CONSTITUTION AND BYLAWS OF LEAWOOD BAPTIST CHURCH
We declare and establish this Constitution and Bylaws for the preservation and security of the principles of our faith and so that this body may be governed in an orderly manner. This Constitution and Bylaws will preserve the liberties of each individual Member and Associate Member of this Church and the freedom of action of this body in its relation to other churches.
ARTICLE I: STATEMENT OF FAITH AND DOCTRINE
The Holy Bible is the inspired Word of God and is the basis of any statement of faith. The Church subscribes to the doctrinal statement of the BAPTIST FAITH AND MESSAGE as adopted by the Southern Baptist Convention in 1963. We band ourselves together as a body of baptized believers in Jesus Christ personally committed to sharing the good news of salvation to lost mankind. The ordinances of the Church are Baptism and the Lord’s Supper.
We affirm the Baptist distinctives of the lordship of Jesus Christ, salvation by grace through faith for works, the inspiration and authority of the Bible as God’s word, believer’s baptism by immersion, the priesthood of all believers, and the separation of church and state. We encourage openness and diversity of all believers, regardless of race or sex, in the living and expressing of the Christian faith, and we desire for everyone to know and grow in the knowledge and understanding of the Good News of Jesus Christ.
ARTICLE II: STATEMENT OF PURPOSE
To love God with all of our heart, soul, strength, and mind; to love our neighbors as much as ourselves; and to make disciples of Jesus Christ
SECTION 2: OUR MISSION
To help one another as a community of faith to accomplish our purpose in the context of our Baptist distinctives and Church distinctives.
SECTION 3: OUR BAPTIST DISTINCTIVES
We subscribe to the doctrinal statement of the 1963 BAPTIST FAITH AND MESSAGE. We celebrate the ordinances of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper. We affirm our Baptist heritage by supporting:
- The inspiration and authority of Scripture in all matters (Bible freedom).
- Salvation by grace through faith, not by works (soul freedom, competency of the soul).
- The priesthood of all believers (soul freedom).
- Believers Baptism by immersion.
- The separation of church and state (church freedom).
- The freedom of religion (religious freedom).
- The autonomy of the local church (church freedom).
SECTION 4: OUR CHURCH DISTINCTIVES
We seek to serve Christ as a church that:
- Believes all Christians are ministers.
- Celebrates the diversity of all believers in the service of Christ.
- Affirms the generational, cultural, socio-economic, and other differences in people.
- Affirms the ministry of women and men in all capacities of Christian leadership.
- Identifies and incorporates the spiritual gifts and talents of members.
- Strives to cooperate in ministry and missions with a variety of Christian groups in ways that do not compromise our faith and beliefs.
SECTION 5: OUR MINISTRY TASKS
We seek to accomplish our purpose and mission through the following endeavors:
- Worship of God
- Study of the Bible
- Establishment of Christian Community and Relationships
- Training for the living of the Christian Faith in the World
- Promotion of Christian Ministry and Service inside and outside the Church
- Bearing Witness of the Gospel inside and outside the Church
ARTICLE III: COVENANT
Believing in the Lord Jesus Christ as our personal Savior and Lord and having been baptized as a symbol of death and new life in Him, we do solemnly and joyfully enter into covenant with one another as one body in Christ for the purposes as stated in this Constitution.
ARTICLE IV: COOPERATION
Although the government of this Church is vested in the body of believers who compose it and is not subject to the control of any other ecclesiastical body, it recognizes and sustains the obligations of mutual counsel and cooperation, which are common among Baptist churches. Insofar as is practicable, this church will cooperate with and support the Kansas City Kansas Baptist Association, the Kansas-Nebraska Convention of Southern Baptists, the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of Missouri, the Southern Baptist Convention, and the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship.
ARTICLE I: NAME
This body shall be known as Leawood Baptist Church, located at Leawood Kansas, a non-profit religious organization incorporated under the laws of the state of Kansas.
ARTICLE II: GOVERNANCE
This Church is an autonomous body, operating through democratic, congregational processes under the lordship of Jesus Christ. The Membership retains unto itself the right of exclusive self-government in all phases of the life of this church.
ARTICLE III: MEMBERSHIP
SECTION 1: GENERAL
A. The Membership reserves the exclusive right to determine who shall be Members of this Church and the conditions of such Membership.
B. There shall be two classifications of Membership: Member and Associate Member.
SECTION 2: QUALIFICATIONS FOR MEMBERSHIP
A. To be a Member of this Church, an individual must have confessed Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, must have been baptized by immersion, must have affirmed the Constitution of this Church, and must have had their request for Membership approved by the congregation at a Church Decision Meeting.
B. Candidates may offer themselves for Membership in this Church by being presented to the Church at any regular worship service in any of the following ways:
- By profession of faith and for baptism according to
the practice of this Church.
- By promise of a letter of recommendation from another Baptist Church.
- By statement of prior profession of faith and believer’s baptism by immersion by a church of like faith and order from which a letter is not obtainable.
Candidates for membership shall be presented to the Church at a Church Decision Meeting. Should the request for Membership fail to receive approval, the matter shall be referred to the Pastor and the Deacons for an investigation and the making of a recommendation to the Church.
SECTION 3: QUALIFICATIONS FOR ASSOCIATE MEMBERSHIP
A. To be an Associate Member of this Church, an individual must have confessed Jesus Christ as personal Lord and Savior, must have affirmed the Statement of Purpose of this Church as stated in this Constitution, and must have had their request for Associate Membership approved by the congregation at a Church Decision Meeting. Immersion baptism and/or termination of membership in another church is not required.
B. Candidates for Associate Membership may offer themselves for Associate Membership by being presented to the Church at any regular worship service.
Candidates for Associate Membership shall be presented to the Church at a Church Decision Meeting. Should the request for Associate Membership fail to receive approval, the matter shall be referred to the Pastor and the Deacons for an investigation and the making of a recommendation to the Church.
C. An Associate Member shall be allowed to participate and serve in all activities and ministries of the Church with the following restrictions: Associate Members may not hold the office of Deacon, church officer, committee chairperson/coordinator, lay program director, or principal Bible study teacher. Associate Members cannot vote in Church Decision Meetings.
SECTION 4: RESPONSIBILITIES OF MEMBERS
As members of Leawood Baptist Church we will commit ourselves:
- To care for one another through prayer and deeds.
- To participate in worship each week unless ill, out of
town, or providentially hindered.
- To participate in at least one spiritual growth opportunity in our church on a weekly basis, in addition to the weekly worship service.
- To participate in at least one ministry/missions activity of our church each year.
- To serve in at least one area of service in our church each year.
- To contribute regularly and faithfully to the financial needs of our church and its ministry.
SECTION 5 TERMINATION OF MEMBERSHIP
Membership of Members and Associate Members shall be terminated in the following ways:
B. Dismissal to another Baptist church.
C. Subsequent affiliation with a church of another faith or denomination.
D. Removal from Membership roll at the Member or Associate Member's personal request.
E. Exclusion by action of this Church for failure to comply with section 4 of Article III, Responsibilities of Members and Associate Members, and upon Church compliance with Section 6 of Article III, Discipline of Church Members and Associate Members
SECTION 6: DISCIPLINE OF CHURCH MEMBERS AND ASSOCIATE MEMBERS
Should some serious issue exist which would cause a Member or Associate Member to bring harm to the general welfare of the Church, the Pastor and the Deacons shall endeavor to confront the issue according to the biblical principles set forth in Matthew 18:15-17, Ephesians 4:25-32, and Luke 6:31-36. All such proceedings shall be pervaded by a spirit of Christian kindness and forbearance with the goal of bringing the individual back into Christian community. If the Pastor and Deacons fail to resolve the issue, they may bring a recommendation to terminate Membership or Associate Membership to a Church Decision Meeting.
Any person whose Membership or Associate Membership has been terminated for any offense may be restored by vote of the Church, upon evidence of repentance and reformation.
ARTICLE IV: EQUIPPING MINISTRY STAFF AND SUPPORT STAFF
A. The term “equipping” comes from Ephesians 4:11-13 where the Bible identifies various church leaders being called to “equip the saints for the work of ministry”--RSV. This Church shall call a Pastor and other ministry leaders to serve as “equippers” to the congregation for the work of ministry.
B. Equipping Ministry Staff must be Members of the Church and duly elected by the Church.
C. Support Staff shall also be hired to support the ministry of the Equipping Staff and the Church.
SECTION 2: PASTOR
A. DUTIES: The Pastor is responsible for leading the Church in functioning as a New Testament church. The Pastor shall lead the congregation, the organizations, and the Church staff in performing their tasks. The Pastor is to perform pastoral responsibilities as outlined in a formal job description.
B. CALL: The Church recognizes its right to call a Pastor and further recognizes its responsibility to seek God’s will in the process.
- SEARCH: When a vacancy occurs in the office of Pastor, a Pastor Search Committee shall be formed according to the guidelines contained in the Pastor Search Committee policy.
- ELECTION: The election of the Pastor shall take place at a special Church Decision Meeting called for that purpose. At least two weeks notice of the time and place of this meeting shall be given by letter to the Membership of the Church at their last known address as reflected in Church Membership records. Voting shall be by ballot. An affirmative ballot of not less than three-fourths of the Members present and voting shall be necessary. Should the candidate recommended by the committee fail to receive a three-fourths affirmative vote, the meeting shall be adjourned without debate and the committee shall seek out and recommend another candidate.
C. TERMINATION: Termination shall be by resignation of the Pastor or dismissal by vote of the Church.
- RESIGNATION: The Pastor shall give thirty (30) days notice at the time of resignation before terminating responsibilities as Pastor unless there is, between the Pastor and the Church, mutual agreement to the contrary.
- DISMISSAL: The dismissal of the Pastor shall take place at a special Church Decision Meeting called for that purpose. At least two week’s notice of the time and place of this meeting shall be given by letter to the Membership of the Church at their last known address as reflected in Church Membership records. Voting shall be by ballot. An affirmative ballot of not less than three-fourths of the Members present and voting shall be necessary to dismiss the Pastor. Should the action fail to receive a three-fourths affirmative vote, the meeting shall be adjourned without debate, and the Pastor shall be retained. All actions must comply with provisions of the personnel policy regarding termination.
SECTION 3: OTHER EQUIPPING MINISTRY STAFF
The Church shall call Equipping Ministry Staff as needed.
A. Equipping Ministry Staff members (Assistant Minister, Minister of Education, Music, Youth, etc.) other than the Pastor shall be recommended to the Church by the Personnel Committee and employed by three-fourths vote of those present and voting at a Church Decision Meeting.
B. A job description shall be provided for each staff position and maintained current by the Personnel Committee.
C. An annual review of each Equipping Ministry Staff member shall be conducted separately by both the supervising staff member and the Personnel Committee.
SECTION 4: SUPPORT STAFF
A. Financial secretary, secretaries, clerks, janitors, nursery workers, cooks, and other Support Staff as needed shall be employed directly by the Personnel Committee or by them upon recommendation of the appropriate supervising staff member.
B. A job description shall be written when the need for Support Staff is determined.
C. An annual review of each Support Staff person shall be conducted by the appropriate supervising staff member and forwarded to the Personnel Committee.
ARTICLE V: CHURCH OFFICES
Those holding a Church office must be Members of the Church according to Article III, Section 2, of the Bylaws and duly elected by the Church.
SECTION 1: DEACON
In accordance with the biblical meaning of the word, a Deacon shall be a servant of the Church. The supreme example and teacher of servanthood is Jesus Christ. Jesus demonstrated his servanthood by ministering to the needs of people as demonstrated in the Scriptures (Luke 22:27, Matthew 25:31-46). The Bible places no gender restrictions upon servanthood (Galatians 3:27-28). Men and women alike are to be servants. The Bible identifies Phoebe as a female Deacon in Romans 16:1-2. The reference to “women” in 1 Timothy 3:11 holds women Deacons to the same spiritual characteristics as male Deacons as described in 1 Timothy 3:8-13.
Deacons are to:
- Model the servant ministry of Christ in the Church.
- Perform the duties of the Deacon ministry as outlined by the Church in a Deacon ministry handbook.
- Assist the Pastor and staff in the administration of the ordinances of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper.
- Lead the Church by example to engage in a fellowship of worship, witness, education, and application.
The Church shall strive to establish and maintain the number of active Deacons necessary to accomplish the assigned tasks. Deacons shall be nominated and elected by the Church. This process shall be under the guidance of the current, active Deacon body. Deacons shall be Church Members who have demonstrated a love for Jesus Christ, a love for the Church, and a striving to live the ideals for Deacons declared in 1 Timothy 3:8-13. Deacons shall serve a three-year term and shall be eligible for re-election after the lapse of at least one year. The Church shall ordain newly elected Deacons who have not been previously ordained by the Church or by a Baptist church of like faith and order. In the case of death, resignation, removal, or incapacity to serve as a Deacon, the Church may elect another Deacon to fill the unexpired term. No Deacon shall serve more than three consecutive years.
The Church appreciates the valuable contributions that have been made by those Deacons who are no longer able to actively perform all of the duties of a Deacon. The position of Deacon Emeritus is created to recognize past services and ministries of a Deacon at Leawood Baptist Church. A Deacon may be honored as Deacon Emeritus after nomination by the current, active deacon body and election by the Church.
SECTION 2: MODERATOR
The Moderator shall be a person other than the Pastor or a staff member, and preferably a Deacon. The Moderator shall serve as a Director of the Corporation; preside at all Church Forums and Decision Meetings; serve as chair of the Church Council; and cooperate with the Church Staff, Deacons, and elected leadership in promoting the general welfare of the Church. The Moderator shall be elected for a term of one year and may hold office for two consecutive years only.
There shall be an Assistant Moderator with the same qualifications as the Moderator who shall serve in the absence of the Moderator.
SECTION 3: CLERK
The Clerk of the Church shall be a person other than the Pastor or a staff member. The Clerk shall serve as a Director of the Corporation; serve as Secretary of the Church Council and Church Forum and Decision Meetings; and keep a suitable record of all actions of the Church filed in the Church Office. The Clerk is responsible for keeping a register of the names of Members and Associate Members with dates of admission, dismissal, or death, together with a record of baptisms. The Clerk shall issue letters of dismissal voted by the Church, preserve on file all communications and written official reports and give legal notice of all meetings where such notice is necessary, as indicated in these bylaws.
The Church may delegate some of the clerical tasks to the Church Secretary. All Church records are Church property and shall be filed in the Church Office. The Clerk shall serve as a Director of the Corporation and shall notify the appropriate Kansas State official at the beginning of each Church year of the names of Officers of the Corporation. The Clerk shall be elected for a term of one year and may hold office for two consecutive years only.
There shall be an Assistant Clerk with the same qualifications as the Clerk who shall serve in the absence of the Clerk.
SECTION 4: TREASURER
The Treasurer shall be a person other than the Pastor or a staff member. The Treasurer shall account for the financial affairs of the Church and follow the financial policies of the Church. The Treasurer shall receive weekly reports from the Church Tellers regarding income; consult with the chairperson of the Finance Committee in regard to expenditures when necessary; consult with the Financial Secretary in regard to record keeping and prepare a monthly report of the finances for the Church.
The Treasurer, in consultation with the chairperson of the Finance Committee and the Financial Secretary, shall be responsible for keeping all books, records, and accounts, as well as an inventory of all financial assets as permanent property of the Church. Such books and records shall be made available for inspection by any Member of the Church upon request.
The Treasurer shall also serve as a Director of the Corporation. The Treasurer shall be elected for a term of one year and may hold office for two consecutive years only.
There shall be an Assistant Treasurer with the same qualifications as the Treasurer who shall serve in the absence of the Treasurer.
The Treasurer and Assistant Treasurer shall serve as ex-officio members of the Finance
SECTION 5: CONTRIBUTIONS SECRETARY
The Contributions Secretary shall be a person other than the Pastor or a staff member. The Contributions Secretary shall receive the collection envelopes after the money has been removed and counted according to Church Policy. The Contributions Secretary shall oversee the confidential storage of contribution envelopes and posted contributions records for reference for a period of seven years and shall also be responsible for the confidential destruction of contribution records that predate the seven-year period. The Contributions Secretary shall keep accurate individual records for each family unit, unless requested otherwise by the family, and shall mail quarterly statements to all contributors. The Contributions Secretary shall be available to Members or Associate Members who wish to review their personal contribution record.
The Contributions Secretary shall be elected for a term of one year and may hold office for a total of five consecutive years only.
SECTION 6: HISTORIAN
The Historian shall be responsible for collecting, recording and preserving data pertinent to the activities of the Church.
The Historian shall be elected for a term of one year and may hold office for five consecutive years only.
SECTION 7: BOARD OF DIRECTORS AND CORPORATE OFFICERS
In accordance with Kansas statutes and the Church’s Articles of Incorporation, the Church has established a Board of Directors which shall be composed of five members: Moderator, Treasurer, Church Clerk, Deacon Chairperson, and one Member-at-Large. The Member-at-Large shall be a Member of the Church and shall be elected for a term of one year and may serve a total of three consecutive years only. The Board of Directors shall hold office until their successors are elected. The Board of Directors may exercise only such powers and perform such acts as authorized by the Membership of the Church or as required by Kansas statutes and laws.
The Officers of the Corporation shall be as follows: the Moderator shall serve as President, the Church Clerk as Secretary, and the Treasurer as Treasurer of the Corporation.
SECTION 8: CHURCH COUNCIL
The Church Council shall have overall responsibility for the functioning of the Church as recommended by the Church Members, officers, organizations, and committees. It shall provide overall accountability of the committees and programs to the Church body. The Council shall continually review the progress of the Church and recommend to the congregation objectives and Church goals that will promote the work of the Church. The Council shall have the privilege of bringing before the congregation in Church Forums and Decision Meetings such matters as it deems appropriate. However, all matters agreed upon by the Council, calling for action not already authorized, shall be referred to the Church for approval.
The membership of the Church Council shall consist of the Moderator, Church Clerk, Treasurer, Deacon Chairperson, Adult Discipleship Council Chairperson, Children’s Ministry Council Chairperson, Youth Ministry Council Chairperson, Church on Mission Committee Chairperson, Finance Committee Chairperson, Property Committee Chairperson, Leadership Resources Committee Chairperson, Personnel Committee Chairperson, the Director-at-Large, and one Church Member-at-Large. The Equipping Ministry Staff shall be non-voting members.
Length of term on the Church Council shall be determined by the length of term of the leadership position that places an individual on the Church Council. The Church Member-at-Large shall be selected for the purpose of balancing the representation of the church membership on the Church Council and shall serve non-consecutive, one-year term.
ARTICLE VI: COMMITTEES AND MINISTRY COUNCILS
The Church shall have standing committees and ministry councils as it deems appropriate to effectively execute the work of the Church.
All standing committee and ministry council members shall be nominated by the Leadership Resources Committee and elected by the Church. Standing committee and ministry council members shall serve a minimum one-year term, with a maximum tenure of five consecutive terms. They shall then be eligible for re-election after the lapse of at least one year.
When standing committee or ministry council membership is designated by title, the title holder shall be a member of that committee only while an incumbent of that title.
Special committees or task groups may be elected by the Church or appointed by the Moderator as required. Rules governing these special committees or task groups shall be determined when the committee or group is established.
The Moderator shall be an ex-officio and non-voting member of all committees and ministry councils; staff liaison assignments shall be made annually and reported to the Church.
ARTICLE VII: PROGRAM ORGANIZATIONS
SECTION 1: GENERAL
All organizations of the Church shall be under Church control. All officers shall be elected by the Church and shall report regularly to the Church. It is understood that the Pastor (or designated staff member) and the Moderator are ex-officio and non-voting members of all organizations named, and their leadership is to be recognized.
SECTION 2: CHURCH PROGRAMS
The Church shall establish the necessary programs to accomplish the Church’s Purpose as stated in Article II of the Constitution. The Church shall establish and publish all necessary explanations and job descriptions for each program.
ARTICLE VIII: WORSHIP SERVICES
The Church shall meet each Sunday for worship and preaching, Bible study, evangelism, instruction, training, and/or prayer. Worship services shall be conducted by the Pastor, Equipping Ministry Staff, and/or appropriate leadership. Worship services on other days in the week shall be established when deemed
ARTICLE IX: CHURCH COMMUNICATION AND DECISION MAKING
SECTION 1: CONGREGATIONAL MEETING COVENANT
Congregational meetings shall be governed by the CONGREGATIONAL MEETING COVENANT which states: We desire in our congregational meetings to speak the truth in love, acknowledging that we are members of one another in the body of Christ, His church (Ephesians 4:15-16, 25). We seek the mind of Christ through open dialogue and mutual prayer (Ephesians 4:25, 6:18, Romans 8:26-27). We covenant together to act in Christian love in all that we say and do, by pledging to be patient and kind with one another, not jealous or boastful, not arrogant or rude, not insisting on our own way, not being irritable or resentful, not rejoicing at wrong, but rejoicing in the right, bearing with one another in Christian belief and hope, and committing ourselves to take whatever time is necessary to achieve spiritual sensitivity and integrity in our conversations and decisions (1 Corinthians 13:4-7).
SECTION 2: CHURCH FORUMS
A. DESCRIPTION OF CHURCH FORUMS: The Church shall establish regular Church Forums. These Forums shall serve as times when Church Members assemble, in the context of Christian love and prayer, to discuss Church issues and ministry with the Church staff, other church leaders, and Church Members. Forums shall include the reporting of decisions, which have been made by Church staff and Church leaders, and discussion of potential or pending decisions. The intent of the Forums is to facilitate communication and understanding among Church Members, Church leaders, and Church staff in an attempt to know and follow the will of God in all ministries of the Church and in all decisions made. The Church Council or the Church Board of Directors, in consultation with the Pastor, may also call special Discussion Forums between regularly scheduled general Forums as needs arise. Forums shall also serve as preludes to Church Decision Meetings. Items discussed in a Forum, which are determined to need a decision by the Church as a whole, shall be put on the agenda of a Church Decision Meeting. At least one and preferably two Forums should be held prior to any Church Decision Meeting so that all issues can be thoroughly discussed and subjected to prayer. All Church Forums shall be governed by the Congregational Meeting Covenant and the Church Forum Guidelines.
B. GUIDELINES FOR CHURCH FORUMS: Each Church Forum shall be led by the Moderator, who shall seek to lead the Church to function according to the Congregational Meeting Covenant. The Moderator may also establish a set of guidelines or rules for the dialogue to assure sensitivity and fairness to all. Each meeting should begin with prayer and the reciting of the Congregational Meeting Covenant by all Members present. Each Forum should include the following:
- An opportunity for Church staff, other Church leaders, and Church Members to share a report, request, concern, suggestion, or any other item or issue deemed important to the Church and the Church’s ministry -- whether on behalf of the Church’s leadership, an organization in the Church, or individual Members.
- Break-outs (when appropriate) into small groups of no more than ten to a group to facilitate dialogue, discussion, and prayer concerning various issues. Reports from the small groups could be brought back and presented to the Church as a whole.
- Periodic times of prayer (in small groups and in the large corporate church gathering) as the Church seeks the mind of Christ in their sharing.
- Clear reporting of decisions made by Church staff and
other Church leadership in accordance to their responsibilities.
- Clear identification of items or issues, which need to be taken to a Church Decision Meeting, with assurance that any item or issue to be taken to a Decision Meeting has received adequate communication, discussion, and prayer.
C. RECOMMENDATIONS FROM CHURCH MEMBERS DURING A FORUM: During a Church Forum a recommendation requiring Church vote may be offered from any Church Member present. The recommendation shall be discussed and in most cases assigned to the appropriate council, committee, or Church organization for further consideration and may be brought to the Church in another Church Forum. If the Member bringing the recommendation desires the recommendation to go to a Decision Meeting, the Members present in the current Forum must vote to do so with a two-thirds vote.
D. AMENDMENTS TO RECOMMENDATIONS PRESENTED IN A FORUM: During a Church Forum amendments to a recommendation may be suggested. The amendment shall be discussed and a vote taken on the amendment. If two-thirds of the Members present vote in favor of the amendment the recommendation shall then be considered as amended. The amended recommendation shall be presented to the Church at the next Decision Meeting.
SECTION 3: CHURCH DECISION MEETINGS
A. DESCRIPTION OF CHURCH DECISION MEETINGS: The Church shall establish Church Decision Meetings as needed. Decision Meetings shall serve as times for Church Members to make decisions which require Church-wide action, while meeting in the context of Christian love and prayer and seeking the will of God. Only items previously presented and discussed in a Church Forum shall be presented to the congregation for a decision in a Decision Meeting, and then only if such a request was determined in a Church Forum, with the exceptions of decisions involving the addition and deletions of Church Membership and the election of Members to serve in various leadership capacities in the Church which can be voted on without having been presented in a previous Church Forum. The ultimate hope for a Decision Meeting is for the Church to arrive at mutual decisions that accomplish the will of God. A two-thirds vote of the Church Members present and voting shall be necessary for the affirmation and confirmation of any Church-wide decision. All Decision Meetings shall be governed by the Congregational Meeting Covenant and the Church Decision Meeting Guidelines. If, during the process of a Decision Meeting, it is determined that an item or issue facing Church vote needs significant change from the original proposal, the Members present shall postpone the decision until notification of the requested change can be communicated to the Church-at-large and presented in a Church Forum, where it can be further discussed and subjected to prayer before it is again brought to a Church Decision Meeting.
B. GUIDELINES FOR CHURCH DECISION MEETINGS: Each Church Decision Meeting shall be moderated by the Church Moderator, who shall seek to lead the Church to function according to the Congregational Meeting Covenant. The Moderator may also establish a set of guidelines or rules for the dialogue to assure sensitivity and fairness to all. Each Decision Meeting shall begin with prayer and the reciting of the Congregational Meeting Covenant and shall include the following:
- A written description of each item or issue requiring a decision from the Church. Discussion should be limited to clarification and answering questions because the item or issue shall have been discussed in detail already in a Church Forum.
- Periodic times of prayer as the Church seeks the mind
of Christ before making decisions.
- Voting procedures that provide clear decisions by the Church, e.g., voice vote, show of hands, secret ballot.
C. SPECIAL DECISION MEETINGS: It may be necessary for the Church to call a Special Decision Meeting at a time other than the regular Church Forum.
- A Special Decision Meeting should be rare and called only because of the urgency for the Church to make a decision.
- A Special Decision Meeting shall be called by the Church Council or the Church Board of Directors in consultation with the Pastor.
- The item or items requiring Church vote in a Special Decision Meeting shall be presented to the Church in written form no later than the Sunday morning prior to the Special Decision Meeting.
- A Forum is not required prior to a Special Decision Meeting. The Special Decision Meeting shall include the recommendation(s), dialogue, and Church vote.
- The ultimate hope for a Special Decision Meeting is for the Church to arrive at mutual decisions that accomplish the will of God. A two-thirds vote of the Church Members present and voting shall be necessary for the affirmation and confirmation of any Church-wide decision. All Decision Meetings shall be governed by the Congregational Meeting Covenant and the Church Decision Meeting Guidelines.
SECTION 4: QUORUMS
B. The Quorum shall consist of those Church Members who attend a Church Forum or Church Decision meeting. [Adopted February 2005]
Any time a vote is required by any section of these bylaws, The Church Council may, at its discretion, allow for absentee voting if:
- There has been a discussion meeting prior to the
- There has been an advance mailing of information about the issue; and,
- The Church Member requesting the absentee ballot has
attended the prior discussion meeting or has read the advance information;
- The absentee ballot must be requested in person or in writing from the Church, by the member;
- The original ballot must be completed and signed by the member;
- The original ballot must be returned to the Church
office prior to the actual vote taking place.
ARTICLE X: CHURCH FINANCE
SECTION 1: BUDGET
The Finance Committee shall prepare and submit to the Church for approval an inclusive budget, indicating by items the amount needed and sought for all local and worldwide expenses.
SECTION 2: CONTRIBUTIONS
Membership in this Church involves faithful obligation to support the Church and its ministries with regular proportionate financial gifts.
ARTICLE XI: POLICY
The interpretations of this Constitution and Bylaws and the procedures implementing their provisions shall be known collectively as Church Policy. A statement of policy shall be prepared and approved by the Church whenever there is a need to interpret, implement, or enlarge upon the contents of any portion of the Constitution or Bylaws. A statement of policy must not change the original meaning or be in conflict with any portion of the Constitution or Bylaws.
The Church Policy shall be maintained in appropriate form with the Constitution and Bylaws.
ARTICLE XII: AMENDMENTS
This Constitution and Bylaws shall supercede all other bylaws, rules, regulations, policies, and procedures of this Church heretofore in effect.
This Constitution and Bylaws may be amended in accordance with the Description of Church Decision Meetings in Article IX, if those amendments have been published and sent to the current active Membership as listed in the current Church Directory at their last known address as reflected in Church Membership records.
ARTICLE XIII: DISSOLUTION
SECTION 1: PROCEDURE
Dissolution of the corporation shall be at a Church Decision Meeting called for that purpose and in accordance with the laws of the state of Kansas. At least two week’s notice of the time and place of this meeting shall be given by letter to the Membership of the Church at their last known address as reflected in Church Membership records. Voting shall be by ballot. An affirmative ballot of not less than three-fourths of the Members present and voting shall be necessary to dissolve the Corporation.
SECTION 2: DISPOSAL OF CHURCH ASSETS
In the event that Leawood Baptist Church votes to dissolve the Corporation, all property and assets shall be divided evenly between the 501(c)(3) organizations under the Internal Revenue Code with which the Church is affiliated as stated in the current Constitution and Bylaws. Membership records shall be removed to the Kansas City Kansas Baptist Association or its successor.
ARTICLE XIV: INDEMNIFICATION AND INSURANCE
SECTION 1: INDEMNIFICATION
Each person who is or was a director, officer, employee, Member, Associate Member, volunteer or authorized agent or estate of such person, shall be indemnified by the Church to the full extent permitted or authorized or limited by the laws of the State of Kansas, as now in effect and as hereafter amended, against any liability, judgment, fine, amount paid in settlement, costs and expenses including attorney’s fees, incurred as a result of any claim arising in connection with such person’s conduct in his or her capacity, or in connection with his or her status, as a director, officer, employee, Member, Associate Member, volunteer, or authorized agent of the Church. Each director, officer, employee, Member, Associate Member, volunteer or authorized agent of the Church shall not be personally liable to the Church or the Members and Associate Members for monetary damages for breach of fiduciary duty as a director, officer, employee, Member, Associate Member, volunteer, or authorized agent, except such person shall not be relieved of liability for the following:
- Such person’s duty of loyalty to the Church or to the Members and Associate Members;
- For acts and omissions not in good faith or which involve
intentional misconduct or a knowing violation of the law; or
- For any transaction from which such person derives an improper personal benefit.
The indemnification provided by this Section shall not be exclusive of any other right to which such person may be entitled under any other bylaws or agreement, vote of the Church, or otherwise, and shall not limit in any way any right that the Church may have to make different or further indemnification with respect to the same or different person or classes of persons.
SECTION 2: INSURANCE
The Church may maintain general liability insurance to provide for the Indemnifications stated in this Article as deemed necessary and appropriate by the Board of Directors.