Constitution and Bylaws of The Journey Church
359 Lake Park Rd, Lewisville, Texas 75057
Revision 4 –June, 2016
- The Board of Directors of The Journey Church, under the guidance of The Holy Spirit, do hereby organize ourselves in accordance with the laws of the State of Texas governing non-profit organizations and adopt this Constitution as our articles of governance, to be interpreted at all times through the Word of God, to reflect the character of Jesus Christ and to bring glory to Jesus Christ, as set forth in the Baptist Faith & Message (2000 Edition)
Article 1 – Name
The name of this church is The Journey Church. It is incorporated in the year 2009 as a non-profit corporation under the laws of the State of Texas. It is presently located at 359 Lake Park Road, Lewisville, Texas, 75057.
Article 2 – Purpose
- This church exists by the grace of God, for the glory of God, which shall be the ultimate purpose in all its activities.
- This church glorifies God by loving Him and obeying His commands through:
– Worshiping Him;
– Prayer; This church is a body of believers committed to prayer and seeking our Lord’s wisdom and guidance in all matters.
– Equipping the saints through Bible instruction and study;
– Proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ through preaching and personal evangelism, and any other means consistent with the teachings of Holy Scripture;
– Encouraging, supporting, and participating through a contribution of 10% of our annual donation income to missions work, local, domestic, and international;
– Administering the ordinances of baptism and the Lord’s Supper;
– Encouraging Biblical fellowship among believers;
– Serving other individuals, families, and churches by providing for physical, emotional, and spiritual needs, in the name of Jesus Christ; and
– Calling fellow churches to biblical faithfulness and purity through instruction and encouragement about the nature of the local church.
Article 3 – Membership
Section 1 – Qualifications
To qualify for membership in The Journey Church, a person must be a believer in Jesus Christ who gives evidence of regeneration, who has been baptized, or is willing to be baptized, in obedience to Jesus Christ, following his or her regeneration, and who wholeheartedly believes in the Christian faith as revealed in the Bible. Each member must agree to submit to the teaching of Scripture as expressed in the Statement of Faith and must promise to keep the commitments expressed in the Church Constitution.
Section 2 – Admission of Members
To be admitted as a member into The Journey Church, applicants shall be recommended by the Senior Pastor. The Elder Board and the Board of Directors shall be responsible for determining each person’s qualification for membership. In making this determination, the Elder Board and the Board of Directors may rely on a person’s profession of faith in Jesus Christ, their previous full-immersion water baptism, or their intent to be baptized by full-immersion in the very near future, information derived from the applicant’s former church, or any other evidences, as our board members deem appropriate. The applicant must meet the qualifications in Section 1 above, they must be living out the Christian life, they must be willing to accept help and spiritual counsel in the areas of their lives needing growth in Jesus Christ their Lord and they are to be willing to relinquish their membership in their former church.
Section 3 – Duties and Privileges of Membership
In accord with the duties enumerated in the Church Constitution, each member shall be privileged and expected to participate in and contribute to the ministry and life of the The Journey Church, consistent with God’s leading and with the gifts, time, and material resources each has received from God. Only those shall be entitled to serve in the ministries of the church who are members of this congregation; non-members may serve on an ad-hoc basis with the approval of the elders. Notwithstanding, non-members may serve the church for purposes of administration and professional consultation.
Under Christ’s Headship two Boards, the Elder Board and the Board of Directors, shall govern this congregation. Therefore, The Journey Church members should honor and bring glory to our Triune God, our Heavenly Father, His Son, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit by submitting to and following the leadership decisions of these two Boards. If either Board shall try to enforce any leadership decision that is clearly unBiblical or unspiritual in nature, then The Journey Church members are not to obey or follow that leadership decision. Occasionally, Godly wisdom may be sought out from various members of The Journey Church congregation as to whom they know in the church family that might be suitable for spiritual leadership on either of these two boards.
Section 4 – Church Discipline
- Any member consistently neglecting his or her duties or is found guilty of conduct by which the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be dishonored, and so opposing the welfare of the church, shall be subject to the admonition of the elders and the discipline of the church, according to the instructions of our Lord Jesus Christ in Matthew 18: 15–17. It must be noted here that the church discipline that is taught by our Lord in Matthew 18:15-17 is to be done in love with prayer, always seeking the reconciliation of The Journey Church member or visitor to God, to God’s Word, to their Lord & Savior Jesus Christ and to The Journey Church family as a whole.
- Church discipline can include admonition by the elders or congregation, suspension from the Lord’s Supper during the disciplinary period, temporary or permanent removal from ministry office and/or ministry duties, and even up to removal from church membership if the individual(s) refuse to confess and repent of the sin. (See Matthew 18: 15–17; 2 Thessalonians 3: 14–15; 1 Timothy 5: 19–20; 1 Corinthians 5: 4–5)
- The purpose of such discipline should be for the repentance, reconciliation, and spiritual growth of the individual disciplined (see Proverbs 15: 5; 29: 15; I Corinthians 4: 14; Ephesians 6: 4; I Timothy 3: 4–5; Hebrews 12: 1–11; Psalm 119: 115; 141: 5; Proverbs 17: 10; 25: 12; 27: 5; Ecclesiastes 7: 5; Matthew 7: 26–27; 18: 15–17; Luke 17: 3; Acts 2: 40; I Corinthians 5: 5; Galatians 6: 1–5; II Thessalonians 3: 6, 14–15; I Timothy 1: 20; Titus 1: 13–14; James 1: 22);
– For the instruction in righteousness and good of other Christians, as an example to them (see Proverbs 13: 20; Romans 15: 14; I Corinthians 5: 11; 15: 33; Colossians 3: 16; I Thessalonians 5: 14 [note this is written to the whole church, not just to leaders]; I Timothy 5: 20; Titus 1: 11; Hebrews 10: 24–25);
– Supremely for the glory of God by reflecting His holy character (see Deuteronomy 5: 11; I Kings 11: 2; II Chronicles 19: 2; Ezra 6: 21; Nehemiah 9: 2; Isaiah 52: 11; Ezekiel 36: 20; Matthew 5: 16; John 15: 8; 18: 17, 25; Romans 2: 24; 15: 5–6; II Corinthians 6: 14–7: 1; Ephesians 1: 4; 5: 27; I Peter 2: 12).
Section 5 – Termination of Membership
Termination of membership shall be recognized by The Journey Church for the following:
- The death of any church member.
- The voluntary withdrawal of membership in writing by any church member.
- The voluntary transfer of membership to membership in another local church.
- Termination of fellowship as an act of church discipline at the recommendation of the Elder Board and/or Board of Directors. *
- * (Church discipline can include admonition by the elders or congregation, suspension from the Lord’s Supper during the disciplinary period, temporary or permanent removal from ministry office and/or ministry duties. If the conduct is deemed harmful to the church body and the individual(s) refuses to repent of the dishonorable conduct/sins the church elders and BOD may remove the individual(s) from all church fellowship until such time as they confess and repent. All church discipline is taught to us by Jesus Christ our Savior and Lord and by the Apostle Paul in the church as how to love the church family back into fellowship and reconciliation and helping believers live righteously in Him and His Word. Matthew 18:15-17 & I Corinthians 5:1-13)
Section 6 – Statement on Marriage and Sexuality
We believe that the term ‘marriage’ has only one meaning and that is marriage sanctioned be God which joins one man and one woman in a single, exclusive union, as delineated in Scripture.
We believe that God intends sexual intimacy to only occur between a man and a woman who are married to each other. We believe that God has commanded that no intimate sexual activity be engaged in outside of a marriage between a man and a woman.
We believe that any form of sexual immorality, such as adultery, fornication, co-habitation, homosexuality, bisexual conduct, bestiality, incest, pornography or any attempt to change one’s sex, or disagreement with one’s biological sex, is sinful and offensive to God.
We believe that in order to preserve the function and 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 in 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.
We believe that no commissioned, licensed minister or pastor is allowed to officiate a same sex marriage ceremony because of Biblical principles.
Article 4 – Meetings
Section 1 – Worship Meetings
Worship services shall be held each Lord’s Day, and may be held throughout the week as the church leadership determines.
Section 2 – Church Meetings
- In every church meeting, visitors and members shall act in that spirit of mutual trust, openness, and loving consideration which is appropriate within the body of our Lord Jesus Christ.
- If an all-church meeting is called, members from the Elder Board and Board of Directors should be present to lead and to respond to any question raised.
- Special meetings may be called as required by the elders, or at the written request, submitted to the elders. The date, time, and purpose of any special meeting shall be announced at all public services of the church preferably within two weeks preceding the meeting. In the event of a written request from the members, the elders shall call a special meeting to be held within one month of their receipt of the request.
Article 5 – Officers
Section 1 – Summary
The Biblical offices in the church are elders and deacons. In addition, our church recognizes the administrative positions under this constitution of Treasurer and Secretary, who sit on the Board of Directors. The 3 minimum administrative offices on the Board of Directors is the President (always the Senior Pastor), Treasurer and Secretary. Of any of the offices mentioned in this section, the man must be known widely as a wise Christian man in the church and in the community and must be a member of The Journey Church prior to assuming any of these offices and the ensuing responsibilities of said office.
Section 2 – Elders
- The elders shall be comprised of the Senior Pastor and any other men added to the Elder Board. These men must satisfy the qualifications for the office of elder set forth in I Timothy 3: 1–7 and Titus 1: 6–9. A majority of the active eldership shall be composed of church members not in the regular pay of the church, and no elder shall hold the office of deacon during his tenure. The reason for this is that elder and deacon offices are different and both have much responsibility. One man should not have to try to handle both offices and with their separate duties simultaneously.
- The elders shall oversee the ministry and resources of the church. In keeping with the principles set forth in Acts 6: 1–6 and I Peter 5: 1–4, the elders shall devote their time to prayer, the ministry of the Word (by teaching and encouraging sound doctrine), and shepherding God’s flock.
- The church shall recognize men gifted and willing to serve in this calling, in accordance with Biblical & church constitutional provisions. These men shall be received as gifts of Christ to His church and set apart as elders. If they serve well, they shall be highly honored.
- An elder’s term of office may be by voluntary resignation, resignation by request of the Senior Pastor, immediate dismissal by the Senior Pastor or a two-thirds vote of dismissal by the Elder Board. Any two Elder Board members with reason to believe that an elder should be dismissed should express such concern to the Senior Pastor and allow him time to process the accusation, research the matter and pray. Then, if the Senior Pastor is lead to move forward, he will inform all elders of the desire of an elder to be dismissed and seek reconciliation of the matter with the entire Elder Board through prayer and fasting. If there is eventually a need to bring this to the entire congregation, only the Senior Pastor, as the Lead Elder, may do so. Any such action shall be done in accordance with the instructions of our Lord in Matthew 18: 15–17 and I Timothy 5: 17–21. Any of the elders may be dismissed by a two-thirds vote of the Elder Board. The Senior Pastor must be part of the two-thirds vote to dismiss.
- The elders shall take particular responsibility to examine and instruct prospective members, examine and recommend all prospective candidates for offices and positions, oversee the work of the Board of Directors, oversee the work of the Deacon Body and appointed church agents and committees, conduct worship services, administer the ordinances of baptism and communion, equip the membership for the work of the ministry, encourage sound doctrine and practice, admonish and correct error, oversee the process of church discipline, coordinate and promote the ministries of the church, and mobilize the church for world missions. The elders are further to ensure that all who minister the Word to the congregation, including outside speakers, share our fundamental Biblical convictions and beliefs.
- The elders may establish ministry positions or committees to assist them in fulfilling their responsibilities. The Elder Board, working with the Board of Directors, may also propose funding for new paid staff positions. The Elder Board & the Board of Directors shall approve all candidates to fill the positions of Senior Pastor and Associate Pastor. The scope and approval of job descriptions for any staff position shall reside in the hands of those with hiring authority for that position.
- The elders shall have primary responsibility for the employment, supervision, and evaluation of staff members. This responsibility may, on a case-by-case basis, be delegated to another staff member.
Section 3 – The Senior Pastor
- The Senior Pastor shall be an elder. He is also the Lead Elder on the Elder Board. He shall direct the elders to select an elder to keep the minutes of the Elder Meetings. He shall perform the duties of an elder described in Section 2, above, and shall be recognized by the church as particularly gifted and called to the full-time ministry of preaching and teaching.
- His call shall not be subject to the triennial reaffirmation set out in Article 5, Section 2, for elders. His call shall be defined as per Article 6, Section 3.
- He shall preach on the Lord’s Day, administer the ordinances of baptism and communion, and perform such other duties as usually pertain to that office, or as set forth in this constitution.
- In the absence or incapacity of the senior pastor the elders shall assume responsibility for his duties, any of which can be delegated.
Section 4 – Associate Pastors
- The church may call additional pastors whose relationship to the senior pastor is that of associate.
- An associate pastor may become an elder but is his assuming the office of elder is not automatic. He shall strive to meet the qualifications of an elder as described in Section 2, above, and shall be recognized by the church as particularly gifted and called to the full-time ministry of preaching and teaching but may or may not be on the Elder Board.
- The associate pastor’s call shall not be subject to the triennial reaffirmation set out in Article 5, Section 2, for elders. His call shall be defined as per Article 6, Section 4.
- He shall assist the senior pastor in the performance of his regular duties and shall perform any other duties as usually pertain to the office of pastor, or as set forth in the constitution, or which may be specifically assigned to him by the Elder Board or Board of Directors.
- In the absence or incapacity of the senior pastor for defined periods of time (such as sabbatical or illness), the associate pastor(s) shall assume the responsibility for his duties under the oversight of the elders.
Section 5 – Deacons
- The office of deacon is described in I Timothy 3: 8–13 and Acts 6: 1–7. The church shall recognize, in accordance with the constitutional provisions on elections, men who are giving of themselves in service to the church, and who possess particular gifts and calling of service. These male members shall be received as gifts of Christ to His church and set apart as deacons.
- Deacons shall care for the temporal (physical) needs of visitors and members of The Journey Church, attend to the accommodations for public worship, and encourage and support those able to help others.
- The Deacon Body shall receive, hold, and disburse a fund for benevolence, reporting on its use to the Treasurer of the Board of Directors at his request. The Treasurer will then provide a copy to the Elder Board for the examination of those receiving financial assistance through the Benevolence Ministry. Anyone receiving financial assistance needs to also have first made an appointment with an elder for spiritual counsel. The Deacon Chairman shall select the deacon whose spiritual gifts, personality, experience and time permit his service in this Benevolence Ministry.
Section 6 – Clerk
- It shall be the duty of the clerk to preserve an accurate roll of the church visitors and church membership, and to render reports as requested by the Senior Pastor, to the Senior Pastor, the Elder Board, the Board of Directors and/or the Deacon Body Chairman.
- In the absence or incapacity of the clerk the elders shall appoint a member, in good standing, to perform the duties of the church clerk.
- For purposes of compliance with the nonprofit corporation laws of the State of Texas, the clerk shall serve as the Secretary of the corporation.
- The church clerk shall ensure that dated copies of the most recent revision of this constitution shall be available for all church members.
Section 7 – Treasurer
The treasurer, who can also be an active elder, deacon, shall ensure that all funds and securities of the church are properly secured in such banks, financial institutions, or depositories as appropriate. The treasurer shall also be responsible for presenting regular reports of the account balances, revenues and expenses of The Journey Church to the Elder Board. The responsibility may be delegated with the approval of the elders. The treasurer shall also ensure that full and accurate accounts of receipts and disbursements are kept in books belonging to the church, and that adequate controls are implemented to guarantee that all funds belonging to the church are appropriately handled by any officer, employee, or agent of the church. The Treasurer shall render to the Elder Board annually, or whenever they may require it, an account of all transactions as treasurer and of the financial condition of the church.
The treasurer shall be nominated by the Elder Board.
The Treasurer shall serve as the legal representative in all transactions related to the church. They hold legal title to the church property; and they sign all documents related to the purchase, sale, mortgaging, or rental of church property after approval by the Elder Board and Board of Director’s approval.
The Treasurer shall act only as directed by the Elder Board and full agreement of the Board of Directors.
The Treasurer shall maintain an up-to-date inventory of all church property, mortgage loans, and insurance on church property. Such information shall be kept in a safety deposit box with copies filed in the church office for ready reference.
The signature of the Treasurer is required for all legal documents, and when necessary, either other Board of Directors signatures or Elder Board signatures.
Article 6 – Elections
Section 1 – Principles
- The process for church elections shall be interpreted and carried out to fulfill the following principles:
- Substantial prayer, both individually and corporately, should be an integral part of the election process;
- Nominations should proceed with the support of the elders;
- All candidates for church offices should be treated with the grace, kindness, and honesty appropriate in evaluating fellow members;
- The election process shall express that spirit of mutual trust, openness, and loving consideration that is appropriate within the body of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Section 2 – Selection of Officers
- Names of nominees to serve as elders, deacons, clerk (Secretary), or treasurer may be presented to any elder at any time.
- The elders should seek recommendations and involvement from the general membership in the nomination process. Any member with reason to believe that a nominated candidate is unqualified for an office should express such concern to the elders. Members intending to speak in opposition to a candidate should express their objection to the elders, in writing, as far in advance as possible before the Elder Board calls an elder.
- The Elder Board must be in 100% full agreement in order to add another elder to the Elder Board. This assists in building and maintaining the unity of the Elder Board members first as brothers in Christ and secondly as spiritual leaders as they serve our Lord & Savior Jesus Christ and His church, The Journey Church.
- The persons called to the Elder Board shall assume their respective offices upon election, unless another date has been specifically designated.
Section 3 – Calling of the Senior Pastor
In the calling of any man to this position, the same basic process of calling an elder must be followed. In addition, however, the church must be given adequate opportunity to assess the preaching gifts of any potential senior pastor and, before being asked to express its judgment, must receive assurance from the elders that, having interviewed the man concerned, they are in no doubt as to his wholehearted assent to the Baptist Faith & Message (2000 Edition) and Church Constitution. Notice of the nomination of a man to be elected to membership and called as senior pastor (which shall include, if necessary, election to membership of his wife if he is married) must be given at two Sunday morning services following the nomination, prior to the Elder Board and Board of Director’s calling and acceptance.
Section 4 – Calling of Associate Pastor
In the calling of any man to the position of associate pastor, the same basic process of calling an elder must be followed. However, the church must be given adequate opportunity to assess the preaching gifts of any potential associate pastor and, before being asked to express its judgment, must receive assurance from the elders that, having interviewed the man concerned, they are in no doubt as to his wholehearted assent to the Baptist Faith & Message (2000 Edition) and Church Constitution. Notice of the nomination of a man to be called as associate pastor must be given at two Sunday morning services following the nomination, prior to the elder’s decision.
Article 7 – Indemnification
Section 1 – Mandatory Indemnification
If a legal claim or criminal allegation is made against a person because he or she is or was an officer, employee, or agent of the church, the church shall provide indemnification against liability and costs incurred in defending against the claim if the elders determine that the person acted (a) in good faith, (b) with the care an ordinarily prudent person in a similar position would exercise under similar circumstances, and (c) in a manner the person reasonably believed to be in the best interest of the church, and the person had no reasonable cause to believe his or her conduct was unlawful.
Section 2 – Permissive Indemnification
At the discretion of the elders, the church also may indemnify any person who acted in good faith and reasonably believed that his or her conduct was in the church’s best interest and not unlawful.
Section 3 – Procedure
If a quorum of the elders is not available for an indemnification determination because of the number of elders seeking indemnification, the requisite determination may be made by the Board of Directors or by special legal counsel appointed by the Board of Directors.
Article 8 – Dispute Resolution
Believing that the Bible commands Christians to make every effort to live at peace and to resolve disputes with each other in private or within the Christian Church (see, e.g., Matthew 18: 15–20, I Corinthians 6: 1–8), the church shall require its members to resolve conflict among themselves according to biblically based principles, without reliance on the secular courts. Consistent with its call to peacemaking, the church shall encourage the use of biblically based principles and the avoidance of suits of law or equity to resolve disputes between itself and those outside the church, whether Christian or pagan and whether individuals or corporate entities. The elders shall adopt policies and procedures to effect these requirements and aspirations.
Article 9 – Amendments
This constitution may be amended by a 75% agreement and unity of the Board of Elders and 75% agreement and unity of the Board of Directors. The revised version of this constitution shall be made available to all church members by the church clerk (Secretary).