Additional Product Info
We have helped more than 3,000 churches and ministries form their non-profit corporation; write their Articles of Incorporation; write (and rewrite) their By-Laws from the inception of this ministry in 1988. Most Church's By-Laws originate from a disinterested Lawyers archive, and written from a democratic perspective, which give church members authority over the pastor. Good Church By-Laws are the cornerstone of church administration, and supersede any and all written Church Policies. With the recent spate of court rulings granting homosexuals the right to Marry, we expect there will be demands made of the church to conduct weddings between homosexuals. Our consul is – never respond to, or debate with anyone about their “sexual preferences,” for you will likely be sued for discrimination. But if your church By-Laws clearly state that you will only conduct marriages between those who are members of your church [or another church recognized by your pastor], we believe you will have a legally defensible position. These By-Laws address this volatile issue.
A POINT TO REMEMBER – What you develop for church By-Laws, should work for not only this generation of leaders [pastors] and the “Flock of God," but for succeeding generations as well. As you have no assurance that you will even be around tomorrow, what you are writing today, is what will be used by succeeding generations when you are long gone. That is why they, (the By-Laws) are sometimes called, “Our Articles of War, written in a time of peace.”
In the event of an internal church dispute the pastor, or any of the leaders 'fitness to lead,' should never be decided [voted on] by the membership - but only by his 'Peers." In this Manual, we have provided Biblical Church By-Laws which allow the pastor and church leaders to lead, yet providing for their accountability to other Ordained Ministry that had been identified, and approved earlier by action of the entire Board.
If you are just starting your church, [or are considering rewriting your Church By-Laws], and want to structure them Biblicaly, this manual will be of great help to you.
This manual will give you simple, easy to follow guidance in starting the church:
- A step by step explanation of what each section of the By-Laws means.
- The step by step process [there are nine steps] of creating the non-profit corporation. Includes sample letters to the Secretary of State for name reservation, and for filing the organizational documents with the state.
- Understanding God's order of church government is imperative, so that we can write Biblical By-Laws, and govern with His patterns and principals in mind.It should be kept in mind, that the By-Laws you write today, should be so biblical that it will work "Trans-generationally."
- Sample articles of incorporation. The sample Articles of Incorporation in this Manual contain the four clauses required by the IRS .
- An excellent set of Biblical by-laws. Written by knowledgeable Ministers, and a spirit filled Attorney who have an understanding of biblical principles of Church government, they have been used by more than 3,000 Churches. See the two On-Line Articles we wrote about Church By-Laws
- These By-Laws contain 40 points under the Statement of Faith section. For you see, if we 'load' our Church By-Laws with the Word of God, we will then have the ability to use the Bible for our defense in the courtroom. These By-Laws address the many relevant "Hot issues" of the day. eg: Family, Marriage, Homosexuality, the altering of ones sexuality. Everything from Elders, Five Fold Ministry, Discipline to Deliverance. These are the things that we would likely have lawsuits over - that is why we have put them in the By-Laws. This is by far more effective than developing Church Policies on these issues.
- Authority conferred vs authority delegated, is explained, and will help you to understand the difference. There are provisions for accountability to the Church, by those whom we Credential - thereby minimizing potential liability issues .
- A four page 'Organizational Meeting Minute," which will enable you to properly "Birth," the corporation. This minute addresses every important issue that is needed, and will set the church on the proper course for years to come.
- Includes a sample "Excerpt for the Bank." This excerpt, taken from the Organizational Minute, will authorize, and enable you to open a new church bank checking account. If you have already opened a Bank Account, it will need to be closed, and a new one opened for your new legal "Entity."
- These By-Laws provide the authority to Ordain or Commission Ministry to do the work of the ministry; and that minister would then have the authority to marry and bury. He will also be entitled to receive all tax benefits due him.
- Certificates of "Ordained Ministry," and "Commissioned Ministry," and "Ministry Credentials." An explanation of the difference between the ordained and commissioned, and Samples of both the "Certificate," and the "Wallet Credential." This will allow you to print your own ministry credentials.
- Annual application of Credentials [The Wallet Card]. Issuing a new card annually is the only means of implementing accountability standards, and limiting the corporation's liability.
- Accountability standards agreement. The Corporation is legally responsible for those whom they Credential. Therefore, accountability should be required of the minister. This provides a framework for a relationship of accountability.
- Membership application package: Vision statement; information gathering questionnaire; Membership Application and a copy of an Overhead Transparency for the induction service containing scripture regarding covenant relationship.
- A sample FYI letter to the IRS. If you have an IRS "Determination letter," they want you to inform them of any changes made to your By-Laws or Articles of Incorporation.
This Manual was revised in early 2010, and now includes two forms of By-Laws for your review. The greatest value and benefit in developing your own By-Laws, and forming your own corporation, is that you will fully know and understand what you have, when the process is completed. As opposed to paying an Attorney to do your work for you, and discover too late that he gave you By-Laws you absolutely do not agree to. By-Laws that will likely allow the sheep to rule the Shepard.And here, for your convenience, we are providing a list of web addresses for the Secretary of State Offices for all 50 states.
California: http://www.ss.ca.gov Colorado: http://www.sos.state.co.us
Washington, DC: http://www.dcboee.org
Florida: http://www.dos.state.fl.us Georgia: http://www.sos.state.ga.us
New Hampshire: http://webster.state.nh.us/sos
New Jersey: http://www.state.nj.us/state
New Mexico: http://www.sos.state.nm.us
New York: http://www.dos.state.ny.us
North Carolina: http://www.secretary.state.nc.us/corporations/
North Dakota: http://www.nd.gov/sos/
Rhode Island: http://www.state.ri.us
South Carolina: http://www.scsos.com
South Dakota: http://www.sdsos.gov
West Virginia: http://www.wvsos.org/