October 26, 2013

Our Constitution

Preamble

We, the members of Life Park Christian Fellowship in orderly manner do hereby establish the following principles by which we mutually agree to be governed in the affairs of our church.

Article I: Name

This church shall be known as the Life Park Christian Fellowship.

Article II: Purpose

This church shall have as its purpose to provide unprecedented redemptive care for potentially unlimited numbers of people.

We shall do this through joyful celebration, strong evangelistic attitude as shown in the book of Acts and in the Great Commission in Matthew 28:18-20, intentional education, and focused transformation in our lives resulting from the mighty redemptive acts of the Almighty God.

Article III: Covenant

As a bond of unity, Life Park Christian Fellowship accepts for its members the following covenant:

Having been led by the Holy Spirit to receive Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, and on profession of our faith in Him, having been baptized into Christ, we who follow Him as disciples, do now most solemnly and joyfully enter into covenant with one another as one body in Christ.

We promise that we shall watch over and counsel one another in the spirit of brotherly love, that we shall remember one another in our prayers, and that we shall aid each other in sickness and distress.

We further agree, by the aid of the Holy Spirit, to walk together in Christian love; to strive for the advancement of this church in knowledge, holiness, and comfort; to promote its prosperity and spirituality; to sustain its worship, ordinances, discipline, and doctrines; to give it a sacred preeminence over all institutions of human origin; and to contribute cheerfully and regularly to the support of the ministry, the expenses of the church, the relief of the poor, and the spread of the Gospel through all nations.

We further covenant to maintain public and private loyalty and devotion to Christ; to spiritually educate our children; to seek the salvation of our family and friends; to live carefully in this present world; to be just in our dealings, faithful in our engagements, and exemplary in our behavior; to avoid all gossip, backbiting, and excessive anger; and to strive to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior, that we will humbly and earnestly seek to live to the honor and glory of Him who loves us and gave Himself for us.

Article IV: Church Membership

The membership of Life Park Christian Fellowship shall consist of persons who have accepted Jesus Christ as personal Lord and Savior, who follow Him as disciples and have been baptized by immersion into Christ. Under the direction of the Church Leadership Team, new members may be added in any of the following ways: (1) by profession of faith and baptism, (2) by letter from a church of like faith and order, (3) by statement of faith, having been baptized by another, or (4) by restoration. Membership can be terminated by (1) death, (2) transfer to another church, (3) discipline, or (4) the request of the member.

Article V: Church Officers

1. Senior Pastor: The Senior Pastor shall be Life Park Christian Fellowship’s chief executive officer in all spiritual, physical, and administrative matters. His primary role shall be to provide vision and leadership in all aspects of Life Park Christian Fellowship.

When the church becomes without a Senior Pastor, the Shepherds shall oversee and provide for interim leadership and the calling of a new Senior Pastor. The Shepherds shall provide to the members of Life Park Christian Fellowship a Senior Pastor candidate they have unanimously agreed upon. Members of Life Park Christian Fellowship shall have one full week to prayerfully consider the recommendation of the Shepherds and then by written ballot in a called meeting, vote on the candidate.

The Senior Pastor shall be called by God to this post and confirmed by a 2/3-majority vote of the ballots cast by qualified members of Life Park Christian Fellowship.

The Senior Pastor may be removed from office at a special business meeting of the congregation, called by the unanimous decision of the Shepherds, where reasons for his removal would be presented. The Senior Pastor shall be notified of the meeting and of the charges to be brought against him. This is to be done prior to a two-week notice of the meeting given to the entire congregation. During the meeting he would be allowed to answer the accusations. A 2/3-majority vote of qualified members present would be required to retain the Senior Pastor. This step should be taken very carefully and prayerfully.

2. Shepherds: Shepherds are to: advise and assist the Senior Pastor in the spiritual interests of the church; seek out, visit, and minister to the physical, moral, and spiritual needs of the church; review the church membership regularly and inquire as to the regularity and faithfulness of the members; and zealously guard and promote the spirit of unity and peace within the church. They are accountable to God, the Senior Pastor and to each other for their ministry.

Shepherds have as their specific mission the unprecedented redemptive care for their flock. They are to eagerly protect and promote the vision of Life Park Christian Fellowship. The process for attaining this goal is the enthusiastic management of the care group system.

The Shepherds shall act as a sounding board between the congregation and the Senior Pastor and shall discuss matters of importance to the church. Shepherds are to meet the spiritual qualifications given in 1 Timothy 3:1-7, Titus 1:6-9, and Acts 6:1-6. Shepherds shall maintain a close relationship with the Senior Pastor for mentoring and mutual accountability.

Shepherd candidates will be nominated from within Life Park Christian Fellowship. Upon completion of a leadership-approved training program, and approval of the Church Leadership Team, the candidates will then be presented to the congregation for confirmation. The names will be submitted to the congregation at least two weeks prior to a special meeting. Any biblical objection concerning any candidate shall be taken under consideration by the Church Leadership Team.

A Shepherd may be removed by a 2/3 majority vote of the remaining Church Leadership Team, after a special meeting of his flock and interested parties, called for this purpose.

3. Church Leadership Team (CLT): The body of Shepherds along with the Senior Pastor, as chairperson, shall comprise the CLT. As the congregation grows, the CLT will be comprised of an executive committee of Shepherds and the Senior Pastor, selected by the Senior Pastor and approved by the Shepherds, as necessary to ensure optimum spans of care. The CLT will maintain within itself mutual accountability in all areas both spiritual and temporal. Except where otherwise stipulated in this document, the CLT is not to be involved in the administrative operations of the church.

4. Church Staff: The Senior Pastor, working with the Church Management Team (CMT), may bring in such salaried staff, as he feels necessary to assist him in providing for the church.

5. Trustees: The Trustees (finance committee) will hold in trust the Life Park Christian Fellowship property and serve as a financial advisory committee to the Senior Pastor. Trustees shall sign legal papers as directed by the CMT. Trustees have no power to buy, sell, mortgage, lease, or transfer any real property without a specific vote of Life Park Christian Fellowship authorizing each action. A minimum of three trustees shall be selected to three year, non-concurrent terms through nomination by the CMT and confirmation by Life Park Christian Fellowship.

6. Chief Financial Officer (CFO): The CFO shall serve as chairman of the Trustees and see that accurate records are maintained of all receipts and disbursements and the giving of individual contributions. The CFO is responsible for the investment funds as specified in the Financial Standard Operational Procedures of Life Park Christian Fellowship. All disbursements are to be made as specified in the Financial Standard Operational Procedures of Life Park Christian Fellowship. The CFO is to make available a monthly financial report to Life Park Christian Fellowship. The CFO is to be appointed by the Church Management Team subject to approval by the Trustees.

7. Church Management Team (CMT): The CMT is the administrative branch of the church. It will meet regularly with the Senior Pastor and shall be chaired by him. It will be comprised of the CFO, a Shepherd designate (selected by the body of Shepherds), and two others nominated by the CMT or Life Park Christian Fellowship membership at large, and confirmed by the congregation in the annual business meeting. These two members shall serve non-concurrent two-year terms. Ad Hoc (temporary) members may be appointed to this body as recommended by the CMT.

8. Others: Other officers of the church and/or its related ministries may be elected or appointed, as they are needed.

9. Standards for Leaders: All elected or appointed leaders of Life Park Christian Fellowship and/or any of its related ministries shall be saved, active members of Life Park Christian Fellowship in agreement with the doctrinal position of the church, loyal to the church, and living a dedicated Christian life. Standards for their ministry include adherence to the principles taught in Act 6:1-6, 1 Timothy 3:1-13

Article VI: Church Meetings

Worship and Study: Life Park Christian Fellowship shall have regular services on Sundays, plus other meetings as they are needed.

Business: Life Park Christian Fellowship shall meet for an annual business meeting in January. This meeting shall report to Life Park Christian Fellowship the activities of the previous year, including the election of officers and any other business to be presented to the church. In addition, special meetings may be called by the Senior Pastor and/or Shepherds with at least seven days notice to Life Park Christian Fellowship. The purpose of the special meeting must be announced. A majority of those present and qualified to vote may conduct any Life Park Christian Fellowship business, except as where otherwise qualified by this Constitution. Communication meetings between the Church Leadership Team and Life Park Christian Fellowship members shall be held quarterly in an open forum.

Article VII: Church Government

Each member of Life Park Christian Fellowship will have an equal voice in its government, exercised through a vote at regular or called business meetings. The Senior Pastor or Shepherd Designate shall serve as moderator of all business meetings. The church shall vote on the Senior Pastor, Shepherds and Trustees; establishment or modification of major policies, as determined by the Church Leadership Team, such as: the buying, selling or mortgaging of church properties, and the annual church budget. Matters of lesser importance will be handled by the Senior Pastor and staff, Shepherds, and Trustees, within their prescribed responsibilities.

Article VIII: Relation to Other Churches

Life Park Christian Fellowship shall be fully autonomous in the government of its own affairs, exercising and retaining sole and complete control of all property which shall be held in its name by its Trustees. Fellowship and cooperation will be sought with all true believers and congregations, but control of Life Park Christian Fellowship and/or its property shall never be surrendered.

Article IX: Church Finances

The fiscal year shall be from February 1 through January 31. The members shall be invited and encouraged to give their tithes and offerings through this church. The Treasurer shall keep proper records including a record of individual contributions. A budget shall be prepared by the Senior Pastor and Trustees and approved by Life Park Christian Fellowship members. Special offerings may be taken up with the approval of the Church Management Team.

Article X: Dissolution

No part of the property or other buildings of Life Park Christian Fellowship shall ever transfer to the benefit of any donor, member, officer of Life Park Christian Fellowship, or any individual. If for any reason Life Park Christian Fellowship is dissolved, all assets shall be distributed equally to organizations recognized as religious and charitable in nature by the Internal Revenue Service, and selected by the members of Life Park Christian Fellowship at a called business meeting.

Article XI: Amendments to Constitution

This constitution may be amended by a two-thirds majority vote of the members present at a called business meeting announced for that purpose.