Part of a church organization is “getting organized!” What exactly is involved in a church organization? The principles of church organization are found in Scripture, but it doesn’t give us an outline on what must be involved. Obviously, a group of believers desiring to become a local church will be committed to do everything the Bible requires of them to do as a church. The following list are suggestions to help a church fulfill those requirements in an orderly manner:
- Church Constitution: A church constitution is a document that states the churches name, the foundation, object, and priorities of the church, affirmation of their faith, the church covenant, membership, leadership, organization, and church property guidelines. This gives the church direction in how to handle its affairs.
- Church Doctrinal Statement: This is a document that states that main doctrines of the church. Every person who desires to become a member of the local church must agree to these Biblical truths.
- Church ByLaws: The church bylaws is a document that states the procedure a church will take when adding or disciplining church members to it’s fellowship, choosing church leadership, handling church employees, finances and other necessary areas of concern.
- Church Charter: The church charter is a document that states the purpose of the church, the expectations of it’s members, and a description of it’s function. It is encouraged that the founding members will sign it.
- Attitude of Independence: This is a document that states the attitude our church has towards the government and the reasons why we can’t completely comply with the State-organized churches.
After the service was turned over to me as pastor, I thanked the church and then called on a young man to come to the front and read the church charter. After he read the charter, we invited everyone who was standing and willing to make the commitment, as the charter stated, to come forward and sign it. These few became the “founding members” of our church (we had around 10). Then after the service, we took the charter and hanged it inside the church building as a reminder of the covenant made.
The reading and signing of the Church Charter is probably the most important parts of the ordaining service… here is the text of the church charter we used:
Today, Sunday, November 9, 2014, in Dalian, Liaoning, China, the signers of this document desire to form an independent Church for the glory of God.
Through the Word of God and the Holy Spirit’s leading, each of us affirm that we have believed on the Lord Jesus Christ as the Son of God, been baptized in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit and now enter into covenant with one another as one local church.
We declare, as saved and scripturally baptized believers, that this church is founded, on the Word of God and Jesus Christ, who is its Head. We believe in the historic Baptist principles summarized in our doctrinal statement, and with the blessing and authority of our sending church, Vision Baptist Church, we are organizing into a Baptist Church.
We promise to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, strength and mind and to love our neighbors as ourselves.
We promise to be responsible for our church, to edify our church, to fulfill our church’s Scriptural duties and ordinances, as well as, obey the great commission of making disciples of all nations.
This document will be the official charter of our church, which shall be named the: Dalian Grace Baptist Church.
This charter will be a living testimony for future generations of our commitment to and celebration of our Sovereign God.