Our Purpose The purpose of Faith Community Church is "to invite people into relationship with Jesus Christ and membership with his family, helping them become mature disciples equipped to do ministry in the church and mission in the world, all for the sake of magnifying God." Statement of Faith This Statement of Faith is intended to be a strong evangelical statement, reflecting a deep commitment to historic, biblical Christianity. While strongly committed to essentials of the faith, we practice charity in minor differences in such doctrines as fullness of the Spirit, the time of the return of Christ, and personal practice of the faith. Persons feeling a strong commitment to minor doctrinal distinctive would probably not feel comfortable with this church's fellowship.
These are our beliefs: The Bible - We hold the 66 canonical books of the Holy Scripture to be the inspired Word of God, without error in the original writings. We receive the Bible as the final authority for the faith and life of the church.
Eternal Godhead - We believe in one God, creator of all things, infinitely perfect and eternally existing in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Jesus Christ - We believe that Jesus Christ is true God and true man, having been conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. He died on the cross, a sacrifice for our sins, according to the Scriptures. He rose bodily from the dead, ascended into heaven where, at the right hand of God, he is now our high priest and advocate.
The Holy Spirit - We believe the Holy Spirit indwells and guides the life of the believer and the believing community.
Man - We believe that mankind was created in the image of God but fell into sin, and only through the new birth, which is the gift of God through personal faith, is salvation and eternal life obtained.
The Future - We believe in the personal return of our Lord Jesus Christ in glory.
The Church - We believe in the resurrection of the dead: of the believers to everlasting life and joy with the Lord, and of the unbeliever to everlasting separation from the Lord.
Sacraments - We believe that Christ ordained his church to baptize believers and to collectively participate in the Lord's Supper. We believe that these sacraments are to be administrated regularly through the local church, and they are an integral part of our relationship with Christ, both individually and corporately.
Our Covenant Having received and professed Jesus Christ as our personal Savior and Lord, we enter into the following covenant knowing that we are dependent on the grace of God to keep it.
Personal Faith - We will strive to develop a lifestyle of consistent prayer and Scripture study for the purpose of growing in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Relationship with the Body - We are committed to weekly worship, usually with this Body, and will seek to advance it in holiness, service and knowledge. We will hold to this church’s worship, discipline and biblical teaching. We will give this Body pre-eminence over all institutions of human origin. We will cheerfully give a portion of our income to support ministry, church expenses, relief of the poor and spread of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We commend the biblical tithe as a measure of mature Christian giving. We acknowledge our serving leadership as God-ordained and will heed the guidance and direction given by it. We as a Body accept the responsibility of listening for and obeying the voice of the Lord. We affirm that our union with Christ is our sole basis for community. Our relationships are not aimed directly toward one another, but rather are given to us through the Word and Person of Jesus Christ.
We further covenant to care for and counsel one another. We will put true love into action both individually and collectively through preaching of the Gospel and caring for the sick, poor and troubled. Because of our commitment to the Lord and to each other, we are diligent to resolve anything which would hinder our relationship to God or to each others. We will abstain from all that may act to prevent one who is unsaved from seeing or hearing the Gospel. We affirm that we are called to be a light shining in the darkness and to be a living witness of Christ’s blessing and reign. Our hearts are burdened as we seek the salvation of others.
Family - We covenant that our children will be loved, disciplined and educated according to scriptural principles. We will strive to practice regular times of prayer and devotions with our family, realizing that the spiritual state of our family affects our own growth and relationship with God.
The Larger Christian Church - We as a Body are eager to establish fellowship with all other local bodies that are committed to Christ as personal Lord and Savior and who earnestly seek to be faithful in biblical teaching.
Conclusion - We eagerly look forward to the return of Christ and to our participation in God’s eternal Kingdom. If and when we leave this Body, we will as soon as possible, unite with another church where we can carry out the spirit of this covenant and the principles of God’s Word.
Scripture References to Covenant
1. Romans 10:9; John 1:12 2. 2 Peter 3:18; 1 Peter 2:2 3. 1 Peter 3:13; Colossians 1:9-12 4. Hebrews 10:24-25 5. Acts 2:42-47 6. Ephesians 4:11-16 7. Ephesians 2:19-22 8. 2 Corinthians 9:6-15; 1 Corinthians 16:2; Matthew 23:23 9. Hebrews 13:17; 1 Timothy 5:17; Titus 1:5-9 10. 1 Thessalonians 2:13; John 16:13 11. 1 John 1:1-3 12. Galatians 6:1-2; James 5:16-20 13. Matthew 25:31-46 14. Ephesians 4:1-3, 30-32 15. Philippians 2:5-16 16. Ephesians 6:1-4 17. 1 Thessalonians 1:6-8 18. 1 Corinthians 15:51-58; Titus 2:11-13 19. 1 Corinthians 12:12-13; Philippians 1:1-6 Our Constitution We the members, do ordain and establish the following articles to which we voluntarily submit ourselves.
ARTICLE I - STATEMENT OF FAITH
ARTICLE II - MEMBERSHIP A person who meets the following requirements is eligible for voting membership: 1. Professes faith in the Lord Jesus Christ 2. Life gives evidence of the reality of a relationship to Christ 3. Publicly affirms the covenant of this church
A person may be received into membership after completing the course of instruction for new members and giving a personal testimony. These members have voting rights.
ARTICLE III - GOVERNMENT
The government of this church is vested in the body of believers of which it is composed, subject to the provisions set forth in the by-laws of this document.
1. The church year for fiscal purposes is July 1 to June 30. 2. All officers, committee chairpersons, Session members, and Ministry Staff will be members of the church.
Membership is open to all people at least 16 years of age who have completed the required membership classes and meet the standards that are outlined in Faith Community Church’s Covenant.
The Session may remove from membership inactive members or those whose conduct and/or doctrine is so opposed to the church’s doctrine and witness as to destroy the possibility of fellowship. Members involved will receive personal contact with and counsel from an Elder of the church.
II. Officers and Their Duties
The officers of the congregation are the Pastor-Teacher/Elder and members of the Session.
Pastor-Teacher/Elder: A Pastor-Teacher/Elder shall be called who is ordained to the ministry of the Word. He shall be a faithful servant of Christ who is committed to the apostolic ministry of the Word. His primary duties are:
1. To feed the flock of Jesus Christ through diligent teaching of the Word of God, 2. To shepherd the congregation in its growth and maturity in love.
His term of office will continue until he resigns or is terminated by the Session after the Session has ascertained the support of the membership of the church.
The Pastor-Teacher/Elder will oversee the on-going function and responsibilities of the church staff. The Pastor-Teacher/Elder will also have authority in the hiring and/or removal of church staff. Any changes will be carried out only after sufficient consultation with the Session.
Session: 1. The Session is entrusted with the guiding/governing of the congregation. The Session cares for all matters of policy and practice guided by Biblical authority, prayer and unity in the Spirit. 2) The Session is composed of the Diaconate, Episcopate and the Ministry Staff. 3) The Diaconate, Episcopate and Ministry Staff will work together, supporting each other as a team, as they carry out the work of God’s Kingdom. If there should ever be a situation that cannot be resolved in the Session by consensus, it will be the responsibility of the Elders to take up this issue with prayer, study, and if needed, fasting, until they reach a consensus. 4) The Session has vested in it all the power and authority usually ascribed to a Board of Directors or Board of Trustees in a corporation and will have authority to use these titles when necessary in handling corporate or civil matters. The church is incorporated under the laws of the State of Wisconsin as a non-profit religious organization and the officers of the corporation are as follows:
President: The President is the executive director of the congregation and will serve as presiding officer of the Session meetings, and encourage the Session’s work of ministry in the church. The President is an ex officio member of all committees.
Vice-President: The Vice-President shall fulfill all responsibilities as designated by the President. The Vice-President will also perform the duties of the President in his/her absence, disability or at the President’s request. The Vice-President is an ex officio member of all committees.
Secretary: Will keep a record of the proceedings of the Session and meetings of the congregation.
Treasurer: Will oversee the receipts and disbursements of all church funds, present financial reports as directed by the Session and keep a record of giving for contributors to the church’s work. The Session will appoint an accountant for auditing of the financial records of the church at its discretion.
These officers will normally hold the office of Deacon.
III. Meetings of the Congregation
1. The Session will call a business meeting of the congregation at least annually for: approval of Session members, presentation of a budget for the coming year, and other items of business as deemed advisable by the Session. The Session shall call for a meeting of the congregation whenever: a Pastor-Teacher is to be called, a building program is undertaken, or such other times as the Session discerns that it would be in the best interest of the congregation to do so.
2. Meetings of the congregation will be called by notice from the pulpit two consecutive Sundays before the meeting and by publication in the church newsletter, or by a special mailing, prior to the date of the meeting. This can only be circumvented if the Session deems the meeting to be an emergency. In the case of an emergency meeting, an announcement will be made from the pulpit stating reason and subject of the meeting at least one day before the meeting.
A quorum will consist of all those voting members present at a duly called meeting of the congregation. Regular attendees, who are not members, are welcome to attend all congregational meetings, and may voice their opinion; however, they are not entitled to vote.
1. The Episcopate will be made up of at least six faithful and proven Elders who will, along with the Pastor-Teacher/Elder, care for the oversight and shepherding of the church. In addition to this, Elders may be assigned to provide spiritual oversight and shepherding in each program area of the church’s ministry as the Session directs. These areas may include Christian Education, Worship, Administration, Evangelism, and other areas as the Session deems advisable.
2. Holding to the teaching of Scripture regarding the responsibility of men in spiritual leadership/headship in the family and in the family of faith, the Elders shall normally be male members of the congregation. We recognize, however, that in special times and circumstances, God has called women to serve in such a role. The Session will seek the mind of Christ if and when such a call seems appropriate.
3. The Episcopate will seek suggestions from the congregation and prayerfully consider candidates when Elders must be added. The Session will consider candidates and unanimously agree on recommended appointments. Following this, the Elders will conduct a formal interview with the candidate, and if married, the spouse. At this interview a complete presentation of the expectations of the office will be given. If the Elders and candidate see no obstacles for installation, the candidate will be presented to the congregation for approval.
4. The Episcopate shall annually review its work and its membership and determine when changes in its membership are necessary.
5. The term of office for each member of the Episcopate is 3 years in staggered terms. The term is renewable upon agreement of the individual, full Episcopate and the Session. An interview, as stated in point 3, will be held before each new term.
1. The Diaconate is made up of proven and faithful men and women who are given authority to implement the hands-on aspect of a program area of the church’s ministry. These areas may include Christian Education, Worship, Administration, Evangelism, and other areas as the Session deems advisable.
2. The Session will seek names of possible candidates from the congregation and unanimously agree on candidates. Each candidate and, if married, the spouse, will then have a formal interview with a part or person of the Session informing him or her of the responsibilities and expectations of the office. If the candidate still desires to serve in this office, he or she will be presented to the congregation for approval.
3. Members of the Diaconate will serve for three years in staggered terms. This does not include the President and Vice-President whose terms will run concurrent to each other. The term is renewable upon agreement of the individual, and the full Session. An interview, as stated in point 2, will be held before each new term.
VI. Ministry Staff
1. The Ministry Staff will be composed of ordained Pastors and Specialized Ministry Workers. These are proven and faithful men and women who have been hired by the church (full or part time) to supply their professional abilities to areas of ministry that the lay members may not be qualified for or have the time to properly direct on their own. This could include a Pastor(s), Children’s Ministry, Christian Education, etc. and any other area that the Session and Congregation deem advisable.
2. As part of their responsibilities, the Ministry Staff will be part of the Session. Due to their day-to-day labor among the congregation, their knowledge and spiritual insight will be much valued by the Elders and Deacons.
3. The Ministry Staff will carry out their ministry with the support of a Deacon(s) and/or Elder(s). This will provide a team effort to ministry with the Deacons providing hands-on help and direction, the Elders providing oversight and spiritual shepherding, and the Ministry Staff providing the knowledge and time needed to successfully carry out the work of God.
4. As they carry out their day-to-day ministry, the staff will receive oversight and be given direction and spiritual leadership by the Pastor-Teacher/Elder. (See By-Laws II. Officers and their Duties.)
5. In decisions concerning the work and function of the Ministry Staff, in which the Pastor-Teacher/Elder needs Session input, the Ministry Staff will remove themselves from the Session meeting. Input from the staff may be sought by the remainder of the Session in this process. (These areas could include addition or removal of staff, yearly reviews, reduction or addition of responsibilities, compensation, etc.)
AMENDMENTS TO CONSTITUTION AND BY-LAWS
Changes in this Constitution and By-Laws may be desired from time to time. The following procedure is specified for such change:
1. Proposed amendments to this constitution or by-laws may be brought to the Session.
2. When an amendment seems advisable, such amendment will be placed on the agenda of a meeting called for this purpose. The proposed amendment will be published in the church newsletter at least two weeks before the meeting.
3. Approval by two-thirds of the voting members present at a meeting called for the purpose of amending this constitution or by-laws will be required for adoption.
Faith Community Church Ordination Procedure
Faith Community Church is a duly recognized non-profit church organization of the State of Wisconsin, and because of this we have the privilege and power to ordain individuals as ministers of the Gospel.
We firmly believe that all believers are spiritually gifted and enabled by the Lord to carry out the work of ministry. Yet, we also recognize that in the Body of Christ certain individuals are divinely called and separated by God to give themselves completely and solely for the ministry of God’s Kingdom (Eph. 4:10-12; Gal. 1:15, 16). From time to time we realize that it will be necessary for the church to invite certain “called”, and equipped individuals to accept a position of ministry as one of our ministry staff under the direction of the Senior Pastor. Being an independent church, it may be necessary for these individuals to be officially recognized and ordained as ministers of the Gospel. This will invest them with the authority necessary to fulfill some of their ministerial duties, and grant them other benefits that ordination brings. Thus, their ordination will be as ministers of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and they will be accountable to the Senior Pastor and the Session of Faith Community Church.
The following steps will be observed when exercising the right of ordination and conferring it upon individuals:
1. The individual will be a Session appointed staff member of Faith Community Church.
2. The individual will request ordination first from the Senior Pastor, who will make the facts known to the church Session. The Session will then turn the responsibility of examining the candidate over to the Elders.
3. After an extensive interview with the candidate, discussion, and prayer, it is necessary that the Elders come to a consensus on the individual’s qualifications for ordination.
4. Upon consensus, the Elders will recommend ordination of the individual to the Session, and seek the Session’s consensus approval of their recommendation.
5. The ordination will then be carried out formally at a Sunday evening service. This service will be led by the Senior Pastor with the Session members in attendance. The ordination will be transacted by the laying on of hands of the Elders, and will be made official by the service being recorded in the Session minutes by the Secretary of the Session.
Faith Community Church began its ministry proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ in 1984. We are an independent, nondenominational fellowship.