CONSTITUTION AND BY-LAWS
SECTION I: Name. The name of this Church shall be: Lansing Bible Church; incorporated under the laws of the State of Illinois.
SECTION II: Object. The purpose of this Church shall be to preach the good news of Jesus Christ; to extend missionary work at home and abroad; to lead souls into a saving knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ; and to cultivate Christian maturity upon the basis of the Word of God.
SECTION III: Character. The Word of God, comprising the Old and New Testaments, shall constitute our rule of faith and practice, as indicated by the Articles of Faith.
SECTION IV: Independent. This Church shall be, and remain, independent. It shall not now or at any time hereafter, by under any denomination, federation or denominations, or the National Council of Churches of Christ and its successor.
SECTION V: Ordination. It shall be within the power of this Church to ordain to the Gospel Ministry those whom God has called and equipped. It shall have the authority by vote of the congregation, to call ordination councils and issue proper credentials.
SECTION VI: Form of Government. This Church shall be congregational in government, and shall delegate authority to the various boards as stated in this Constitution and by-laws.
SECTION I: Any person or persons confessing their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ the only begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all worlds, as their personal Savior, and desiring to live a separated life, by the grace of God, and who accepts without mental reservation the Articles of Faith of this Church, may be, upon recommendation of the Official Board received into full membership of this Church.
SECTION II: All members are expected to live a consistent Christian life, to attend habitually the services of this Church, to give regularly to its support and missionary program, to share in its organized work, to participate in the Church=s business meetings and faithfully pray for their Pastor or Pastors and fellow believers.
SECTION III: All applicants for membership shall be required to meet with the Official Board for examination as to their conversion, acceptance of the Doctrinal Statement of this Church, and other matters pertaining to their qualifying as full members of this Church.
SECTION IV: The Congregation reserves the right to refuse admission into its membership those deemed undesirable or detrimental to the sanctity of the Church.
SECTION V: Members shall be classified as AActive@ or AInactive@. An active member is one who supports the church by earnestly endeavoring to attend all services, by giving of their time, talents and financial support. An inactive member is any member who does not do the above for a period of six (6) months. (See Article III, Section II).
SECTION VI: Junior Membership. Candidates under the age of 18 years and who meet all other requirements including Sections I, II, and IV for membership shall be received as Junior members. These members may not vote nor take part in the discussion of business but may make suggestions through a voting member. Upon reaching the age of 18, they shall be re-examined by the Official Board and if approved, shall be presented to the Church as voting members.
SECTION VII: The Pastor and his wife and any associate workers shall automatically become members upon taking up their duties.
SECTION I: Members desiring to join some other evangelical church, shall have said church make application for a Aletter of termination@. This request shall be presented to the Official Board at any regular meeting or a meeting called especially for that purpose and upon a majority vote of the Official Board, the church Clerk will then issue a properly executed Aletter of termination@.
SECTION II: (A) Any member who, without Ajust cause@ has absented themselves from the regular services of the Church (Sunday School, Morning and Evening Services and Prayer Meeting) for a period of six (6) months shall be placed upon an Inactive List of the Official Board. A notice in writing shall be sent to the Inactive Member. Sickness or other circumstances beyond their control shall constitute Ajust cause@. Every effort to restore the Inactive Member to full fellowship shall be made.
(B) An Inactive Member shall not have the privilege of holding any responsible position in any of the organizations of the Church such as Official Board, Sunday School, Choir, Clubs, etc.
SECTION III: (A) Any person whose name is on the Inactive List may be re-instated to full fellowship and church privileges by meeting with the Official Board and requesting the same.
(B) All persons placed on the Inactive List who fail to reinstate themselves within a period of six (6) months, shall without further action, be dropped from the Church rolls and shall be notified in writing of such actions, by the Official Board.
Causes of Discipline
SECTION I: The advocating of false doctrine within the Church shall be considered an offense against the Church. (Galatians 1:9).
SECTION II: Disregarding the authority of the Church shall be considered an offense against the Church. (Matthew 18:17).
SECTION III: If any member shall cause strife or contention within the Church, it shall be considered an offense against the Church. (Romans 16:17; III John 10).
SECTION IV: Personal conduct that causes a member to be classed according to I Cor. 5:11 shall be considered an offense to the Church.
SECTION V: Attendance. See Article III, Sections I, II, and III.
Character of Discipline
SECTION I: The Pastor and the Official Board shall constitute the discipline committee of the Church.
SECTION II: In case of personal differences between members of the Church, the Official Board shall recommend that the parties endeavor to settle their differences in the manner laid down by our Savior in Matthew 18:15,16.
SECTION III: If charges are made against a member of the Official Board, the accused shall be notified, personally or by registered letter, of the nature of the charges and shall be summoned to appear before the Official Board to make answer to the charges. At least five (5) days notice of such a meeting shall be given to the party involved. If the accused does not appear in response to the summons, unless a satisfactory reason is given for such non-appearance, the Official Board shall, in the absence of the accused, vote as to the guilt or innocence of the accused. If innocent, the accused shall be acquitted. If guilty, the Official Board shall take necessary steps to discipline the accused as the case may warrant. If the accused appears before the Official Board, there shall be a full and fair hearing of the case.
SECTION IV: Anyone against whom charges have been made and in whose case the Official Board has excommunicated, may appeal when repentant to the Official Board and make application for reinstatement to the Membership Roll. It will be the duty of the Official Board to give such application due consideration.
SECTION V: One purpose of this section is to give full protection to any member who may be accused and at the same time protect the Church from interruptions of its regular business and its spiritual activities by matters of discipline, the details of which might be wasteful of the time of the Church, harmful to the young or discouraging to the membership.
SECTION VI: It is specifically directed that the Official Board, in safeguarding the purity and peace of the Church, shall move with special promptness in the case of anyone who is obstructing the work or disturbing the peace of the Church by slander, falsehood, unseemly gossip, conspiracy or other unfair and unchristian methods. It is recognized that while any person has the right of a private opinion on all questions, and the right to appeal in any constitutional and proper manner and they shall not have the right of engaging in secret or open propaganda or of deliberately disturbing the peace and interrupting the work of the Church, or bring it into disrepute before the public by such wrong methods in their effort to discourage the faithful and injure the cause.
SECTION VII: It is understood that this article shall not be used as an excuse for unnecessary severeness in minor matters, but that the Official Board shall always use kindness, consideration and Christian love in determining the cases for discipline and the method of procedure in such cases.
Officers, Boards, Etc.
SECTION I: The Official Board of the Church will consist of the Pastor(s), Elders, and Chairman of the Deacon Board. There will be as many elders as needed unless there are not enough qualified men then as many as are qualified.
SECTION II: The Deacon Board will be made up of the elected Deacons with the Chairman being appointed by the Official Board. There will be as many Deacons as needed unless there are not enough qualified men then as many as are qualified.
SECTION III: The Deaconesses will be elected but they will be non-governing officers of the church.
SECTION IV: The Sunday School Superintendent and Assistant Superintendent will be elected by the Congregation. The Superintendent will be an Elder and the Assistant will be a Deacon. They will serve on the Official Board. All other Sunday School personnel will be appointed to the Official Board.
SECTION V: The Treasurer, Assistant Treasurer, Financial Secretary, Church Clerk, and Head Usher will be appointed out of the Deacons and Deaconesses by the Official Board except when qualified people are not available from the elected Deacons and Deaconesses, then the Official Board will choose people from the congregation to perform these duties.
SECTION VI: The Auditing Committee shall be composed of three (3) members who shall be appointed or re-appointed annually by the Official Board at the beginning of the fiscal year.
Duration of Official Positions
SECTION I: Pastor. The Pastor=s tenure of office shall be indefinite but may be terminated by his resignation or by action of the Church. Sixty (60) days notice to be given in either case unless a shorter or longer notice is agreeable to both parties.
SECTION II: Elders and Deacons. The men elected to these offices shall serve for a period on one year but they may be re-elected each year up to two (2) consecutive years. After having served for three (3) consecutive full years, they shall not be re-elected again until one (1) year has elapsed, except when constitutionally qualified members are not available, then they may be re-elected.
SECTION III: Other Officers. The tenure of all other officers shall be for a period of one (1) year.
SECTION IV: Eligibility of Office. The lives of Elders, Deacons and Deaconesses and all other elected officers must be in conformity with the qualifications set forth in I Timothy 3:1-13 and Titus 1:5-9 as it applies to their office. All officers of the church shall regularly attend mid-week and other regular services of the Church, and attend, as well, their own scheduled Board Meetings, unless hindered by circumstances beyond their control.
Nomination of Officers
SECTION I: A recommended list of nominees for office is to be presented by the nominating committee, composed of the Pastor, two men from the Official Board and two men elected by the congregation at the first congregational business meeting before the annual business meeting. Nominations from the floor shall not be in order unless the nominee has been approved by the nominating committee and has given consent, subject to Article VI, Section IV.
SECTION II: The nominating committee shall meet at least four (4) weeks prior to the election date for the purpose of nomination. The nominees shall be consulted to see whether or not they would accept the office. The list of nominees shall be published in the bulletin, or announced from the pulpit two (2) Sundays before the election.
SECTION III: Nominees are to be elected to office by a ballot of the congregation. (This ballot to be arranged by the nominating committee.)
SECTION IV: Elders will be elected to office by two-thirds (2/3) vote. Deacons and deaconesses will be elected by majority vote. In case of a tie, a ballot vote by the congregation shall decide the issue.
SECTION V: In case of death, removal from the office or failure to abide by Article VII, Section IV, of any duly elected officers of the Church, they shall automatically be dropped as an officer, and the vacancy shall be filled by election at the next regular business meeting of the Church, as per Section I.
Duties of Officers and Boards
SECTION I: The Pastor. The Pastor shall preach the Word of God, administer the ordinances, visit the sick and needy, and have the general oversight of the activities of the Church and, through organization and visitation, develop its strength for the best possible service. The Pastor shall be an Ex-officio member of all boards and committees of the church and of its auxiliary organizations and shall have voting privileges. The Pastor shall be free to regulate his schedule of ministerial duties subject to the supervision of the Holy Spirit. The Official Board, however, may request regular written reports of his activities if they deem, necessary.
SECTION II: A new Pastor shall be called as follows:
1. The Official Board shall appoint a pulpit committee of five (5) men of which at least two (2) shall be members of the Official Board to secure pulpit supply speakers and candidates.
2. The records and qualifications of each candidate and the minutes of the Official Board meetings at which they were interviewed shall be read at the business meeting within a week following the Sunday on which he appeared.
3. A vote to call a Pastor may be taken after hearing the record and qualifications of the candidate. A motion can be made to take a vote to call the candidate as our Pastor.
4. A Pastor shall be elected and called, upon receiving a three-fourths (3/4) majority vote of the membership casting ballots. Ballots shall be made available only to voting members attending services at which the candidate appeared.
5. The Official Board shall notify the Pastor-elect of the action of the Church and make arrangements for his installation should he accept.
6. The Pastor=s salary and vacation time shall be determined by a majority vote of the Congregation at the time of his call. Any change of salary or provision may be made by a majority vote of the Congregation.
SECTION III: The Deacons. The Deacons shall perform the following duties:
1. They shall have oversight of receiving all offerings and gifts and expenditures and records thereof. Following are some details:
A. One of the Deacons shall be a financial secretary unless a qualified Deacon is not available. Then see Section V of Article VI. He shall keep a faithful record of all moneyreceived by regular or special offerings and collections, and turned over to the Treasurer of the Church, who shall give proper receipt and shall make an annual written report of the same properly audited by the auditing committee; shall keep a record of all monies received by envelopes for the various funds, and shall assist the Treasurer in counting monies received.
B. The Treasurer shall also be a Deacon unless a qualified man is not available the Article VI, Section V shall apply. The Treasurer shall enter a receipt upon a duplicate book for any and all monies and have charge of the funds of the Church and shall give monthly report of his receipts and disbursements and also submit an annual report properly audited by the auditing committee. He shall deposit all funds received by offerings, benefits, collections and from all other sources, inm a bank or banks, approved by the Board. The various funds of the Church shall be kept in their proper accounts. He shall pay all current bills, such as rent, salaries, utilities, telephone, etc., without authorization of the Board in each case.
C. The Assistant Treasurer shall also be a Deacon unless a qualified man is not available, then there will be no assistant treasurer. He will in the absence of the Treasurer, assume all duties of that office.
2. They shall carry out the decisions of the Official Board in the benevolent work of the Church and any other duties that are delegated to them by the Official Board.
3. They shall be responsible to the Official Board for all repairs to all properties of the church, both personal and real; and take all necessary measures for the protection and management of such properties. They shall not assume any financial obligations for the Church such as giving of notes or any legal instruments or mortgages on properties of the Church, or the acquiring of Church property without approval of the Congregation. The custodian shall be under the direction of this Board. They shall have the authority to purchase all supplies, fuel and equipment in cases where the expenditure of an unusual amount of money ($1,000.00) would be involved, in which case the matter shall be brought before the Congregation at a regular business meeting or at a specially called meeting for that purpose.
4. They will act as Trustees. They shall hold in trust all properties belonging to the Church, both personal and real. The Deacons shall sign all legal papers of the Church requiring such signatures. They shall also perform such other duties as may be required by them by the statutes of the State of Illinois.
5. One on the Deacons will be the Head Usher unless a qualified man is unavailable then see Article VI, Section V. The Head Usher shall be responsible for the seating of the Congregation at all regular meetings and special services, distribute song books, and provide for the comfort of all present.
SECTION VI: The Deaconesses. The Deaconesses shall perform the following duties:
1. It shall be the duty of the Deaconesses to do any calling that requires a woman=s visitation.
2. One of the Deaconesses shall be the Clerk unless a qualified woman is not available then see Article VI, Section V. She will keep a correct and accurate record of all meetings of the Congregation where business of any kind is transacted; shall issue letters of termination directed by the Official Board; shall conduct all of the Official correspondence of the Church. She will keep all records safe and turn the records over to her successor in office.
3. They will carry out all other duties that the Official Board shall give them to perform.
SECTION V: Official Board. It shall be the duty of the Official Board to safeguard the spiritual and material welfare of the Church. The regular meeting of the Board shall not be held less than once each quarter, at such time and in such a place as has been selected by them as being most convenient and suitable for all members of the Board. This meeting shall be for the purpose of transacting such matters of business as the need may require as well as giving and hearing reports of the work of the Church. The duly elected members of the Board shall also perform such other matters as may be incumbent to their office. They will also choose a moderator from among themselves for all business meetings.
SECTION VI: Sunday School Superintendent and Assistant Superintendent. It shall be the duty of the Sunday School Superintendent to have the general direction of the meetings of the Officers and Teachers of the Sunday School; to provide teachers who have been approved by the Official Board for the various classes and to attend to the various other duties that may be incumbent to his office from time to time. They shall at all times consult with the Official Board in matters of more importance than the regular routine duties.
SECTION VII: Auditing Committee. The Auditing Committee shall audit all financial records as of February 28 and August 31 of each year and when deemed necessary by the Deacons and make a detailed report to the annual meeting of the Church covering the above mentioned records. They shall also report as to the condition of various funds, applicable papers, property, insurance carried, in whose name funds are carried and are kept. Auditors shall approve and disapprove all records audited by them and those results presented at the annual meeting. The treasurers of various boards and organizations will submit all necessary records to the auditors upon request of the chairman of the auditing committee.
Congregational Business Meeting
SECTION I: There shall be a quarterly business meeting of the Congregation.
SECTION II: The Annual business meeting shall be held in September or October in junction with the quarterly business meeting of the Congregation.
SECTION III: The financial year shall end on August 31 each year.
SECTION IV: The Pastor or Chairman of the Official Board may call a special congregational business meeting upon written request of 25% of the voting membership, provided such written request, which states the nature and purpose of the meeting, has been presented in time to make the announcements from the pulpit each of two (2) Sundays prior to the date of said meeting.
SECTION I: The Lord=s Supper will be observed the first Sunday of each month, or on special occasions as arranged by the Official Board.
Voting and Amendments
SECTION I: Eligibility. A voter shall be an active member of the church and be at least eighteen (18) years of age.
SECTION II: Voting. A majority of all active members present and voting at any regular or special congregational business meetings, shall be sufficient to decide any question before such a meeting, except as otherwise specifically provided in this Constitution.
SECTION III: Quorum. The active voting members present at any regular or special business meeting shall constitute a quorum.
SECTION IV: Amendments and Revisions. This Constitution may be amended or revised at regular congregational business meetings by a three-fourths (3/4) vote; providing a written notice of such proposed change shall have been authorized by the Official Board and presented to the Congregation one (1) month prior to taking action, and provided such alterations do not conflict with the Article of Incorporation of this Church.
SECTION I : Upon the adoption of this revised Constitution and by-laws of the Congregation of the same shall become effective immediately, and all former constitutions, by-laws and amendments thereto and all other rules and regulations made by the Congregation or Board of this Church, are hereby repealed and declared null and void, and of no force or effect, upon the adoption of this revised Constitution and by-laws, by the vote of the Congregation of Saturday, February 23, 1974.
Amended June, 1980
Revised April, 1982
CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT ON MARRIAGE AND SEXUALITY
According to the Bible, marriage is the uniting of one man and one woman in covenant commitment for a lifetime. It is God’s unique gift to reveal the union between Christ and His church and to provide for the man and the woman in marriage the framework for intimate companionship, the channel of sexual expression according to biblical standards, and the means for procreation of the human race. We believe that sexual intimacy is a wonderful gift of God that is only to be expressed between one man and one woman (as genetically defined), within the love and bonds of marriage. (Genesis 2:24-24; Matthew 19:4-6; Ephesians 5:21-33, 1 Corinthians 7:3-5; Hebrews 13:4).”
We believe that any form of sexual intimacy outside of marriage is both immoral and a perversion of God’s gift (Leviticus 18:1-30; Proverbs 6:32; 1 Corinthians 6:18: Romans 1:26-27; 1 Thessalonians 4:3-8). Furthermore, we believe that any form of sexual immorality such as adultery, fornication, homosexuality, bisexual conduct, bestiality, incest, pornography, cohabitation (regardless of the age of the individuals involved), any attempt to change one’s gender in disagreement with one’s genetically defined gender, is sinful and offensive to God (Leviticus 18-20; Romans 1).
We believe that in order to preserve the function, unity, and the integrity of the church as the local Body of Christ, and to provide a biblical role model to the church members and the community, it is imperative that all persons employed by the church in any capacity, or who serve as volunteers, should abide by and agree to this Statement on Marriage and Sexuality and conduct themselves accordingly whether at church, home, or in the community.
In light of our biblical commitments, the pastor of Lansing Bible Church of Lansing, Illinois will perform no same gender weddings or any other anti-biblical weddings or ceremonies at the church or at any other location. Furthermore, no member or non-member parties will be allowed to use any facilities of the church for same gender and/or sexually immoral weddings, wedding receptions, or other functions.
We do believe that God offers redemption and restoration to all who confess and forsake their sin, seeking His mercy and forgiveness through Jesus Christ (Romans 8). And we believe that every person must be afforded compassion, love, kindness and dignity. Hateful and harassing behavior, attitudes, or speech directed towards any individual are to be repudiated and are not in accord with Scripture nor the doctrines of Lansing Bible Church of Lansing Illinois (1 Peter 2:13-25; 1 Thessalonians 4:11-12).”
Amended at the Annual Meeting January 10, 2016