Article I Name and Location of Offices
This church is incorporated as a non-profit corporation according to the laws of the state of Texas. The name of the corporation is Lakeside Bible Church (LBC) with its principal office located in Montgomery County.
Article II Purpose
The purpose of LBC is summarized as follows: “And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, ‘All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age’” (Matthew 28:18-20).
Article III Statement of Faith
The statement of faith of LBC is based solely on the inerrant, infallible, inspired Word of God. The following is a general summary of what we believe:
We believe that every word of the original writings of the Old and New Testaments is inspired by God, and therefore inerrant, infallible, and authoritative. The Bible is the final authority for everything we believe and do at LBC.
We believe in one God who eternally exists in three persons; the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. He is the creator, sustainer, and ruler of all things who will one day judge every person. The ultimate priority of LBC is to know God and glorify Him with our lives.
We believe that the eternal Son of God was begotten by the Holy Spirit, being born of a virgin named Mary, and therefore is truly God and truly man. He lived a sinless life, died on the cross as a substitute for those who receive Him as their Lord and Savior, resurrected from the grave after three days, and ascended to God’s right hand to be our High Priest and Advocate with the Father. The person and work of Jesus Christ is the central focus of LBC.
The Holy Spirit
We believe the third person of the Trinity convicts unbelievers of their need for Christ and regenerates, baptizes, seals and indwells all believers, and provides them with spiritual gifts to serve and build up the church. LBC is completely dependent on the power of the Holy Spirit to affect change in people’s lives.
We believe that man was created in the image of God, but through Adam’s sin, all have inherited a sinful nature which separates them from God. Every human being is totally depraved and doomed for eternal punishment in hell, and of himself can do nothing to remedy his lost condition. The joy of LBC is showing people how they can be forgiven for their sin.
We believe salvation is a free gift of God granted to those who are willing to repent of their sin and place their faith alone in the finished work of Jesus Christ. Salvation cannot be earned by good works. Once a person receives Jesus Christ as his personal Lord and Savior, his salvation is secure forever through the preserving power of God. LBC’s mission is to share the good news of salvation.
We believe that every Christian is in the process of being transformed into the likeness of Jesus Christ. Through study of God’s Word and prayer along with the encouragement of other Christians, the believer will live a life of increasing holiness, separating himself from the sinful practices of the world and developing godly habit patterns. LBC has the privilege of helping people along the path toward spiritual maturity.
We believe that the universal Church, the body and bride of Christ, is a spiritual organism, made up all born-again believers that God established to advance His kingdom in the world during this present age. Believers all over the world group together in local churches to worship God and be a witness for Christ in their community. We believe God has raised up LBC as a place of worship and witness in the Lake Conroe area.
We believe in the imminent return of Jesus Christ and the final judgment of all mankind after which the saved will experience everlasting blessing in heaven and the unsaved will experience everlasting suffering in hell. This “Blessed Hope” creates a spirit of anticipation but also a sense of urgency in all we do at LBC.
Article IV Ordinances
LBC recognizes baptism and communion as the two ordinances Jesus Christ instituted for His Church.
The Bible commands every believer to be baptized (Mt. 28:19-20; Acts 2:37-42). Baptism is a public statement and testimony of a person’s commitment to the Lord Jesus Christ. It is also a symbolic act illustrating a person’s union with Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection (Rom. 6:3-6). Anyone who desires to be baptized must be interviewed and approved by the Elders who will administer baptism by immersion (Mt. 3:16; Mk. 1:10; Jn. 3:23; Acts 8:38-39).
The Lord’s Supper shall be observed regularly as designated by the Elders. All believers are encouraged to participate in this time of remembrance and celebration of the death of Jesus Christ as long as they carefully examine themselves so that they do not take communion in an unworthy manner (Mt. 26:26-29; 1 Cor. 11:17-34).
Although not recognized as an ordinance, believing parents who wish to publicly promise to bring up their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord may have their child dedicated, with the approval of the Elders, during a worship service (Deuteronomy 6:6-7; Eph. 6:4).
Article V Church Membership
Section 1. Requirements for Membership
Membership at LBC shall be open to all persons who confess Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior and are willing to abide by these Bylaws.
Section 2. Types of Membership
(a) Regular Membership is extended to those who reside in the local area and wish to enjoy the fellowship, privileges, and responsibilities of LBC throughout the year.
(b) Associate Membership is offered to those who reside in the area during part of the year and wish to attend LBC while they are here (e.g. part-time residents, college students, missionaries on furlough, etc.). While retaining their membership in another church, Associate Members may enjoy the same fellowship, privileges, and responsibilities as the Regular Members of LBC.
Section 3. Reception of Members
All requests for membership shall be made to the Elders. Upon making such a request, the person shall be given an application for membership, along with a copy of the Doctrinal Statement and the Bylaws. After attending the required membership class and being interviewed and approved by the Elders, the person will be publicly received into membership during a worship service.
Section 4. Denial of Membership
If, upon review of an application for membership or after meeting with a prospective member, the Elders determine that the applicant does not confess Jesus Christ as his or her Lord and Savior, or that there is a lack of evidence of a godly lifestyle, or that they are not willing to abide by these Bylaws, membership at that time shall be denied. The decision made by the Elders shall be final.
Section 5. Responsibilities of Members
Members shall regularly attend the worship services, financially support the ministry of the church, joyfully exercise their spiritual gifts for the mutual benefit of the body, humbly submit to the loving care and rule of the Elders, lovingly hold fellow members accountable to live a godly life, and faithfully share Christ with unbelievers and invite them to be a part of a local church.
Section 6. Discipline of Members
LBC is committed to practicing church discipline as outlined by Christ in Mt. 18:15-17. The threefold purpose of church discipline is (1) to glorify God by maintaining purity in the local church (1 Corinthians 5:6), (2) to edify believers by deterring sin (1 Timothy 5:20), and (3) to restore a sinning believer by calling him or her to return to a biblical standard of doctrine and conduct (Galatians 6:1).
(a) The four-step process of church discipline is to be carried out with a gentle, loving, God-like attitude (Heb. 12:5-13).
(b) Members of the church and all other professing Christians who regularly attend or fellowship with the church, who engage in promoting false doctrine or conduct that violates Scripture and bring reproach on LBC, shall be subject to the following steps of church discipline: (1) It shall be the duty of any member of the church who has knowledge of the erring individual’s heresy or misconduct to warn and correct them in private, seeking his or her repentance and restoration. If the erring individual does not heed this warning, then (2) The warning member shall again go to the erring individual, seeking his or her repentance, but accompanied by one or two individuals who shall confirm that the sin has occurred or is continuing to occur, and/or that the erring individual has been appropriately confronted and has refused to repent. If the erring individual still refuses to heed this warning, then
(c) It shall be brought to the attention of the Elders. If the Elders find after thorough investigation that the erring individual is continuing to sin, that he or she has been appropriately confronted, and that he or she has refused to repent, then the Elders shall inform the church (i.e. the congregation) thereof at a regularly scheduled worship service in order that the entire church may call the erring individual to repentance. If the erring individual demonstrates repentance, then notice to that effect may be given at a regularly scheduled worship service. If, however, the erring individual does not repent in response to the church in its collective call to repentance, then (4) The individual shall be publicly dismissed from membership and/or fellowship in the church at a regularly scheduled worship service. If the erring individual, after such dismissal, heeds the warning, demonstrates repentance, and requests reinstatement before the Elders, then he or she shall be publicly restored to all the rights, duties, privileges, and responsibilities of membership and/or fellowship (2 Cor. 2:6-8).
(d) The elders, at their discretion, may proceed directly to the third stage of church discipline (i.e. the informing of the church and the congregation at a regularly scheduled worship service in order that the church may call the erring individual to repentance) and then to the fourth stage of church discipline, (i.e. the dismissal from membership and/or fellowship in the church) when one or more of the following have occurred;
(i) Where the transgression and the refusal to repent have become a public offense to the whole church (1 Cor. 5:1-5).
(ii) Where the first and second stages of church discipline have effectively occurred simultaneously.
(iii) Where the disciplined party has taught or otherwise disseminated doctrine deemed false or erroneous by the Elders, then chosen to disregard the
direction and reproof of the Elders (Romans 16:17).
(iv) Where the disciplined party has been warned twice by the Elders to cease from factious and divisive conduct and has chosen to disregard that
warning (Titus 3:10-11).
(e) The members of the church, and all other professing Christians who regularly attend or fellowship with the church, agree that there shall be no appeal to any court because of the dismissal or because of public statements to the congregation at the third or fourth stages of church discipline. Members under discipline who chose to resign their membership may still be lovingly pursued to restore them to fellowship.
Section 7. Removal of Members
Separate and apart from the process of church discipline, but subject to the discretion and approval of the Elders, a member or regular attender, or other individual may be notified that he or she is not to be present at LBC gatherings for such a period of time as is deemed necessary for the safety or well-being of others in the church. Such required absence may, but need not be, concurrent with church discipline of that person. Also, the Elders may remove from membership the name of any member who has transferred their membership to another church or has not attended a worship service for a period of six months or longer. Reasonable effort will be made to contact such a member before he or she is removed from membership.
Article VI Meetings
Section 1. Annual Meeting
A regular annual meeting of the church members shall be held in January of each year. At such regular annual meeting, the members shall consider reports of the affairs of the church, and transact any other business the Elders bring before the meeting, including but not limited to affirmation of the appointments made by the Elders of those who shall serve as Elders along with those who are recognized as serving as Deacons and Deaconesses. The Chairman fo the Elders will preside at this and any other special meetings of the church to ensure that they are conducted according to the principles of God’s Word.
Section 2. Special Meetings
Special meetings of the members may be called at any time by the decision of the Elders. Advance notice of special meetings shall be given to the membership.
Section 3. Affirmation By Members
Those admitted to church membership do not constitute a legislative body, nor do they constitute members of the Corporation, and they cannot vote, pass resolutions binding upon the Corporation, nor shall they have any equity in the property of the Corporation, or rights to vote on its disposal. However, members have the opportunity to affirm those matters that the Elders present to the membership at any annual or special meeting. This privilege is open to all members who are not under any disciplinary action and who are at least 18 years old.
Article VII Church Government
Section 1. Authority of Elders: LBC acknowledges the Lord Jesus Christ as its head who ultimately rules over the church (Eph. 1:22-23; Col. 1:18). Christ mediates His ruling authority in the church through godly servant-leaders called elders who are entrusted by the Holy Spirit with the responsibility of overseeing and shepherding the flock of God (Acts 20:28; 1 Thes. 5:12-13; 1 Tim. 3:1-7; 5:17-22; Titus 1:5-9; Heb. 13:7, 17; James 5:14-15; 1 Pet. 5:1-5). Based on this pattern followed by the local churches in the New Testament, all the physical and spiritual matters of LBC shall be managed with humility, sensitivity, and unanimity by the Elders who will be required to give an account to God for their ministry. The divinely delegated authority of the Elders includes, but is not limited to, the following:
(a) To select and remove elders, pastors, staff, and employees of the church; prescribe their duties and fix the terms of their offices and their compensation.
(b) To supervise and control the funds and all properties of the church.
(c) To establish policies and practices for the church consistent with the Scriptures, the LBC Doctrinal Statement, and its Bylaws.
(d) To resolve any disputes that arise among the members, pastors, or staff regarding any matter of spiritual teaching or practices or church policies, procedures, purchases, or finances.
Section 2. Number and Tenure of Elders
The number of Elders at LBC will be determined by the Elders based upon need and availability of men who have a desire to be an Elder and who are qualified to be an Elder (1 Tim. 3:1-7). A man may serve as an Elder as long as he has the desire to be an Elder and remains qualified as an Elder. The qualification of every Elder will be regularly evaluated by the other Elders.
Section 3. Selection of Elders
Recommendations shall be requested from all church members of those men who they consider qualified to serve as an Elder. The Elders shall review all recommendations and determine each man’s qualifications. Those men whom the Elders select to serve as an Elder will be presented to the congregation for their affirmation.
Section 4. Qualification of Elders: Each Elder must be an active member of the church and possess the qualifications described in 1 Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:6-9. He must:
(a) Live a blameless life that is above reproach (1 Timothy 3:2; Titus 1:6-7)
(b) Be devoted exclusively to his wife with all purity (1 Timothy 3:2; Titus 1:6)
(c) Lead a self-controlled, well-balanced life (1 Timothy 3:2; Titus 1:8)
(d) Be sensible and wise, exercising good judgment (1 Timothy 3:2; Titus 1:8)
(e) Maintain an organized, well-ordered lifestyle (1 Timothy 3:2)
(f) Be hospitable; being gracious and generous toward others (1 Timothy 3:2; Titus 1:8)
(g) Know the Word of God and be able to teach it to others (1 Timothy 3:2; Titus 1:9)
(h) Not be addicted to alcohol (1 Timothy 3:3; Titus 1:7)
(i) Not be quarrelsome, quick-tempered, or belligerent (1 Timothy 3:3, Titus 1:7)
(j) Be gentle and patient in dealing with people (1 Timothy 3:3)
(k) Not be self-willed or arrogant (1 Timothy 3:3; Titus 1:7)
(l) Be honest and not greedily seek personal or financial gain (1 Timothy 3:3, Titus 1:7)
(m) Effectively manage his family and all the affairs of his household (1 Timothy 3:4; Titus 1:7)
(n) Not be a new convert but a mature Christian (1 Timothy 3:6)
(o) Be well respected, having a good reputation outside the church (1 Timothy 3:7)
(p) Be a lover of good men and good things (Titus 1:8)
(q) Handle things in a way that is just and fair (Titus 1:8)
(r) Be holy and devout (Titus 1:8)
Section 5. Resignation and Removal of Elders
An Elder may resign from his position at any time. An Elder may be removed by the other Elders if he is found to be physically or mentally incapacitated or spiritually unqualified (1 Timothy 3:1-7; Titus 1:5-9). It is the responsibility of every member to inform the Elders of any action by an Elder that brings reproach upon the church. Such an accusation will be thoroughly investigated and resolved to the satisfaction of the Elders. If an Elder is removed because of sin that is deemed sufficient to disqualify him from shepherding, and if he refuses to repent from that sin, the removal shall be accompanied by a public rebuke before the entire church at a regularly scheduled worship service (1 Timothy 5:19-22).
Section 6. Meetings of the Elders
Regular or special meetings of the Elders will be called by the Elders. The Elders shall choose from among themselves a Chairman and a Secretary who will serve in those capacities until they resign or are replaced by the Elders at their discretion. The Chairman will preside over the Elder meetings to ensure that they are conducted according to the principles of God’s Word. The Secretary will keep the minutes of all meetings and maintain the records of the church.
Section 7. Decisions of the Elders
In order for LBC to achieve and maintain the unity that Jesus Christ desires for His church, the Elders must be united (Jn. 17:21-23; 1 Cor. 1:10; Eph. 4:1-6; Phil. 1:27). Unity among the leadership is best expressed by unanimity. If the Elders cannot agree on a particular issue regarding biblical principles, they will take additional time to pray and study God’s Word together until they come to a unanimous decision. In areas of personal preference, the Elders will maturely defer to one another with humility (Phil. 2:1-4). When considering the removal of an Elder or Pastor-Teacher, the person being considered for removal will not be included in determining that a unanimous decision has been reached.
Section 8. Delegation of the Elders
From time to time the Elders may delegate certain tasks and responsibilities to qualified individuals who can assist them with the practical duties involved in shepherding the flock, and thereby, free them to fulfill their pastoral priorities (Ex. 18:13-27; Acts 6:1-6). Those individuals who faithfully serve alongside the Elders may be recognized as Deacons and Deaconesses (1 Tim. 3:8-13; Titus 2:3-4). The Elders will compile and confirm a list of those who fit the qualifications of a Deacon or Deaconess and who are serving in that role and present it to the congregation for their affirmation at the annual meeting.
Article VIII The Pastor-Teacher
Section 1. Selection
The Pastor-Teacher shall be selected by the Elders and presented to the members of the church for their affirmation at a special meeting called by the Elders. He shall remain in that position for an indefinite period of time subject to the following reservations: the Elders reserve the right to dismiss the Pastor-Teacher upon giving him one month’s written notice of their intention to dismiss; the Pastor-Teacher must give one month’s notice if he intends to resign. The time limit of a Pastor-Teacher’s resignation or dismissal is subject to a lesser time if both the Pastor-Teacher and the Elders deem necessary.
Section 2. Duties
The primary responsibility of the Pastor-Teacher is to equip the members of the church for the work of ministry (Eph. 4:11-12) by studying and preaching/teaching God’s Word and by praying for them (Acts 6:4). Other duties include providing the overall vision and direction for the church, developing and leading a pastoral staff which can work together as a team to minister in specialized areas of the church (i.e. children, youth, music, etc.), arranging all the regular services of the church, administering the ordinances of the church, conducting weddings and funerals, and counseling those individuals struggling with personal, spiritual problems. The Pastor-Teacher will be an Elder held accountable by the other Elders.
Article IX Ordination, Licensing, and Commissioning
Section 1. Ordination
Ordination refers to the unanimous recognition by the Elders of a man’s call to and qualification/preparation for full-time pastoral ministry. Ordination shall be conferred for life, so long as the man continues to manifest the qualifications of the office.
Section 2. Licensing
Licensing applies to those who are involved in ministry on a part-time basis or who are bi-vocational. The Elders’ authorization allows them to perform the pastoral duties and functions of the church. Licenses will be evaluated and issued on a regular basis.
Section 3. Commissioning
When ordination or licensing is unnecessary or inappropriate, a person is commissioned by the Elders to minister. This authorization continues as long as the opportunity to minister remains in effect and as long as the person maintains the qualifications for ministry (i.e. missionary).
Article X Financial Provisions
Section 1. Treasurer
The Elders shall ensure the proper stewardship of the physical and financial resources of LBC. They may appoint a Treasurer(s) from among the members of the church to implement and accomplish this responsibility. The Treasurer(s) shall ensure that all financial activities and transactions are consistent with these Bylaws. The Treasurer(s) shall keep and maintain adequate and correct accounts of the properties and business transactions of the church, deposit all monies and other valuables in the name and to the credit of the church with such depositories as may be designated by the Elders, disburse the funds of the church as may be directed by the Elders, render to the Elders, whenever they request it, an account of all the transactions and of the financial condition of the church, and shall have such other powers and perform such other duties as may be prescribed by the Elders.
Section 2. Endorsement of Checks, Contracts, and Other Documents
The Elders may authorize any officer or officers to enter into any contract or execute any instrument in the name of and on behalf of the church. All checks, drafts, demands for money and notes of the church, and all written contracts of the church, shall be signed by such officer or officers in order for them to be binding.
Section 3. Records and Reports
The church shall maintain adequate and correct accounts, books, and records of its business and properties. All such books, records and accounts shall be kept at its principal office in the State of Texas. Financial reports shall be made to the congregation and made available to individual members as requested.
Section 4. Dissolution
Upon dissolution of this church, the Elders shall cause the assets herein to be distributed to another church or ministry with purposes similar to those identified in Article II of these Bylaws.
Section 5. Indemnification
LBC may indemnify a person against reasonable expenses incurred by him in connection with a proceeding which he is threatened or named as a defendant or respondent because he is or was an Elder, Pastor-Teacher, Deacon, Deaconess, officer, employee or agent of LBC if it is determined that he acted in accordance with these Bylaws. These provisions are intended to be consistent with the provisions of Article 1396-2:22A of the Texas Nonprofit Corporation Act.
Article XI Amendments
These Bylaws and the Doctrinal Statement of LBC may be altered, amended, repealed, or replaced by the unanimous decision of the Elders at any regular or special meeting of the Elders.
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