CHURCH CONSTITUTION

CONSTITUTION OF THE EVANGELICAL CHURCH OF AL AIN

01 September 2012

ARTICLE I.     NAME & IDENTITY

The name of this church is the “Evangelical Church of Al Ain, English Congregation”. The church is an international community of believers who meet regularly for worship, Bible study, prayer and fellowship.  This is an independent, evangelical church and a member of the Council of Evangelical Churches in the U.A.E.

Our supreme allegiance and commitment is to the Lord Jesus Christ and to the truth revealed in the Holy Bible.  This is a distinctively evangelical church holding to the fundamental historic tenets of the Christian faith.  This church believes and adheres to the doctrinal positions set forth in the Statement of Faith.

ARTICLE II.   PURPOSES/OBJECTIVES

To lead people to personal relationship with God through the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ and to seek to fulfill the Great Commission.

To teach and preach the message of the Word of God, the Holy Bible.

To provide for the spiritual care and nurture of members through worship, instruction, fellowship and service.

Because our congregation is made up of expatriates, it is our objective to prepare God’s people now for effective Christian service later – in the country of their origin or in new locations.  This shall be accomplished by providing opportunities for preparation and participation in outreach and ministry in the context of this church.

To promote fellowship with other churches which profess Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.

To own and/or hold in trust, use, sell, convey, mortgage, lease or otherwise dispose of such property, moveable or immovable, as this church may possess or come into possession of.

ARTICLE III.  MEMBERSHIP

PREREQUISITES FOR MEMBERSHIP.

Membership is open to persons 18 years of age and over, who reside in the vicinity of Al Ain and who have attended services regularly for at least two months and who meet the following criteria:

True believers, having received Jesus Christ by faith as Lord and Savior.

True disciples, committed to a life of holiness in devotion to God.

In agreement with the core beliefs expressed in the Statement of Faith and who undertake to abide by these in the exercise of ministry to the church.




Committed to participation in the church by attendance, use of ministry gifts, contribution of material or financial resources and edifying fellowship.

PROCEDURE FOR MEMBERSHIP

Application:  Any person meeting the above criteria may request an application for membership which will be provided, along with other pertinent documents  (Statement of Faith & Constitution, etc.)  The signed

application form should be submitted to the Ministry Council for consideration and approval.

Admission:  Eligible  applicants shall be accepted into full membership upon the approval by the Ministry Council.  New members shall be added to the church roll.

Termination:  Membership would be terminated as a result of relocation, resignation or non-compliance.  The Ministry Council  may also, with the approval  of the Elders may remove names of persons who are known to be

consistently violating the spirit of the conditions under which they joined and have not responded to attempts to restore them.  Discipline of erring members shall be dealt with in accordance with Matthew 18:15-18.

RIGHTS and LIMITATIONS OF MEMBERSHIP

Input: Each member has the responsibility and right to actively assist in determining the will of God for the congregation. This may be by offering proposals for consideration or giving feedback on decisions taken by the leadership.

Voting:  Voting privileges shall be extended to active members in good standing. [conditions III. A. & B.3.]

3.   Holding Office:  Active members in good standing   [conditions III.A.& B.3.] will be eligible for any elected or appointed office in the church.

4.   Safeguards:  No part of the net earnings of this church shall ever inure to the benefit of any donor, member, or officer of the church, nor shall any private individual be entitled to share in the distribution of any of the corporate assets.  In the event of the dissolution of the church, any assets of the church remaining, after meeting all responsibilities and payments of all just obligations, must be distributed to one or more organizations which are in harmony with the objectives of the church.  Final decisions regarding the disposition of assets and beneficiaries will be made by the Board of Elders with the approval of two-thirds vote of the membership.




ARTICLE IV. LEADERSHIP & MANAGEMENT OF THE CHURCH

This church is self-governing according to the pattern established in this constitution.  It acknowledges Christ as its head, while remaining independent within the framework of membership in the Council of Evangelical Churches of the U.A.E.

THE BOARD OF ELDERS

Composition:  The Board of Elders shall have the final authority in the church.  It shall be composed of those members of the church who satisfy the Scriptural qualifications for elders (1Timothy 3:1-7; Titus 1:5-9; 1 Peter 5:1-4) and are appointed to serve in  that capacity.  It shall include the pastor and at least four other members.

Responsibilities:

The Elders shall be responsible for the spiritual vision, guidance, instruction and protection of the congregation within the framework of the Constitution and the Statement of Faith.

The Elders shall be responsible for the selection, appointment and ministry of the Pastor, who is himself an elder and member of this Board.

c   The Elders shall have the authority to discipline and/or remove its own member(s) or any other leader in the event that such a person ceases to fulfill the duties or meet the qualifications of the office.

Appointment:  The Board of Elders shall add to their number from time to time those from the membership of the church, who meet the qualifications and whose personal calling to this ministry is recognized by the church and who are themselves willing to serve.  Prospective elders may be identified by the membership and/or by the Board of Elders.  When endorsed by the Board of Elders, they shall be presented for confirmation by a two thirds majority vote of the membership of the church present, voting by secret ballot at a Member’s Meeting. When appointed, the person shall be ordained to the work by the elders at a meeting of the church.

Term of Service: Each elder shall be appointed to a two-year term of service, which may be renewed one time.  Each elder is subject to confirmation by the congregation by two thirds vote of the membership present, for each term of service. An Elder may be terminated from office by the unanimous decision of the Board or under the conditions of III.B.3   No elder shall be eligible to vote upon the issue of his own removal.

Officers:  The Board of Elders shall select from among themselves a Chairman, Vice Chairman, Treasurer and Recording Secretary.   The Chairman of the Board of Elders shall be the moderator who shall officiate at all meetings of the Board of Elders, the Ministry Council and general Member’s Meetings.




THE PASTOR

Qualifications:  The Pastor shall meet all the qualifications of an elder as set forth in

IV.A.1. and should possess the necessary pastoral and theological training.

Duties:   The Pastor shall function in a team relationship with the other elders and the entire Ministry Council working to develop the ministry potential of gifted members around him.  He shall be responsible for the oversight of the spiritual welfare of the church.  In particular he shall preach and teach the Word of God, administer the ordinances, shepherd the flock in the church, and lead it in the fulfillment of its sacred tasks.  The pastor shall not serve as the Elder Chairman or Church Treasurer.

Appointment: The appointment of the Pastor shall be made by the Board of Elders after consultation with Ministry Council and after confirmation of at least two thirds of the members present at an annual or special Members Meeting.

Term of service: The Pastor will enter into a contract with the Church normally for a period of two years and the contract may be renewed for additional two-year periods. Each renewal is subject to the recommendation of the Elders and confirmation by two- thirds of the members.  The contract with the pastor shall include a clear job description.

Termination of service:

The Pastor’s services may be terminated by either the Pastor himself or the Board

of Elders upon sixty days notice, unless waived by mutual consent.

Such action, taken unilaterally on the part of the church must be so done with  2/3 consent of the Board of Elders (excluding the Pastor himself…– IV.A.4.) and a simple majority (half) of the church membership present and voting at a Members Meeting called for this purpose.  Voting by secret ballot shall be necessary for such actions.  The Board Of Elders may terminate services with immediate effect if necessary, provided that financial compensation continue sixty days from the date of notification.

Upon termination of pastoral services, any church property occupied or used by the Pastor or his family shall be vacated within one month or such longer period as deemed proper by the Board of Elders.

6.   Additional Pastoral Personnel:  Additional pastoral personnel may be added in order to meet the needs of the church.




THE MINISTRY COUNCIL

Composition:   The Ministry Council shall be composed of the Elders, the Pastor, the Staff, the Deacons (if any), and other leaders who may be appointed.

Responsibilities:

The Ministry Council shall under the direction of the Board of Elders have the responsibility for the overall management and administration of the church through its members.   It will be responsible to see that

all affairs pertaining to the proper functioning and well being of the church are transacted efficiently and according to Christian principles.

The Ministry Council shall oversee the activities of the various ministries of the church, giving consideration and approval to all plans and programs of the church.

The Ministry Council shall appoint or remove staff and/or committees as may be deemed necessary to carry out the ministries of the church.

The Ministry Council shall consider and approve all applications for Church membership.

Meetings:   The Ministry Council shall meet on a regular basis and two- thirds of the Council’s membership shall constitute a quorum.  Each area of ministry shall be represented in the decision-making process.

Officers:   The chairman of the Board of Elders shall officiate at all meetings of the Ministry Council.   He shall prepare the agenda for all meetings in consultation with the Pastor and Staff.  A Recording Secretary shall be appointed from within the Ministry Council.

STAFF AND OTHER PERSONNEL AND COMMITTEES

Staff or other personnel may be appointed, employed and compensated at the discretion of the Ministry Council as the need may arise. Job descriptions & conditions shall be defined in a contract in each case.

Committees may be created from time to time by the Ministry Council, the functions and compositions of which will be delineated by the Ministry Council.

DEACONS

Qualifications:  Deacons shall meet the Scriptural requirements of a deacon given in 1 Timothy 3:8-13.

Responsibilities:   Deacons will be responsible to assist the Pastor and the Elders in carrying out various ministries and duties as needed.

Appointment and Tenure of Deacons: When endorsed by the Board of Elders, each Deacon shall be appointed to a two-year term of service, which may be renewed one time.  Each Deacon is subject to confirmation by the congregation by two thirds vote of the membership present, for each term of service.




MEMBERS’ MEETINGS

Annual General Meeting:

An Annual General Meeting shall be held, the date and time for which shall be set by the Elder Chairman with the concurrence of the Ministry Council.  Notice for such a meeting shall be published for two consecutive weeks prior to the said meeting.

The AGM shall consider and approve all appointments to boards. It shall also consider such matters deemed necessary by the Ministry Council.

Special Meetings may be called by the Ministry Council or by written petition signed by one third (1/3) of the membership.  Notice of the meeting must be published for two consecutive weeks prior to the said meeting and the date, time, place and the general nature of the business should be specified.

Quorum:   A quorum of the membership shall consist of 25% of those members eligible to vote at a duly called regular or special meeting.  A simple majority of such quorum shall be sufficient to carry any vote or resolution, except where otherwise stated in the Constitution.

Procedure:  All business meetings of the church shall be conducted properly and in an orderly manner consistent with the spirit of the Christian faith.

ARTICLE V. AMENDMENTS

Amendments to this constitution may be proposed by any member of the church and submitted in writing to the Board of Elders.  Any such proposal shall be reviewed and clarified by the Ministry Council.  Upon approval by the Board of Elders, it shall be presented to the membership for a vote.   The amendment proposal must be available to the members in writing not less than two weeks prior to a vote by the church.  It must be ratified by two thirds affirmative vote of the members forming the quorum voting at any Annual General Meeting or at a meeting especially called for that purpose.

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PO Box 15497 Al Ain, Abu Dhabi, UAE