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Administrative Document

For Grace Bible Fellowship

Originally Published: xx April, 2010 - updated 6/6/2024

Intent

  The purpose of this document is to lay out various administrative directives deemed helpful for the function and organization of the church. These directives are deemed fitting for the culture, context and situation of the church, or address common areas of differences. Inasmuch as we acknowledge our own fallibility and the limitedness of our present understanding, this document in no way definitively interprets Scripture or prevents future changes with further light given from the Lord to the body of Believers in this church. Those who have joined themselves in fellowship with other Believers at GBF are asked to submit to these administrative directives for the sake of “those who will give an account” (Hebrews 13:17) for the shepherding of GBF and to support order within the church (1 Corinthians 14:26,40) as we together seek to love the Lord Jesus and serve Him forever. 

Directive I – Church Name

  The name of the church will be *GRACE BIBLE FELLOWSHIP (GBF). 

  (*original name: Sovereign Grace Community Church, changed to GBF on 1/1/2022)
 

Directive II – Membership and Discipline

   Members of GBF are not formally recognized by means of a vote or the signing of a covenant, etc; but by means such as (but not limited to) the following: the commitment of their lives in ministering to the needs of others, in continuing in sound doctrine, loving unity, Christian fellowship, breaking of bread, corporate prayer,  exhorting one another with the Word of God, by submitting to one another in the fear of Christ,  and by exercising the gifts given them by the Spirit according to their faith and ability (Acts 2:41-42, 4:31-32 ; Rom. 12). 

  Discipline due to known, unrepentant sin and disobedience in the life of a professing Believer will be dealt with in accordance with Biblical instruction (Matthew 18:15-20 ; 1 Corinthians 5 ; Titus 3:10-11,etc) by those who fellowship at GBF and the leadership. Any who fellowship at GBF and are “called a brother” (1 Corinthians 5:11) are subject to church discipline. Because the Elder(s) are often privy to things that are not common knowledge and could cause injury to innocent parties, and given that the Elder(s) are those who “give an account” (Hebrews 13:17a) and are to “exercise oversight” (1 Peter 5:2), if disciplinary matters lead to removing a member from the body, the determination of the Elder(s) must be submitted to by the church in order to maintain unity and order.   

Directive III – Elder(s)

  Only MEN will be considered for the position of  an Elder (1 Timothy 2:12, 3:1-7 ; Titus 1:6). 

  New prospects for Eldership may be privately recommended to the Elder(s) by any who fellowship at GBF. Examination of that individual’s Biblical qualifications will be required of the church and Elder(s) (1 Timothy 3:1-7 ; Titus 1:5-9). Those who are part of GBF will be able to voice any consent or concern to the appointing Elder(s) prior to the appointment of a new Elder. Upon the church’s recognition of the gifts and calling of the Lord and the agreement of the appointing Elder(s), the individual shall be appointed/ordained by the existing Elder(s) and recognized as an Elder of GBF. 

  The number of Elder(s) will not be limited, and is open to as many as the Lord determines to add. 

Directive IV – Deacons

  New prospects for the diaconate may be privately recommended to the Elder(s) by any who fellowship at GBF. Deacon(s) will be appointed and approved by agreement of the existing Elder(s) based upon Biblical qualifications (1 Timothy 3:8-12) and the leading of the Holy Spirit amongst the Elder(s) and the members. The decision of the Elder(s) is to be weighed with input from those who are part of GBF. The roles of a Deacon will be in line with clear Biblical understanding and are left open to the needs of the fellowship and determination of the Elder(s). The number of Deacon(s) will not be limited and is open to as many as the Lord determines to add. 

Directive V – Communion and Baptism

  Participation in communion is a matter between an individual and the Lord. All are asked to “examine themselves” (1 Corinthians 11:27-29) to see if they are able to partake without sinning against the Lord. GBF practices “open communion” each Sunday, and all who profess faith in Christ are encouraged to participate as their conscience allows.  GBF does not require baptism prior to partaking of the Lord’s Supper, but anyone not willing to be baptized should give careful consideration as to whether they have truly submitted to Christ as Lord, being He is the One which gave baptism to His church.
Those presiding over communion will give regular warnings and instruction as seems best.

  Baptism by immersion upon an individual’s professed faith in Christ, will be practiced at GBF. Baptism is available for those who profess Christ as Lord and demonstrate Biblical evidence of a saving work of grace in their life.  Baptism is an outward, public expression of the inward reality of the individual dying with Christ and being raised to newness of life. Baptism is not a meritorious work, and does not confer anything upon the recipient other than a clear conscience, having been obedient to the Lord’s command (Romans 6:1-7, Matthew 28:18-20). 

Directive VI – Finances

  Those who fellowship at GBF may recommend one competent, trustworthy and proven person as Treasurer to manage the books. The recommended individual will be appointed to the position by the Elder(s). All the Elder(s), and the Treasurer will have shared access and oversight to the GBF bank accounts. The Treasurer will hold a minimum of one annual business meeting, open to all at GBF, to review the year’s financial record, budget, and any proposed changes to the budget. Anyone may review and provide input on any aspect of the church finances, including proposed changes. Final determination of the church’s budget and utilization of church funds for non-budgeted expenses will be at the discretion of the Elder(s) based upon input from those at GBF and the leading of the Lord, excepting the salary for the Elder(s).
The Elder’s salary is to be set by the Elder(s) and approval of the members based upon a ¾ majority. The Elder(s) shall not set a salary which exceeds the consensus of the members. The consensus is to be reached in open discussion in a business meeting. If a ¾ majority is disputed by any  member present, a ¾ majority will be proven by show of hands. A meeting is to be called the following Sunday to make the decision known to the church.

Directive VII – Property

  If GBF purchases property, the church will incorporate to provide group ownership of the property with the Elder(s) (as able) signing for responsibility of the property, along with any Deacons that are willing and able to do so.

  *If for any reason GBF should discontinue and disband, all PERSONAL PROPERTY and ASSETS are to become the property of Grace Community Church in San Antonio Tx. (*This is needed to meet the legal requirements of Nueces County in order for GBF to be exempt from PERSONAL PROPERTY taxes.)

Directive VIII – Change to Directives and Disputes

  As these directives are based upon our present needs, and our present understanding of the Scriptures, they are subject to change as deemed necessary based on new light and ever changing needs in the church.. Anyone who is a member of GBF may at any time suggest changes to this document by presenting them in writing to any of the Elder(s) of GBF. Changes must be approved by unanimous consent of the Elder(s), and then be announced during any regular meeting or by public distribution within the church.

  A copy of the original Admin. Docs. will be kept on file and available for any member to view upon request. 

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