After sermons and discussions with the church, the pastors and deacons of Mambrino Baptist Church have put together a proposed update to our church documents to reflect a more biblical understanding of the offices of elder or pastor and deacon. There will be other changes to the documents based on these updates but this section is crucial. The introduction on the church from section 1 and the leadership portion from section 3 included in this document. Below is a copy of that proposed update to our bylaws. We want to discuss these proposals with you. Please read the information below.
This proposal will need to be discussed in a members’ meeting, presented as an amendment, and then voted on by the members after a minimum of 30 days.
1. The Church
This congregation shall be known as Mambrino Baptist Church. The church building is located at 1625 Mambrino Highway, Granbury, Texas.
Mambrino Baptist Church is a congregation of baptized believers in Jesus Christ who take the Bible alone as the standard by which all matters of belief and conduct are to be decided. We believe the Bible, consisting of the 39 Old Testament and 27 New Testament books that comprise the Canon of Sacred Scripture, is the completed and final revelation of divine truth. We believe every word of the original writings of the Sacred Scripture is inspired by God and that the Bible is, therefore, our inerrant and final authority in all matters of faith and practice. If any point of these Bylaws is found to be inconsistent or contrary to the Bible that point of Bylaws is null and void.
1.1. Purpose of the Church
Mambrino Baptist Church exists because of the glory of God and for the gospel-good of others.
Our purpose is derived from the Great Confession in Matthew 16:13-20, the Great Commission in Matthew 28:18-20, and the Great Commandment in Matthew 22:37-40.
Mambrino Baptist Church is an autonomous body subject to the Lordship of Christ, under the authority of Scripture, led by its elders, and accountable to the congregation. The membership reserves the exclusive right to determine who may be members, elders, and deacons of this church and the conditions of such membership in accordance with Scripture.
3.1. Two leadership offices of the church
According to the New Testament, we recognize the offices of elder or pastor and deacon.
3.2. Office of Elder, Overseer, or Pastor
The terms elder, overseer, and pastor are used interchangeably. While the elders serve in various ways according to gifting and availability, they share equally in the authority of the office. While giving equal honor to all the elders, some of the elders may receive financial support.
The elders shall be comprised of those men who desire the office, are called and gifted by God for the office, and are set apart by the church for the office. Elders must meet the qualifications for the office set forth in 1 Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:6-9. Each must also be a giving and serving member of the church with proven ability to teach and make disciples (1 Tim 3:2; 2 Tim 4:2).
1) The elders shall, first and foremost, devote their time to prayer and the ministry of the Word by teaching and encouraging sound doctrine and practice, and by shepherding God’s flock. (Acts 6:2, 4)
2) The elders shall take particular responsibility to examine and instruct prospective members and recommend to the congregation those who fulfill the expectations for membership. (Titus 1:9)
3) The elders must examine and recommend to the congregation all prospective candidates for offices and ministerial/administrative positions. (Acts 6:2-6; Titus 1:9-11)
4) The elders shall examine and discern the need for and recommend to the congregation the creation and dissolution of all teams.
5) The elders shall oversee the work of the deacons and appointed teams and agents of the church. (Acts 6:5)
6) The elders shall administer/oversee the ordinances of baptism and communion.
7) The elders shall gently but firmly admonish and correct those in error, aiding and overseeing the process of church discipline as necessary. (Matthew 18:15-17, Galatians 6:1; Titus 1:9-11)
8) The elders shall coordinate and promote the ministries of the church, ensuring a balance between edification of the saints and evangelizing the lost, being mindful of the Kingdom’s work both locally and globally. (Ephesians 4:12; 2 Timothy 4:5)
9) The elders shall ensure that all who minister the Word to the congregation are properly qualified and scripturally sound. (1 Thess. 3:9, 5:22; 1 Timothy 6:3-5; Titus 1:9-11; James 3:1)
10) The elders shall ensure that all song leaders, as well as all songs sung in our services, are God-honoring and edifying to the body. (Colossians 3:16; Ephesians 5:19; 1 Timothy 6:3-5; Titus 1:9-11)
11) The elders shall appoint the Moderator for all Members’ Meetings.
12) The elders shall be responsible for the proper staffing and supervision of that staff. (See Personnel Handbook)
13) The elders shall pray for the sick upon request and visit the congregation. (James 1:27, 5:14)
14) The elders shall communicate to the congregation on a regular basis, at least quarterly, concerning the activities and concerns of the Elders.
15) The elders shall establish policies and practices for the Church consistent with her purposes.
16) The elders and deacons will meet together at least quarterly for the purpose of prayer.
3.2.3. Selection and Removal
The elders are responsible for identifying, training, and presenting prospective elders to the congregation. Input from the congregation is encouraged by submitting an explanation of the perceived fitness of the candidate for the office of elder. Prospective pastors must be presented at the members’ meeting prior to being voted upon. A two-thirds vote of those members present and voting is required to approve an elder. Installation to office will involve a time of corporate prayer by the church for that elder and his work.
Any two members with reason to believe that an elder should be dismissed should express such concern to the elders and, if need be, to the congregation. Any such action shall be done in accordance with the instructions of our Lord in Matthew 18: 15–17 and I Timothy 5: 17–21. Any of the elders may be dismissed by a two-thirds vote of the members at any members’ meeting of the church.
Elders will serve indefinitely according to personal life circumstances, the needs of the church, and the will of the congregation. It is understood that unpaid elders may have prolonged seasons of life where work, family, or physical circumstances prohibit them from fulfilling their duties. When this occurs, the church will be notified that the man will no longer fill the office. Reinstatement to the office will come by request of the acting elders at any regular members’ meeting then approved by majority vote of the congregation in the following members’ meeting.
3.3. Office of Deacon
Deacons must satisfy the qualifications for the office of deacon set forth in 1 Timothy 3:8-13.
1) The deacons shall work for the unity of the body and support the elders. (Acts 6:1-7)
2) The deacons shall aid the elders in the visitation needs of the congregation. (Acts 6:2-3)
3) The deacons shall administer the Benevolence Fund to assist the poor and needy and otherwise provide aid in times of crises or distress. (Acts 6:1)
4) The deacons shall coordinate the greeting and welcoming ministries of the church.
5) The deacons shall assist with baptisms and the Lord’s Supper
6) The deacons shall assist at fellowship gatherings of the church
7) The deacons shall oversee the gathering of tithes and offerings.
8) The deacons shall oversee the buildings and grounds.
9) The deacons shall meet together with the elders at least quarterly for the purpose of prayer.
The deacons, according to the congregationally approved budget and with the agreement of the elders, may establish paid or unpaid positions to assist them in fulfilling their responsibilities in the church.
3.3.3. Selection and Removal
As needs arise, the congregation can present prospective deacons to the elders for nomination. Nominations need to be given with an explanation of the qualifications of the nominee. Upon testing and approval by the elders, deacons will be installed after a two-thirds vote of the congregation. Installation to office will involve a time of corporate prayer by the church for that deacon and his work.
Any two members with reason to believe that a deacon should be dismissed should express such concern to the elders and, if need be, to the congregation. Any such action shall be done in accordance with the instructions of our Lord in Matthew 18: 15–17. Any of the deacons may be dismissed by a two-thirds vote of the members at any members’ meeting of the church.
Deacons will serve indefinitely according to personal life circumstances, the needs of the church, and the will of the congregation.