Eaglebrook Church Constitution

01.01.15

Eaglebrook Church Constitution

    Eaglebrook Church, Inc.
    Minocqua, Wisconsin
    Constitution
    Adopted August 28, 2005

    We the members of Eaglebrook Church, a non-denominational fellowship, do ordain and establish the following constitution to which we voluntarily submit ourselves.

    ARTICLE I – STATEMENT OF PURPOSE

    Eaglebrook Church exists to glorify God:

    • by knowing His word in devotion and worship
    • by applying His word in every aspect of our lives
    • by proclaiming His word in evangelism, discipleship, and missions

    ARTICLE II - STATEMENT OF FAITH

    Section 1 -- Scripture

    We believe the Scriptures, both Old and New Testament, to be the inspired Word of God; without error in the original writings; the complete revelation of His will for salvation; and the divine and final authority for Christian faith and all of life.

    Section 2 -- God

    We believe in one God, Creator of all things, infinitely perfect and eternally existing in three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

    Section 3 -- Jesus Christ

    We believe Jesus Christ is true God and true man, having been conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. He died on the cross, a sacrifice for our sins according to the Scriptures. He arose bodily from the dead and ascended into heaven where, at the right hand of God the Father, He is our High Priest and Advocate. In the person of the Holy Spirit, He indwells the believer.

    Section 4 -- Holy Spirit

    We believe the ministry of the Holy Spirit is to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ and, during this age, to convict, regenerate, seal, indwell, guide, instruct, and empower the believer for godly living and service.

    Section 5 -- Mankind

    We believe that man was created in the image of God but fell into sin and is, therefore, lost; and only through regeneration by the Holy Spirit can salvation and spiritual life be obtained.

     

    Section 6 -- Salvation

    We believe the shed blood of Jesus Christ and His resurrection provide the only ground for justification and salvation for all who believe. Only those who receive Jesus Christ are born of the Holy Spirit and thus become children of God.

    Section 7 -- Ordinances

    We believe water baptism and the Lord’s Supper are ordinances to be observed by the Church during this age. They are, however, not to be regarded as means of salvation or prerequisites for church membership.

    Section 8 -- The Church

    We believe the true Church is composed of all persons who are regenerated by the Holy Spirit through saving faith in Jesus Christ. These Christians are united together in the Body of Christ, of which He is Lord and Head, and are now commissioned for the God-given task of proclaiming the gospel to every person. Only members of the true church shall be eligible for membership in this church, which has the right and responsibility under Christ to decide and govern its own affairs.

    Section 9 -- Christ’s Return

    We believe in the personal and certain return of our Lord Jesus Christ. This fact should be a powerful motivator for guiding the personal life and service of the believer.

    Section 10 -- Judgment

    We believe in the bodily resurrection of the dead. Believers will enjoy everlasting life and fellowship with the Lord, and unbelievers will be judged and experience eternal separation from God.

    ARTICLE III – MEMBERSHIP

    Section 1 -- Requirements

    Voting Membership

    A person who meets the following requirements may be considered for voting membership:

    1. Professes faith in the Lord Jesus Christ
    2. Life gives evidence of the reality of a relationship to Christ
    3. Agrees with the statement of faith and submits to the constitution of this church
    4. Eighteen (18) years of age or older
    5. Participates regularly

    A person will be received into membership after they have completed the course of instruction for new members, have given a personal testimony to the Elders and/or their appointed representative, have been recommended by the Elders for membership and received a 2/3’s vote of those present at a meeting where a congregational quorum has been established.

    Names of new member candidates to be voted on for membership shall be announced to the congregation no less than two weeks before the congregational meeting at which the membership vote is to be taken. Except in unusual circumstances, objections by members to such candidates becoming members shall be submitted in writing to the Elders at least two days in advance of said membership meeting and shall be for Biblical reasons only.

    Associate Membership

    Persons are eligible for associate membership who meet the first three requirements for voting membership. Associate members do not have voting rights.

    Section 2 -- Responsibilities

    The responsibilities of church membership are summarized as follows:

    To confess our faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord and serve Him faithfully in the fellowship of this Church.

    By the power of the Holy Spirit, to order our lives according to the Scriptures and to endeavor to set a Christian example at all times and to witness to others that they may believe.

    To make diligent use of all means and opportunities for spiritual growth.

    To promote the Lord’s work through this church by our gifts, prayers and service; to preserve the unity of the Spirit; to encourage one another to love and good works; and in all things to give our Lord Jesus Christ pre-eminence.

    Section 3 -- Role in Eaglebrook Church Governance

    Voting members of Eaglebrook Church have a duty to be informed about and educated in all church business affairs and exercise their voting rights as described in the Church constitution. Voting members also have the right to delegate decision making to individuals or bodies of their express choosing but will at all times retain the right to rescind that delegation. Further, the following items may not be delegated; approval remains both the right and responsibility of the voting members of Eaglebrook:

    1. Constitutional Amendments (see Article IV, Section 4)
    2. Call or removal of the Senior Pastor, Associate Pastors or Elders (see Article IV, Section 2)
    3. Encumbrance of Debt (see Article IV, Section 2, Paragraph 3g)
    4. Acquisition or disposal of “real” property (buildings, land) (see Article IV, Section 2, Paragraph 3g)
    5. Annual Budgets (see Article IV, Section 2, Paragraph 3g)
    6. Candidates for Church Membership (see Article III, Section 1)

    Section 4 -- Restoration/Discipline

    It shall be part of the ministry of this Church to encourage and equip its members to live in accordance with the teachings of Scripture. Should disciplinary intervention become necessary to accomplish this ministry, the restoration of the erring member and the purity of the Body of Christ shall be the purposes, and love the motivation for disciplinary intervention. Biblical guidelines and protocol shall be followed as outlined in such passages as Matthew 18:15-17; Galatians 6:1; I Corinthians 5; Titus 3:10; 2 Thessalonians 3:14-15; James 5:19-20; and 2 Corinthians 2:5-11.

    If, however, the member should choose to continue in his/her unrepentant condition, he/she shall be deprived of his/her membership following the guidelines noted in the Removal section below.

    Section 5 -- Removal

    The Elder Board may remove from membership inactive members or those whose conduct and/or doctrine is so opposed to the church’s doctrine and witness as to destroy the possibility of fellowship. Members involved will be notified in writing.

    Members so removed from membership by the Elders have a right to appeal to the congregation. Such an appeal must take place in writing within 30 days of the date of record of congregational notification. Written appeal by the removed member shall be by certified letter to the church. The Elder Board shall have the responsibility to notify the membership of the appeal, call a congregational meeting to be held within 30 days of receiving that appeal, and shall communicate that information to the member who is appealing. Every reasonable effort shall be made by the Elders to call the meeting at a time that is agreeable to the appealing member.

    Section 6 -- Renewal

    There will be an annual renewal of membership without which resignation from membership will be assumed. Such renewal procedures will be approved by the Elder Board.

    ARTICLE IV – GOVERNMENT

    Section 1 -- General

    The government of this church is vested in the body of believers of which it is composed, subject to the provisions set forth in this article.

    1. The church year for fiscal purpose is the calendar year.
    2. All officers, committee members, teachers and leaders of ministries will be members of the church. Non-members may be invited to teach on a temporary basis at the discretion of the Senior Pastor or Elder Board.
    3. Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised shall be the parliamentary authority.
    4. Property.

    a. This Church shall have the power to receive, either by gift or purchase, and to hold such real, personal or mixed property as is authorized by the laws of the State of Wisconsin and as is deemed necessary for the business of the Church, and shall have the power to use and/or dispose of such property by mortgage, deed, or otherwise. All such property shall be held in the name of the Church.

    b. Upon dissolution of this Church, assets shall be distributed for one or more exempt purposes within the meaning of section 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code, or corresponding section of any future federal tax code, or shall be distributed to the federal government, or to a state or local government, for a public purpose.  Any such assets not disposed of shall be disposed of by the Court of Common Pleas of the county in which the principal office of the organization is then located, exclusively for such purposes or to such organization or organizations, as said Court shall determine, which are organized and operated exclusively for such purposes.

    1. Eaglebrook Church is organized exclusively for charitable, religious, and educational purposes, including, for such purposes, the making of  distributions to organizations that qualify as exempt organizations under section 501(c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code, or corresponding section of any future federal tax code. 
    1. No part of the net earnings of the organization shall inure to the benefit of, or be distributable to its members, trustees, officers, or other private persons, except that the organization shall be authorized and empowered to pay reasonable compensation for services rendered and to make payments and distributions in furtherance of the purposes set forth in the purpose clause hereof.  No substantial part of the activities of the organization shall be the carrying on of propaganda, or otherwise       attempting to influence legislation, and the organization shall not participate in, or intervene in (including the publishing or distribution of statements) any political campaign on behalf of any candidate for public office.  Notwithstanding any other provision of this document, the organization shall not carry on any other purpose not permitted to be carried on (a) by an organization exempt from federal income tax under section 501(c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code, or corresponding section of any future federal tax code, or (b) by an organization, contributions to which are deductible under section 170(c)(2) of the Internal Revenue Code, or corresponding section of any future federal tax code. 

     Section 2 -- Officers and Their Duties

    The officers of the church are the Senior Pastor and the Elders.

    Noncontinuing Provision: Elders shall be elected within one year of the adoption of this Constitution. The first nominating committee for the position of Elders shall be the Constitution Committee from the founding period. Until Elders are elected, the temporary officers elected by the founding members shall continue to serve. The temporary offices are Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary, and Treasurer.

    1.  THE SENIOR PASTOR

    a. As outlined in the New Testament, the Senior Pastor shall meet the qualifications of an Elder and shall perform the functions of the ministry (preaching, teaching, spiritual leadership, et. al.). Under the direction of the Elder Board, he will oversee and direct the ministries of all associate pastors and staff, reporting regularly to the church membership on the status of the ministries of the church. He is an ex-officio, voting member of the Elder Board and all Committees. He will abstain from voting on matters pertaining to his own employment or compensation.

    b. Senior Pastoral candidates will be selected by the Board of Elders and presented to the voting members for approval. An affirmative vote of three-quarters of a quorum of the voting membership at a duly constituted meeting shall be required to call a pastor. By virtue of his call he shall be a voting member of the church. His term of office will continue until he resigns or is terminated by the voting membership of the Church. An affirmative vote of two-thirds of a quorum of the voting membership at a duly constituted meeting shall be required to remove a pastor.

    c. Should disciplinary intervention for a pastor become necessary, the restoration of the pastor and the purity of the Body of Christ shall be the purposes, and love the motivation for disciplinary intervention. Biblical guidelines and protocol shall be followed as outlined in such passages as Matthew 18:15-17; Galatians 6:1; I Corinthians 5; Titus 3:10; 2 Thessalonians 3:14-15; James 5:19-20; and 2 Corinthians 2:5-11.

    d. No vote to remove a pastor may occur without being an agenda item of a duly constituted meeting of the church. A motion for such a vote must be for Biblical grounds (specifically moral, ethical or theological) or grounds of non-performance of the duties herein described. Removal of a pastor shall be an agenda item if included by the Elders and the church membership is notified 30 days in advance of the meeting at which said agenda item will be discussed and/or voted on. It shall also become an agenda item by virtue of a written signed petition of at least 10% of the voting membership which has first been submitted to the Elders at least 45 days in advance of a duly constituted meeting of the church. The voting membership shall be notified in writing of said agenda item at least 30 days in advance of a duly constituted meeting of the Church.

    e. The Senior Pastor may recommend to the Elders any additions or changes to the associate pastoral staff.

    2.  ASSOCIATE PASTORS

    a. Associate Pastors will work under the direction of the Senior Pastor and will be ex-officio, non-voting members of the Board of Elders and all committees to which they are assigned by the Senior Pastor. As outlined in the New Testament, the Associate Pastor shall meet the spiritual qualifications of an Elder. Either men or women may be Associate Pastors. Some pastor roles may appropriately be limited to male or female candidates.

    b. Associate Pastoral candidates will be selected by the Board of Elders and presented to the voting members for approval. An affirmative vote of three-quarters of a quorum of the voting membership at a duly constituted meeting shall be required to call an associate pastor. By virtue of his call he or she shall be a voting member of the church. His or her term of office will continue until he or she resigns or is terminated by the voting membership of the Church. An affirmative vote of two-thirds of a quorum of the voting membership at a duly constituted meeting shall be required to remove an associate pastor.

    c. Should disciplinary intervention for a pastor become necessary, the restoration of the pastor and the purity of the Body of Christ shall be the purposes and love the motivation for disciplinary intervention. Biblical guidelines and protocol shall be followed as outlined in such passages as Matthew 18:15-17; Galatians 6:1; I Corinthians 5; Titus 3:10; 2 Thessalonians 3:14-15; James 5:19-20; and 2 Corinthians 2:5-11.

    d. No vote to remove an associate pastor may occur without being an agenda item of a duly constituted meeting of the church. A motion for such a vote must be for Biblical grounds (moral, ethical or theological) or grounds of non-performance of the duties herein described. Removal of an associate pastor shall be an agenda item if included by the Elders and the church membership is notified 30 days in advance of the meeting at which such an agenda item will be discussed and/or voted on. It shall also become an agenda item by virtue of a written signed petition of at least 10% of the voting membership which has first been submitted to the Elders at least 45 days in advance of a duly constituted meeting of the church. The voting membership shall be notified in writing of said agenda an item at least 30 days in advance of a duly constituted meeting of the Church.

    3.  THE BOARD OF ELDERS

    a. Members of the Elder Board shall be men who are members of this church meeting the qualifications of “overseer” as outlined in 1Timothy 3 and Titus chapter 1.

    b. The Board of Elders will consist of no fewer than three or more than nine Biblically qualified voting male members of the church, including the Senior Pastor. A quorum of the Elder Board shall be a minimum of one-half of the Elder Board. Elders will be elected for a 3-year term and may not serve for more than two consecutive full terms. They may be re-elected after one year’s absence from the Board of Elders. Upon adoption of the Constitution, the voting members of the congregation shall elect the Board of Elders. At each annual meeting thereafter, an election shall be held to fill the vacancies on the Board of Elders whose terms are expiring. Members of the Board of Elders shall serve three-year terms, the terms of office being so arranged that one-third shall expire each year. No member shall serve unless receiving three-quarters of an affirmative vote of a quorum of the voting membership.

    c. A nominating committee for Elders shall consist of six voting members: 3 from the church membership at large, two members of the Elder Board, and the Senior Pastor. Subsequent to the adoption of this constitution, and at the same duly called meeting, the initial slate of Elders will be nominated and elected in a manner approved by the founding members present.

    d. The Board of Elders has vested in it the powers and authority usually ascribed to a Board of Directors or Board of Trustees in a corporation and will have authority to use these titles when necessary in handling corporate or civil matters. The church shall be incorporated under the laws of the State of Wisconsin as a non-profit religious organization, and the officers of the corporation are as follows:

    President …………………...Chairman of the Board of Elders
    Vice President……………...Vice Chairman of the Board of Elders
    Secretary……………………Secretary of the Board of Elders
    Treasurer……………………Treasurer of the Board of Elders

    e. The Elder Board will elect from its membership a Chairman, Vice Chairman, Secretary and Treasurer to serve one-year terms. The duties of these officers of the Elder Board are as follows:

    CHAIRMAN
    He will preside at all business meetings of the Elder Board and the church, sign checks in the absence of the Treasurer, and serve as ex-officio member of all committees.

    VICE CHAIRMAN
    He will perform the duties of the Chairman in his absence.

    SECRETARY
    He will keep a record of the proceedings of all business meetings of the Elder Board and the church and maintain the official Church Membership Roll.

    TREASURER
    He will receive, hold and disburse all checks, monies, bonds, collateral or funds of any kind belonging to the church, as directed by the Board or the church. All funds will be kept in a bank approved by the Board, and all accounts will be paid by check after authorization of payment. At the annual business meeting the Treasurer will present a report and statement of cash account. Such report and statement will be audited by a public accountant if the Board has appointed an accountant for the purpose. Un-audited statements will be available at all other business meetings and presented to the Board at regular meetings.

    f. The Elder Board will oversee the ministries of the church. The Elder Board shall appoint a Deacon Committee, Deaconess Committee, and Financial Secretary. It may appoint additional committees and/or individuals and delegate authority to carry out functions deemed necessary.

    g. The Elder Board will administer and supervise the care and use of all church property. The Elder Board cannot sell or mortgage or otherwise encumber any of the real property of the church without approval by two-thirds of the voting members present at the annual or special business meeting called for that purpose, notice having been given on two consecutive Sunday mornings immediately preceding the meeting. The Elder Board shall prepare a yearly budget and present it for church approval at each annual business meeting. Before committing any major expenditure not in a budget category, the expenditure will be approved by the church membership at the annual or special business meeting called for that purpose by announcement at any regular service, except in unusual circumstances which demand immediate or emergency action.

    h. Should disciplinary intervention for an Elder become necessary, the restoration of an Elder and the purity of the Body of Christ shall be the purposes, and love the motivation for disciplinary intervention. Biblical guidelines and protocol shall be followed as outlined in such passages as Matthew 18:15-17; Galatians 6:1; I Corinthians 5; Titus 3:10; 2 Thessalonians 3:14-15; James 5:19-20; and 2 Corinthians 2:5-11.

    i. No vote to remove an Elder may occur without being an agenda item of a duly constituted meeting of the church. A motion for such a vote must be for Biblical grounds (specifically moral, ethical or theological) or grounds of non-performance of the duties herein described. Removal of an Elder shall be an agenda item if included by the Elders and the church membership is notified 30 days in advance of the meeting at which said agenda item will be discussed and/or voted on. It shall also become an agenda item by virtue of a written signed petition of at least 10% of the voting membership which has first been submitted to the Elders at least 45 days in advance of a duly constituted meeting of the church. The voting membership shall be notified in writing of said agenda item at least 30 days in advance of a duly constituted meeting of the Church.

    4.  DEACONS AND DEACONESSES

    a. Deacons and Deaconesses shall be men or women who are members of this church and meet the qualifications of a deacon/deaconess as outlined in 1 Timothy 3 and Romans 16.

    b. Deacons and Deaconesses shall be appointed by the Elder Board to assist the Elder Board in facilitating the various ministries of the church. Pastors and other ministry leaders may recommend potential Deacons and Deaconesses to the Elder Board. The Elder Board will appoint individuals to serve and will present them to the congregation. Deacons and Deaconesses will serve for a one-year term and may be reappointed.

    c. Every Deacon and Deaconess will be accountable to the Elder Board and will serve under the direction of one of the Pastors.

    Section 3 -- Business Meetings

    1. The annual business meeting of the church will be held prior to December 31 of each year. The agenda and proposed budget will be distributed at least two weeks prior to the meeting.
    2. Special business meetings may be called for stated purposes by the Elder Board. Notice will be given from the pulpit on Sunday morning at least one day preceding the meeting and matters considered will be limited to those contained in the notice.
    3. A quorum will consist of at least twenty-five percent of the voting membership at the any business meeting. For business meetings of the Elder Board, a quorum will consist of at least fifty percent of the members.[i]

    Section 4 -- Provision for Amendment

    Changes in this constitution may be desired from time to time. To encourage amendment rather than to disregard its provisions, the following procedure is specified:

    1. Any member may submit written notice of a proposed amendment to the Elder Board at least four weeks prior to the annual business meeting or any special business meeting of the church.

    The Elder Board will place the proposed amendment on the agenda for the meeting. At the meeting the petitioner may move for consideration of the amendment. Approval by two-thirds of the voting members present is required for adoption.

     Approved by the founding members, August 28, 2005

     Paul Halverson

    Chairman,

     Pete Drahn

    Secretary,

     In Witness:

     Sub 4a and b, Article IV, Section 1 added.  Adopted by unanimous vote of the church members at the membership meeting of December 7, 2005.

     Sub 4b, c, and d, Article IV, Section 1 added.  Adopted by unanimous vote on April 5, 2006.  Ratified by unanimous vote of membership on June 11, 2006.

    [i] Section 3 Business Meetings 1. amended in October 20, 2013 Membership Meeting