Constitution

  1. Purpose
  2. Preamble
  3. Meetings
  4. Church members
  5. Joining the church
  6. Pastor
  7. Elders
  8. Diaconate
  9. Life Group leaders
  10. Division of Life Groups
  11. Treasurer
  12. Church clerk
  13. Auditors
  14. Collectors
  15. Affiliation
  16. Arbitration
  17. Procedure
  18. Cessation
  19. Amendment
Covenant
  1. Purpose:
     

    The purpose of this organization is the fulfillment of the Great Commission of Jesus Christ as outlined in Matthew 28:19-20. "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always to the very end of the age." It shall use whatever means deemed ethical and necessary for the completion of this task including but not restricted to: preaching, teaching, worship, publishing, advertising, social media and whatever good works that are consistent in loving and caring for people.

  2. Preamble

    In striving for a Biblical model we:

    1. See leadership in terms of servanthood. Matthew 20:25-27. Anyone in leadership roles of any sort are called upon to look at themselves as the slaves of all. The Bible teaches that those who humble themselves God will exalt, and those that exalt themselves will be humbled. Any pastor, elder, deacon, life group leader or other leader in the church who ignores this principle forfeits the respect of the people. The authority delegated in this constitution to leadership is not to be used for lording it over the members of the body but for loving service for the body.

    2. Recognize the importance of submission and accountability on the part of the membership to leadership. Hebrews 13:17. We reject the culture's exaltation of self and independence and affirm our spiritual need to be in submission to authority. By virtue of being part of a larger body we receive ministry and help from others. This principle is critically important to our growth and maturity as Christians, to harmony in the church, and to focus for vision and ministry.

    3. Are committed to the procedure outlined in Matthew 18:12-20 as the pattern for conflict resolution and believe redemption, restitution and reconciliation are the goals of church discipline—(verse 14) the problems must be dealt with privately. If redemption, restitution and reconciliation are not achieved then a witness must be present during further discussions. If issues are not resolved then the matter must be decided by the church. This is the pattern that will be applied to all the following rules regarding dismissals, church discipline and/or conflict resolution.

  3. Meetings:
     
    1. An annual business meeting for the church shall be called for any date prior to the first of February for a given year.

    2. Special meetings may be called
       
      1. by the pastor
      2. by the majority of the elders
      3. by thirty percent of the Diaconate members
      4. by thirty percent of the members
         
    3. Any business meeting must be announced at worship for at least two consecutive Sundays prior to the meeting.

    4. All voluntary appointments are up for a yearly review for confirmation at the Annual Business Meeting.

  4. The church members:
     
    1. must be born again Christians.

    2. must be baptized by immersion as believers according to the dictates of Scripture.

    3. must have attended church in the last six months. Those with limited mobility will be given special consideration.

    4. must be in general agreement with to the Advent Christian Declaration of Principles.

    5. are under the authority of the pastor and elders.

    6. are seeking to walk closer to Jesus and serve Him by serving people.

    7. may be dismissed from membership of the church by the Pastor, in consultation with the Diaconate or a majority of either the Diaconate, or church body.

    8. may appeal dismissal from membership by Pastor to the Diaconate, and may appeal dismissal by the Diaconate to the church body at a special business meeting if the requirements for calling such a meeting are met.

  5. Procedure for joining the church shall consist of:
     
    1. Meet with the Pastor and/or the Elders to review qualifications listed above.

    2. Pastor and or Elders recommend membership to the church body.

    3. By majority vote the church shall decide on membership.

    4. At a worship service a person shall be welcomed into the membership upon their affirmation of the concise Advent Christian Church Covenant and their reception of the right hand of fellowship administer by the church leadership.

  6. The pastor:
     
    1. must be a born again Christian.

    2. must adhere to the Advent Christian Declaration of Principles.

    3. has a servant attitude toward the church at large and the church leadership in particular.

    4. appoints Elders to the Elders board according to the principles listed in 1 Timothy and confirmed by the Board of Elders and/or the Church membership at any business meeting.

    5. appoints Deacons to positions of particular responsibility delegating authority according to:
       
      1. the talents and abilities of those available members
      2. the particular needs of the church
         
    6. Appointments must be confirmed by elders or the church body at a business meeting.

    7. sets the agenda and direction of church ministry in consultation with the Diaconate.

    8. Works with the church leadership in consultation with the church treasurer to create a budget for the church for the coming year.
       
      1. at the annual business meeting
      2. must work within that budget
      3. any expenditures exceeding 10% of a line item within the budget must be approved by a majority vote at a duly called meeting of the church members.
         
    9. trains, appoints, advises, and dismisses Life Group Leaders.

    10. shall give ninety days notice upon resigning unless an agreement to the contrary is reached with the Diaconate.

    11. may be dismissed by:
       
      1. a majority vote by membership at a business meeting
      2. Shall be given ninety days notice when dismissed unless some other arrangement is agreed to by the church or Diaconate.
         
  7. Elders
     
    1. must be born again Christians that are members of the local church.

    2. living consistent Christian lives according to principles given for Christian leadership in 1 Timothy.

    3. have a servant heart.

    4. must adhere in general to the Advent Christian Declaration of Principles. Exceptions are at the discretion of the pastor subject to the approval of the elders.

    5. Shall be members of the Diaconate.

    6. Shall be responsible for the oversight of the ministries of Life Groups as delegated by the pastor.
       
      1. They shall help with the council, care and training of Life Group leaders.
      2. Shall encourage Life Group leaders to love God, practice Biblical teaching, evangelism, pastoral care, and acts of service.
         
    7. may be dismissed by the Pastor or a majority of the Elders.

    8. may appeal dismissal by Pastor to the Elders or dismissal by the Elders to the church body if the requirements are met for calling a business meeting.

  8. Diaconate members
     
    1. must be born again Christians that are members of the local church.

    2. living consistent Christian lives according to principles given for Christian leadership in 1 Timothy.

    3. have a servant heart.

    4. must adhere in general to the Advent Christian Declaration of Principles. Exceptions are at the discretion of the pastor subject to the approval of the Diaconate.

    5. responsible to the pastor for area of ministry.

    6. may be dismissed by the Pastor or a majority of the Diaconate.

    7. May appeal dismissal by the Pastor or Diaconate to the church body if the requirements are met for calling a special business meeting.
       
      1. must be confirmed or dismissed by a majority vote of the church members at a duly called church business meeting.
         
    8. The Diaconate shall serve as a search committee and governing body when the church is between pastors and shall elect a chairman from among themselves.

  9. Life Group leaders shall:
     
    1. be born again Christians that are members of the local church.

    2. living consistent Christian lives according to principles given for Christian leadership in 1 Timothy.

    3. have a servant heart.

    4. adhere to the Advent Christian Declaration of Principles.

    5. shall be appointed by and responsible to the Pastor or the Elder under whose authority his life group is to function.

    6. lead a small group of people in home fellowship meetings, prayer, and evangelism, and additional ministries such as good works, missions, church planting, charity, and hospital visitation.

    7. recruit and apprentice additional Life Group leaders.

    8. have the option of appealing dismissal by Pastor to the Diaconate.

  10. Division of Life Groups shall happen after
     
    1. exceeding an attendance of ten for three weeks, provided steps 2 and 3 are met.

    2. the assistant leader is ready and able to take responsibility for a Life Group.

    3. The group has been prepared emotionally for the division.

  11. The treasurer shall be
     
    1. a born again Christian.

    2. living a consistent Christian life according to principles given for Christian leadership in 1 Timothy.

    3. exhibiting a servant heart.

    4. a voting member of the Diaconate.

    5. not necessarily a member of the local church.

    6. responsible to care for church assets in a fashion consistent with a duly approved church budget under the direction of Pastor and Diaconate within the sphere of their official responsibilities.

    7. accountable to a yearly audit.

    8. responsible to provide reports to the church at duly called business meetings.

    9. responsible to provide reports to the Diaconate at regular meetings.

  12. A church clerk shall be elected at the annual business meeting to serve on the Diaconate
     
    1. from among the church members.

    2. must meet the requirements for Christian leadership as described in 1 Timothy.

  13. The auditors shall be chosen by the church at the annual business meeting and
     
    1. must be born again Christians active in an evangelical church.

    2. need not be members of the local church.

    3. must give a report to the church body at the annual business meeting.

  14. At least two collectors shall be elected by and from the church members at the annual business meeting. Vacancies may be filled by appointment of the Diaconate.
     
  15. Affiliation: This church is affiliated with and cooperates with the Maine State Advent Christian Conference and its associated organizations.
     
  16. Arbitration

    The church will be subject to binding arbitration by the Maine State Advent Christian Conference if that organization is invited in for arbitration by

    1. Pastor

    2. thirty percent of the membership

    3. thirty percent of the Elders

    4. or thirty percent of the Diaconate.

    In such an event the church’s autonomy is ceded to the Maine State Advent Christian Conference judiciary committee with respect to the issue raised and their judgment is final even if it results in the firing of a pastor or the disbanding of the church. If oversight of the church in the area of contention is included in the decision rendered, that oversight shall be limited to one year. It may only be continued longer by a majority vote of the church.

  17. Parliamentary procedure as outlined in Robert’s Rules of Order shall be used to govern all official business and Diaconate meetings of the church.

  18. In the event the church shall cease to hold regular meetings; that is, at least once a month, the assets of the church shall be turned over to the Maine State Advent Christian Conference or its successors.

  19. The constitution may be amended by a majority vote of the church body at a duly called business meeting after the particulars of suggested amendments are made known by announcement at weekly worship to the church members for at least four consecutive weeks. Constitutional considerations must meet requirements of non-profit tax free regulations.

Advent Christian Church Concise Covenant

We do hereby covenant and agree, with the help of the Lord, to walk together as a church of Christ, faithfully maintaining its ordinances, taking the Bible as our only rule of faith and practice, church order and discipline; making Christian character the only test of fellowship and communion.

We further agree, with Christian fidelity and meekness, to care for one another, to council, admonish, or reprove, as duty may require, and to receive the same from each other as befits the household of faith.