Constitution and Bylaws

ARTICLE I
This constitution and bylaws provides a framework for maintaining biblical principles and practices within that part of the body of Christ commonly called Christian Life Fellowship. In addition, we desire to perpetuate order in this body by providing organizational guidelines and a climate where all believers can move toward Christ-centered maturity. To these ends we, the believers at Christian Life Fellowship, commit ourselves.

SECTION 1
This church shall implement its New Testament Christianity by exercising its authority:

  • A. To administer the regular ordinances of baptism and the Lord’s Supper.
  • B. To establish and maintain departments, institutions and services within the church for the propagation of the Gospel and its work included within the purposes of this entity.
  • C. To designate its own officers, appoint committees, arrange its own meetings and govern itself in accordance with these bylaws.
  • D. To establish and define policy by which it shall be governed.
  • E. The Council of Elders of this body recognizes the validity of ordination administered by other groups, communions and denominations whose doctrinal standards agree in essence with our own understanding of the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.
  • F. To examine candidates for the gospel ministry and ordain those who shall have been approved by the Council of Elders of this church, according to the standards set forth in the New Testament.
  • G. To examine candidates and appoint missionaries and/or apostolic teams and to endorse and support missionary programs according to New Testament standards.
  • H. To establish other churches, Christian schools, missions and Christian institutions both at home and abroad, according to New Testament standards.

SECTION 2
While maintaining its inherent rights to sovereignty in the conduct of its own affairs, this church shall voluntarily enter into spiritual fellowship with any and all churches of like precious faith, whether of denominational, interdenominational or nondenominational status. Further, it shall endeavor to bring about commonality of mission and fellowship around the highest common denominator, namely, the Lordship of Jesus Christ and the authority of the Scriptures, and in the power of the Holy Spirit.

ARTICLE II

OUR PURPOSE
Why we exist:

Christian Life Fellowship exists to glorify God and serve the Treasure Valley by:
Transforming people through Spirit-empowered evangelism and discipleship into fully mature, Christlike men and women, and equipping them to transform their world.

OUR CORE VALUES: What’s important to us
The leadership of CLF is passionately committed to:

  • 1. Worship
    We seek to enter into and experience the very presence of God, both corporately and individually, and to develop deeper intimacy with Him.
  • 2. Word of God
    We intend to teach it, believe it, and obey it without apology or compromise.
  • 3. Fellowship
    We are committed to making it possible for every attender of CLF to be in meaningful and intimate relationships with other believers through LIFe Groups or other small groups.
  • 4. Prayer
    We believe that prayer is central to the release of the life and power of God in individual lives, families, and our congregation. We agree with the maxim of the church in China: “No prayer, no power; little prayer, little power; much prayer, much power.”
  • 5. Family
    We believe that healthy marriages and families are the cornerstone of a healthy society, and that strong, loving masculine leadership is the key to a healthy family and a healthy church.
  • 6. Equipping the saints for the work of ministry
    We believe that every Christian is called to be a minister, that the Holy Spirit has granted them spiritual gifts for that purpose, and that the role of the pastoral staff in particular is to equip them to use their gifts effectively.
  • 7. Unity in the body of Christ
    We are committed to affirming, celebrating, experiencing, and expressing the fundamental unity of all life-giving, Christ-centered churches.
  • 8. Public stand for righteousness
    We believe in taking a stand in the public arena when issues of righteousness are at stake.

OUR VISION
Where we’re headed:

According to Acts chapter two, the early church “devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, to fellowship, to the breaking of bread, and to prayers.” (Verse 42, HCSB) We believe that this is the model of a church that is vibrant, growing and devoted to our Savior. The Vision of Christian Life Fellowship is to follow this Biblical pattern to grow a devoted church that glorifies God.

1) Devoted to the Apostle’s teaching (Scripture): Our vision is to maintain strong, solid, unwavering Bible teaching in our corporate services. We will also provide other opportunities for the flock to be taught the Word in men’s, women’s, children’s and family ministries, and other large and small group environments. Our vision is to see every regular attendee of this congregation develop the habit of daily time alone in God’s Word. We also desire to see husbands and wives and families studying the Word together regularly at home. Our goal is to equip every person in this body to understand what we believe, why we believe it, and how to communicate that truth to unbelievers in love and with grace.

2) Devoted to fellowship: Jesus said that people would know we are His disciples by our love for each other (John 13:35). We will provide opportunities for fellowship and building community in the body with: Family Fun Nights; outings, retreats and activities for children, men, women and families; other events and activities. We will encourage people to attend these functions and will go out of our way to reach out to people and make them feel loved, welcome and enfolded in our congregation. We believe that fellowship also involves ministering together and keeping each other accountable to the Word of God.

3) Devoted to the breaking of bread: We believe that one of the best ways to build relationships and a sense of community is over a meal. Therefore, the elders will conscientiously practice hospitality by inviting individuals, families and small groups to join us for meals. We will encourage our deacons and the members of the flock to do the same. In addition, several times per year our deacons will plan and organize times for the entire congregation to share a meal together. We also believe that breaking of bread refers to worship and reflection in communion, and we will regularly observe this ordinance in our worship services.

4) Devoted to prayer: We encourage everyone in this body to be in prayer daily for: this flock, its members, missionaries and leadership; our nation, state and the Treasure Valley; friends, neighbors, relatives and coworkers/classmates; the unsaved people in our lives. The elders pledge to be in prayer regularly for this flock and all of the individual members that comprise it. Each elder has taken on the responsibility of shepherding and regularly praying for a portion of the congregation. We will pray for these people and the church as a whole every day as well as whenever we get together. We will also offer times of prayer during the week, and all of the elders will make every effort to be available to meet with members of the flock in prayer (either in person or over the phone) whenever the need arises.

5) Devoted to giving to those in need: In Acts 2:44-45 we read that the believers in the early church went out of their way to see that help was given to anyone who had a need. James 1:27 reads: “Pure and undefiled religion before our God and Father is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress…” Therefore, we have established a benevolence fund. We pledge to contribute to this fund and we encourage the members of this flock to do likewise. This fund will be used to help meet the needs of members of this body, as well as to reach out in the name of Jesus to those in the community who have a need. In addition to the benevolence fund, we will also emphasize giving to missionary organizations that meet the needs of widows, orphans, and the hungry, homeless and needy throughout the world. We will sponsor trips and projects for individuals and groups of our body to minister to the needs of the downtrodden, “giving a cup of cold water in Jesus’ name.” We will reach out to our community to discover what needs exist and how we can help to meet them. Our deacons will organize and coordinate opportunities for groups of our members to minister to these needs as they are gifted.

6) Devoted to thanksgiving and praise: In Acts 2:46-47 we are told that the early church was thankful and praised God. We believe that God will only fully bless a church that is thankful to Him and that praises Him for who He is. Therefore, we will place an emphasis on praise, and thanksgiving in our corporate worship, in our small groups and in our leadership meetings. We will regularly provide a “Body Life Time” during our corporate worship services for people to share what God has done in their lives. We will encourage the members of this body to have an “attitude of gratitude” and discourage complaining, arguing and gossip. We will work hard at being exhorters and encouragers who are thankful for each other.

7) Devoted to evangelism and growth: The last sentence of Acts chapter 2 reads: “And every day the Lord added to them those who were being saved.” We believe that being devoted to all of the above will result in lost souls coming to Christ. We believe in “lifestyle evangelism.” In other words, a person grounded in the Word who walks in the Spirit, loves the Lord and his fellow Christians, communes with the Lord daily in prayer and personal Bible study, goes out of his way to meet the needs of others and has a thankful attitude will be such a strong attraction that lost people will be drawn to him and desire to have what he has. We believe that if we devote ourselves to these things, God will honor that devotion and open doors for us to articulate our faith and add to our number those who are being saved! We will do everything necessary to enfold new converts into the church family and train them to do the work of the ministry. Those who are spiritually mature will disciple less grounded members of the flock, training them to disciple others who will then carry on that tradition.

ARTICLE III
DOCTRINAL POSITION

There is one God, coexisting eternally in three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. He is infinitely perfect, all-knowing, all-powerful, everywhere present, and the Creator of all things. I Corinthians 12:4-6; II Corinthians 13:14; Ephesians 1:1-14; Acts 5:3,4.

God the Father is the infinite, holy, and loving Creator of all things. Unlimited in time, space, knowledge, and power, the Father is in control of all things, and will work all things for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. Although distinct from His creation, He is immanently at work in it. Psalm 139:1-16; I Corinthians 8:6; John 5:17; Romans 8:28.

Jesus Christ is true God and true man. He was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. He died upon the cross, the just for the unjust, as a substitutionary sacrifice, and all who believe in Him will be justified on the ground of His shed blood. He rose from the dead according to the Scriptures. He is now at the right hand of the Majesty on high as our great High Priest. Matthew 1:22-23; Luke 1:35; John 1:1-18; Romans 3:21-26; Hebrews 1:1-3, 2:7; I Peter 3:18.

The Holy Spirit is a divine person, sent to indwell, guide, teach, empower the believer, and convict the world of sin, of righteousness and of judgment. John 14:16-26, 16:5-11.

We believe in the verbal, plenary inspiration of Scripture. The Old and New Testaments were inspired and dynamically superintended by the Holy Spirit, using the verbal expressions of the human authors who accurately penned the words, so that the very thoughts God intended were transmitted without error down to each and every word. These Scriptures are the complete revelation of God’s will for the salvation of men, and they constitute the divine and only rule of Christian faith and practice. Matthew 5:17-20; John 10:35; II Timothy 3:16.

Man was originally created in the image and likeness of God; he fell through disobedience, incurring both physical and spiritual death. All men are born with a sinful nature, are separated from the life of God, & can be saved only through the atoning work of the Lord Jesus Christ. Genesis 1:26, 27; John 14:6; Acts 4:12; Romans 1:18-20.

Salvation has been provided through Jesus Christ for all men; and those who repent and believe in Him, receiving Him as personal Savior and Lord, are born again of the Holy Spirit, receive the gift of eternal life and become the children of God. Acts 2:38; Romans 3:21-26, 10:9, 10; Titus 3:5, 6; 1 Peter 1:3-5.

The Church consists of all those who believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, are redeemed through His blood and are born again of the Holy Spirit. Christ is the Head of the Body, the Church, which has been commissioned by Him to go into all the world as a witness, preaching the gospel to all nations. Matthew 28:18-20; Romans 1:4; I Corinthians 12:13; Ephesians 1:22-23.

The local church is a body of believers in Christ who are joined together for the worship of God, for edification through the Word of God, for prayer, fellowship, the proclamation of the gospel and observance of the ordinances of baptism and the Lord’s Supper. Acts 2:42-47.

There shall be a bodily resurrection of the just and of the unjust; for the former, a resurrection unto life; for the latter, a resurrection unto judgment. Matthew 25:31-46; Hebrews 9:27.

The second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ is imminent and will be personal and visible. This is the believer’s blessed hope and is a vital truth which is an incentive to holy living and faithful service. Acts 1:9-11; Titus 2:13; I Peter 1:13; II Peter 3:11.

ARTICLE IV
MEMBERSHIP

SECTION 1
Standard of membership. Every believer is a member of the universal body of Christ. However, it is God’s customary pattern to lead believers to commit themselves to a local expression of His universal church. The membership of this church shall consist of those who have given testimony of having received Jesus Christ as personal Savior and Lord, who have received believers’ baptism, who take the Scriptures as their rule of faith and practice, who have declared their agreement with the constitution and bylaws of this church, and who have been received into fellowship by signing the Covenant of Fellowship and Commitment. (Cf. “Covenant of Fellowship and Commitment.” Appendix A)

SECTION 2
Reception of members. Applicants who have signed the Covenant of Fellowship & Commitment will be received into the membership upon their verbal assent to the Covenant in one of the worship services of the church.

SECTION 3
Church discipline. When a brother or sister who is under the shepherding care of this church (especially one who is a member) is “caught in a sin” those “who are spiritual are to restore him gently” (Galatians 6:1). Jesus outlined this process of discipline and restoration in Matthew 18:15-20. The following steps are to be followed:
1. Private (“just between the two of you”) rebuke (“show him his fault”) by the believer who becomes aware of the sin.
2. If there is no repentance following private rebuke, one or two others who have also become aware of the sin (“witnesses”) are to meet with the sinning brother (“take one or two others along”) for rebuke and an appeal for repentance.
3. If there is still no repentance, the church, after consultation with the elders, is to be informed (“tell it to the church”). If the injured party is under the shepherding of this church, he is to inform the church with the assistance of the elders; if the injured party is not under the shepherding care of this church, the elders will inform the church;
4. If there is still no repentance, the sinning brother will be removed from the church fellowship, membership will be revoked (if applicable) and the church fellowship will be instructed not to engage in any social relationship with the sinning brother as long as there is no repentance. The church body will at this point “hand this man over to Satan” (1 Corinthians 5:5).

Note: If after Step 2, the brother chooses to remove himself from the shepherding care of this church, the elders may at their discretion inform the church of that fact, instructing the church to withdraw from social relationship with the sinning brother and handing the departing brother over to Satan. He will be considered to have made the decision to disfellowship himself from this church. If it is discovered that he is fellowshipping at another church, the leadership of that church will be informed of the actions that this church has taken and the reasons for them.
5. The purpose of handing the sinning brother over to Satan is redemptive: “. . . so that the flesh may be destroyed and his spirit saved on the day of the Lord” (I Corinthians 5:5). If the destruction of his flesh leads him to genuine repentance and appropriate restitution, the sinning brother will be restored to fellowship and his membership reinstated (“. . . you ought to forgive and comfort him . . . (and) reaffirm your love for him” (II Corinthians 2:7-8).

SECTION 4
Termination of membership. Membership may be terminated for any of the following reasons:
1. Written request by member
2. Due notice of death
3. Written notice of another church that member has been received into their membership
4. By vote of the Council of Elders (e.g. as part of the church discipline process)

ARTICLE V
CHURCH GOVERNMENT

SECTION 1
Paid Pastors. Paid pastors shall be called for an indefinite term by unanimous vote of the elders. They may be an elder and a member of the Council of Elders.

SECTION 2
Council of Elders. The spiritual and temporal government of this church shall be vested in a Council of Elders. There shall be not less than 3 elders. The Council of Elders shall have all the functions, powers and duties of a Board of Directors for the purposes of the Idaho Non-Profit Corporation Act (and as described in the Articles of Incorporation of this church). Elders shall be selected by the existing Council of Elders.

1. Duties. All governing authority of the church shall be entrusted to the Council of Elders. They shall be the official representative of the church membership and shall be vested with all corporate powers of a nonprofit corporation under the Idaho Code, limited only by the Articles of Incorporation and this Constitution and Bylaws. The duties of the Council of Elders shall include, but not be limited to the following:

  • A. Be in the Word and prayer in order to discern the will of God concerning spiritual direction and function of the local church;
  • B. Appoint corporate officers, including but not limited to the following: President, Secretary and Treasurer;
  • C. Oversee the officers and deacons in the conduct of the corporate affairs of Christian Life Fellowship of Boise, Inc., under the non-profit Corporation Law;
  • D. Approve the salaries, employee benefits and other remunerations of paid staff members;
  • E. Exercise authority over the hiring and dismissal of paid staff members;
  • F. Exercise corporate responsibility in the areas of finance, administration, missions, facilities, building and development and such other areas as may from time to time be established, and they may select one from their membership to supervise each area so designated;
  • G. Manage all property and funds of the church and all other acts necessary and proper for the efficient management and operation of the church as a nonprofit corporation;
  • H. Ensure the maintenance of accurate and complete financial records pertaining to church funds. An internal review by selected church members (who are neither deacons, elders, officers or employees of the church) shall be conducted annually . External reviews shall be conducted upon written request of not less than ten (10) active members not more frequently than three (3) year intervals and a full, formal external review shall be conducted whenever five (5) years have elapsed without an external review.

2. The Council of Elders shall elect a Chairman and a Vice Chairman from among their membership, who shall be the President and Vice President of the Corporation.

3. The Council of Elders shall appoint a Secretary and Treasurer (or Secretary/Treasurer) for the corporation from the Council of Elders or from the church membership.

4. The Chairman of the Council of Elders shall preside at all meetings of the church and the Council of Elders. The Vice Chairman of the Council of Elders shall assume the duties of the chairman in his absence or incapacity.

5. For the Council of Elders and all church committees, a majority of the members shall constitute a quorum.

6. An elder shall cease being an elder immediately upon adoption of another church home, upon submitting a letter of resignation or by action of the remainder of the Council of Elders when an elder has proven himself deficient in character of shepherding.

7. An accusation from the body concerning the fitness of an elder to serve must follow the scriptural procedure outlined in 1 Timothy 5:20. The accusation must come from a minimum of 2 witnesses to the deficiency and must be received in writing. The Council of Elders will examine such an accusation and take whatever steps are appropriate, including public rebuke if an elder is found to be in sin. Only the Council of Elders may discipline elders.

SECTION 3
Deacons. Men and women who meet the qualifications found in 1 Timothy 3:8-13 shall be designated as deacons by the elders. The church body will assist in both the nomination process and in the “show cause” period in which the body is given the opportunity to evaluate each nominee’s fitness to be recognized as a deacon.

SECTION 4
Meetings of the Council of Elders. The Council of Elders shall meet at regular intervals, at least monthly, and more frequently as deemed necessary, to perform its functions as set forth in this constitution and the bylaws. Special meetings of the Council of Elders may be called by the Chairman of the Council of Elders, as requested by the Pastor, or at the request of a majority of the members of the Council of Elders.

SECTION 5
Rules of order. Robert’s Rules of Order shall govern the transaction of all church business unless the rules are in conflict with scriptural procedure or with this constitution and bylaws, in which case the Scriptures or the constitution and bylaws shall prevail.

SECTION 6
Annual meeting. The annual business meeting of the church will be the first business meeting of the Council of Elders held in the new calendar year. It shall be held within 90 days after the close of the prior year.

SECTION 7
Special meetings. Special meetings of the church membership may be called at any time by the Chairman of the Council of Elders, by the Vice Chairman of the Council of Elders, upon written request of a majority of the Council of Elders, by request of the pastor, or upon written request of ten percent of the members of the church. Notice of each special meeting and the purpose for which it is called shall be given in the church bulletin and during the worship services for at least 2 Sundays prior to the meeting.

SECTION 8
Church staff. Pastors and other staff members shall be hired upon receiving the unanimous approval of the Council of Elders.

ARTICLE VI
AMENDMENTS

This constitution may be amended at any regular business meeting of the Council of Elders. Amendments shall require one month’s notice and the unanimous approval of the Council of Elders.

ARTICLE VII
BYLAWS

Bylaws to this constitution may be adopted as required to implement its purposes. Bylaws may not conflict with or supersede the constitution. Amendments to the bylaws shall be by action of the Council of Elders. Written notice of all actions affecting the bylaws shall be provided promptly to the membership either by letter or through the official publications of the church such as the church bulletin.

APPENDIX A
COVENANT OF FELLOWSHIP AND COMMITMENT

As one who has already been accepted into Christ’s universal body through faith in Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior and taking the Scriptures as my rule of faith and practice, I desire to enter into a “Covenant of Fellowship and Commitment” with Christian Life Fellowship. I have read the constitution (including its statement of CLF’s doctrinal position) and accept it as the governing document for this congregation.

Because the Lord Jesus Christ is my Savior and through the shedding of His blood has delivered me from the bondage of sin, Satan and self; and because I believe that He called me to be a part of His worshiping, believing and ministering Body in the world; and because God’s word tells me that “we are all members of one another” under the headship of Christ and under the leadership of those called, I do covenant with my fellow believers in the faith to be equipped for the ministry as God leads & to commit myself by this Covenant of Fellowship and Commitment to:

  • Be transformed, through the power of the Holy Spirit, into a fully mature, Christlike follower of Christ.
  • Be a transforming influence in my world, especially in witnessing to my non-Christian friends of Christ’s love for them.
  • Worship God with others in this congregation, and to love him with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength.
  • Read and obey the Word of God.
  • Pursue the fellowship of the Spirit with others in this congregation.
  • Devote myself to prayer.
  • Embrace this congregation’s commitment to strong, Christ-centered marriages and families.
  • Use my spiritual gifts in a place of ministry.
  • Affirm, celebrate, experience, and express the unity of all life-giving, Christ-centered churches.
  • Take an appropriate stand for righteousness in the public arena.

AMENDED: March 4, 1996; December 16, 1996; February 17, 2003; August 7, 2006; June 30,2013

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