Community Christian Church Family,
In the constant effort to guard and care for the believing flock that God has entrusted to us, it is with humility and respect that we present revised bylaws for the organization of Community Christian Church for your review and subsequent approval.
The revision journey has been a lengthy, meticulous process fueled by the wisdom of men who have sacrificed greatly over many years to see our church family not only survive, but thrive. We hope that in these necessary legal passages, you will see the love held for both the Lord Jesus, and for you as well.
The most pressing question about revising bylaws, is likely, why? We want to assure you that the easier route would have been to leave the existing bylaws unchanged. But to do so would have been to falter in our obligation as Elders to this body of believers that God has called us to oversee.
Two thoughts surfaced repeatedly to keep us diligent to the task:
First, we were committed to bylaws that actually reflect the way we operate. We are not the same organizationally as we were when the bylaws were originally drafted in 1973, and also amended in 2004.
Today, we have adopted an organizational structure where staff leads the day to day operations of ministry, where the elders guard doctrine and assure the church is accomplishing the mission given us by Christ, and where every person making up the body of Christ in this place is using the gifts God has given them to serve the Kingdom. We are thus, Staff Led (Ephesians 4:11-12), Elder Governed (Acts 14:23, 2 Timothy 2:2) and People Gifted (Romans 12:6-8, 1 Corinthians 12:4ff). It became apparent that our bylaws needed to reflect this reality more closely.
To this end, you’ll notice tweaks involving the Board being exclusively Elders, the synonymous labels of Deacon and Ministry Leader, so that there is no limit to who can serve by leading a ministry, and that congregational voting is squarely focused on making sure the right, Godly men hold the positions of authority in the church.
Second, and more importantly, we were committed to protect the church. The world we live in necessitates that there be a clear line in what we believe as members of Community Christian Church. To the extent that we are in alignment as members when it comes to doctrine and belief, the church will be more secure and less vulnerable to attack.
To this end, you’ll notice that the CCC Statement of Faith has been added to our proposed bylaws. This step is our best attempt at a measure of protection that will help ensure the safety of CCC. When we all agree about the specifics of our beliefs, we create an avenue to be able to resist those who do not share those beliefs. This is not about denying anyone access to Christ and his Bride, the Church, but about being able to stand against those who would intentionally try to disgrace her.
An additional attempt to guard the flock is reflected in the changes around the selection of a senior minister. The proposed bylaws change this procedure to a 2/3rds vote of the Elder board (Article 5, section C). In the last season of senior minister change, unrelated issues brought adversarial votes to the table making the current bylaws’ standard nearly insurmountable (See Article 8, Section B of the current bylaws). We determined that a better procedure was needed for the next time a senior minister is called. The change in procedure shifts the power from the disgruntled few, to the few Godly men who were duly vetted and elected by the congregation to be wise decision makers for the Lord’s church.
The documents attached for your review are: 1) The proposed new bylaws. 2) The current bylaws. 3) A detailed list of changes between the current and proposed bylaws.
Pouring over legalese isn’t the most enjoyable exercise, but we thank you for your interest to do so for the sake of the church of Jesus. The bylaws revision process will culminate in a congregational vote to approve the proposed changes on February 11, 2024. A reminder to you, per our current bylaws, that any member may vote, and that a successful vote will be a “yes” by 2/3rds of the votes cast. There is no provision to vote early. Only votes taken at the time of the vote will count.
We are glad to field questions, and look for a successful vote to bring our bylaws up to date and ensure that our church has boundaries that are strong.
Grace, mercy and peace to you all,
The CCC Board of Elders