled to allow church members, the Elders Team and committees to perform due diligence and for the protection of the congregation. Notice of such motions shall be provided to the church within two weeks after the motion has been made. If the motion is time sensitive the Elders Team shall call a special church meeting at which the motion may be presented for discussion and vote.
ARTICLE VIII. AMMENDMENTS
Amendments to these bylaws may be initiated by member(s) or committee(s) at the annual or special church meeting. Such member(s) or committee(s) shall make a motion to move to amend the bylaws and present written copies of the proposed changes to every member at the church meeting if enough members second the motion. For full transparency, Elders Team shall arrange for copies of the proposed changes to be available for review by church members in the church office and on church’s web site. A notice that an amendment to the bylaws has been proposed shall be given to the church body.
The Elders Team will appoint a Committee to review the proposed changes for consistency with other provisions of the bylaws and with other related church procedures and policies. The committee shall report results of the review to the Elders Team, and subsequently to the church for approval at its next annual or specially called church meeting if the proposed changes are consistent with other provisions of the bylaws and with other related church procedures and policies. The proposed amendment(s) to the bylaws may then be adopted by a three-quarters majority affirmative vote of the members voting. If the proposed amendment(s) are found to be inconsistent with other provisions of the bylaws or policies of the church, the proposal shall be withdrawn from consideration. But such member(s) or committee(s) may modify the proposal appropriately and re-submit at the next regular or specially called church meeting.
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