The name of this church shall be the Manhattan Bible Church (MBC) of New York City and is incorporated under the laws of the State of New York.
ARTICLE II -- CHURCH PURPOSE & MISSION
The purpose of this church shall be to exalt and glorify God through the proclamation of the gospel of Jesus Christ to the lost. For the believer this will be accomplished through the instruction and edification within the whole counsel of the Word of God. This church shall endeavor to maintain an intentional balance between the instruction, defense, and propagation of the gospel. We will be evangelical in doctrine, separated in life, soul- winning in vision and ministry speaking the truth in love, Ephesians 4:15.
The purpose of this church shall be to carry out the command of our Lord Jesus Christ, who made the church to be His earthly body. We shall do this by:
a) Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together in regularly scheduled meetings, Hebrews 10:25.
c) Maturing His body in all spiritual gifts, Ephesians 4:11-16.
The mission of this church shall be to love God, love one another and to make disciples of Jesus Christ. This will be achieved at MBC by:
a) Loving Him with all our heart, soul, mind and strength, Mark 12:30.
b) Loving others as much as we love ourselves, Mark 12:31.
c) Witnessing for Him in our community and to the fullest possible extent throughout the whole world including local and international mission projects, Matthew 28:18-20.
d) Spreading the gospel through the means of all media, radio, television, internet, education, and literature along with any other medium needed to fulfill this purpose, Acts 5:42.
ARTICLE III -- CHURCH GOVERNMENT
While acknowledging the Lord Jesus Christ as head, this church shall remain independent of any ecclesiastical alliances and entanglements. The government of this church shall consist of the voting Elders and Pastors who will make all the final decisions based on Biblical truth. However, it shall be the privilege and responsibility of the Leadership (Deacons and Ministry Leaders) to influence this decision-making process through a balance of accountability existing between the Pastors, Elders, Deacons and Ministry Leaders.
The procedure for making decisions that necessitate formal input from the Leadership shall be as follows:
a) The Leadership will present all proposals to the board of Elders.
b) Then the members of MBC will have an opportunity to give input to the Leadership on a proposal.
c) Finally, after careful consideration, the Elders will consider all the input and formulate a final decision.
Decisions that necessitate an Elder vote:
a) The scope of decision making;
1) Planning Issues:
• Long-term planning a strategy.
2) Program Issues:
• Approval of yearly ministry plan.
3) People Issues:
• Accountability of church leadership.
• Naming of a Pastor, Elder or Deacon.
• The removal of a Pastor, Elder or Deacon who ceases to function as a competent spiritual leader as defined in this document (see Articles 3 & 5).
• Discipline (excommunication issues).
4) Financial Issues:
• Semi annual financial report.
• Approval of a yearly budget.
• Approval of non-budgeted items over 10% of the amount budgeted for a given department for a quarter or a year.
5) Principles and precepts of the Word:
• The life application of doctrinal positions in MBC.
6) Board of Trustee decisions:
• Those decisions that require a legal board decision.
b) The process of decision making:
1) The agenda items to be voted on at an Elder business meeting will be communicated to the Elders at least one week before the business meeting.
2) Each business meeting should conclude with a reading of action items from the meeting and any proposed resolutions for the following meeting.
3) Elders with questions and/or input should contact the subcommittee or point person among the Elders responsible for the proposal during the week, to obtain information before the next business meeting.
c) Resolutions must be a unanimous decision to pass:
1) A resolution can pass with one disagreeing vote, after no less than one week’s time, in which all Elders examine their decision through the following process.
• Each Elder will examine his motives concerning the resolution so as to get his heart into such a state as to have no will of its own. The goal is to be sure he has submitted his will to the will of God.
• Each Elder will discuss his views of the resolution with appropriate others so as to benefit from the multitude of counsel.
• Each Elder will examine the Word to look for principles that might apply to the resolution in question.
• Each Elder will take time to wait before the Lord in prayer concerning this resolution.
• After an initial vote is taken and recorded there will be a period of one (1) calendar week to give a voting Elder time to reverse their decision.
• If a voting Elder chooses to reverse their vote, they must first send an email (letter) notifying the Lead Elder stating the reversal of their vote on the specific item(s). He must produce a hard copy of the email sent to all the Elders and lastly they are to acquire a signature of another Elder with the date and time of the signing of the letter.
2) There will be full support for any Elder decision made with one����disagreeing vote; the disagreeing Elder will be mute concerning his��disagreement and any conditions of the vote being noted in the minutes.
3) An “emergency” business meeting may be called and its agenda items should be communicated to all Elders one (1) week in advance or Elders contacted by phone.
4) It is the responsibility of the Elder who will be gone for more than one week to communicate his absence to the Elders.
5) A crisis, emergency meeting that requires an “immediate” emergency decision can be made through the following process:
• A sincere effort to call all Elders must be made.
• A binding decision can be made with two thirds (2/3) of the voting Elders present agreeing minus one (1).
d) Passing decisions with some Elders not present:
1) All business meetings with one or more Elders absent will still take place as long as there is a quorum (two thirds) for voting purposes
2) Any absentee Elder(s) will be informed at the earliest possible time of the decision made by a designated Elder.
3) A decision may be made with absentees if all Elders present represent at least two thirds (2/3) of the current voting Elders. Elders present must agree that the decision is urgent enough to necessitate the decision being made before the next scheduled business meeting.
4) The absent Elder(s) will be responsible to retrieve a copy of the meeting minutes before the next business meeting.
Roles & Functions:
a) The Elders have the responsibility and authority to make the decisions stated in ARTICLE III; Section 2.
b) It is important to recognize in the titles chosen that all Pastors function as Elders and that all Elders qualify as Pastors. The primary difference lies in their function. The Pastors are called to be responsible for specific ministries of MBC. In addition they are to exercise the responsibilities of oversight.
Definition of Roles and Function
Elder: A man, subject to ordination requirements, who is a member of the board of Elders. He is responsible for the oversight of temporal affairs and day to day business functions of MBC, its Pastor(s), ministries, as well as the church members.
Pastor: A man subject to ordination requirements, who is responsible for managing the spiritual affairs and overall spiritual growth of MBC. He is the spiritual overseer of the church, and shall have charge of the pulpit and conduct regular and special
worship services of the church. He shall have spiritual authority over the teachings within the church, Sunday Schools, Small Groups, and Bible Studies etc.
Associate Pastors and Directors (Ministry Leaders): A person who directs MBC ministries under the oversight of the Senior Pastor.
The Elders: Each individual Elder is accountable to the Elder board.
a) The Elders have the final authority and responsibility to make sure each Elder is fulfilling his role as an Elder of MBC.
b) The Elders have the final authority and responsibility to make sure each Pastor is fulfilling his role as a Pastor of MBC.
The Pastors are voting members of the Elder board.
a) “Pastors” includes the Senior Pastor and Associate Pastors.
b) In the case of a newly appointed Pastor or Associate Pastor, he will serve as counsel on the Elder board until ordained as an MBC Elder through the process stated under the process of ordination. The Pastors work with the Elders as “one among equals” in the decision-making process (Ref. Article 5 section 2B).
c) Pastors yet to be ordained as MBC Elders will function as counsel, but not vote until such time they are ordained as Elders.
d) The Senior Pastor is responsible to manage the MBC Associate Pastors and Ministry Leaders and to ensure monthly reports are presented to the board of Elders concerning these ministries.
e) New ministry initiatives may be implemented by a Pastor within his area of responsibility without Elder board approval provided the following criteria’s are met (subject also to the financial criteria stated in this document):
1) New initiatives must be discussed among the Pastors before implementation.
2) A Pastor designates a Ministry Leader who is responsible for the initiative.
3) The Pastor informs Elders of new ministries at the next elder business meeting.
4) The point person should have written goals for any ministry that will last more than three (3) months.
5) After three (3) months, new ministries will be evaluated by the Elder board in light of the church’s current ministry plan.
6) After an initial three month evaluation, new ministries will be re-evaluated by the Elders at the end of each calendar year. After re-evaluation, ministries will be redirected, discontinued or written into the church’s yearly ministry plan and presented at the annual business meeting.
The Founding Pastor Emeritus:
The Founding Pastor Emeritus will not participate as a voting member in the Elders’ business meetings. The Elders of MBC will welcome his counsel (as needed) in the Elder meetings.
ARTICLE IV -- MEMBERSHIP
Definition of Membership:
a) Any man or woman professing faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, giving evidence of regeneration, and accepting the Statement of Faith, Constitution, and Covenant held by this Church; having been presented before the Pastors and the Elders for counsel, may, upon baptism by immersion, the completion of a discipleship course and having attended services for at least three (3) months shall be received into the membership of MBC.
b) Members from other churches of the same faith may be received by letter of recommendation from their respective churches.
c) Excluded members may be restored to membership upon confession of their error and by giving evidence of their repentance. First Corinthians 5:11;����Matthew 18; Galatians 6:1.
d) Members must be at least eighteen (18) years of age, and must be legal residents of the United States.
Categories of Membership
a) Active Members: All those who show their interest in the welfare of the church and the kingdom of our Lord by regular attendance and financial support shall be classed as active members. This also includes those who, due to illness or physical handicap are unable to attend services and those unable to contribute financial support to the work.
b) Inactive Members: All those who do not classify as non-resident members who without a reasonable excuse do not attend the regular services of the church for a period of three (3) months. Any person, who fails to communicate with the church for a period of six (6) months, may be placed on the inactive list. Names of the inactive list shall not be counted in any statistical reports. Names of the inactive list shall not have the right to or hold any position in the church. Any member on the inactive list shall become active upon an interview with the Pastors and Elders, one month’s faithful attendance and financial support.
Thefollowing can also be classified as inactive members:
1) Those that have come under some disciplinary action of the church.
2) Any member who fails to respond to the admonition and discipline of the Pastor and the Elders. Any person thus removed, may be restored to membership and fellowship upon recommendation from the Pastors and Elders.
3) Any member who is guilty of open sin (First Corinthians 5:13); is causing division (Romans 16:17). One who is unwilling to repent and����forsake any known sin shall be counseled by the Pastors and Elders who possess the power to:
• Conduct hearings with any and all individuals involved in the situation.
• Render a verdict in light of this testimony.
4) The procedure found in Matthew 18:15-17 and Galatians 6:1 shall be ardently followed in all matters of:
• Personal disputes and grievances between members.
• Restoration of any sinning member after repentance.
• Excommunication of any member due to the lack of repentance.
Responsibilities of Membership:
a) A Member shall be responsible to read the MBC Constitution and Statement of Faith.
b) Active members must make every possible effort to consistently attend at least our Sunday morning worship service and mid-week prayer service.
c) Because our church depends on the financial support of our members, we pledge ourselves to a systematic consistent contribution for the support of the church. We believe God requires of us according to the principles set forth in 2nd Corinthians 9:6-8, that giving is an expression of our love and gratitude to God and should be done with freedom and joy.
Withdrawal from membership:
a) Membership in this church shall terminate as follows:
1) By granting letters of dismissal to another church of the same faith.
2) By erasure; members who are known to be deceased, or who have joined some other church, may be erased from the list.
3) By excommunication for disorderly conduct and sin.
b) Dismissal by letter shall be subject to the following rules:
1) Requests must be made in writing or in person to MBC and the name of the church with which the member(s) want to unite must be designated.
2) All letters shall be sent by registered mail to the Pastor or Clerk of the church designated in the application. Membership shall terminate upon the granting of letters. Those members who have requested letters shall be notified at the last known address when and if said address is known.
Note: A review of the church membership will be done as needed by the Pastors and Elders.
ARTICLE V -- OFFICERS
The Officers of this church shall be as follows: Pastors, Elders and Deacons.
All Officers will work with the Pastor(s) in carrying out their duties. All Officers, Ministry Leaders and Teachers of the church should strive to be:
a) Faithful to attend all public services of the church.
b) Loyal to church approved programs.
c) Separated from worldliness and have a godly lifestyle.
d) Submissive to the sufficiency of Scripture for their lives and decisions.
a) Qualifications. The Pastor shall fulfill the qualifications as outlined in First Timothy 3:1-7. One who is: above reproach, the husband of one wife, temperate, prudent, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not addicted to wine or pugnacious, but gentle, uncontentious, free from the love of money, one who manages his own household well, keeping his children under control with all dignity, not a new convert, and having a good reputation with those��outside the church
b) Call. The Elders of the church shall make the final decision after the congregation has had the opportunity to hear candidates preach from the pulpit. Matters of salary; parsonage; vacation and items related to personal activities shall be mutually agreed upon by the Board of Elders as they relate to the proposed Pastor. These arrangements may be reviewed annually by the Pastor/s and the Elders.
c) Tenure. The Pastor(s) in good standing shall be considered permanent. It may be terminated upon sixty (60) days notice or at any time as may be mutually agreed upon between the Pastor and the Board of Elders.
d) Termination. The cause for immediate termination of officers can be the result��of the following: Doctrinal deviation, behavior deemed unacceptable by established traditional biblical church customs and practices, incompetency, and incapability.
1) The Senior Pastor is the spiritual overseer of the church.
2) He shall have charge of the pulpit and conduct the regular and special worship services of the church.
3) He shall be responsible for the spiritual interests of the church.
4) He shall have the supervisory authority of the teachings within the church, Sunday Schools, and shall be Ex officio member of all boards and committees.
5) He shall be the moderator at all business meetings of the church. In the event the Senior Pastor is absent or incapacitated the acting moderator shall be an Administrative Pastor or assigned Elder.
6) He shall perform all the duties that pertain to the Office of the Senior Pastor.
a) Qualifications. Inasmuch as in the New Testament the qualifications of an Elder are similar to those of a Pastor, the qualifications of Elders in this church shall also be in line with: First Timothy 3:1-7; Titus 1:5-9; First Peter 5:1-5; Acts 20:17, 28.
b) Duties. The Elders shall assist the Pastor(s) in promoting the spiritual ministry of the church. The Pastor(s) and the Elders shall constitute a standing committee for the purpose of examining questionable applications for��membership and to which all matters of discipline shall be referred. They shall have general supervision of all departments, and the general supervision of
the spiritual interest of the church. They shall provide for the service of worship, and shall cooperate and assist the Pastor(s) in the performances of his duties. They too shall make sure of being men given to the ministry of the Word and of Prayer. Their duties shall also include:
1) Providing pulpit supply during the vacancy of the Pastorate.
2) Acting as pulpit committee in the vacancy of the Senior Pastor.
3) Ministering to those who are seeking Christ, as well as those who desire membership in the church.
4) Considering all matters of church discipline that must come before the Elders before being presented to the church.
5) Considering any problems affecting the spiritual welfare of the church.
6) Examining and recommending for licensing and/or the ordination of candidates for ministry.
7) Being spiritual overseers of all teaching, ministry, and evangelism.
8) Serving the Lord’s Supper
a) Qualifications. The office of Deacon is considered to be a privileged responsibility. The New Testament places as much importance on the qualifications of the office of a Deacon as that of an Elder. Therefore, the qualifications outlined in First Timothy 3:8-13 shall also apply.
b) Duties. The Deacons shall assist the Pastor in the material ministry of the church. It shall be the duty of the Deacons to seek out such members of the church who need monetary assistance; to use the Dedicated Funds of the church for their relief and to visit the sick. Their duties shall also include:
1) Assisting in the Baptismal Service.
2) Ministering to the poor and needy of the church and being responsible for the distribution of the Benevolent Fund.
3) They shall be appointed to a specific function and department.
ARTICLE VI -- MEETINGS
The procedure for all meetings shall be as follows:
a) The following shall be regular congregational meetings;
1) Sunday schools and morning Worship Service.
2) A mid-week Prayer meeting on Wednesday evenings.
3) An annual business meeting held the first quarter of each year.
4) Baptismal Services in conjunction with Sunday Services when deemed necessary.
5) The Lord’s Supper shall be observed regularly on the first Sunday of every month.
b) Other meetings for business, fellowship and worship shall be called by thePastor(s) and Elders as deemed necessary.
ARTICLE VII -- FINANCES
The church is to be supported by voluntary contributions from its members who shall give according to their ability and the dictates of their own conscience; Second Corinthians 9:6-8.
The Comptroller/Financial Secretary:
a) Shall keep a complete and accurate record of all disbursements of the church��and contributions by envelope or check and shall issue a receipt of contributions by an individual, upon request, at the close of each year.
b) Shall be recommended by the Pastor(s) and the Elders.
c) Shall submit to the Pastor(s) and the Elders a monthly (and or as needed) financial report of the church, as well as a complete report for the annual��business meeting.
d) The books of the treasury shall be audited annually under the direction of the Elders.
e) Designated funds shall not be diverted from their purpose without one of the��following exceptions:
1) The original purpose no longer exists.
2) An urgent need exists which supersedes the original purpose as decided by a majority vote of the Board of Elders.
Note: It is assumed that all designated funds are for ministry usage.
An annual financial report shall be made available to all the members of the church.
A budget estimate shall be prepared and presented by the Pastor(s) and Elders.
ARTICLE VIII -- ORDINANCES
Water Baptism, when administered by this church, shall be by immersion. It shall be requested by those who have personally acknowledged Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and who have produced fruit in keeping with repentance, Romans 6:3-6, and Matthew 28:19-20.
The Lord’s Supper: This ordinance shall be observed once each month. All who have accepted Jesus Christ as personal Savior and are walking in fellowship with the Lord are encouraged to participate in this ordinance.
ARTICLE IX -- AMENDMENTS
This document may be amended, altered or revised by the Pastor(s) and Elders of MBC.
ARTICLE X -- DISSOLUTION OF THE CORPORATION
In the event of the dissolution of MBC, the Elders shall act as trustees for the Dissolution. After all liabilities have been settled, the remaining assets shall be distributed to a non-profit corporation that stands for the fundamental truths of the Word of God and holds to Biblical Principles. Such distributed assets shall be given only to a corporation whose mission and doctrinal statement are similar to MBC. No benefits or assets of this corporation shall ever be given to the benefit of any individual member or officer. Those currently serving as missionaries supported by MBC are to be included in the distribution of the assets of this corporation when dissolution occurs.
ARTICLE XI -- GENERAL
Inner Organizations: Every organization or society organized or operated by this church will be an integral part of the church and not an entity to itself. The aim of such organizations or societies shall always be to help the church. The Pastor(s) and Elders shall have complete authority over such groups and may offer leadership, make suggestions, or even dissolve a group if they perceive that a particular group is causing dissension.
Official Representation: The church shall not be represented at any religious gathering without the approval of the Pastor(s), or in their absence, the Elders. This is to prevent the church from possibly getting involved in an ecumenical gathering, where our church might be degraded and bring reproach upon the name of Christ.
License and Ordination: Any member who feels the call to the ministry may, after a time of testing and service in a ministry, be licensed upon recommendation of the Pastor(s) and Elders in the form of a public announcement from the pulpit. If there is no objection, he may be licensed. The church clerk shall then furnish him a certificate of license as his credentials. Upon the request for ordination to the pastorate of an independent bible church or full time Christian service, the church may ordain the candidate after an examination and recommendation by the presbytery of ordained Ministers and Elders.
Marriage: MBC, because of traditional Judeo Christian belief and the traditional Biblical definition of Marriage (one (1) Man for one (1) Woman genetically and by DNA) as biblically defined in Genesis Chapter 2, First Corinthians chapter 7 and Ephesians 5:22-33, reserves the right to refuse any Marriage that is not biblically defined. Furthermore MBC will not participate in any ceremonies or accept into membership any couple not meeting the above definition of marriage.
Statement of Policy: MBC is resolved to be completely independent and does not hold nor shall it ever hold any legal connection with any other church or ecclesiastical order of any kind. This Church will fellowship with churches of same faith.