Constitution & Bylaws

the way church womens in his presence prayer event 2021

Constitution

ARTICLE I: Purpose of the Constitution 

The purpose of the constitution and bylaws is to serve as a guide to The Way Church of Denham Springs and future Way Campuses in providing clarity as to how we will conduct ourselves in:

  1. Personal Relationships
  2. Ministry
  3. Church Business

ARTICLE II: Name and Principal Office

This body shall be known as The Way Church of Denham Springs, Inc., hereinafter referred to as the “Church,” whose principal office is located at 9270 Cockerham Road, Denham Springs, Louisiana 70726, located in the Parish of Livingston, State of Louisiana, organized on the 1st day of November 2011 and duly organized and incorporated on the 21st day of October, 2011. The Church shall have full power and authority to change the principal office from one location to another. 

ARTICLE III: Purpose of the Church

The purpose of the Church is to advance the Gospel locally and to the ends of the earth through obedience to the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20). We are dedicated to be a worshiping fellowship, experiencing an awareness of God, recognizing his person, and responding in obedience to his leadership. We are also dedicated to “bring people along the Way” through faithful biblical living and teaching, as well as a focus on the following Core Applications that shape our identity as a local expression of the body of Christ:

  1. Family Church – We are dedicated to building strong families through multi-setting, multi-generational ministry.
  2. Discipling Church – We are dedicated to guiding the spiritual growth of believers through personal, focused ministry and challenging believers to being more like Christ day-by-day.
  3. Serving Church – We are dedicated to reaching people with the Gospel by meeting needs locally, nationally, and internationally.
  4. Sending Church – We are dedicated to equipping and sending believers to do ministry around the world.
  5. Multiplying Church – We are dedicated to fulfilling the Great Commission by planting churches locally, nationally, and around the world. 

ARTICLE IV: Statement of Faith

The Holy Bible is the inspired, infallible Word of God, and is the basis for any statement of faith. Although it is not binding, this Church subscribes to the doctrinal statement of “The Baptist Faith and Message” as adopted by the Southern Baptist Convention in 2001. We band ourselves together as a body of baptized believers in Jesus Christ, personally committed to sharing the Gospel locally, nationally, and internationally. 

The ordinances of the church are believer’s baptism and the Lord’s Supper. Christian baptism is the immersion of a believer in water in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. It is an act of obedience symbolizing the believer’s faith in a crucified, buried, and risen Savior, the believer’s death to sin, the burial of the old life, and the resurrection to walk in newness of life in Christ Jesus. It is a testimony to his faith in the final resurrection of the dead. Being a church ordinance, it is prerequisite to the privileges of church membership and to the Lord’s Supper. The Lord’s Supper is a symbolic act of obedience whereby members of the church, through partaking of the bread and the fruit of the vine, memorialize the death of the Redeemer and anticipate His second coming (Matthew 3:13-17; 26:26-30; 28:19-20; Mark 1:9-11; 14:22-26; Luke 3:21-22; 22:19-20; John 3:23; Acts 2:41-42; 8:35-39; 16:30-33; 20:7; Romans 6:3-5; 1 Corinthians 10:16,21; 11:23-29; Colossians 2:12). Self-examination of one’s personal relationship with Jesus Christ will be the criterion for participating in the churches ordinance of the Lord’s Supper.

ARTICLE V: Statement on Life, Family, Marriage, and Sexuality

We believe that all human life is sacred and created by God in His image (Genesis 1:26-27; Psalm 139). Human life is of inestimable worth in all its dimensions, including pre-born babies, the aged, the physically or mentally challenged, and every other stage or condition from conception through natural death. We are therefore called to defend, protect, and value all human life.

We believe that God wonderfully and immutably creates each person as male or female. These two distinct, complementary genders/sexes together reflect the image and nature of God (Genesis 1:26-27). Rejection of one’s gender/sex is a rejection of the image of God within that person. 

God has ordained the family as the foundational institution of human society. It is composed of persons related to one another by marriage, blood, or adoption. Marriage is the uniting of one man and one woman in covenant commitment for a lifetime (Genesis 2:18-25). It is God’s unique gift to reveal the union between Christ and His church and to provide for the man and the woman in marriage the framework for intimate companionship, the channel of sexual expression according to biblical standards, and the means for procreation of the human race.

The husband and wife are of equal worth before God, since both are created in God’s image. The marriage relationship models the way God relates to His people. A husband is to love his wife as Christ loved the church. He has the God-given responsibility to provide for, to protect, and to lead his family. A wife is to submit herself graciously to the servant leadership of her husband even as the church willingly submits to the headship of Christ. She, being in the image of God as is her husband and thus equal to him, has the God-given responsibility to respect her husband and to serve as his helper in managing the household and nurturing the next generation.

Children, from the moment of conception, are a blessing and heritage from the Lord. Parents are to demonstrate to their children God’s pattern for marriage. Parents are to teach their children spiritual and moral values and to lead them, through consistent lifestyle example and loving discipline, to make choices based on biblical truth. Children are to honor and obey their parents.

We believe that the term “marriage” has only one meaning and that is marriage sanctioned by God which joins one man and one woman in a single, exclusive union, as delineated in Scripture. We believe that God intends sexual intimacy to only occur between a man and a woman who are married to each other (1 Corinthians 6:18; 7:2-5; Hebrews 13:4). We believe that God has commanded that no intimate sexual activity be engaged in outside of a marriage between a man and a woman.

We believe that any form of sexual immorality, such as adultery, fornication, homosexuality, bisexual conduct, bestiality, incest, pornography or any attempt to change one’s sex, or disagreement with one’s biological sex, is sinful and offensive to God (Matthew 15:18-20; 1 Corinthians 6:9-10).

We believe that in order to preserve the function and integrity of the Church as the local Body of Christ, and to provide a biblical role model to the Church members and the community, it is imperative that all persons employed by the Church in any capacity, or who serve as volunteers, should abide by and agree to this Statement on Life, Family, Marriage, and Sexuality and conduct themselves accordingly (Matthew 5:16; Philippians 2:14-16; 1 Thessalonians 5:22).

We believe that God offers redemption and restoration to all who confess and forsake their sin, seeking His mercy and forgiveness through Jesus Christ (Acts 3:19-21; Romans 10:9-10; 1 Corinthians 6:9-11). We believe that every person must be afforded compassion, love, kindness, respect, and dignity (Mark 12:28-31; Luke 6:31). Hateful and harassing behavior or attitudes directed toward any individual are to be repudiated and disciplined as they are not in accord with Scripture nor the doctrines of the Church.

Because we believe in the biblical teaching that marriage is between one man and one woman, marriages outside those parameters will not be performed by church ministers or on church property.

Additionally, the Bible (Scripture) is the authority for all matters of faith and practice in the Church, and the Church shall operate in accordance with Scriptural principles specifically relating to marriage, the family and sexual morality. We believe the Church’s Statement on Life, Family, Marriage, and Sexuality is based upon God’s will for human life as conveyed to us through the Holy Scriptures, upon which this Church has been founded and anchored, and this Policy shall not be subject to change through popular vote; referendum; prevailing opinion of members or the general public; influence of or interpretation by any government authority, agency, or official action; or legal developments on the local, state or federal level.

Therefore, if it reasonably appears to the Church that the general welfare of the Church, its members or employees, are jeopardized by the conduct of any person inconsistent with the mission or principles of the Church, including, but not limited to, those principles described herein including the exercise of sexual expression outside the biblical definition of marriage in any manner, the Church may take those actions it deems appropriate and necessary in accordance with Scripture and the Bylaws, including, but not limited to, disallowing the person from accessing or entering the facilities and/or property belonging to the Church.

It is the policy of the Church that all of the Church’s assets and property shall be used to glorify God in fulfillment of the mission of the Church. Accordingly, the Church may disallow any use of its property, formal or informal, by those affiliated with the Church or otherwise, inconsistent with the mission or principles of the Church, including, but not limited to, those principles described herein.

ARTICLE VI: Church Covenant

Having been led, as we believe, by the Spirit of God, to receive the Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior and Lord and, on the profession of our faith, having been baptized in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, we do now, in the presence of God, and this assembly, most solemnly and joyfully enter into covenant with one another as one body in Christ.

We engage, therefore, 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 it; worship, ordinances, discipline, and doctrines; 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 also engage to maintain family and secret devotions; to religiously educate our children; to seek the salvation of our kindred and acquaintances; to walk circumspectly in the world; to be just in our dealings, faithful in our engagements, and exemplary in our deportment; to avoid all tattling, backbiting, and excessive anger; to abstain from the sale and excessive use of intoxicating drinks as a beverage; to use our influence to combat the abuse of drugs and the spread of pornography; and to be zealous in our efforts to advance the kingdom of our Savior.

We agree to submit any legal dispute with the church or between believers for mediation before a mutually agreed upon mediator. Lawsuits between believers, or threats of lawsuits between believers, are a matter of grave concern for the church, and are contrary to biblical and church teaching. Mediation is an effort to resolve disputes in a biblical fashion (1 Corinthians 6:1-7). The confidentiality of the mediation process will be protected and these matters will not be discussed with people who do not have a necessary interest in them. If settlement can be agreed upon, the conciliators may, at their discretion, issue an advisory opinion. Neither the opinion, nor any communications exchanged in the mediation process, will be admissible for any purpose in any subsequent legal proceeding. 

We further engage to watch over one another in brotherly love; to remember one another in prayer; to aid one another in sickness and distress; to cultivate Christian sympathy in feeling, and Christian courtesy in speech, to be slow to take offense, but always ready for reconciliation and mindful of the rules of our Savior to secure it without delay.

We moreover engage that when we remove from this place we will, as soon as possible, unite with some other church where we can carry out the spirit of this covenant, and the principles of God’s Word.

ARTICLE VII: Polity and Affiliations

The government of this Church is vested in a Board of Elders, a “brotherhood of equals,” in consultation with the Church leadership and staff. All internal and external groups created and empowered by the Church shall report to and be accountable to the Board of Elders. 

The Elders of the Church are called to oversee, govern, and shepherd the Church. There shall be a plurality of Elders (i.e., shared leadership) of no fewer than three (3) men. Way Elders shall exemplify the biblical directives concerning the same office (1 Timothy 3:1-7; Titus 1:5-9) and shall pay careful attention to both his own spiritual condition and the spiritual condition of those over whom he has been appointed to lead (Acts 20:28). 

This Church is autonomous and maintains the right to govern its own affairs, independent of any denominational control. Recognizing, however, the benefits of cooperation with other churches in world mission, this Church voluntarily affiliates with the Southern Baptist Convention in its national, state, and local expressions. This Church also voluntarily affiliates with such other Gospel-centered ministries and world missions organizations as the leadership of the Church deems appropriate.

This Church shall adopt and abide by bylaws, enacted by the Board of Elders and duly approved by the partners of the Church at a business meeting called for that purpose, in order to further the purposes of this Constitution and to set forth the parameters of governance for this Church. These bylaws shall also provide for the adoption of policies and procedures to be enacted by the Board of Elders, in consultation with Church leadership and staff. The interpretation of the meaning and intent of the constitution and bylaws of this church shall be the privilege of the Board of Elders alone. Any person dissatisfied with such interpretation, however, shall have the right to appeal to the partners of the Church in a regular business meeting. The decision there reached shall be final and binding. 

Unless clearly indicated to the contrary in the constitution and bylaws of this church or as otherwise provided in Scripture, the masculine gender as used in the constitution and bylaws may include feminine and/or neuter genders, the singular may be read as the plural and/or the plural may be read as the singular.

ARTICLE VIII: Partnership

Section 1: General

The Church is open to all people regardless of race, gender, social status, or nationality. Partnership in this Church shall consist of all persons united through faith in Jesus Christ, who are committed to being conformed to His likeness, serving the community and living the Disciple’s life, and who have sought partnership and met the requirements for partnership as outlined in the Constitution and Bylaws. (For more information regarding partnership with The Way Church and progression through The Way Church’s leadership structure, see our Partner to Pastor Discipleship Plan.)

Way Partners are expected to be faithful in all the duties essential to Christian life. Partners are expected to love God and love other people so that by this our neighbors will know that we are Christ’s disciples. Partners are expected to make Christ and this Church a priority in their lives. Partners are to attend faithfully the services of this church and support the total church program by stewardship of time, gifts and resources. Partners are expected to devote themselves to discipleship and spiritual growth through involvement in small group Bible study (i.e., house churches and other discipleship programs). Partners are expected to promote the overall unity of the Church; a Partner should never allow political or personal issues to divide the community of God. Partners are also expected to devote themselves to praying for the Church family and this Church’s leadership. Partners are expected to devote themselves to the outreach of this church by investing in and inviting the people around them to be a part of the ministry of this Church. The Church Covenant is expressive of the responsibilities, the hopes, and the purposes according to which each Partner should strive to live.

Section 2: Qualification for Partnership

Persons considering partnership with The Way Church shall meet the following qualifications:

  1. A personal commitment of faith in Jesus Christ for salvation
  2. Baptism by immersion as a testimony of salvation
  3. Completion of the Way Partners class and agreement to the doctrines and vision of the Church, as evidenced by the signing of a Partner’s Covenant

Section 3: Partnership of Leaders

Partnership is required of all who desire to seek deeper levels of commitment and leadership in the Church: Way Leaders, Way Shepherds, Way Pastors, Way Elders, and any other office or positions of leadership that the Church may establish.

Section 4: Rights of Partnership

Every active/resident adult partner shall have the right to vote on the following matters:

  1. The annual budget (by standing vote)
  2. The disposition of all or substantially all of the assets of the Church
  3. The acquisition or sale of property
  4. Any amendments to this Constitution, the Articles of Incorporation, or the Bylaws of the Church
  5. The affirming of the appointment or removal of Elders
  6. The merger or dissolution of the Church

Section 5: Challenges to Partnership

If there is any dissent amongst the body concerning a candidate for partnership, a thorough investigation to any accusations will be conducted by the Elders. The final decision will rest the Elders Body.

Section 6: Termination of Partnership

Partners shall be removed from the Church roll for the following reasons:

  1. Death
  2. Transfer of partnership/membership to another church
  3. By personal request of the partner
  4. Dismissal by the unanimous agreement of the Elders of the Church according to the following conditions:
  1. The partner’s life and conduct is not in accordance with the Statement of Faith and signed covenant in such a way that the individual hinders the ministry influence of the Church in the community
  2. Procedures for dismissal of a partner shall be in accordance with Matthew 18:15-17, Titus 3:10-11, or 1 Corinthians 5:9-11. 
  3. Termination of partnership pursuant to this provision shall be the last resort upon failure to restore according to the above-referenced dictates of Scripture.

Section 7: Restoration of Partners

Partners who have been dismissed by the Church may be restored by the unanimous agreement of the Elders.

ARTICLE IX: Records and Reports

The Church shall maintain the following records and reports:

  1. Adequate and correct books and records of accounts (financial records)
  2. Minutes of the proceedings of its Partners and Elders
  3. Record of its partners, giving names and addresses
  4. Contribution statements to contributors. 

ARTICLE X: Corporate Responsibility

The property of The Way Church of Denham Springs, Inc. is irrevocably dedicated to religious purposes, and no part of the net income or assets of this organization shall ever inure to the benefit of a Director, officer, or member of the corporation, or to the benefit of any private individual.

ARTICLE XI: Amendments

Amendments to this Constitution shall be presented and approved by the Board of Elders before being presented to the Partners of the Church for their approval. A two-thirds vote of the qualified Partners present and voting may amend this Constitution at a meeting specially called for that purpose, the proposed changes and/or amendment(s) being inserted in the call.  The proposed changes and/or amendment(s) must be presented to the Partners in writing prior to specially-called partners meeting.

BYLAWS

ARTICLE I: Purpose of the Bylaws

The purpose of the constitution and bylaws is to serve as a guide to The Way Church of Denham Springs, hereinafter referred to as the “Church,” and future Way Campuses in providing clarity as to how we will conduct ourselves in:

  1. Personal Relationships
  2. Ministry
  3. Church Business

ARTICLE II: Partnership

Section 1: General

Partnership in this Church shall consist of all persons who have sought partnership and met the requirements for partnership. (For more information regarding partnership with The Way Church and progression through The Way Church’s leadership structure, see our Partner to Pastor Discipleship Plan.)

Section 2: Qualification for Partnership

Persons considering partnership with The Way Church shall meet the following qualifications:

  1. A personal commitment of faith in Jesus Christ for salvation
  2. Baptism by immersion as a testimony of salvation
  3. Completion of the Way Partners class and agreement to the doctrines and vision of the Church, as evidenced by the signing of a Partner’s Covenant

Any person seeking partnership with the Church can offer himself/herself in one of the following ways:

  1. By profession of faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, believer’s baptism by submersion, and profession to the doctrines of The Way Church of Denham Springs
  2. By promise of a letter of recommendation from another Southern Baptist Church and profession to the doctrines of The Way Church of Denham Springs
  3. By statement of profession of faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, statement of believer’s baptism by submersion in a Sister Church, and profession to the doctrines of The Way Church of Denham Springs

Section 3: Designation of Partnership

In an effort to properly reflect the partnership of the Church, the leadership of the Church shall take such necessary steps to maintain an accurate roll of all “active/resident partners.”  The term “active/resident partners” shall mean all partners who reside within the Church’s ministry area or are currently active in the Church. 

Each partner of the Church will be required to sign a covenant demonstrating his/her agreement with the rights and responsibilities of partnership outlined in Scripture and in the Constitution and Bylaws.

Section 4: Rights of Partnership

Every active/resident adult partner shall have the right to vote on the following matters:

  1. The annual budget (by standing vote)
  2. The disposition of all or substantially all of the assets of the Church
  3. The acquisition or sale of property
  4. Any amendments to this Constitution, the Articles of Incorporation, or the Bylaws of the Church
  5. The affirmation of the appointment or removal of Elders
  6. The merger or dissolution of the Church

Section 5: Voting Limitations

Each partner, twelve (12) years or older, shall be entitled to one vote on any one item of business submitted for action at any church business meeting. A member must be present to vote; voting by proxy is not permitted.

Section 6: Termination of Partnership

Partners shall be removed from the Church roll for the following reasons:

  1. Death
  2. Transfer of partnership/membership to another church
  3. By personal request of the partner
  4. Dismissal by the unanimous agreement of the Elders of the Church according to the following conditions:
  1. The partner’s life and conduct is not in accordance with the Statement of Faith and signed covenant in such a way that the individual hinders the ministry influence of the Church in the community
  2. Procedures for dismissal of a partner shall be in accordance with Matthew 18:15-17, Titus 3:10-11, or 1 Corinthians 5:9-11. 
  3. Termination of partnership pursuant to this provision shall be the last resort upon failure to restore according to the above-referenced dictates of Scripture.

In the event that a partner becomes a threat to the unity, reputation, or welfare of the Church, the Elder Body shall rescind the partnership of the guilty party. 

Section 7: Restoration of Partners

Partners who have been dismissed by the Church may be restored by the unanimous agreement of the Elders, after careful review of the excluded person’s repentance and reconciliation.

ARTICLE IX: Meetings of Partners

Section 1: Meetings of Partners

The annual business meeting and specially-called meetings of the partners of the Church shall be held in the times, manner, and purposes set forth in this article.

The Elder Body shall designate one of its members to serve as moderator of all business meetings of the Church.

Section 2: Meeting Notification

A 14-day notice shall be given by the Board of Elders prior to any meeting of the partners of the Church. Notification to the partnership may be given by, but not limited to, the following methods:

  1. Distribution of written material to the congregation in attendance at a Sunday morning service
  2. Written announcement in a weekly newsletter or social media outreach
  3. Oral announcement to the congregation at a Sunday morning service
  4. Written notice by a first-class letter to the partners

Section 3: Annual Business Meeting

An annual business meeting of the Church shall be held prior to the beginning of the calendar year. The primary purpose of the meeting is to elect any church officers and/or to approve the church budget. The Board of Elders may change the date of the annual business meeting by notifying the partners at least 14 days in advance. A quorum for a specially-called meeting shall consist of the Elders and those partners present and voting. The items presented for a vote shall be determined by a two-thirds vote.

Section 4: Specially-Called Meetings

The Board of Elders may call a special meeting of the partners of the Church at any time and for any purpose, subject to the notification requirements of this article. A quorum for a specially-called meeting shall consist of the Elders and those partners present and voting. The items presented for a vote shall be determined by a two-thirds vote.

Section 5: Outside Discussion of Business

All partners shall refrain from excessive discus­sion of church business outside of church meetings.

ARTICLE III: Church Leadership and Staff

Section 1: Elders

A. General

The government of this Church is vested in a Board of Elders, in consultation with the Church leadership and staff. All internal and external groups created and empowered by the Church shall report to and be accountable to the Board of Elders. The Elders are responsible for “equipping the saints to do the work of the ministry” (Ephesians 4:11-13)

The Elders of the Church are called to oversee, govern, and shepherd the Church. There shall be a plurality of Elders (i.e., shared leadership) of no fewer than three (3) men, a majority of which shall come from the Church body (congregation) and a minority of which shall come from the Church staff. (This does not mean that it is required for multiple elders shall come from the staff.) The only staff member(s) who are required to be an Elder is the Senior Pastor of the Church or the Senior Pastor of any affiliated campuses of the Church. 

Each Way Elder shall be required to sign a covenant demonstrating his agreement and commitment to the requirements and expectations of his office as enumerated in the Constitution and Bylaws.

B. Qualifications and Appointment

A Way Elder is an individual appointed by unanimous consent of the Elder Board and affirmed by the Church body (congregation) in a general or specially called meeting. An Elder is someone who has demonstrated excellence in the area of disciplining believers and producing other leaders, and who has exemplify the biblical directives concerning the same office over a prolonged period of time (1 Timothy 3:1-7; Titus 1:5-9). They must first be tested; and then if there is nothing against them, they may serve as Elders.

Elders shall pay careful attention to both their own spiritual condition and the spiritual condition of those over whom they have been appointed to lead (Acts 20:28). Elders are to be men worthy of respect and genuine in the faith. They are not to indulge excessively in intoxicating beverages, nor pursue dishonest gain. They must keep hold of the deep truths of the faith with a clear conscience. Their wives must be women worthy of respect, not malicious talkers but temperate and trustworthy in everything. An Elder must be the husband of but one wife and must manage his children and his household well. Those who have served well gain an excellent standing and great assurance in their faith in Jesus Christ.

C. Responsibilities

The Elder Board shall be responsible for:

  1. Guarding the teaching of the Church, protecting the flock from those who would mislead or deceive or teach false doctrine (Acts 20:17-31; Titus 1:9)
  2. Leading and guiding and caring for the Church as individuals and as a body – shepherding the body of Christ (1 Timothy 5:17)
  3. Being the “chief teachers” of the Church (as Paul speaks of in 1 Timothy 5:17) and “chief overseers” of the leadership and staff of the Church
  4. Maintaining a deeper level of commitment to the purpose and vision of the Church for carrying out the will of God
  5. Appointing partners to leadership and staff positions within the Church
  6. Provide oversight and work alongside the leadership and staff of the Church to strengthen the decision-making process of the Church
  7. Holding the leadership of the Church, including the Senior Pastor(s) and other Elders, accountable for the performance and execution of their respective duties and accountable to the expectations of Scripture and in the maintenance of the integrity and reputation of the Church in the community
  8. Promoting a Christ-centered lifestyle in all areas of life as prescribed in Scripture in their lives and in the lives of all believers
  9. Providing faithful support of Church gatherings, house churches, ministries, and events by way of attendance 
  10. Promoting and preserving unity within the community of believers
  11. A scriptural commitment of their resources to the Church
  12. Provide leadership over and attend any general meetings or specially called meetings of the Church
  13. Exercising Church discipline according to the dictates of Matthew 18:15-17, Titus 3:10-11, and 1 Corinthians 5:9-11
  14. Any other duties or responsibilities outlined in the Constitution and Bylaws
C. Tenure

Once a man accepts the biblical calling to be an Elder, and is affirmed by the Church in that capacity, he will continue in that role indefinitely unless:

  1. He is mentally, emotionally, and or physically incapacitated;
  2. He incurs disciplinary action as stated below; or 
  3. He chooses to remove himself from the office and position.
D. Active/Non-Active Status

An elder may request at any given time to be considered “inactive.” Reasons for this consideration include: 

  1. A need to give undivided attention to issues at home;
  2. An awareness of personal, physical, mental, or emotional health issues; or
  3. Extended absence due to work-related issues or travel. 

When an elder request to be considered “active” again, this consideration will be confirmed with unanimous affirmation by the Elder Board.

E. Meetings of the Elder Board 

The Elder Board will meet no less than once monthly at a designated day in time period the purpose of this meeting will be to pray for the church, the staff, and each other, and to attend to any regular or special business items.

The Elders shall regularly meet with the staff of the Church to provide oversight and tend to the business and leadership of the Church. 

F. Discipline or Removal of an Elder

The Elders shall hold each other accountable for the performance and execution of their duties and spiritual welfare. Only through unanimity shall the Elders use reasonable methods of discipline in the event that another Elder has commit any action deemed to be detrimental or adversely affecting the church (such as, but not limited to, moral failure). Only through unanimity shall the Elders remove another Elder from his position. This action must be affirmed by the church. 

Section 2: Senior Pastor

The Senior Pastor is the chief administrative officer of the Church or its respective campuses, pertaining to the “day-to-day” operation of its spiritual ministries and programs, and its business, secular and material affairs. Certain powers, duties, and prerogatives are inherent in the office of pastor. These powers, duties and prerogatives are not to be exercised by the pastor in a dictatorial manner, but under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, the oversight of the Elder Board, and the wise counsel of the leadership and staff of the Church. 

The Senior Pastor shall be an Elder and meet all of the qualifications and responsibilities that entails,  including any other duties assigned to him by the Elder Board. As an Elder of the Church, the Senior Pastor is expected to shepherd the Church through teaching and preaching. The Elder Board may assign any portion of the Senior Pastor’s administrative duties to another member of the leadership or staff of the Church as they deem appropriate. 

The Elder Board shall be the ultimate supervisor of all staff members of the church in terms of fulfillment of duties and leave. The Senior Pastor shall have the authority to approve the leave of any staff member with the advice of the Elder Board, but must obtain the approval of the Elder Board for his own leave. As an Elder of the Church, the Senior Pastor shall have the privilege of attending and voting at any meeting of the Elder Board, except for a meeting specially called to discuss his salary or for his discipline or removal. Decisions pertaining to the salary of the Senior Pastor (if a salaried employee of the church) shall be made by the Elder Board, outside the presence of the Senior Pastor, and in consultation with the Financial Accountability Team.

In the event that the office of Senior Pastor becomes vacant, the Elder Board may appoint or hire an interim pastor. The Elders Board shall also carry out the search, examination, and appointment of a Senior Pastor candidate. While the Way Church favors and encourages elevating leaders from within the Church, the Elders, should they deem it necessary and appropriate, may form a Pastor Search Team made up all or any portion of themselves and an equal number of Church members. The Pastor Search Team shall make a nomination to the Elder Body, who will appoint the new Senior Pastor/Elder, which shall be affirmed by the Church.

Section 3: Additional Ministerial Positions/Way Pastors

The Elder Board shall appoint or employ such ministerial staff as needed to fulfill the ministry objectives of the Church. A job description shall be written when the need for staff members is determined and approved by the Elder Board. A job description shall describe with specificity the expectations of leadership in regards to duties and responsibilities, accountability to the Elder Board, and terms of salary and leave. The ministerial staff shall be under the general direction of the Elder Board and shall assist the Elders and the Senior Pastor in the performance of their duties. 

The Elder Board may appoint or employ persons who have demonstrated the qualification of a Way Shepherd to be a Way Pastor to assist the Elder Board and the Senior Pastor in the ministry of the Church. The office of Way Pastor shall be reserved for those appointed to the ministerial staff who have demonstrated and professed a calling to the Gospel ministry. A Way Pastor need not be ordained or licensed to preach to hold such office.

Unless otherwise decided by the Elder Board, the ministerial staff shall have the following responsibilities

  1. Assisting the Elders in guarding the teaching of the Church and protecting the flock from those who would mislead or deceive or teach false doctrine (Acts 20:17-31; Titus 1:9)
  2. Leading and guiding and caring for the Church as individuals and as a body – shepherding the body of Christ (1 Timothy 5:17)
  3. Assisting the Elders and Senior Pastor in the shepherding and administration of the Church
  4. Providing more effective ways for carrying on the work of the Church
  5. Providing a broad base of leadership and involvement so that the Church may function more effectively
  6. Maintaining a deeper level of commitment to the purpose and vision of the Church for carrying out the will of God
  7. Promoting a Christ-centered lifestyle in all areas of life as prescribed in Scripture in their lives and in the lives of all believers
  8. Providing faithful support of Church gatherings, house churches, ministries, and events by way of attendance 
  9. Promoting and preserving unity within the community of believers
  10. A scriptural commitment of their resources to the Church

A ministerial staff member, thus appointed, shall serve until the relationship is terminated by his/her request or as decided by the Elder Body.  The ministerial staff member shall give at least two-week notice at the time of resignation before terminating his responsibilities. The Elder Body, after careful prayer and consideration, may remove a ministerial staff member by a two-thirds vote. This authority may only be used in a situation of moral misconduct, blatant neglect or concern toward the church and its ministry, or for the incompetence of the ministerial staff member in his own ministry. The Elder Body shall inform the ministerial staff member of the specific reasons for his/her removal.

Section 4: Candidacy for Ordination and Licensing of Ministers of the Gospel

Any church member or former church member desiring to be ordained to the ministry or be licensed to preach, after making a public declaration of his intention to enter the Gospel ministry, will make a request in writing to the Elder Body who will review the request and refer the matter to an ordination council. The ordination council shall have the authority and responsibility to examine the candidate’s competency and call to the Gospel ministry, including the candidate’s emotional security and spiritual maturity, and make a recommendation to the Elder Body. The ordination council shall consist of all ordained members of the church and may consist of pastors and deacons from area churches. The Elder Body must approve such a candidate by a two-thirds vote. 

Section 5: Way Shepherds

Way Shepherds are Way Leaders who have demonstrated evidence of God’s calling in his/her life in the area of teaching and shepherding of the Church and have sought to further develop these gifts for the edification of the Church. A Way Shepherd shall have already shown evidence of their obedience to God and commitment to the Church. A Way Shepherd need not be ordained or licensed to ministry.

As a Way Shepherd, a deeper level of commitment is required in the areas of:

  1. The Church’s purpose and vision for carrying out the will of God
  2. Faithful support of the Church’s gatherings, house churches, and events by way of attendance
  3. A Christ-centered lifestyle in all areas of life prescribed by Scripture
  4. A scriptural commitment of his/her resources to the Church
  5. Promoting unity within the community of believers
  6. Commitment to the doctrines and teachings of the Church
  7. Commitment to the faithful shepherding of the Church and making disciples at home and abroad

Way Shepherds shall invest their lives to the furthering of the Kingdom of God by way of discipling new believers. A Way Shepherd has opened their home or has stepped into another home for the reason of shepherding a house church. This is a weekly commitment that has become a top priority in the life of a Way Shepherd. They shall develop the content of the weekly study around the vision casted by the Elder Body. Way Shepherds work closely with the Elders, Pastors, and the staff to cultivate a cohesive message that is conveyed to the body of believers at The Way Church of Denham Springs.

The Gospel of Jesus Christ spread to the ends of the earth is the goal of the Church. The Way Shepherd accomplishes this by serving and discipling the body of believers within their respective house churches. Staying in constant communication with the believers within their house churches will allow Way Shepherds to better understand the needs of the community in which they live. The ultimate effort for the Way Shepherd should be placed on cultivating the gifts within the believers found in his/her house church. 

Each Way Shepherd shall be required to sign a covenant demonstrating his/her agreement to the requirements and expectations listed herein.

Section 6: Way Leaders

Way Leadership is open to any and all Way Partners. The goal of The Way Church of Denham Springs is to see all of its partners become a part of leading others along The Way. 

Way Leaders must be committed to the following:

  1. The Church’s purpose and vision for carrying out the will of God
  2. Faithful support of the Church’s gatherings, house churches, and events by way of attendance
  3. A Christ-centered lifestyle in all areas of life prescribed by Scripture
  4. A scriptural commitment of his/her resources to the Church
  5. Promoting unity within the community of believers

Way Leaders have a variety of different responsibilities when it comes to the accomplishments of the vision and purpose of the Church – including personal evangelism, church evangelism, personal servanthood, and church servanthood. The Gospel of Jesus Christ spread to the ends of the earth is the goal of The Way Church of Denham Springs. This shall likewise be the goal of a Way Leader. In an effort to be transformed into the likeness of Christ, each Way Leader is expected to attend house church regularly and to enroll in a personal evangelism training course taught by the Church leadership or staff.

Each Way Leader shall be required to sign a covenant demonstrating his/her agreement to the requirements and expectations listed herein.

Section 7: Administrative Support Staff

Administrative support staff members shall be employed as the Elder Body determines the need. The administrative support staff shall work under a job description approved by the Elder Body and shall be under the general direction of the Senior Pastor. The Elder Body shall have the authority to terminate the employment of any member of the administrative support staff.

Section 8: Financial Accountability Team; Church Treasurer

The Financial Accountability Team shall consist of no less than five (5) Way Leaders – none of whom may be Elders of the Church or paid staff of the Church – who have demonstrated a commitment to the faithful stewardship of the Church’s resources and finances and faithful stewardship of their own resources in furtherance of the ministry of the Church. The Financial Accountability Team shall be appointed by and be directly responsible to the Elder Board. The Financial Accountability Team shall have the following duties and responsibilities:

  1. Lead in the development and subscription of the church budget
  2. Supervise book-keeping, audit, reports, and general financial procedures
  3. Meet regularly to study and provide independent, financially-based advise to the Elder Board pertaining to any financial decisions the Elders may have to make
  4. Plan and execute a stewardship education program
  5. Help the church take its rightful place in the support of missions at home and around the world
  6. Help the church determine and support its various ministries

The Elder Board shall also appoint a Church Treasurer, who shall head the Financial Accountability Team. It shall be the duty of the Church Treasurer to receive, preserve, and pay out, upon receipt of vouchers approved and signed by authorized personnel, all money, or things of value paid or given to the Church, keeping at all times an itemized account of all receipts and disbursements.  It shall be the duty of the Treasurer to render to the Financial Accountability Team at each of their regular business meeting an itemized report of all of the receipts and disbursements for the preceding month. The Treasurer shall also work with the Financial Accountability Team to develop an annual budget for the Church, which shall be approved by the Elders and affirmed by the Church at its annual business meeting. The Treasurer shall ensure that the financial records of the Church are kept and preserved as a part of the permanent records of the church. The books of the church shall be available for review and inspection by any Way Partner, so long as such review and inspection is done by appointment approved by any Elder. 

Section 9: Trustees

The Way Church of Denham Springs, Inc. will hold in trust all church property.  The Elder Body shall appoint trustees to affix their signatures to legal documents involving the sale, mortgage, purchase, or rental of property or to other legal documents where the signature of The Way Church of Denham Springs, Inc. is required. They shall have no power to buy, sell, mortgage, lease, or transfer any property without the approval of the Elder Body and a specific vote of the Church authorizing each action, as confirmed by a resolution of the Church. 

ARTICLE IV: Church-Operating Policies

Part I: Church-Owned Equipment and Properties

Section 1: General Policy

The Church shall procure and maintain all equipment that is deemed necessary by the Elder Board to aid in the over­all function and mission of the Church.  All equipment will be for use primarily for the ministry and activities of the Church.

It is the policy of the Church that all of the Church’s assets and property shall be used to glorify God in fulfillment of the mission of the Church. Accordingly, the Church may disallow any use of its property, formal or informal, by those affiliated with the Church or otherwise, inconsistent with the mission or principles of the Church, including, but not limited to, those principles described herein.

Section 2: Lending and Borrowing

The equipment owned by the Church may be used by partners or sister churches at the discretion of the Elder Board. Any person or organization asking to use or borrow Church equipment is required to fill out an application for the use and scheduling of such equipment. All applications will be kept on file in the Church office and submitted to the Elder Board for approval. All equipment that is borrowed must be returned and set up well in advance of any activities of the church where the equipment is to be used.  Exceptions to this must be approved by the Elder Board at the time an application is filed. The office equipment may be operated only by authorized members of the Church, and may not be removed from the Church for use. All applications must indicate a time for returning the equipment and by whom the equipment will be returned, and must be signed by the person who is borrowing the equipment and will be returning it to the church.

Section 3: Use of Church Buildings and Properties

The use of the Church buildings and/or grounds for such functions as weddings, funerals, or special meetings must be scheduled and approved through the Senior Pastor or his designee and shall not conflict with any ministry or activity of the Church. The Senior Pastor or his designee shall maintain a master calendar of events and activities of the Church to ensure that no such conflict shall occur. 

Section 4: Policies and Procedures

The Elder Board, in consultation with Church leadership and staff, shall adopt any additional policies and procedures deemed necessary for the purpose of furthering the general policies the Constitution and Bylaws.

Part II: Personnel

Section 1: Salaries

All wages and salaries shall be reviewed at least once per year by the Financial Accountability Team.  Adjustments may be made by the Elder Board, in the absence of the person whose salary or wage is under consideration. 

Section 2: Retirement, Social Security, and Insurance

These benefits shall be reviewed at least once per year by the Financial Accountability Team, and adjustments may be made on the same basis as above.

Section 3: Leave

The Elder Board shall be the ultimate supervisor of all staff members of the Church in terms of fulfillment of duties and leave. The Senior Pastor, or in his absence another Elder, shall have the authority to approve the leave of any staff member, but must obtain the approval of the Elder Board for his own leave. 

Part III: Church Expenses

The Board of Elders, with the advice of the Financial Accountability Team, shall have final authority over the expenses of the Church. Any ministry leader or staff member of the Church may spend up to five hun­dred dollars ($500) if the following conditions are met:

  1. Money has been set aside in the current budget for the item.
  2. The current amount in the budget has not been ex­hausted.
  3. Either the Senior Pastor, an Elder, or the Financial Accountability Team has approved the expense.

For purchases over $500, a ministry leader or staff member must receive bids, estimates, or other pricing information before carrying their recommendations to the Financial Accountability Team to determine the financial feasibility of the expenditure. The Financial Accountability Team will then make a recommendation to the Elder Board for a final determination. This does not apply in cases of emergency or to regular recurring expenditures or obligations such as salaries, bonded debt payments, utility bills, or church literature.

In cases of emergency, the Senior Pastor or the Church Treasurer shall bring the matter to the attention of the Elder Board, who shall promptly make a determination of the issue. 

In cases of bereavement or benevolence, the Senior Pastor or his designee, or any Elder may authorize the spending of $50 per person/family per month. The Senior Pastor or his designee shall maintain a record of all bereavement/benevolence expenses for each month, including the name and contact information of the beneficiary and the purpose of the expense. If more than $50 is needed for the bereavement or benevolence, then the matter should be referred to the Elder Board for further determination. 

ARTICLE V: Amendments

The Elder Board, in consultation with the leadership and staff of the Church, may amend these Bylaws by a unanimous vote at any meeting.  The Elder Board shall notify the Partners of the Church of any changes and/or amendments to the Bylaws within two weeks of the said changes or amendments.

David Annison
David Annison

Associate Pastor -
Denham Springs Campus

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