BY-LAWS OF THE LIGHTHOUSE CHRISTIAN CHURCH OF MERRITT ISLAND, FL., INC.

 

Recommended by the Board of Directors for 2016

Approved by Congregation on January 17, 2016

 

1 Corinthians 12:27 -- Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually.

 

Ephesians 4:15-16 -- but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ—  from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.

 

Ephesians 4:1-3 -- I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

 

I. THE CHURCH YEAR: shall commence on January 1 and conclude on December 31.

 

II. MEMBERSHIP

 

A. Membership shall include all those who are currently members of the Lighthouse Christian Church (LCC).


B. Requirements for new members to be accepted into the LCC fellowship


1. Confession of faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior followed by the celebration of Christian baptism.

         2. Reaffirmation of faith by those who have been baptized members of another like faith communion.

         3. Completion of a decision card indicating their desire to become members of the Lighthouse Christian Church.

         4. All members shall indicate agreement with the LCC Statement of Faith. Foundations of Faith classes shall be offered 

             periodically.

C. Classification of members.

1. Participating Members: includes all members who, as committed followers of Jesus Christ, maintain evidence of participation by virtue of attendance of worship services as well as other church activities and by the financial support of the church. These shall be made aware of opportunities of service compatible with their gifts and talents. All Participating members, age 18 and over, shall be granted voting privileges.

2. Non-Participating Members: includes those members who, for a period of one year or more neither attend services nor support the church financially. Voting privileges shall not be granted to non-participating members.

3. Associate Members: those regular attendees who are members of a Christian body elsewhere but who are in the community on a temporary basis. Such may serve on Committees and have voting privileges but may not be elected to the Administrative Board. Associate members shall indicate agreement with the LCC Statement of Faith.


III. CONGREGATIONAL MEETINGS.

    1. The Annual Meeting and Election of Officers shall take

         place on the Sunday prior to December 15. The 

         installation of said officers shall take place on the

second Sunday in January. A slate of proposed Board

  Members shall be posted a minimum of four (4) weeks

  prior to the Annual Meeting.

    2.  A Special Congregational Meeting may be scheduled

  upon the direction of the Administrative Board.

    3.  Participating Church members may request a Special

  Congregational Meeting by written petition to the

  Board Chairman. Said petition must contain either

  written signatures or e-mail documentation of 25% of

  the participating membership. This documentation

  and a proposed agenda shall be submitted a minimum

  of two weeks in advance of the scheduled

  Administrative Board Meeting.

D. The Chairman or Vice-Chairman of the AdministrativeBoard shall conduct all “congregational meetings”. Minutes of all such meetings shall be recorded by the Administrative Board Secretary.

E. The attendance of a simple majority of the Administrative Board Members shall constitute a quorum. Date and time of meeting shall be announced to the congregation at least one Sunday prior to said meeting.

 

IV. BOARD OF DIRECTORS: for the purpose/requirement of establishing a Corporation with nonprofit status. Officers shall consist of:

1. President/Administrative Board Chairperson

2. Vice President/Administrative Board Vice-Chairperson

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    Board Secretary

 

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    Treasurer

 

Financial Secretary

 

V. ADMINISTRATIVE BOARD: shall meet on a regular basis, preferably monthly, to discuss and vote on all areas of Church business, always maintaining a Christian attitude and with the best interest of the Church. The attendance of a simple majority of the Board Members shall constitute a quorum. Date and time of meeting shall be announced to the congregation at least one Sunday prior to said meeting.

 

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    Voting Members, Duties and Terms of Office:

 

 

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      Chairman: shall preside at all stated and special called meetings of the congregation and the Board, and shall perform such other duties normally associated with that office. One year (not to exceed two consecutive terms)

 

 

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      Vice Chairman: fulfill the usual duties of the Chairman in the absence of the Chairman. One year (not to exceed two consecutive terms)

 

 

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      Board Secretary: shall keep minutes of all regular and special meetings of the Board as well as the Congregational Meetings, be responsible for posting the minutes from the Meetings within two weeks following the Meeting, execute all official correspondence. One year term (not to exceed 2 consecutive terms)

 

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      Treasurer: shall be responsible for the recording deposits, preparing payroll, disbursing of all funds of the Church as designated by the Board, preparing the operating budget, submitting the required government reports and shall submit current financial reports at each regular Board meeting. This position works in cooperation with the Financial Secretary to adequately oversee the financial status of the Church. One or two years, depending upon the termination of the term of Financial Secretary, so that these two terms of office will not expire at the same time.

 

 

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      Assistant Treasurer: shall be responsible to learn all Treasurers’ duties and assist the Treasurer as directed. Shall vote at board meeting if Treasurer is not present. One or two years, depending upon the termination of the term of Treasurer.

 

 

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      Financial Secretary: shall be responsible for the counting, recording, depositing, and accurate accounting of individual account statements, and the preparation/conducting of any pledge campaigns. One or two years, depending upon the termination of the term of Treasurer, so that these two terms of office will not expire at the same time.

 

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      Chairperson of Elders (or Representative); represents the Elders. Term as determined by the Board of Elders.

 

 

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      One adult male elected by the congregation; represents the men of the Congregation. One year, not to exceed two consecutive terms.

 

 

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      One adult female elected by the congregation; represents the women of the Congregation. One year, not to exceed two consecutive terms.

 

 

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      Church Lead Pastor, ex-officio.

 

 

Individuals may be elected to additional terms at the discretion of the Board when in the best interest of the Board and congregation. Additional elected Offices/officers may be added at the discretion of the Board with the approval of the congregation.

 

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    The Order of Business. Planning the agenda for a Board Meeting shall be the responsibility of the Chairman of the Board.

 

 

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    Vacancies occurring in any elected Church office during the Church year shall be filled by appointment of the Board and will be only for the unexpired term.

 

 

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    In the event that a member’s service to the Administrative Board is considered detrimental to the life of the Church, by the Board of Elders, the Elders shall counsel such individual(s) with regard to resignation. If deemed necessary, the Board may vote to remove said individual from his/her position.

 

 

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    Establishment of offices. The Administrative Board shall be responsible for the establishment of additional ministries in the physical and financial areas of church life and shall appoint, at its discretion, persons to head those ministries for a specified term of office. These persons shall be responsible to the Board.

 

 

Suggested areas of ministries:

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      BUILDING MAINTENANCE & NEW STRUCTURES

 

 

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      FINANCE TEAM

 

 

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      INTERIOR DESIGN AND MEMORIALS

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      USHERING AND SET UP

 

 

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      LANDSCAPE

 

 

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    Congregational members are encouraged to attend the Administrative Board Meetings and may request addressing the Administrative Board with special concerns. This shall be done, in writing, to the Chairman one week prior to the Administrative Board Meeting.

 

 

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    In December, the Administrative Board authorizes new check signers effective January 1st, pending ratification by the congregation of new slate of officers. Typically the signers are, the Treasurer, Assistant Treasurer and Church Secretary/Administrator.

 

 

VI. COMMITTEES: All committees shall have a chairperson appointed by the Administrative Board. Committees will submit their findings and recommendations to the Administrative Board for approval.

 

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    EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE: shall consist of the Lead Pastor (ex officio), Administrative Board Chairperson, Chairman of the Elders, Treasurer (with the Assistant Treasurer as an alternate) and a Secretary appointed by the Administrative Board. If a conflict of interest is involved, such person would be allowed an opinion without a vote. All paid personnel shall be overseen by this committee, which shall be responsible for filling vacancies and for terminating employment. In the event of a Lead Pastor vacancy, the Executive Committee will be responsible for forming a Pastor Search committee.

 

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    NOMINATING COMMITTEE: The Board chairperson or Vice chairperson will appoint one person from the Board to chair the Nominating Committee. The Nominating Committee shall canvas the congregation for nominees for upcoming Administrative Board vacancies. Canvassing should begin a minimum of 60 days prior to the Annual Meeting in December and shall gain consent of any nominees prior to presentation to the Administrative Board for approval. The Committee shall then give prayerful consideration to the qualifications of each nominee and prepare a slate of one nominee for each vacancy for ratification by the congregation. The Nominating committee can also be used for nomination of elders as detailed in section “VIII. Elders”

 

 

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    The Nominating Committee shall contact all officers whose terms are not expiring to secure a commitment to remain in office. Any vacancies created by this survey shall be posted as a vacancy.

 

 

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    All nominees receiving a majority of the votes at the Annual Meeting shall be declared elected.

 

 

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    FINANCIAL AUDIT COMMITTEE: Shall audit the financial records annually and at the premature termination of a financial officer. Report to be presented to the Board.

 

 

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    COMPENSATION COMMITTEE: Shall meet annually to review the salaries of staff. The committee shall consist of the Treasurer or Financial Secretary, the Pastor, one additional member of the Administrative Board, and two members of the congregation at large. This committee shall be appointed in July; in order to allow sufficient time for the committee to perform their review and recommendation for presentation and action by the Administrative Board at the October meeting. Any changes will go into effect at the beginning of the fiscal calendar year, January 1.

 

 

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    BY-LAW COMMITTEE: Shall review and revise the By-Laws of the church when deemed necessary by the church Administrative Board. Revised by-Laws are to be posted for 30 days and shall be deemed in 

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      effect upon receiving Congregational approval which is to consist of two-thirds of those Participating Members in attendance at the meeting.

     

     

     

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      SPECIAL NEEDS: As situations occur that are not documented above, a committee shall be appointed by the Administrative Board. The Administrative Board shall appoint a chairperson and detail the objective of the committee. The committee shall report any pertinent findings and suggestions to the Administrative Board for appropriate action.

     

     

    VII. THE MINISTRY TEAM: SERVANT LEADERSHIP

     

    Ephesians 4:11-12 – And He (Jesus) Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ

     

    1 Corinthians 12:28 -- And God has appointed these in the church: first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, varieties of tongues.

     

    The Ministry Team shall consist of all within the Church who are involved in ministry leadership positions for the spiritual and practical good of the Church. The Lead Pastor shall exercise spiritual oversight of the Ministry Team. The Ministry Team shall consist of the Lead Pastor, the Elders, the Board Chairman, the Church Administrator, the Teen’s Ministry Leader, the Children’s Ministry Leader, the Mission’s Ministry Leader, the Women’s Ministry Leader, the Men’s Ministry Leader, and the Praise & Worship Ministry Leader.

     

    The salaried Church Staff shall consist of the Lead Pastor, the Church Administrator, the Teen’s Ministry Leader, the Children’s Ministry Leader, the Praise & Worship Ministry Leader and the Custodial Leader.

     

    The Lead Pastor is called of God to the vocation of the ministry. Part of those responsibilities includes teaching and the delivering the Word of God. Ministry is generally confirmed by the celebration of ordination. His/Her ministry is chiefly of a shepherding nature; he/she is a member of the Eldership. By virtue of his/her calling to the pastorate, he/she is expected to provide leadership for the Elders in fulfilling the shepherding ministries and to serve as spiritual overseer of the Congregation.

     

    The Lead Pastor, in cooperation with the other leaders of the Congregation, shall be responsible for the general planning, supervision, and administration of the entire Church Spiritual program. As Pastor/Teacher, his/her priority shall be the ministry of the Word of God to the end that all disciples may mature into the Christian life. The Lead Pastor shall endeavor, through precept and example, to encourage the quality of life throughout the Congregation, which is modeled after the life of Jesus Christ as recorded in the Holy Scriptures. Through his/her example, it is expected that other leaders shall adopt that example and become examples for others. He/She shall endeavor to cultivate a spiritual sensitivity among the Church Body which will enable the Congregation to become aware of the necessity of hearing God’s voice in every decision with their lives and the life of the Church.

    The Lead Pastor by virtue of his/her office, he/she shall be an ex officio (non-voting) member of all Committees and Boards.

    Removal of the Lead Pastor shall be considered when he/she voluntarily resigns or when either the Elder Board or the Board of Directors brings a motion for removal. The motion to remove the Pastor must be approved by the Board of Directors.

     

     

     

     

    VIII. ELDERS

     

    The term and office of “Elder” has a long Biblical history from ancient Old Testament times into the time of the early church of the New Testament. The first New Testament elders were appointed in new churches by the apostles, or, by some of the evangelists under the instruction of the apostles to “shepherd the flock of God … serving as overseers” (1 Peter 5:2). In more recent history churches have selected Elders from among the congregation to provide spiritual guidance and leadership in the church body.

     

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      PURPOSE OF ELDERS.

     

     

    At LCC the major purpose of this body shall be: (1) to complement the shepherding ministry of the Lead Pastor and Staff, (2) to act as a pastoral relations committee to strengthen relationships between pastoral staff and the congregation; (3) to serve as a mediatorial body in conflict situations, assisting the Lead Pastor with this function within the congregation. This function shall include those situations involving inter-staff situations or between staff and congregation. The Elders shall also review the work of the church for the purpose of steering the ministry in a direction consistent with Biblical principles and the mission statement of the congregation.

     

    The intent of the Elder body shall be to work toward a consensus of the group rather than majority rule.

    Where disagreement would bring division, the Elders should set an example for the congregation by postponing any potentially divisive decision for the purpose of prayer and discussion with the intent of finding a solution amenable to the whole body of Elders.

     

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      THE CHAIRPERSON (Lay Leader)

     

     

    The Elders shall elect a member of their group prior to the first meeting of the Administrative Board in the new year. This person shall be known as the Lay Leader and shall be a voting member of the Administrative Board and shall speak in behalf of the Elders for the purpose of advising or encouraging the Administrative Board in their work. The Chairperson shall also be responsible for assisting the Lead Pastor in the administration and development of the Elder ministry and may serve as a spokesperson to the congregation in those situations where it is advisable for a lay person to speak rather than the Lead Pastor.

     

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      THE LEAD PASTOR.

     

     

    The Lead Pastor shall be considered the Senior Elder with primary responsibility and authority for the life and work of the church. No meetings shall be held which deliberately exclude the Lead Pastor or any other member of this body with the exception: The Lead Pastor may be excluded from a meeting of the elders when they are meeting as a pastoral relations committee to hear accusations/grievances against the Lead Pastor or his/her family members. In such case the elders will meet with the Lead Pastor as soon as possible to discuss (1) the validity of the accusation/complaint and (2) any action deemed necessary by the elder body.

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      SELECTION OF ELDERS.

     

     

    Since the purpose of the Eldership is of such a high spiritual nature (see Qualifications of Elders in 1 Timothy 3:2-7, Titus 1:6-9, 1 Peter 5:2-3) whose members should become the best possible examples of Christian discipleship within the congregation, attention shall be given to discerning those persons who will receive the approval of the Holy Spirit as well as the congregation. Where leadership of the Holy Spirit has been sought in this process the confirmation by the congregation is expected to be the seal of the Holy Spirit’s leadership. In this light it is recommended that candidates for this position be recommended:

     

    1- by the Lead Pastor, who may be best qualified to discern persons who may be ready to assume this office;

     

    2- by a nominating committee, or, by any individual who may want to recommend a person;

     

    3- by a person him/herself in light of the scripture, 1 Timothy 3:1, which indicates that, if anyone sets his heart on being an overseer, he desires a noble task. (This term, ‘overseer’, [from Greek ‘episkopos’], is generally seen as a part of the work of an Elder.

     

    When a person has been recommended for this ministry he/she shall consult with the Lead Pastor to discuss the work of the Elder and to discern the readiness of the candidate to assume the office if approved by the congregation. If the desire to serve is present, following the interview with the Lead Pastor, the candidate’s name shall be presented to the body of Elders who may request an additional interview before presentation of the candidate to the congregation. In the absence of an Elder Body, this task may be undertaken by a properly designated nominating committee, or, in the absence of each of these two, by the Administrative Board.

     

    The candidate, following recommendation as outlined above, shall be presented to the congregation at a Sunday worship service as a candidate for the Eldership. The congregation shall be instructed to prayerfully consider the recommendation for a minimum period of two weeks and to present any comments to the recommending body.

     

    If no negative comments are deemed worthy of consideration the congregation shall be requested to offer approval by acclamation of that person at the nearest Sunday worship following the two-week period of prayer.

     

    Candidates for the Eldership may be presented for consideration according to the above protocol at any time during the year. The end of the term shall be the end of the third calendar year following that person’s selection as an Elder. At the end of that calendar year, the Elder shall be consulted with regard to their willingness to serve an additional three-year term. Upon the recommendation of the Board of Elders (or other recommending body if no Eldership exists), the Elder whose term has expired shall be allowed an additional term.

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      NUMBER

       

     

    The number of Elders shall be determined according to the need and the availability of acceptable candidates.

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      SELECTION OF ELDERS.

     

     

    Since the purpose of the Eldership is of such a high spiritual nature (see Qualifications of Elders in 1 Timothy 3:2-7, Titus 1:6-9, 1 Peter 5:2-3) whose members should become the best possible examples of Christian discipleship within the congregation, attention shall be given to discerning those persons who will receive the approval of the Holy Spirit as well as the congregation. Where leadership of the Holy Spirit has been sought in this process the confirmation by the congregation is expected to be the seal of the Holy Spirit’s leadership. In this light it is recommended that candidates for this position be recommended:

     

    1- by the Lead Pastor, who may be best qualified to discern persons who may be ready to assume this office;

     

    2- by a nominating committee, or, by any individual who may want to recommend a person;

     

    3- by a person him/herself in light of the scripture, 1 Timothy 3:1, which indicates that, if anyone sets his heart on being an overseer, he desires a noble task. (This term, ‘overseer’, [from Greek ‘episkopos’], is generally seen as a part of the work of an Elder.

     

    When a person has been recommended for this ministry he/she shall consult with the Lead Pastor to discuss the work of the Elder and to discern the readiness of the candidate to assume the office if approved by the congregation. If the desire to serve is present, following the interview with the Lead Pastor, the candidate’s name shall be presented to the body of Elders who may request an additional interview before presentation of the candidate to the congregation. In the absence of an Elder Body, this task may be undertaken by a properly designated nominating committee, or, in the absence of each of these two, by the Administrative Board.

     

    The candidate, following recommendation as outlined above, shall be presented to the congregation at a Sunday worship service as a candidate for the Eldership. The congregation shall be instructed to prayerfully consider the recommendation for a minimum period of two weeks and to present any comments to the recommending body.

     

    If no negative comments are deemed worthy of consideration the congregation shall be requested to offer approval by acclamation of that person at the nearest Sunday worship following the two-week period of prayer.

     

    Candidates for the Eldership may be presented for consideration according to the above protocol at any time during the year. The end of the term shall be the end of the third calendar year following that person’s selection as an Elder. At the end of that calendar year, the Elder shall be consulted with regard to their willingness to serve an additional three-year term. Upon the recommendation of the Board of Elders (or other recommending body if no Eldership exists), the Elder whose term has expired shall be allowed an additional term.

     

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      NUMBER

     

     

    The number of Elders shall be determined according to the need and the availability of acceptable candidat

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      FUNCTION.

     

     

    Each Elder is to be encouraged to follow the leading of his/her spiritual gift or call as the development of that gift/call unfolds in the life of the congregation. The Elders shall assist the Lead Pastor in fulfilling the diverse ministries within the church, taking a leading, coordinating, or advising role for the ministry—whichever fits better the spiritual gift of the elder.

     

    The Elders shall be encouraged to discern and seek out those persons whose spiritual gifts and/or expertise have shown them to be of a kindred spirit, and ask their help or leadership toward the fulfillment of the specific ministry to which the Elders feel called.

     

    G. THE ELDER AND THE MINISTRY TEAM.

     

    Each Elder shall become a part of the Ministry Team, working with the Lead Pastor and Staff, to oversee the development of the total ministry of the congregation. The organization and appointment of persons to teaching/shepherding ministries of the congregation shall be the responsibility of this Team.

     

    H. PREMATURE TERMINATION OF OFFICE.

     

    Premature termination may occur:

     

    1-when an Elder chooses to resign (for any reason). A written resignation should be submitted to the Lead Pastor or Chairperson of the Elders;

     

    2-when the continuation in office is determined to be detrimental to the church body.

     

    The advisability of removal from office shall be determined (in item ‘2’) through the process of due consideration of any charges against an Elder. The Lead Pastor, along with the other Elders, shall evaluate any charges with care that no one is accused unjustly. If a legitimate case for removal exists, the “Elder Body” shall make every effort to support and encourage the Elder under consideration with the intent of bringing spiritual restoration to that person. Our desire to prevent the need for removal from office shall be expressed by an ongoing effort to maintain open and honest communication among the Elders, by maintaining a practice of praying for one another, and by establishment of the principle of accountability to one another. Discretion and honor are recommended in dealing with any such situation to prevent permanent injury of any person—accuser, or accused.

     

    VIII. CONFLICT RESOLUTION

     

    Disagreements within the Church Body shall be addressed according to the scriptural admonition in Matthew 18:15-17. (See document “Interpersonal Relationships”). Avoid drawing others unnecessarily into your concern.

     

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      Between church member and church member:

     

     

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      Address in an attitude of love; keep it between yourselves. 

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        If the matter doesn’t get resolved, together, seek the counsel of the Lead Pastor or an Elder.

       

       

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        In the case of a church-related question or concern, speak to the Lead Pastor or an Elder.

       

       

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        Committee decisions:

       

       

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        If decisions don’t work out satisfactorily, take it back to the committee; make your case there. Keep it in committee.

       

       

       

      IX. Policy Regarding Church Rental and Weddings

       

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        LCC shall not rent its facilities to anyone who is not a Participating Member.

       

       

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        Marriages, funerals, and memorial services shall only be performed by the Lead Pastor or by another qualified person deemed by the Lead Pastor to be in compliance with the LCC Statement of Faith. The Lead Pastor has the right to decline such services due to the busyness or priorities of his schedule.

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