We, the Membership of Beyond Grace Fellowship, establish and approve the following Articles.
ARTICLE I: NAME
The name of this local body of Christ shall be Beyond Grace Fellowship, Spokane, WA.
ARTICLE II: PURPOSE
God's purpose in establishing this local expression of the body of Christ is that His manifold wisdom, which He demonstrated in Christ Jesus our Lord, shall be made known (Ephesians 3:10). In response, we purpose to glorify God in the following mutually supportive ways as directed by the Holy Scriptures:
a. By gathering together for worship and prayer in the unity of the Spirit (Acts 2:42);
b. By the exercising of spiritual gifts for the edification, maturing, and equipping of God's people for service to God (I Corinthians 12:4-7; II Timothy 3:16, 17);
c. By proclaiming the gospel of God's saving grace in Jesus Christ to the world through word and practice (Acts 1:8; Matthew 5:13-16);
d. By encouraging the application of biblical principles to all spheres of life (Matthew 5:13-16; Jeremiah 29:7; I Corinthians 10:31).
ARTICLE III: STATEMENT OF FAITH
ABOUT THE BIBLE
We believe that the Bible is the very Word of God. We believe God is the originator of the Bible and that it was given through the instrumentality of chosen and inspired men. Through it God reveals Himself and His will to us. The Bible is infallible and completely reliable. The 66 books of the Old and New Testaments are the unique, full and final authority on all matters of faith and practice in the believer’s
life as well as the church.
We believe in the Triune God - God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. We acknowledge one God in three persons. We believe that God the Father created and sustains the universe. He is loving, compassionate, just and kind. His deepest desire is to live in an intimate relationship with all people. We believe that, because of His desire to live in relationship with us, God became a human being. Jesus Christ, born of a virgin, is fully God and fully human. Through His death and resurrection, Jesus made it possible for all people to live in a relationship with God. We believe Jesus Christ is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Through Him and Him alone can people enter into a relationship with God. We believe the Holy Spirit is the presence of Jesus Christ within and among us. He was sent into the world by the Father and the Son to apply to humankind the saving work of Christ. At the point of salvation He permanently indwells every believer to become the source of assurance, strength and wisdom in life.
We believe in the worth and value of all people. Created in God's image, all people have dignity. Their worth is dependent, not on accomplishments, but on God's love. Because God sees humanity as worth dying for, we affirm and acknowledge the dignity and value of every human being. At the same time we acknowledge that people are separated from God because of sin. Sin permeates and corrupts our entire being and burdens us more and more with fear, hostility, guilt and misery. We joyfully proclaim the Good News that because of Jesus Christ, forgiveness is a possibility for all people. It is that forgiveness that restores fallen humanity's worth.
We acknowledge that salvation is not procured through family lineage, good works, national heritage or by virtue of religion. Salvation is appropriated only through a definitive surrender of the will by receiving Jesus Christ as personal Lord and Savior. The salvation experience continues beyond saving grace as the indwelling Christ works in us to make us whole.
ABOUT THE CHURCH
There is one true Church in the world, comprised of all those who acknowledge Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. The Bible identifies the church, be it a local congregation or the worldwide fellowship of believers, as the Body of Christ. God, in His word, calls believers to gather together for worship, fellowship, service, growth and outreach to the world. Wherever the people of God gather there is the local expression of the church.
ABOUT JESUS' RETURN
We believe in and anticipate the return of Jesus Christ. At that time, the progress of human history will cease and a judgment will be exacted upon each individual. Unbelievers, due to their rejection of God, will be separated from God into eternal condemnation. Believers will be received into eternal communion with God. Though we don't know the day and hour, we proclaim His imminent return to inspire all people to make the most of God's gift of life and opportunities of evangelism today.
ARTICLE IV: FORM OF GOVERNMENT
The government of this church shall be under the headship of Jesus Christ and in Obedience to the Word of God (Colossians 1:17-18). Under Christ's leadership, Beyond Grace Fellowship shall be ruled by Elders (pastors) in accordance with this Constitution, fulfilling the Biblical responsibilities defined in the By-Laws. Likewise, Deacons will administer the affairs of this church, under the oversight of the Elders, in accordance with this Constitution, fulfilling the Biblical responsibilities defined in the By-Laws.
SECTION 1. ELDERS
Elders shall be people called of God who are qualified according to I Timothy 3:1-7, Titus 1:6-9, and I Peter 5:2-3, and have accepted the Beyond Grace Statement of Faith. Unless providentially hindered, there shall be no less than two Elders at any given time, and up to as many as the Lord calls to the under-shepherding role. Each Elder will serve as long as he remains Biblically qualified, available, and desires to continue to serve.
SECTION 2. DEACONS
Deacons shall be people called of God who are qualified according to I Timothy 3:8-13 and have accepted the Beyond Grace Fellowship Statement of Faith. Unless providentially hindered, there shall be no fewer than two Deacons at any given time, and as many as the Lord calls to this ministering role. Each Deacon will serve for a period of three years with the option of serving additional terms as long as he/she remains Biblically qualified, available, and desires to continue to serve.
SECTION 3. OTHER LEADERSHIP
All positions of leadership associated with Beyond Grace Fellowship shall be filled with members. This includes all teaching positions (Sunday School, home fellowship small groups, etc.), the leading of worship services, and leadership positions for all other recognized ministry areas. All teaching and preaching from these leaders is expected to be consistent with the official Statement of Faith of Beyond Grace Fellowship.
SECTION 4. SUMMARY OF LEADERSHIP GROUPS
THE ELDERS – the pastors of the church
THE DIRECTORS – The pastors/elders, deacons and treasurer
THE CHURCH COUNCIL – The pastors, deacons, treasurer, staff members, and ministry leaders.
ARTICLE V: CORPORATION STATUS
Beyond Grace Fellowship is a religious corporation as filed with the State
of Washington and is not organized for the private gain of any person. It is
organized under the Nonprofit Religious Corporation Law exclusively for
religious purposes within the meaning of Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.
ARTICLE VI: MEMBERSHIP
Membership is about belonging. In the Bible we are invited, first of all, not to join the church but to join God! The nuptial invitation of Jesus is simply to belong to him forever. We then become a child of God in God’s family (the family of Father, Son and Holy Spirit; John 1:12); we call God Abba; we dwell in the love of God, which is the love eternally expressed between Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Becoming a Christian is simply getting “into” God. Once joining God, we are automatically members of the people of God. We belong to one another. It is impossible to be in Christ alone. We are members together, joined together, heirs together, embodied together, growing together, being built together and held together. The local church is a place to belong, serve, grow and know God together. Members of Beyond Grace Fellowship are those who evidence faith in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, as well as a commitment to this body of believers, and affirm the basic tenets of faith reflected in the Constitution, By-Laws and Statement of Faith of Beyond Grace Fellowship
ARTICLE VII: DISSOLUTION
In the event of the dissolution of Beyond Grace Fellowship by the Directors and a majority vote of the membership of Beyond Grace Fellowship, no member, officer of the church, or private individual shall be entitled to share in the distribution of any assets. Upon dissolution, assets of the church shall first be used to pay any outstanding debts. Following this, the remaining assets of the corporation shall be given to a non-profit corporation of like faith and practice. The selection of recipients, as well as the timing of the actual transfers, shall be determined by vote of the Directors with consideration given to recommendations made by the Congregation. Actions required to carry out the dissolution shall be performed by the Directors, who shall seek out legal assistance to complete the process.
ARTICLE VIII: AMENDMENTS
The Directors shall solicit comments and recommendations from the membership of Beyond Grace Fellowship on all proposed amendments to this Constitution and By-Laws at least thirty days prior to their formal approval and incorporation. After evaluating responses from the membership, final approval of amendments shall be made by the Elder
Board at a regularly scheduled Elder Board meeting and ratified by a majority of voting members at a specially called meeting of the congregation.