3crossesHome The Church of the Love of Christ

The Constitution


The Church of the Love of Christ

Copyright 2001

Article I — Purpose

The Church is established for the purpose of worshipping God. It is an organization dedicated to manifesting the kingdom of God on earth, to exemplifying a way of life based on the faith of the Bible and the guidance of the Holy Spirit, and to opposing evil. It is a community of believers separated from the world, diligently pursuing truth, love, humility, and the will of God.

Return to Top

Article II — Doctrine: Essential and Practical

Section A — Essential Doctrine. All members confess the following core beliefs as truth —

  1. The Bible is the inspired and authoritative Word of God, free of any error as it was originally written, the final, ultimate, and only true authority on the Chrisitan faith.
  2. There is one God, eternally existing in three persons: the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
  3. Jesus Christ is the Son of God, conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. His earthly life was sinless and his ministry miraculous. He was crucified, buried, and raised from the dead. He then ascended to heaven and the right hand of the Father. He shall return to reign on earth 1,000 years.
  4. All have sinned and come short of the glory of God. By the death of Christ, and by repentance and faith in his blood, the believer is justified. By the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, the believer is reborn and regenerated into new humanity.
  5. The indwelling of the Holy Spirit enables the believer to live a godly life, to pursue holiness, and to be healed.
  6. Both the saved and lost shall be bodily resurrected, either to eternal life or punishment.

All Elders of the Board additionally confess and endorse the following beliefs —

  1. Baptism by immersion in water represents union with Christ in death and resurrection, as well as cleansing from sin. It is the initiation rite into the universal church.
  2. The Lord’s Supper is a sign of our sharing in the body and blood of Christ, a ratification of the new covenant, and a memorial to Christ’s death.
  3. Those who ask receive the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, rendering power for service and intensifying the Christian experience. Speaking in other tongues as the Spirit gives utterance is the initial evidence of Spirit Baptism.

Section B — Practical Doctrine. All members shall strive —

  1. to have an overall knowledge of the Bible, to continually search for the meaning and relevance of the Word of God, and to defend the faith of the universal Christian church;
  2. to achieve the ideal of the image of Jesus Christ in life, through the help of the Holy Spirit, Scripture, and other Christians;
  3. individually to discover and fulfill God's plan for his or her life;
  4. to focus on the Holy Spirit in all Church activities, and to create an atmosphere where the Holy Spirit will feel welcomed.
Return to Top

Article III — Congregation

Section A. The congregation is the complete membership of the Church, whether gathered for a meeting at one location, several locations, or dispersed.

When members congregate at a location for worship or any Church activity, the session shall be presided over by the Pastor or a trained session monitor. The Elders shall designate monitors for Church sessions and a schedule of meetings recognized by the Church. Monitors shall keep the Pastor apprised of session activity. Whenever possible, monitors shall attempt to carry out specific goals recommended by the Pastor, or set by resolution under Article V, Section E.

Notices and announcements of Church transactions, activities, and concerns shall be made to the congregation by the Pastor or an Elder at scheduled meetings and through session monitors as necessary.

Section B. Members are received at their request to the Board of Elders, and by their majority vote, after the candidate verbally commits to the purpose of the Church, confesses the Essential Doctrine, and agrees to the Practical Doctrine. The Church shall formally announce the names of candidates for membership no later than two weeks before a vote by the Board, which must be held within 180 days of a request. Any member may notify the Board of information relevant to a person’s candidacy.

The Church shall maintain a record of all members admitted or dismissed.

Section C. Members may be dismissed by —

  1. Request.
  2. Exclusion due to unchristian conduct, as defined in Section G, or refusal to adhere to the purpose of the Church and its doctrine of Articles I and II. A decision of exclusion is made by the Board of Elders, after providing 15 days written notice to the member, and only after at least a five day opportunity to meet with the Pastor to review beliefs or conduct in question. After a decision of exclusion, all members shall avoid spiritual contact with the offending person.
  3. Failure to participate in Church activities for 12 months, according to a determination by the Pastor, unless a member first acquires approval from the Board of Elders.

Section D. Any matter submitted to the congregation for a vote shall be stated in language determined by the Board of Elders, according to and so limited by the guidelines of Scripture. Before a congregational vote, an Elder shall fully review all issues to the congregation, referring to relevant biblical verses. Questions or comments may be received from members for review by the congregation over an issue affecting the vote.

A member must be 18 years of age to be eligible to vote on matters considered by the Church.

The Church shall keep a record of the results of all matters decided by a congregational vote.

Section E. Persons who regularly attend the Church, but who do not seek membership, may be excluded from any activities and meetings at the discretion of the Board of Elders. Specific sessions of meetings can be designated only for members by the Pastor or Board of Elders.

Section F. Any person, a member or attender, but not an Elder of the Board, may be excluded from any Church session for disruptive behavior at the discretion of the Pastor or designated session monitor. A decision of session exclusion can be overruled by an Elder of the Board present at the session, unless the meeting is at a private facility, where the owner or custodian of the premises shall make all determinations as final on who may be in attendance.

Section G. The Church shall deem unchristian conduct as a persistent commitment to sin, the nature of which is designated by the Bible. I Corinthians 6;9,10, and Galatians 5;19–21, serve as examples of biblical passages specifying sinful acts.

Return to Top

Article IV — Pastor

Section A. The Holy Spirit shall be designated the Senior Pastor of the Church.

Section B. The Pastor shall direct the spiritual welfare of the Church, according to the guidance of the Holy Spirit and by the norms of Scripture. He shall lead all Church activities, have charge of worship services situated at sanctuaries and chapels, preach the Gospel, teach the Bible and structure overall educational and training programs, recommend goals for monitored sessions, administer Baptism and the Lord’s Supper, conduct weddings and funerals, interact with other churches, and be available to members, attenders, and outsiders for prayer and to discuss spiritual matters of life as they relate to Scripture. Other activities as deemed necessary may include, but shall not be limited to, prayer meetings, evangelism, missions, seminars, publications, concerts, and special programs.

The Pastor shall set aside the pulpit of the Church, or any speaking platform at a meeting, when he determines it interferes with the congregation focusing on God. He shall assist the Holy Spirit in assuming control of all meetings and in ministering to those gathered through all believers.

Section C. Qualifications to serve as Pastor are as follows —

  1. He shall demonstrate a thorough knowledge of Scripture, theology, and church history: (knowledge in Hebrew and Greek is preferred).
  2. He shall be able to exercise the spiritual gifts of either a pastor, preacher, or evangelist, as well as discernment of spiritual matters in determining the will of God or opposition from the forces of hell.
  3. His character shall reflect high moral standards and an awareness of how his example affects others. (No test of absolute perfection shall be imposed on a Pastor).
  4. He shall understand his ministry as an assistant to the Holy Spirit, the primary Pastor to each member, which excludes exerting pressure over particular practices or beliefs outside of the purpose of the Church and the Core Doctrine of Articles I and II, or unchristian conduct as defined in Article III, Section G.
  5. He shall be more skilled in listening than talking.
  6. He shall regard his ministry as a service first to Jesus Christ.

Section D. Assistant Pastors may be appointed, or other assistants designated, to facilitate the duties of the Pastor, serving at his directive. Assistant Pastors shall be recommended to the Board of Elders by the Pastor and appointed by their majority vote. Other assistants serve voluntarily at the Pastor’s request. The Pastor may seek aid from the Board in search of an assistant.

An Assistant Pastor shall have high moral character and at least basic Bible knowledge and spiritual gifts of service.

Section E. The Pastor shall serve until resignation or recall. The Pastor is recalled from service by a majority vote of the congregation, initiated by a majority of the Board of Elders. If recalled, the Pastor shall continue to serve or to receive his regular salary for 30 days, as determined by the Board.

An Assistant Pastor shall serve until resignation or dismissal by a majority vote of the Board of Elders. All terms of dismissal shall be decided by the Board.

The Church may designate a period of time, up to three years, to be free from a possible recall or dismissal, in order to facilitate filling the Pastor’s or an Assistant Pastor’s position. However, such a cessation from recall or dismissal shall not apply to unchristian conduct, as defined in Article III, Section G.

If recalled, the Pastor immediately vacates his position on the Board of Elders, but he does not forfeit his eligibility for membership on the Board.

Return to Top

Article V — Board of Elders

Section A. The Pastor shall be a part of the Board of Elders.

Section B. Elders shall serve until resignation or recall. There shall be at least one Elder, or as many as 12, as the Board deems necessary. The Board shall select its own members by a majority vote. An Elder does not have to be a member, if he confesses the doctrine of Article II and maintains Christian conduct.

An Elder shall demonstrate at least basic knowledge of Scripture and theology, as well as spiritual maturity. The qualifications of an Elder are set forth at I Timothy 3:1–7, and Titus 1:5–9. An Elder may be recalled for failure to sustain the qualifications by a two thirds majority vote of the Board, after providing 15 days written notice of the action, and at least a five day opportunity for the Elder to appear before the Board for a hearing.

Section C. A secretary shall be designated and shall have prepared written summaries of essential matter reviewed at the meetings of the Board of Elders, to be kept on record at the Church. Any Elder may add to the summary within 21 days of a meeting.

Section D. Resolutions set by the Board of Elders regarding administrative matters, financial expenditures, and raising funds shall be stated in the summary records of meetings. These resolutions may be collected and published for the Church as necessary. A resolution may be submitted to a congregational vote, if 50% of the Elders deem it appropriate.

Section E. A majority of the Board of Elders may request the Pastor to alter the design and/or procedure of any Church activity, according to their guidance from the Holy Spirit and study of Scripture. If the Pastor refuses the request, by a majority accord the Board may submit the matter to the congregation for a vote, the outcome being final. If the Pastor is overruled, the revised format for the activity may be recorded by the Board as a resolution.

The Pastor and Elders may voluntarily agree on resolutions for Church activities, which may be collected and published as necessary.

Section F. To assist administrative functions of the Church, Deacons may be appointed by the Board of Elders for specific duties, serving at their directive. The qualifications of a Deacon are set forth at I Timothy 3:8–10.

The Board may appoint an executive committee to carry out specifically defined projects and research, serving at their directive.

Section G. A Director of Music may be appointed by the Board of Elders. The Director shall set forth recommendations on coordinating musical accompaniment with Church meetings. The Pastor or monitor shall follow the recommendations whenever possible, or unless they conflict with the planned objectives of a meeting. In like manner, the Director shall establish and coordinate music programs for special events. The Board may stipulate other duties for the Director.

Section H. When a vacancy arises for the Pastor of the Church, the Board of Elders shall search for a replacement, who meets the qualifications of Article IV, Section C. On discovering a suitable and willing candidate, the position shall be confirmed by a majority vote of the congregation.

Return to Top

Article VI — Finances

Section A. Decisions by the Church and general practices on the raising and expenditure of funds shall be limited by the conditions set forth in this Article.

Section B. An accounting of all funds shall be kept regularly and published to the Church yearly. A treasurer shall be designated to oversee the accounting and the filing of all appropriate forms with local, state, and federal governments.

Section C. The Church shall raise funds primarily relying on faith. Sermons or Church publications shall not go forth to pressure or embarrass members or attenders to donate. Stating a need for funds or simply requesting financial support shall not be construed improper. II Corinthians, chps. 8,9, serves as an example of appealing for funds.

Section D. Money donated for a specific purpose clearly stated in writing by a donor shall be so expended, unless denied by the Board of Elders, at which time it will be returned to the donor. A denial can be submitted to a congregational vote, if 50% of the Elders deem it appropriate.

Section E. No building shall be deemed the Church. The members wherein the Spirit of God dwells define the Church, whether or not they are in a building. Expenditures on a building shall be made only to the extent of assisting the spreading of the message of the kingdom of God and the gathering of members.

Section F. The Church shall not incur indebtedness without a clear directive from the Holy Spirit as determined by the Board of Elders and with congregational participation.

Return to Top

Article VII — Amendments

The Board of Elders may amend this Constitution by their majority vote for the purpose only of permitting other bodies of worshippers of Christ to come into association with The Church of the Love of Christ, under its name.

Any other amendment of this Constitution proposed by a majority vote of the Board must be affirmed by a congregational vote of 60% of the membership. Once an amendment is proposed, an Elder shall review the matter before the congregation according to Article III, Section D, within eight weeks. A vote shall occur not less than 30 days later but within 60 days.

The Constitution is subject to all legal conditions set forth in the Prolegomenon, attached to the principal document at the time of execution and filing.

Return to Top

The Constitution of the Church of the Love of Christ constitutes a chapter from Only the Essentials: Clear and Simple Outlines on Complex Theology Copyright 2001 by Montgomery Paul Webb. All rights reserved. However, permission is granted solely to private individuals to make ten copies of any disc containing this book, to include whatever other publications are available therein from the Church of the Love of Christ, for distribution to friends and acquaintances, on the conditions — 1. that the entirety of the contents of the disc is copied;— 2. and that absolutely no change, addition, or omission is made.

From printed material, photocopies only of any chapter can be made privately by individuals for distribution to friends and acquaintances, on the conditions — 1. that the entirety of the chapter is copied and distributed, including the pages of the chapter rendering the name The Church of the Love of Christ, the author’s name, and the copyright notice; — 2. and that absolutely no change, addition, or omission is made.

Chapters include — Introduction | What Is The Non-Institutional Church? | What Is Love? | Seeking Christian Humility | The Image of Woman in Scripture | Corinthians Un-Compromised? | A Brief Synopsis of Jonathan Edwards’ RELIGIOUS AFFECTIONS. | Charles Finney on Evangelism: Brief Synopses of REVIVAL FIRE and POWER FROM GOD.

Return to Top

PRINTING is set to change the font entirely to Georgia, serif. The background color is set to white and all fonts to black. Heading sizes are adjusted. The banner, navigation menu, return links, and screen viewing instructions are removed.

Enhance VIEWING by adjusting the text size. To increase text size, press (Ctrl and + ). To decrease, (Ctrl and – ). To Return to the default text size, (Ctrl and 0 ).

Or click on “Page” in Internet Explorer, or “View” in other browsers, at the top of the monitor screen, and scroll down to either “Text Size,” “Text Zoom,” or “Zoom.” Then, click on the size adjustment menu that appears to the right side. For Google Chrome, click on the wrench icon at the upper right, and scroll down to “Zoom.”

There also may be a small triangle-arrow at the lower right of the monitor screen to click for a size adjustment menu.