Constitution – Part 3

6 Church Leadership

6A Church Officers

Pastors, Church Secretary, Church Treasurer, deacons and elders are considered to be officers of the Church. Such officers shall attend to the affairs of the Church, within the framework of the Church’s policies and procedures, as determined from time to time.

6B Pastor(s)

The Pastor(s) shall be a person whose credentials are acceptable to the Baptist Union of NSW and holds the doctrines set forth in this Constitution under the heading: “Doctrinal Position of this Church” and who complies with the legislative and regulatory requirements summarised in the relevant Church Policy/Procedure.
The Pastor will automatically become a member of the Church upon their induction.
Where more than one Pastor is appointed the Pastors shall comprise the Pastoral Team in which one shall be the Senior Pastor. (The Pastor or Senior Pastor shall normally be ex officio member of all departments and may at their discretion chair any meetings.
Pastors will be appointed upon a three quarters majority or removed upon a simple majority vote of the members present and voting at a meeting of which notice has been given on the two Sundays preceding such meeting, the purpose of such meeting having been specified. The quorum for meeting to call or remove a Pastor shall be 50% of members.
When calling a Pastor –

  1. A Pastorate Committee, appointed by the Church, shall call for nominations. Members of the congregation may make recommendations for discussion within the Committee by submitting a name, together with reasons supporting the recommendation, in writing to the Committee.
  2. The Committee may advertise the vacancy and seek advice and assistance from the Baptist Union.
  3. Should more than one name come before the Committee, discussion will continue until agreement is reached regarding the approach to one person.
  4. The Committee shall communicate privately with this nominee and/or with the appropriate Baptist Union officer, to ascertain their willingness to allow their name to be placed before the Church.
  5. Should this nominee be willing, the name shall be submitted to the Church. Only one name shall be before the Church at any one time.
  6. In the event of an adverse vote, or a call or approach not being accepted, the above procedure shall be repeated from the beginning until successful.

All terms and conditions of a call shall be conveyed to a Pastor in writing, having previously been clarified between both parties, together with full particulars of the Church and its development.
Acceptance shall be made in writing to the Church indicating acceptance of terms of call.
The tenure of office of a Pastor may be terminated by two months’ notice in writing by either the Church or the Pastor.

6C Church Secretary

A Church Secretary should be elected by the Church at the Annual Church Meeting. The Church Secretary will be a member of the deacon’s meeting by virtue of office. Eligibility requirements and mode of election as for deacons will apply in relation to the Church Secretary.
The Church Secretary shall ensure that adequate records of all Church, deacons and department meetings are kept, conduct correspondence for the Church and generally deal with the business of the Church.
By means of an Annual Report and otherwise, he/she will ensure an adequate flow of information from the various departments to the Church members.
The Church Secretary shall keep an up to date Members Roll of the Church which shall be available for members to scrutinise.

6D Church Treasurer

A Church Treasurer should be elected by the Church at the Annual Church Meeting. The Church Treasurer will be a member of the deacon’s meeting by virtue of office. Eligibility requirements and mode of election as for deacons will apply in relation to the Treasurer.
The Church Treasurer shall receive all moneys for the Church and make such payments as may be directed. He/she shall keep a record of all financial transactions, keeping the Church informed through regular reporting.
A Treasurer’s Financial Statement shall be presented to the Annual Church meeting covering the income and expenditure for the past year. This statement shall be audited.

6E Assistant Secretary and Treasurer

The Church may determine to appoint an Assistant Secretary and Assistant Treasurer from within the group of elected Deacons as desirable but not essential to be an elected Deacon. The function of the Assistant is to assist and support the officer as directed; however full responsibility must remain with the elected officer.

6F Elders

The Church may appoint elders from the membership of the Church, who shall share with the Pastor(s) in the pastoral ministry of the Church.
Elders shall be responsible to the Church in co operation with the Pastor(s) and shall:

  1. Assist in shepherding those who are part of or associated with the Church, willingly and ably encouraging and building up such people and being an example to the Church in Christlike living;
  2. Visit such people mentioned in “(a)”;
  3. Participate in the preaching and teaching ministry of the Church when they are recognised as having these gifts and are invited to do so by the Pastor(s).
    The biblical material, especially 1 Timothy 3: 2—7, Titus 1:7—9 and 1 Peter 5: 1—4, shall assist the Church in appointing elders.

Only persons of known maturity, spirituality and gifts appropriate to the office shall be appointed upon three quarters majority vote at the Annual Church Meeting and upon the unanimous nomination in writing of the Pastor(s) and existing elder(s) and deacon(s). Such nominees shall be over the age of 21 years and have been in membership in the Church for at least two years.
The term of office shall be two years, with eligibility for re appointment.
Elders, while meeting separately, may also meet with the deacons for mutual benefit.

6G Deacons

Members of the Church, who are over the age of 18 years and have been in membership for at least 12 months may be appointed to the office of deacon by the church at the Annual Church Meeting. Nominees shall give evidence of spiritual maturity and fulfil the qualifications of 1 Timothy 3: 8—13.
The number of deacons to be appointed, in addition to the Church Secretary and Church Treasurer, shall be determined at the members’ meeting prior to the Annual Meeting.
The deacons, as far as shall be in their power, shall attend and sustain all meetings connected with the Church, shall assist in visitation, shall maintain discipline in the Church and shall be empowered to transact the routine business of the Church.
The deacons shall meet monthly and at other times as required. The Senior Pastor may be the chairman or a chairman may be appointed from among the deacons. The quorum for deacon’s meetings shall be not less than 50% of the deacons.
Nominations for the office of deacon shall be invited from the members in accordance with the process determined by the Church and described in the relevant Policy/Procedure. Vacancies during the year may be filled in similar manner. The names obtaining the highest number of votes shall be deemed elected, providing that the nominee has obtained at least three-quarters of the number of members present and voting.
Each year, half the number of Deacons decided upon by the Church shall be elected for a term of two years. Those retiring from office after two years shall be eligible for re-election.