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Biblically inspired and derived rules of operation are a true blessing.

 

RULES OF OPERATION

OF THE EUREKA FIRST CHURCH OF GOD

Eureka, MT (Adopted March 27th 2011)

PREAMBLE

 

PURPOSE & MISSION OF THIS BODY

"Transforming lives by BEING the Body of Christ"

This is our mission. We are to BE His people, His Church, and thus be used by God to help Him in His transforming work in the lives of others.

Our purpose: As a body of believers we exist to know, worship, and obey The One True and Living God (Ex. 34:14; Deut. 6:4; Jer. 10:10; Matt. 4:10; John 17:3). He has expressed Himself through His only begotten Son, the Lord Jesus Christ (Matt. 3:17; John 1:18; Col. 1:15; Heb. 1:1-3; John 1:1). We are to be conformed into His image (Rom. 8:29) and are to make Him known throughout all the world (Matt. 28:18-20).

STATEMENT OF BELIEFS

The Scripture

WE BELIEVE the scriptures as found in the 66 books of both the Old and New Testaments to be the verbally inspired Word of God, inerrant and infallible in the original manuscripts, and the absolute authority over all matters of life and faith (Ps. 119; Matt. 4:4; Luke 24:27; 2 Tim. 3:15-17; 2 Pet. 1:19-21).

The Nature of God

WE BELIEVE that there is one true God, eternally existent in three persons–the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, equal in power and glory*. He is perfect in Holiness, Justice, Wisdom, Power and Love (Deut. 32:4; Ps. 104:24; Isa. 6:3; Matt. 28:18; 1 Tim. 1:17; 1 John 4:16); and that He has revealed Himself to man more fully through the person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ (John 1:14; John 1:18; John 14:9; Heb. 1:1-3).

* Scriptures revealing the triune nature of God (Gen. 1:26; Gen. 3:22; Gen. 11:7; Ps. 110:1; Isa. 48:12-16; Matt. 3:16-17; Matt. 22:41-46; Matt. 28:19; Mark 12:35-37; John 1:1-3; John 10:30; John 14:15-24; John 15:25; Acts 17:29; Rom. 1:20; Rom. 8:9; 1 Cor. 3:16; 2 Cor. 13:14; Col. 2:9; 1 Pet. 1:11; 1 John 4:15, etc.)

Creation

WE BELIEVE that in the beginning God created in six literal days the whole of creation out of nothing by His Word (Gen. 1; John 1:1-3; Isa. 40:25-26). He created and sustains all things for His own pleasure and purpose (Gen. 1 & 2; Ex. 20:11; Col. 1:16; Rev. 4:11; Heb. 1:1-3).

The Lord Jesus Christ

WE BELIEVE in the Lord Jesus Christ, God’s only begotten and beloved Son (Mark 1:11; John 3:16; 1 John 4:9). We believe in His deity (John 1:1-3; Col. 2:9-10; 2 Tim. 1:10; Heb. 1:1-8), His miraculous conception by the Holy Spirit and virgin birth (Matt. 1:19-23; Luke 1:26-35), His miracles (Matt. 8; Mark 9:20-27; John 2:1-11; John 11; John 20:30), sinless life (Acts 3:14; 2 Cor. 5:21; Heb. 4:15; 1 Pet. 1:19), and substitutionary atoning death as payment for the sin of the world (Rom. 3:25; Rom. 5:6-8; 2 Cor. 5:21; Heb. 10:1-4; 1 John 2:2); that He was placed in a tomb and arose bodily from the dead on the third day (Matt. 28:1-10; John 2:22; Acts 3:15; Acts 10:40; Rom. 8:34; 1 Cor. 15:20); that He gave many infallible proofs of His resurrection (Luke 24:7; Acts 4:33; Rom. 1:3; 1 Cor. 15:3-8), then ascended to the right hand of God where He presently sits making intercession as our Great High Priest (Mark 16:19-20; Eph. 3:13; Heb. 4:14-16; 1 John 2:1-2).

The Holy Spirit

WE BELIEVE that the Holy Spirit is the third person of the eternal Godhead who convicts the world of sin, righteousness, and the judgment to come (John 16:7-15; Acts 5:1-11; Rom. 8:9; 1 Cor. 3:16) for the purpose of drawing men to faith in Christ (John 6:44; John 15:26); that He regenerates (John 3:5), comforts and indwells (John 14:16-17; John 15:25, John 16:13-14; Rom. 8:9-16; 2 Cor. 1:22; Gal. 4:6; Eph. 1:13), helps, counsels, intercedes (Rom. 8:26-27), teaches (John 14:26; 1 Cor. 2:9-16; 1 John 2:20) and empowers (Zech. 4:6; Acts 1:8; Acts 4:31) all who believe in Christ to live lives that are Holy and pleasing to God (Gal. 5:22-23); and that, at His will, He bestows spiritual gifts upon every believer for the work of God (Rom. 12:4-8; 1 Cor. 12:4-31; Eph. 4:11-14).

The Nature of Man

WE BELIEVE man was created in the image of God (Gen. 1:26-27), but by one act of disobedience (Adam’s sin) (Gen. 3; Rom. 5:12-19) man fell from his original position bringing physical and spiritual death (Gen. 2:17; Rom. 6:23) upon the entire human race (Adam’s descendant’s). We believe that all men are sinners by nature and choice (Ps. 51:5; Gal. 3:22; 1 John 1:8-10) and, therefore, alienated from God (Eph. 2:1; Eph. 4:18; Col. 1:21); and that, due to his own sinfulness, man has no means of reconciling himself to God by his own moral efforts (Rom. 5:6; Eph. 2:1-13).

Salvation

WE BELIEVE the salvation of man is a free gift of God’s grace to be received only through faith in Christ alone (John 14:6; Acts 4:12; Rom. 3:22-31; Rom. 4:13-16; Rom. 5:1-2; Gal. 3:22-26; Eph. 2:8-9). All who turn from sin (Prov. 28:13; Luke 13:3; Acts 3:19; Acts 3:26) and believe in the Lord Jesus Christ will be born-again (John 1:12; John 3; Acts 16:31; Rom. 4:24; Rom. 10:9-10), indwelt by the Holy Spirit (John 14:17; Rom. 8:15; 2 Cor. 1:22; Eph. 1:13;), become a child of God (Gal. 3:26; Gal. 4:5-6;), receive a new nature (2 Cor. 5:17; Eph. 4:24; 2 Pet. 1:4,) and the gift of eternal life in Christ (Rom. 6:23; 1 John. 5:11).

Christian Living

WE BELIEVE that through our knowledge of Christ, His Word, and the indwelling Holy Spirit, we have all things that pertain to life and godliness (Phil. 4:13; 2 Pet. 1:3). Thus, we have all necessary means to live righteous and holy lives to the glory of God (Matt. 16:24; Rom. 12; Rom. 13; 2 Cor. 7:1; 1 Pet. 1:16).

Ordinances:

Baptism

WE BELIEVE that every believer is directed by God to follow up his commitment to the Lord in the ordinance of baptism by immersion as stated in the scriptures (Matt. 28:19; Acts 2:38; Acts 2:41; Acts 8:12; Acts 8:37; Acts 18:8). We believe that baptism is symbolic in nature serving to identify a believer with the death, burial and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ (Rom. 6:1-6; Col. 2:12). Baptism is one of the first acts of obedience by the new believer. It is an outward proclamation and confession of the inner work being accomplished through faith in Jesus Christ. Although not essential to salvation (Luke 23:32-43; John 3:16; Rom. 10:9-10; 1 Cor. 1:14-18), baptism is still a very important part of our Christian life and should be one of the first steps of the new believer (Acts 8:12-13; Acts 8:37-39; Acts 18:8).

The Lord’s Supper/Communion

WE BELIEVE that in obedience to the Lord’s command all believers are to partake of the Lord’s Supper until Christ’s return (Luke 22:17-20; 1 Cor. 11:23-34). We believe the elements have no saving merit, but are symbols of Christ’s Broken Body and Shed Blood for our sins; and that the Lord’s Supper should be highly valued and celebrated on a regular basis (Acts 2:42; Acts 20:7). 

Foot Washing

WE BELIEVE that although the ceremony of physical foot washing (John 13:1-17) may be debated as to its standing as a literal ordinance of the Lord, we believe it to be a valid practice in the life of the church. The ceremony of foot washing serves as a reminder to us of the One who laid aside the Glories of Heaven and girded Himself as a mere servant of men (Mark 10:45; Phil. 2:7). Therefore, just as our Savior, we should serve one another with all humility. Foot washing also reminds us of our constant need to be cleansed from sin by the water of the Word (John 13:8-11; John 17:17; Eph. 5:26).

Christ’s Return

WE BELIEVE in the imminent, personal and literal return of the Lord Jesus Christ to receive all who belong to Him; and that at His return the dead in Christ shall rise first and those who remain will be caught up to meet Him in the air and so we shall ever be with Him (Matt. 24:42; Luke 12:39-40; 1 Thess. 4:13-18; Tit. 2:13;).

The Resurrection and Judgment of Unbelievers

WE BELIEVE that at the moment of death, the soul and spirit of every unbeliever goes to Hell (Luke 16:19-31; Rev. 20:13-14) and remains there until they are resurrected to stand before the Great White Throne of Judgment where they will give an account of their deeds before a Holy and Just God (Luke 12:2; Rom. 2:1-6; Rev. 20:11-15). Everyone who dies without Christ will be cast eternally into the Lake of Fire without any hope of redemption (Rev. 21:8).

The Resurrection and Judgment of Believers

WE BELIEVE that at death, the soul and spirit of every believer goes immediately into the presence of the Lord to remain until Christ’s return (2 Cor. 5:8; Phil. 1:23) in which every soul and spirit will be reunited with their resurrected, immortal body (Rom. 8:11; Rom. 8:23; 1 Cor. 15:51-57; 1 Thess. 4:13-18). We believe that according to the scriptures every believer must stand before the Judgment Seat of Christ; and that every believer’s work will be tried for the purpose of receiving or suffering loss of rewards (Rom. 14:12; 2 Cor. 5:10; 2 Tim. 4:8).

ARTICLE I

NAME & IDENTIFICATION

The name of this church body is Eureka First Church of God (hereinafter ECOG, church, or body). The ECOG holds property at 1295 2nd Ave. East Eureka, Montana. This is where the congregation meets for worship. We are an autonomous* congregation of believers in the Lord Jesus Christ who choose voluntarily to affiliate with the Church of God whose general offices are in Anderson, Indiana, USA.  *See Article III for explanation on autonomy.

 ARTICLE II

PURPOSE OF RULES OF OPERATION


The purpose of this document is to set forth rules to govern and facilitate the general business and spiritual activities of the ECOG. Including, but not limited to, the acquiring and holding of real estate, the receipt and distribution of tithes and offerings, the appointing and/or dismissal and directing of any staff members/employees, lay servant leadership such as elders, deacons & deaconesses of the ECOG. This document is in no way intended to micro-manage the church’s affairs, nor should it ever take priority over the Word of God, or stifle a pastor’s ability to accomplish what the scripture clearly states to be the mission of the church in the world.

ARTICLE III

PRINCIPLE OF AUTONOMY

We hold as scriptural and fundamental the principle of local church government by called and qualified members named elders (Acts 20:28). We also hold as scriptural and fundamental called and qualified servants named deacons, whose role is to serve the needs of the congregation (Phil. 1:1). The local church is autonomous under Christ’s headship, and all church power is exercised by each local church. Decisions thus made are not subject to change by any outside organization.

 ARTICLE IV

MEMBERSHIP

In keeping with the clear direction & teaching of scripture, ECOG is to be an elder led church. Therefore, all member-voting rights stated herein are subject to limitations as defined by the rules of operation.

Voting membership in, or commitment to the ECOG, is by voluntary association. We fully recognize that one can only become a member of God’s church through faith in Christ alone. Therefore, the guidelines set forth herein pertain to this local church body only and have no bearing on, or relation to, one’s fellowship in the body of Christ or position in the family of God. These guidelines are strictly for the purpose of accountability and participation in church activities as outlined within these Rules of Operation, or as defined by the elders.

The requirements for being recognized and exercising full voting rights as a member are as follows:

Voting membership in this body shall be restricted to those who meet the following conditions. Members thus qualified shall have the right to vote in all business meetings either specified within these Rules of Operation, or those specially called or authorized by the pastor or elders.

 (a) A member must have received salvation by faith in Christ alone (John 3; Acts 4:12; Rom. 3:22-31; Rom. 10:9-10; Eph. 2:8-9).

(b) A member shall be at least eighteen (18) years of age.

(c) A member shall have worshipped regularly with the Eureka First Church of God for a period of at least six (6) months immediately preceding any meeting at which rights of membership are to be exercised*.

(d) A member shall have lived during this period of six months in harmony with a Biblical life-style (1 Pet. 1:15; Phil. 1:27; 1 Pet. 3:15-16).

 (e) A member must recognize and be willing to submit within Biblical limits to those who hold recognized positions of leadership (i.e. elders/pastors) for the sake of unity and honoring God (Heb. 13:7; Heb. 13:17).

*We recognize that circumstances arise in a person’s life which may preclude them from attending each and every service within any given six month period. The elders shall review individual cases and shall have the authority to waive requirements on a case-by-case basis.

Voting is an opportunity to serve the body. When voting on decisions that relate to the ministries, and business of God’s Church, we are not to be self seeking - but rather we are to consider the will of God and the best interest of the body. Voting within the church shall never be an opportunity for strife, division, or dissension - ALL of which the Lord HATES (Prov 6:16-19) All decisions set forth for congregational vote shall pass on a 2/3 majority of the voting membership.

1 Cor 3:3 "For where there are envy, strife, and divisions among you, are you not carnal and behaving like mere men?" (Also see Prov 22:10)

 

ARTICLE V

DEDICATION OF ASSETS

All property held by the Eureka First Church of God is irrevocably dedicated to ministry purposes and no part of the net income or assets held by the church shall ever inure to the benefit of any pastor, elder, deacon, leader, or member thereof, or to the benefit of any private person. Upon the dissolution of ECOG as a church body, or should it’s leaders depart from the body of truths stated within it’s ‘Statement of Beliefs’, it’s assets remaining after payment of all debts and liabilities shall be distributed to the Montana Churches of God. In the event the Montana Churches of God is unwilling or unable to take on this responsibility, the remaining assets shall be distributed to the Church of God Ministries, Anderson, Indiana.

ARTICLE VI

GUIDELINES FOR MEETINGS

Section 1 Elder’s Meetings

Meetings of the elders for any purpose may be called at any time by the pastor or any two serving elders. Minutes of any officially called meeting shall be recorded and kept on record (i.e. wherein business or decisions of major significance are being made).

Section 2 Congregational Meeting

A. A secretary shall be appointed by the elders prior to any congregational meeting.

B. A member must sign the roll sheet and have their membership verified by the secretary prior to any meeting where voting rights are to be exercised. The roll sheet declaring those voting members present at each meeting and additional voting records shall be kept on hand by the elders as official record. Minutes shall be taken and made part of the official record.

C. An elder shall preside over any called business meeting.

D. Persons may be allowed to vote via absentee ballot in unique circumstances as determined by the elders.

E. All congregational votes will be passed by a 2/3 majority of the voting membership.

F. Ballots and informational materials such as proposed budgets, proposed annual delegates to the state assembly, and proposed changes to these rule of operation, or the guidelines for leadership, as well as all other information pertinent to the vote shall be made available two weeks before the meeting date.

G. The Eureka First Church of God shall have an annual congregational meeting on the first Sunday of March each year. 

H. A vote of confidence shall be included as a ballot initiative during the voting conducted at the annual meeting. The elders, including the pastor, the deacons, and deaconesses, shall be

approved to serve annually. If a leader receives a vote of "no confidence" by a 2/3 majority of the voting membership they shall resign their position of service.

 

ARTICLE VII

CHURCH GOVERNMENT

Section 1 Elders

Subject to the Word of God and these Rules of Operation, the elders, in conjunction with the senior pastor, shall oversee all policies and affairs of the ECOG whether spiritual, or business in nature. Although charged with the oversight of the church, the primary role of the elders shall be to care for the spiritual needs of the body. In doing so, it is the duty of the elders and all in leadership to seek the mind and will of God in all actions and decisions; and to seek and maintain the Lordship of Jesus Christ, the Chief Shepherd, over the church.

a. Biblical Roles and Responsibilities:

The role of the elder includes, but is not limited to the following:

1. The elders are to oversee, shepherd, and protect the church (Acts 14:23; Acts 20:27-31; 1 Tim. 5:17; Tit. 1:5; Heb. 13:7; Heb. 13:17; 1 Pet. 5:2-3; 2 Pet. 2).

2. They are to be servant leaders who lead the church by example in word, deed, and practice (1 Tim. 4:12; 1 Pet. 5:3).

3. They are to be students who rightly divide the Word of Truth and are able to refute false teachers (2 Tim. 2:15).

4. The elders should feed and nourish the flock through the teaching of God’s Word (1 Tim. 3:2-5; 1 Tim. 4:13; 1 Tim. 4:16; 1 Tim. 5:17; 2 Tim. 2:24; 1 Pet. 5:2).

5. Elders and all who teach should carefully consider their doctrine and conduct, as they will receive a stricter judgment (Jam. 3:1).

6. Elders should be men of prayer (Jam. 5:14-16; Eph. 6:18).

b. Stewardship & Oversight Roles. The elders are responsible for:

1. The stewardship and disbursal of all tithes and offerings.

(a) The right to set, raise, or lower compensation or salary for any staff member or employee of the church. The elders have the responsibility to create the annual budget for the church, and to present that budget to the congregation in the annual business meeting. (See Sec.2 of Article 6.)

(b) Holding title to all properties on behalf of the church body.

(c) Entering into contractual agreements as authorized by these Rules of Operation such as: to borrow money and incur indebtedness if necessary to promote the purpose of the ECOG and to carry out all necessary business in the name of the church whether deeds of trust, mortgages, pledges, or other.

(d) The elders are responsible to assign at least two persons who are a deacon, deaconess, or elders - excluding the acting treasurer -, who shall receive and account for the weekly tithes and offerings. They shall maintain an accounting of the giving separate from the treasurer.

2. The elder’s may lead the church in exercising scripturally-based church discipline upon it’s members in the case such action becomes necessary (Matt. 18:15-17; 1 Cor. 5).

3. The search, selection, hiring and or dismissal of any pastor(s), staff, or employee(s). It is the elder’s responsibility to ensure that these things occur. They shall work along side of the congregation as specified in Article 7, Section 4, item C. -"Appointment"

4. The appointment and/or removal of deacons, deaconesses and other elders (Tit. 1:5-9).

c. Qualifications

An elder shall meet the following qualifications (without limiting the application of the whole counsel of God as found within the entirety of scripture) at the time of his appointment; and shall remain qualified for continual service as outlined in 1 Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:5-9, so long as he holds the office of elder. A person may not be prohibited from serving in the office of elder based upon his life prior to becoming a believer (1 Cor. 6:11; 2 Cor. 5:17; 1 Tim. 1:12). An elder may not be disqualified based upon sins that have been biblically repented of and dealt with accordingly. Each consideration for the office of elder must be evaluated on an individual basis. The elders have the authority to accept, decline, or set the parameters in each individual case based upon their collective wisdom and the application of the entirety of scripture.

According to 1Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:6-9, an elder shall be a male of outstanding moral character, blameless as a steward of God and well thought of by unbelievers. He must rule his own house well, having his children in submission with all reverence. He must be the husband of one wife, temperate, sober minded, of good behavior, given to hospitality, patient, and able to teach. He must hold fast to the Word of God, be a lover of what is good and able to, by sound doctrine, exhort and convict those who contradict it. He must not be given to drunkenness or violence, greedy for money, quarrelsome, covetous, quick-tempered, or a new believer.

d. Accountability

The elders shall be accountable and subject to the Word of God, then to one another as elders, and to the congregation in which they serve. See 1 Cor 16:15-16, Eph 5: 18-21 and -

1 Pet 5:1-5

1 The elders who are among you I exhort, I who am a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that will be revealed:

2 Shepherd the flock of God, which is among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly;

3 nor as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock;

4 and when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that does not fade away.

5 Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for "God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble." (NKJ)

e. Number

The number of elders shall be evaluated and determined by the senior pastor and presiding elders. They shall strive to ensure that the number of serving elders is adequate to meet the needs of the congregation. It is understood that additional elders may only be appointed to office as God raises them up from among the church body. In situations vital to the church where the elders and pastor recognize the need for additional support, the deacons may be brought along side them temporarily. The period of service shall be determined at the beginning by the elders and pastor.

f. Appointment

The elders shall, at their discretion, receive nominations by ballot vote for the office of elder from those who are members of the church body. This allows the elders to take into consideration those individuals, which members of the body may be viewing in an eldership role. Each candidate shall be interviewed and screened by the elders (Gal. 2:1-10; 1 Tim. 5:22). Through a process of fasting and prayer (Acts 13:2; Acts 14:23), if they are found to meet the qualifications as set forth in Article VII, Section 1 c, they shall then be appointed to the office by the elders. A new elder shall only be appointed to office by consensus among the elders. The prospective elder shall be provided with a copy of the "Guidelines for Leadership" utilized by the ECOG. They will be expected to read, discuss, and sign an agreement to follow these guidelines as a leader. The newly appointed elder shall then be brought before the congregation and commissioned for the Lord’s service.  

g. Terms of Office

The call to serve in the role of elder (with the exception of the pastor) is a lifelong commitment. Appointment to the role of elder will be for a five-year term of service; being validated annually, and re-commissioned every five years should the elder choose to continue to serve. However, the elder may voluntarily choose to resign his position for any reason, either permanently or temporarily. God must call a man to serve as an elder, and it should be with great prayer and clear direction from God that they would leave the call, responsibility, and duty of the eldership.

h. Removal

An elder may be removed for failure to maintain a lifestyle in keeping with the qualifications set forth within the Word of God. If an elder no longer meets these qualifications and disciplinary actions must be taken, up to and including removal from office, the process shall be:

Step 1

An accusation shall only be considered or brought against an elder after it is confirmed by two or three witnesses (1 Tim. 5:19). All accusations against an elder must be received by the elders in written form. If an accusation is found to be valid, the remaining elders shall prayerfully and humbly (Gal. 6:1-2) approach the accused elder to investigate the matter and seek reconciliation. Accurate records shall be kept throughout the process.

*If the accusation is found to be false, the reporting party shall make proper reparations with the elder, and all others that have received information in error.

Step 2

If reconciliation is not achieved by step 1 and further action is needed, the elders shall thoroughly research the accusation, carefully documenting their findings. Only when the accusation is established by the testimony of two or three witnesses and proved to be found a sin worthy of dismissal, shall the elders then pursue removal from office. An elder may only be removed by a majority vote of the remaining elders.

Step 3

The elders shall notify the one in question of his removal and the grounds thereof, both verbally and in written form. Then in keeping with the heart of God, the elders shall pursue further reconciliation according to biblical guidelines. The restoration of any one taken in sin should always be the heart of the elders (Gal. 6:1-2). Only in the case of clear unrepentant sin shall an elder or any member of the body be removed from fellowship with the church (Matt. 18:15-17; 1 Cor. 5:1-2).

Step 4

After an elder has been removed from office, the elders shall acknowledge this fact to the ECOG body of believers in a regularly scheduled worship service no more than two weeks from the time the disciplinary action was taken. The general reason for removal shall be put in writing and made available to all members of the body (1 Tim. 5:20-21)

Section 2 Deacons

Deacons are individuals who serve. They are servants of the people. Their primary role is to care for the physical needs of the church (Acts 6:1-5).

a. Qualifications

A deacon must be an individual of outstanding character. They must be the husband of one wife, an individual who is worthy of respect, and one who is obedient to the Christian faith. They also must rule their children and their own households well (1 Tim. 3:8-16). Before one holds the office of deacon they must first be proved and found faithful as a servant of Christ (Matt. 25:21). They should be full of the Holy Spirit and of wisdom (Acts 6:3). They must not be as those who speak one thing to one person and another to someone else. They should not abuse alcoholic beverages, nor be a covetous person who is greedy for money.

The spouse of a deacon must be reverent, temperate, and faithful in all things. They must not be slanderers.   Deacons are not required to be able to teach, but may do so.

b. Ministry

1. Deacons shall facilitate various ministries within the body to meet their physical needs under the direction and encouragement of the church eldership and pastor.

2. They shall encourage servant participation from within the body in these various ministries.

3. They shall meet together regularly and on occasion with the elders and pastor for prayer and to address any needs within the church body.

4. They shall pray for the flock.

5. They shall exercise hospitality, love, care, and good counsel.

c. Number

Their number shall be decided by the senior pastor and elders according to the needs of the congregation (Acts 6:3).

d. Appointment and Terms of Office

1. The elders will receive nominations by ballot vote for deacons from the congregation. This will help to identify those whom the congregation may be viewing as outstanding servants (Acts 6:3)

2. Each candidate shall be interviewed and screened by the pastor and elders

(1 Tim. 5:22). Through a process of fasting and prayer (Acts 13:2; Acts 14:23), if they are found to meet the qualifications as set forth in Article VII, Section 2, letter A, they shall then be appointed to the office by consensus of the elders.

3. Each Deacon shall read, discuss, and agree to the "Guidelines for Leadership" as set forth by the ECOG.

4. They shall then be brought before the congregation within one month of their appointment and commissioned for service by the laying on of hands and prayer.

e. Terms of Office

The pastor and elders shall review their appointment yearly. Deacons shall be asked to serve a three-year appointment, but they may serve an indefinite duration of time, with the elder’s approval.

c. Removal from Office

Follow steps 1-4 for removal of an elder.

Section 3 Deaconesses

Deaconesses are women who serve to meet the physical needs of the church, set apart for the Lord’s service. This office bears NO unscriptural authority over any member of the congregation: male or female. Deaconesses are directed to fulfill the same spiritual qualifications of deacons and should strive to the highly treasured examples of women in service to the church throughout the New Testament. These roles and functions are held in high regard as found in the New Testament (Rom. 16:1-2). We believe deaconesses have a vital role in the church.

The ministry of the deaconess would be much the same as a deacon with one very important addition. In accordance with the scriptures (1 Tim. 2:12; Tit. 2:3-5) deaconesses should teach and counsel other women. Deaconesses may serve in various capacities such as, but not limited to: teaching and counseling other women, visiting the sick, teaching children, ministering to the needs of widows and the poor, prayer, visitation, practical service, benevolence ministries, etc. 

The scriptures define the roles and qualifications of a deaconess in like manner to the general qualifications of those requirements for a deacon found in 1 Timothy 3:8-16.

a. Qualifications

A deaconess must be a woman of outstanding character. She must be an individual who is worthy of respect, and one who is obedient to the Christian faith.

Before one serves as a deaconess they must first be proved and found faithful as a servant of Christ (Matt. 25:21). They must not be as those who speak one thing to one person and another to someone else. They should not abuse alcoholic beverages, nor be a covetous person who is greedy for money.

They must be reverent, temperate, and faithful in all things. They must not be slanderers, gossips, or false accusers.

Titus 2:3-5 echoes some of the same as that of 1 Timothy 3:8-16 and is appropriate: 3 The aged women likewise, that they be in behavior as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; 4 That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, 5 To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.

b. Ministry

1. Deaconesses shall facilitate various ministries within the body to meet their physical needs under the direction and encouragement of the church eldership and pastor.

2. They shall encourage servant participation from within the body in these various ministries.

3. They shall meet together regularly and on occasion with the elders for prayer and to address any needs within the church body.

4. They shall pray for the flock.

5. They shall exercise hospitality, love, care, and good counsel.

c. Number

Their number of shall be decided by the senior pastor and elders according to the needs of the congregation.

d. Appointment and Terms of Office

1.The elders will receive nominations by ballot vote from the congregation. This will help to identify those whom the congregation may be viewing as outstanding servants (Acts 6:3)

2. Each candidate shall be interviewed and screened by the pastor and elders

(1 Tim. 5:22). Through a process of fasting and prayer (Acts 13:2; Acts 14:23), if they are found to meet the qualifications as set forth in Article VII, Section 4 letter a, they shall then be appointed to the office by consensus of the elders.

3. Each Deaconess shall read, discuss, and agree to the "Guidelines for Leadership" as set forth by the ECOG.

4. They shall then be brought before the congregation within one month of their appointment and commissioned for service by the laying on of hands and prayer.

e. Terms of Office

The pastor and elders shall review their appointment yearly. Deaconesses shall be asked to serve a three-year appointment, but they may serve an indefinite duration of time, with the elder’s approval.

f. Removal from Office

Follow steps 1-4 for removal of an elder. 

Section 4 Senior Pastor/Elder

As the shepherd of the congregation, the senior pastor is given a leadership role, but is yet an equal member among the elders. As with all elders, the pastor is to be a servant leader of the people. The role of the pastor is much the same as that of elders in general as stated in Article VII, Section 1 a. The pastor/shepherd has a distinct role by gifting.

a. Ministry of the Pastor

1. The Pastor shall give himself continually to the ministry of the Word and prayer. It is his duty to spend considerable time in the study of God’s Word. He is to seek the mind of the Lord through the Word and prayer (Acts 6:4).

2. The Pastor shall be the primary teacher-shepherd of the church.

3. It is the role of the pastor to feed the flock, teaching the scriptures by precept and by the example of his life (John 21:15-17; Acts 20:28; 1 Tim. 4:6-16).

4. The Pastor is to guard the flock from any attack of Satan, whether by false teachers, or other means (Acts 20:29-31; Heb. 13:7; Heb. 13:17; 1 Pet. 5:2-3; 2 Pet. 2; Jude).

b. Qualifications (See 1 Tim. 3:1-7; Titus 1:5-9)

1. The Pastor shall meet the qualifications of an elder as stated in Article VII, Section 1 c.

2. The Pastor shall be a Spirit-gifted teacher of the Word.

c. Appointment

In the event of a pastoral vacancy, the elders shall constitute a nominating committee. It shall be their responsibility to seek, find, and set forth before the church a potential pastoral candidate. In searching for a pastoral candidate it is recommended that the elders call the church together and gather their collective input. A new pastor shall only be appointed to the office of pastor by a consensus among the elders, and 2/3 majority of the voting membership.

The newly selected pastor must also read, discuss, and sign an agreement to follow the "Guidelines for Leadership" as adhered to by the ECOG.

d. Removal

1. In the case that a pastor need be removed from office, the elders shall follow the procedures outlined in steps 1-4 for removal of an elder.

2. A pastor may only be removed from office by a majority vote of the remaining elders. 

Section 5 Treasurer

a. Ministry of the Treasurer: The elders shall appoint a qualified individual to the role of Treasurer for the purpose of maintaining an accurate accounting of all church funds. This person shall care for the payment and management of all church debts, liabilities, and bills. This person must be of exemplary character.

b. Qualifications (See 1 Tim. 3:1-7; Titus 1:5-9)

1. The Treasurer shall read and discuss the "Guidelines for Leadership" and agree to adhere to them.

2. They shall be qualified to serve in the same manner as all other servant leaders. They shall not be: a lover of money, greedy, or deceitful. They must have a good reputation with those within the church and outside the church as well. They must understand and believe in God’s power to provide as illustrated by Jesus in Mark 6: 37-48. A Treasurer in God’s Church must be free from worry; steadfast in faith, understanding the precepts of Matthew 6: 24-34. The Treasurer of the church is in the greatest of positions to attest to the faithfulness, blessing, and miraculous provision of God. It is expected that they shall serve with joy while testifying of His mighty works.

c. Appointment

In the event of a treasury vacancy, the elders shall prayerfully seek, find, and set forth before the church a new treasurer. It is recommended that the elders call the church together and gather their collective input before commissioning them to service.

They shall be called to serve in the role of Treasurer for no less than five years, and may serve indefinitely, as consented to by the elders.

d. Removal

1. In the case that a treasurer need be removed from office, the elders shall follow the procedures outlined in steps 1-4 for removal of an elder.

2. A treasurer may only be removed from office by a majority vote of the elders. 

ARTICLE VIII

AMENDMENTS

These Rules of Operation may be changed and amended by the elders at any time, including the changing of the church name. In such instances the elders shall allow for open discussion with the congregation, whether in personal meetings of concerned individuals while all of the elders are present, or in the venue of a congregational meeting with all elders attending. In cases where significant changes are being enacted a clear dialogue between the elders and the congregation is paramount. The members of ECOG shall be notified of any changes (within two weeks) by making available amended copies of the Rules of Operation to the members of ECOG via a weekly service, mail, or otherwise. All changes will be ratified by unanimous consent of the elders, and a 2/3-majority vote of the voting membership.

 

ARTICLE IX

ADHERENCE TO GUIDELINES FOR LEADERSHIP

The Eureka First Church of God shall maintain and adhere to a specific set of Guidelines for Leadership. This document referred to as "The Guidelines for Leadership" shall give direction to elders, pastors, staff members, teachers, worship leaders, and servant leaders within the body. This document shall establish the codes of conduct and expectations of the leadership by the ECOG. The Guidelines for Leadership shall be maintained hand in hand with the "Rules for Operation"’; and the two documents shall compliment each other. Changes to this document shall be made by unanimous consent of the elders, and a 2/3 majority of the voting membership.

 

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