CONSTITUTION OF CHRIST COMMUNITY CHURCH
Article I – Name
The name of this Corporation is Christ Community Church of the Foothills. It is a California non-profit religious Corporation with its offices in West Covina, California.
Article II – Purpose
This Corporation is organized exclusively for religious purposes and is dedicated to worship and service by believers to the glory of God. Its mission is summarized as follows:
- Our passion is to pursue Christ
- Our priority is to portray Christ
- Our purpose is to proclaim Christ
- Our practice is to praise Christ
Article III – Corporate Membership
1 – Members of the Corporation
Members of the Corporation shall consist of the Elders of Christ Community Church of the Foothills. Thus, any action which, under California law, would otherwise require approval by a majority of all church members shall only require the approval of the Elders. All rights and responsibilities which would otherwise vest in the church members shall vest in the Elders
2 – Members of the Church
Nothing contained in Section 1 of this Article shall be construed to limit the right of the Corporation to refer to persons associated with the Corporation as “church members” even though such persons are not corporate members.No such reference in or outside of this Constitution shall constitute anyone being a member of the corporation, within the meaning of Section 5056 of the California Nonprofit Corporation Law.
The members of this Corporation may confer by amendment of this Constitution some or all of the rights of a member, as set forth in the California Nonprofit Corporation Law, upon any person or persons, but no such person shall be a member within the meaning of Section 5056.
Article IV – Church Membership
Section 1 – Church Membership
Active membership in Christ Community Church of the Foothills shall be open to all persons who confess Christ as their Lord and Savior and who have been baptized by immersion. These persons, who have applied for membership and have been duly accepted, shall constitute a body, united for the purposes set forth in Article II of this Constitution.
Section 2 – Responsibilities of Church Members
Church members shall promote the philosophy and ministry of Christ Community Church, participate regularly in the corporate worship of this church, support this ministry prayerfully and financially, exercise their spiritual gifts for the mutual benefit of all the church body and willingly submit to the biblical oversight of the Elders.
Section 3 – Applications for Church Membership
Requests for church membership shall be made to a pastor, elder, deacon or member of the church staff. Upon making such a request, the person shall be given an application for membership and a copy of all pertinent documents, including the church’s Statement of Faith (“What We Believe”), Philosophy of Ministry (“Why We Exist”) and Constitution (“How We Are Governed”). A pastor, elder or deacon shall then meet with the applicant. In the presence of an elder, the applicant shall testify of personal faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and shall subscribe to the church’s Statement of Faith, Philosophy of Ministry and Constitution.
Section 4 – Admission of Applicants
Applicants admitted to church membership shall, if possible, present themselves at a worship service designated by the pastor-teacher and elders. At this service, applicants shall publicly affirm their membership commitment and be publicly acknowledged as church members.
Section 5 – Denial of Membership
If upon review of an application for church membership or after meeting with a prospective church member, the elders determine the applicant does not confess Jesus Christ as personal Lord and Savior or there is a lack of evidence of a godly lifestyle, church membership shall be denied. The decision made by the Elders shall be final, and there shall be no appeal to any court regarding that decision.
Section 6 – Voting
Church membership shall not vest in any member any proprietary rights in the Corporation but shall only entitle the member to vote at meetings of the church members on those matters submitted to the church membership by the elders. Voting privileges are restricted to church members who are at least sixteen (16) years of age.
Section 7 – Reproof and Restoration
The purpose of reproving and restoring a person who errs is to bring about a return to a biblical standard of doctrine and conduct (Gal. 6:1), to maintain purity in the local church (1 Corinthians 5:6) and to deter sin (1 Tim. 5:20).
Persons who err in doctrine or conduct shall be subject to dismissal according to Matt. 18:15-18. Before dismissal, however, the following procedure shall be followed:
(1) It shall be the duty of any person in the church who has knowledge of the erring person’s heresy or misconduct to warn and to correct the erring person in private, seeking his or her repentance and restoration.
(2) If the erring person does not heed this warning, the warning person shall again go to the erring person accompanied by one or two witnesses, to warn and correct the erring person, seeking repentance and restoration.
(3) If the erring person still refuses to heed this warning, it shall be brought to the attention of the elders. The elders, upon careful and prayerful consideration, shall inform the church.
(4) If the erring person refuses to heed the warning of the elders and the church, the erring person shall be publicly dismissed from the church.
It is understood this process will continue to conclusion whether the erring person leaves the church or seeks to withdraw from church membership.
If after dismissal the person heeds the warning, demonstrates repentance and requests reinstatement, he or she shall be publicly restored to membership.
Section 8 – Removal from Church Membership
A church member who shall be absent, without plausible reason or excuse, from the services of this church for a period of one (1) year shall be removed from church membership at the discretion of the Elders.
Article V –Church Membership Meetings
Section 1 – Regular Meetings
A regular annual meeting of the church members shall be held at the meeting place of the church in September of each year. At the regular annual meeting, church members shall hear and/or receive written reports of the affairs of the Corporation and transact any business the elders determine shall be brought before the meeting.
Section 2 – Special Meetings
Special meetings of the church membership may be called at any time by the pastor-teacher, the Chairman or Vice-Chairman or by the elders.
Section 3 – Notice of Meetings
Notice of regular annual meeting of the church membership shall be given from the pulpit and shall be published in the church bulletin for two successive Sundays prior to the meeting. Such notice shall be given at least ten (10) days prior to that meeting.
Notice of special meetings shall be given from the pulpit at least seven (7) days prior to the meeting and shall also be published in the church bulletin on the Sunday immediately preceding the meeting.
Section 4 – Quorum
At all meetings of the church membership, whether regular or special, the church members present shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business.
Article VI -Elders
Section 1 – Number of Elders
The authorized number of elders shall be not less than five (5) nor more than twenty (20).
Section 2 – Qualifications
Each elder must be a church member and possess the qualifications described in Scripture.
It is a trustworthy statement: if any man aspires to the office of overseer, it is a fine work he desires to do. An overseer, then, must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, temperate, prudent, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not addicted to wine or pugnacious, but gentle, uncontentious, free from the love of money. He must be one who manages his own household well, keeping his children under control with all dignity (but if a man does not know how to manage his own household, how will he take care of the church of God?); and not a new convert, lest he become conceited and fall into the condemnation incurred by the devil. And he must have a good reputation with those outside the church, so that he may not fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.
(1 Tim. 3:1-7 – NASB)
Namely, if any man be above reproach, the husband of one wife, having children who believe, not accused of dissipation or rebellion. For the overseer must be above reproach as God’s steward, not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not addicted to wine, not pugnacious, not fond of sordid gain, but hospitable, loving what is good, sensible, just, devout, self controlled, (9) holding fast the faithful word which is in accordance with the teaching, that he may be able both to exhort in sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict.
Section 3 – Nomination, Selection, and Tenure of Office
(A) The Elders, as part of their oversight, will determine who fulfills the qualifications of I Timothy 3 and Titus 1. After fully examining them, the Elders will present the candidate to the congregation, giving them the opportunity to examine the character of the individual for a period of 30 days.
(B) The Secretary shall publish the list of nominees approved by the elders at least four weeks prior to the annual meeting of the church members. During this four-week period, any church member having a concern about a nominee shall first speak with the nominee; if the concern is not resolved, the member shall speak with the nominee in the presence of one or two elders; if still unresolved, the matter shall then be brought before the elders and the elders will resolve the matter.
(C) At the annual meeting of the church members, those appointed as elders shall be presented to the church membership
(D) The newly appointed elder shall assume office immediately and faithfully serve the people for the duration of his ministry.
Section 4 – Biblical Responsibilities
Elders are to concern themselves primarily with the spiritual well-being of the flock. They are especially responsible for:
(D) Being examples to the flock (1 Peter 5:3).
(F) Visiting those in need (James 1:27).
(G) Protecting the flock of God (Acts 20:29-31).
(H) Leading the flock to walk in a worthy manner (Eph. 4:1-3).
Section 5 – Church Membership Involvement
In the execution of their responsibilities and in keeping with their role as shepherds of the flock, the elders shall diligently seek the counsel of the church membership through personal interaction, open forums and councils and committees on all matters under their consideration.
Section 6 – Administrative Responsibilities
The elders of the church constitute the legislative body of the church. They pass all resolutions binding upon the Corporation in accordance with Article VI, Section 5. Neither they or the church membership shall have any equity in the real property of the Corporation. Said property of the Corporation is dedicated to religious and charitable purposes as outlined in the Articles of Incorporation.
Subject to limitations of the Articles of Incorporation, this Constitution and pertinent restrictions of the Corporations Code of the State of California, all the activities, and affairs of the Corporation shall be exercised by or under the direction of the elders, including the following administrative responsibilities:
(A) To appoint and remove all the officers, agents, pastors, staff and employees of the Corporation, to prescribe such duties for them consistent with law, with the Articles of Incorporation or with this Constitution and to fix the terms of their offices and their compensation.
(B) To authorize disbursements from the funds and properties of the Corporation as are required to fulfill the purposes of this Corporation as set out in the Articles of Incorporation; to conduct, manage and control the activities and affairs of the Corporation and to make such rules and regulations consistent with law, the Articles of Incorporation and this Constitution.
(C) To adopt and use a corporate seal and to alter the form of the seal if and when necessary.
(D) To establish policies and practices for the church consistent with the purposes of this Corporation.
(E) To assist in the administration of the ordinances of Baptism and Communion.
(F) To borrow money and incur indebtedness for the purposes of the Corporation and to cause to be executed and delivered, in the corporate name, promissory notes, bonds, debentures, deeds of trust, mortgages, pledges, hypothecations or other evidences of debt and securities.
(G) To carry on business and apply any such profit that results from the business activity in which it may legally engage.
Section 7 – Vacancies
Subject to the provision of Section 9226 of the California Nonprofit Religious Corporation Law, an elder may resign effective upon giving a written notice to the Chairman or the Secretary unless the notice specifies a later resignation date. If the resignation is to take effect at some future time, a successor may be selected before that time following the process described in Article VI, Section 3.
A vacancy or vacancies shall exist in the case of the death, resignation, or removal of an elder or if a need exists and the specified limit is not exceeded.
Section 8 – Removal of Elders
Any elder may be removed from office if he becomes physically incapacitated, spiritually unqualified (1 Tim. 5:17-20).
Section 9 – Time and Place of Meetings
Any meeting (whether regular, special or adjourned) of the elders may be held at any place.
Regular meetings of the elders shall be held without call or notice on the second and fourth Mondays of each month unless otherwise modified by the elders. Meetings shall be open to church members except where a need for confidentiality may require them to be closed.
Section 10 – Special Meetings
A special meeting of the Elders can be called at any time by any elder or group of elders.
Notice of special meetings shall be given to each elder at least twenty-four (24) hours prior to the time of the meeting. Where all elders agree on time and location, a special meeting may be called immediately, waiving the 24-hour notice.
Section 11 – Quorum
Except as otherwise provided, a majority of the elders currently serving shall constitute a quorum.
Whenever the matter to be considered concerns calling or dismissing a pastor or buying or selling real estate, a quorum shall consist of not less than two-thirds of the elders currently authorized to serve.
Except as the Articles of Incorporation, this Constitution and the California Nonprofit Religious Corporation Law may provide, the unanimous act or decision of the elders present at a meeting at which a quorum is present shall be the act of the elders as a whole.
Section 12 – Participation Without Attendance
Elders may participate in a meeting through the use of conference calls or similar communications equipment, as long as all members participating in the meeting can hear one another.
Section 13 – Adjournment
The elders, whether or not a quorum is present, may adjourn an elders’ meeting to another time and place. Notice of the time and place of holding a reconvened meeting shall be given to elders who were not present at the time of the adjournment.
Section 14 – Action Without Meeting
Any required or permitted action may be taken without a meeting if all the elders shall individually consent in writing to a duly prepared resolution. This consent shall have the same effect as a unanimous vote of the elders and shall be documented by the signed resolution.
Section 15 – Conduct of Meetings
Meetings shall be conducted according to scriptural principles as set forth in Phil. 2:2-8. After prayerful consideration, decisions shall be reached by unanimous vote in a spirit of unity and humility, with each elder regarding the others before himself.
Section 16 – Rights of Inspection
Every elder shall have the right at any reasonable time to inspect all books, records, and documents as well as the physical properties of the Corporation for a purpose reasonably related to his responsibilities as an elder.
Section 17 – Compensation
Elders shall not receive compensation for their services as elders. However, elders may serve the Corporation in another capacity and receive compensation. Indemnification is not considered compensation.
Any person receiving compensation directly or indirectly from this Corporation shall not be in a position to determine the nature or amount of the compensation.
Article VII – Officers of the Corporation
Section 1 – Officers
The officers of the Corporation shall be a Chairman, a Secretary, and a Treasurer. These officers shall be members of the Corporation. Other officers, who shall not be officers of the Corporation, may be appointed in accordance with the provisions of Section 7 of this article.
Section 2 – Selection
The officers of the Corporation, except officers appointed in accordance with the provisions of Section 6 or Section 8 of this Article, shall be chosen annually by the elders following the annual meeting of the church members. Each officer shall hold his office until he resigns, is removed, become otherwise disqualified to serve or until his successor is qualified and appointed by the elders.
Section 3 – The Chairman
The Chairman, subject to the direction of the elders, shall have general supervision and oversight of the activities and officers of the Corporation and shall act in all legal matters pertaining to the Corporation. He shall be an ex-officio member of all the standing committees and shall have such powers and duties as may be prescribed by the elders or by the Constitution.
Section 4 – Secretary
The Secretary shall keep, or cause to be kept, at the principal office of the Corporation, a book of minutes of all meetings of the membership and meetings of the elders and its councils and committees. These minutes shall include the time and place of holding, whether regular or special (if special, how authorized and the notice given), the names of those present at the meetings and the proceedings, as well as a record of any actions taken without a meeting. The Secretary shall keep, or cause to be kept at the principal office of the Corporation the original and a copy of the Corporation’s Articles of Incorporation and Constitution, as amended.
The Secretary shall keep, or cause to be kept at the principal office of the Corporation, a current list of all church members with their addresses and phone numbers.
The Secretary shall give, or cause to be given, notice of all meetings of the church membership, elders and councils or committees required by the Constitution, shall keep the seal of the Corporation in safe custody and shall have such other powers and perform such other duties as prescribed by the elders or by the Constitution.
Section 5 – Treasurer
The Treasurer shall keep and maintain, or cause to be kept and maintained, adequate and correct accounts of the properties and business transactions of the Corporation.
The Treasurer shall deposit, or cause to be deposited, all money and other valuables in the name and to the credit of the Corporation with such depositories as may be designated by the elders. He shall disburse or arrange for the disbursement of the funds of the Corporation as may be directed by the elders, shall render to the elders, whenever they request it, an account of all transactions and of the financial condition of the Corporation and shall have such other powers and perform such other duties as may be prescribed by the elders. He shall present financial reports at each regular meeting of the elders and at the annual meeting of the church members.
The Treasurer shall not be a member of the Pastoral Staff nor shall he be financially remunerated by the Corporation for his services.
Section 6 – Inability to Act
In the absence or inability to act of any officer of the Corporation to fulfill the responsibilities of their office, the elders may delegate the responsibilities of the officer to any other church member whom the elders may select.
Section 7 – Resignation and Removal
An officer may resign at any time without prejudice to the rights of the Corporation under any contract to which the officer is a party, by giving written notice to the elders, to the Chairman or to the Secretary of the Corporation. The resignation shall take effect on the date the notice is received or at a specified later time. The acceptance of the resignation shall not be necessary to make it effective.
An officer may be removed by the remainder of the elders at any regular or special meeting of the elders.
Section 8 – Vacancies
A vacancy in an office because of death, resignation, removal, disqualification or any other cause shall be filled in the manner prescribed in the Constitution. The vacancies shall be filled as they occur and not on an annual basis.
Article VIII – Deacons and Deaconesses
Section 1 – Deacons
A) The Deacons shall be church members who possess the qualifications described in Scripture:
Deacons likewise must be men of dignity, not double-tongued, or addicted to much wine or fond of sordid gain, but holding to the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience. And let these also first be tested; then let them serve as deacons if they are beyond reproach…Let deacons be husbands of only one wife and good managers of their children and their own households. For those who have served well as deacons obtain for themselves a high standing and great confidence in the faith that is in Christ Jesus.
(1 Tim. 3:8-10, 12-13 – NASB)
B) The elders shall assign responsibilities for service to the deacons as the needs of the congregation require. These tasks include shepherding the flock, assisting at communion and baptismal services, aiding in the general spiritual care of the church and performing other duties as determined by the elders.
Section 2 – Deaconesses
The Deaconesses shall be church members who possess the qualifications described in Scripture:
Women must likewise be dignified, not malicious gossips, but temperate, faithful in all things. (1 Tim. 3:11 – NASB)
Section 3- Nomination, Selection, and Tenure of Office
The nomination, selection, and tenure of office of Deacons and Deaconesses shall be the same as for elders, as set forth in Article IV, Section 3, of this Constitution.
Section 4 – Vacancies
The elders shall determine the number of deacons and deaconesses to be appointed. If during the period between annual meetings a vacancy occurs among the deacons or deaconesses, the elders may fill the vacancy for the unexpired term.
Article IX – Councils and Committees
Section 1 – Purpose
To assure effective participation in all decisions by the church members, the elders may appoint various councils and committees, which shall perform tasks specifically designated by the elders. These councils and committees shall have general responsibility to:
(A) provide a wider base of counsel to the elders concerning specific church ministries by reflecting the needs and desires of the members of the church and
(B) bring recommendations to the Elders thereby serving as the principal source of operation-level direction of specific church ministries.
Section 2 – Formation and Limitations
Councils and committees shall exist for the period of time specified by the elders. A council or committee shall be composed of at least two church members, one being an elder, and have powers and duties as the elders delegate to it, with the following exceptions:
(A) The approval of any action for which the California Nonprofit Religious Corporation Law also requires church membership approval (must be approved by the elders as a whole).
(B) The filling of vacancies in any office.
(C) The amendment, repeal, or adoption of a new Constitution.
(D) The amendment or repeal of any resolution of the elders.
(E) The appointment of other councils or committees of the elders or the membership.
(F) The approval of any self-dealing transaction, defined in Section 9243(A) of the California Nonprofit Religious Corporation Law.
Section 3 – Meetings
Unless the elders or the council or committee shall otherwise provide, the regular and special meetings and other actions of a council or committee shall be governed by the provision of the Article applicable to meetings and actions of the elders. Minutes shall be kept of each meeting of each council or committee and maintained by the Secretary of the Corporation
(Art. VII, Sec. 5).
Article X – The Pastor-Teacher
Section 1 – Selection and Tenure
The pastor-teacher shall be selected by the elders in accordance with Article VI, Section 5. He shall be responsible to the elders and shall remain in office an indefinite period of time.
Section 2 – Duties
The pastor-teacher shall be responsible for all public and regular services of the church and for the general oversight and spiritual welfare of the church.
Section 3 – Resignation or Dismissal
The Elders reserve the right to dismiss the pastor-teacher upon giving him one month’s written notice. In doing so, the provisions of Article VI, Section 5, shall be exercised to the extent practical.
The pastor-teacher must give one month’s notice if he intends to resign. The time limit of a pastor-teacher’s resignation or dismissal is subject to a lesser time if both the pastor-teacher and the elders, by mutual agreement, provide otherwise. Dismissal may be immediate and without the pastor-teacher’s consent in the case of biblical disqualification (1 Timothy 5:17-22 see Article VI, Section 8).
Article XI – Ordination, Licensing, and Commissioning
Section 1 – Ordination
Ordination refers to the unanimous recognition by the elders of a man’s call to the ministry, preparation as a shepherd and qualification to serve. Ordination shall be conferred for life, so long as the man continues to manifest the qualifications of the office.
Section 2 – Licensing
Licensing is issued by the elders and is given in recognition of a man’s call to that ministry. Its aim is to allow a man to perform the ecclesiastical duties and functions of the church.
Section 3 – Commissioning
Commissioning is issued by the elders and is given in recognition of a persons’ call to the ministry. Its aim is to allow a person to perform the ecclesiastical duties and functions of the church within the sphere of his or her ministry.
Article XII – Receipt, Investment, and Disbursement of Funds
Section 1 – Receipts
The Corporation shall receive all moneys or other properties transferred to it for the purposes for which the Corporation was formed. However, nothing contained herein shall require the elders to accept or receive any money or property of any kind which the elders deem will not be prudent.
Section 2 – Investments and Disbursements
The Corporation shall hold, manage and disburse any funds or properties received by it from any source in a manner that is consistent with the purposes of this Corporation.
Article XIII -Corporate Records and Reports
The Corporation shall maintain adequate and correct accounts, books and records of its business and properties. All books, records, and accounts shall be kept at its principal office.
Article XIV -Dissolution
Upon dissolution of this Corporation, the elders shall cause the assets to be distributed to another Corporation with purposes similar to that identified in Article II of this Constitution.
Article XV -Other Provisions
Section 1 – Endorsement of Documents and Contracts
The Elders, except as the Constitution otherwise provides, may authorize any officer or officers, agent or agents, to enter into any contract or execute any instrument in the name of and on behalf of the Corporation. Such authority may be general or confined to specific instances. Unless so authorized by the elders, no officer, agent or employee shall have any power or authority to bind the Corporation by any contract or agreement, to pledge its credit or to render it liable for any purpose or to any amount.
Subject to the provisions of applicable law, any note, mortgage, evidence of indebtedness, contract, conveyance or other instrument in writing and any assignment or endorsement executed or entered into between this Corporation and any other person, when signed jointly by the Chairman or Vice-Chairman and the Secretary and the Treasurer of this Corporation, shall be valid and binding on this Corporation in the absence of actual knowledge on the part of the other person that the signing officers had no authority to execute the same.
Section 2 – Instruments in Writing
All checks, drafts, demands for money, notes and written contracts of the Corporation shall be signed by such officer or officers, agent or agents, as the elders may designate.
Section 3 – Representation of Shares of Other Corporations
The Chairman or any other officer or officers authorized by the elders are each authorized to vote, represent and exercise on behalf of the Corporation all rights incident to any and all shares of any other corporation or corporations standing in the name of the Corporation. The authority herein granted may be exercised either by the designated officer in person or by another person authorized to do so by proxy or power of attorney duly executed by the officer.
Section 4 – Construction and Definitions
Unless the context otherwise requires, the general provisions, rules of construction and definitions contained in the California Nonprofit Corporation Law and in the California Nonprofit Religious Corporation Law shall govern the construction of this Constitution.
Section 5 – Amendments
This Constitution may be amended or a new Constitution may be made at any time by the elders. Prior to the adoption of such changes, the elders shall notify the church members of the nature and purpose of the proposed changes and provide a period of at least 15 days for receiving comments from the church members. Changes made to the Constitution shall be communicated to the church members at the annual meeting or at a special meeting.
Section 6 – Record of Amendments
Whenever an amendment or new Constitution is adopted, it shall be copied in the book of minutes with the original Constitution, in the appropriate place. If any portion of this Constitution is repealed, the fact of repeal with the date of the meeting at which the repeal was enacted shall be stated in the book of minutes.
Article XVI – Executive Committee Provision
Until such time as the minimum number, five (5), of qualified elders can be appointed, the Executive Committee will function in lieu of the elders consistent with the Articles of this Constitution. This Article will be null and void upon the appointment of the minimum number of qualified elders required by Article VI, Section 1.
Approved April 1, 1996
Revised May 8, 1996
Revised March 17, 2010