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THE CONSTITUTION OF THE CHINESE BIBLE MISSIONS CHURCH OF LOS ANGELES

THE CONSTITUTION OF THE CHINESE BIBLE MISSIONS CHURCH OF LOS ANGELES

ARTICLE I. NAME

The name of this church shall be “The Chinese Bible Missions Church of Los Angeles” (CBMCLA).

ARTICLE II. PURPOSE

The purpose of this church is to carry out the Great Commandments and the Great Commission of Christ as set forth in the Bible so that God may be glorified. The ministries for the accomplishment of the purpose include evangelism to the local community, worship, teaching and training for discipleship and for the equipping of the members for spiritual service, fellowship of the members, and worldwide Missions. The principal mode of ministry will be small groups (Matthew 22:37-39; Mark 16:15, 16; Romans 10:14; Matthew 28:18-20; Ephesians 4:11-16; II Timothy 3:16, 17; Acts 2:42-47).

ARTICLE III. DOCTRINES AND STATEMENTS OF FAITH

We believe:

  1. The scripture, both the Old and the New Testaments, to be the inspired, infallible and inerrant; the complete revelation of His will in regards to His salvation of men, and the Divine and final authority for Christian faith and life (II Timothy 3:16, 17; II Peter 1:21; Psalms 119:89; John 12:47, 18; Revelations 22:18, 19).
  2. In one God, who is the Creator of man and all things, infinitely perfect and eternally existing in three persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit (Genesis 1:1, Isaiah 44:6; Matthew 28:19; II Corinthians 13:14; Deuteronomy 6:4).
  3. That Jesus Christ is true God and true man, having been conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. He was crucified for our iniquities, was buried, and then on the third day arose bodily from among the dead, ascended into heaven, and seated at the right hand of the Majesty on High as our Advocate (John 1:1-14; Matthew 1:18, 22, 23; I Corinthians 15:1-4; I John 2:1; Hebrews 7:22-25, 8:1)
  4. That the ministry of the Holy Spirit is to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ, and during this age to apply the redemption of Christ by convicting man of sin and righteousness, giving faith, regenerating the believing sinners, indwelling, guiding, sanctifying the saints, and to empower the believers for godly living and service (John 14:16, 25; 16:7, 14; I John 2:27; Romans 8:9-16, 26, 27).
  5. That man was created in the image of God but fell into the sinful state by rebellion, and is now lost. He can obtain salvation and spiritual life only by grace through faith in Christ by means of regeneration through the Holy Spirit (Genesis 1:27; Romans 1:18; 3:23; 5:12, 18, 19; John 3:5, 7).
  6. That the shed blood of Jesus Christ and his resurrection provides the only grounds for justification and salvation for all who believe. Only those who are born of the Holy Spirit will really receive Christ and become children of God (Acts 4:12; Romans 5:8, 3:24; John 1:12, 13; Ephesians 2:8, 9; Romans 6:23; Titus 3:5).
  7. That water Baptism and the Lord’s Supper are the only two ordinances of the Lord to be observed by the church during the present age as signs of obedience to God and witness before men (Matthew 28:18, 19; Romans 6:1-4; I Corinthians 11:23-26).
  8. That the true Church is composed of all such persons who through faith in Jesus Christ have been regenerated by the Holy Spirit and are united together in the Body of Christ of which He is the Head. Only those, who are thus members of the true Church, shall be eligible for membership in the local church (Ephesians 2:11-22; I Corinthians 12:13; Ephesians 1:23).
  9. That Christians, born of the Holy Spirit, are to live the new life in the present power of the Holy Spirit, and that the Christian’s responsibility is to yield himself to God, trusting God to keep him (Galatians 5:16-25; Colossians 2:6; Romans 6:13; John 10:28, 29).
  10. That one of the most important parts of Christian living is Christian service. The principal parts of it are the winning of souls, and the preaching of the gospel unto the uttermost parts of the world. Prayer is to have the central part in all Christian service (Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 1:8; I Corinthians 12:7; Ephesians 3:20; Acts 5:32; John 14:12-14; Ephesians 6:18, 19).
  11. In the certain return of our Lord Jesus Christ in person, and that this “Blessed Hope” has a vital bearing on the personal life and service of the believer (Titus 2:11-13; I John 3:2, 3).
  12. In the bodily resurrection of the dead: of the believer to everlasting blessedness and joy with the Lord, of the unbeliever to judgment and everlasting conscious punishment (Matthew 25:31-46; John 5:29; Revelations 20:15).
  13. That every marriage is a solemn covenant between a man and a woman before God who designed the marital relationship to be a one-flesh union unto death (Genesis 2:22-24; Mark 10:9). To enter a Christ-centered marriage, the man and the woman should both be professing Christians (II Corinthians 6:14-18).

ARTICLE IV. MEMBERSHIP

The CBMCLA shall consist of those who put their trust in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. These have experienced the New Birth through the Holy Spirit, desire to group together to seek and do God’s will in accordance to the Bible and are willing to commit to the leadership of the local body in their teaching, ruling, guidance and discipline. They also must seek to maintain, participate and develop the church life and ministries through prayer, tithes and offerings, in line with the Doctrines and Statements of Faith in Article III. These will be two types of memberships, core and general memberships. Only the former will be involved in the decision affirmation process in the church.

ARTICLE V. GOVERNMENT

The church acknowledges the Lordship of Christ and recognizes that He rules in the church through His Spirit, and His Word, that is, the Scripture in everything. The means of governance prescribed by His Word is through His appointed leaders. They lead by His Word in all matters of faith, practice, church-order and discipline in the life and practice of the church. Appointments of church officers are to be made according to Scriptural principles. They are to be made through prayerful seeking of the will of God, and careful deliberations among the appointed leaders.

The governing body of the church is the Board of Elders, which consists of pastor(s) and elders. The Board of Elders has the responsibility of supervising the church, particularly over spiritual affairs. Any elder is to be appointed by the Board of Elders and affirmed by the church core membership. The Board of Elders also assumes the responsibilities of the Board of Trustees required by law for the incorporation of the church. A member of the Board shall serve as the Chairman. The number of members in the Board of Elders is not to exceed eleven.

The Board of Deacons consists of deacons appointed by the Board of Elders. Under the supervision and authority of the Board of Elders, the Board of Deacons is to carry out the administration of various church ministries (Acts 20:28; 6:1-6; I Timothy 3:1-13; Titus 1:5-9; I Peter 5:1-3).

ARTICLE VI. FINANCE

The church ministry is to be supported by the voluntary giving as offering to the Lord. Members are instructed to tithe and to pray and seek the will of God to find out how much God can enable them to give to His work and service. To be consistent with Scriptural teaching, no solicitation shall be made outside of the church for the regular maintenance of the church ministries (II Corinthians 9:7, 8; Proverbs 15:8; II John 7; Philippians 4:19).

ARTICLE VII. AMENDMENTS TO THE CONSTITUTION

Any proposal for the amendment of this constitution is to be submitted to the Board of Elders by five or more church core members from different families two months before a membership meeting. The proposed amendment, when deemed proper, together with the recommendation from the Board of Elders, when necessary, shall be posted at least four weeks before the meeting for the affirmation process of the membership.

ARTICLE VIII. BY-LAWS

The church shall establish by-laws in the spirit of the Constitution as standards for the administration of the ministries of the church.

BY-LAWS OF THE CHINESE BIBLE MISSIONS CHURCH OF LOS ANGELES

ARTICLE I. CHURCH MEMBERSHIP

1.1 Types of Membership
There are two types of membership: (1) General, and (2) Core. The general members are those who are at least fourteen years of age, who meet the qualifications for general membership. They have the privilege and obligation to participate in the life and ministries of the church.

1.2 Qualifications for Membership
A. General Membership
A person qualified for general membership in the CBMCLA must be one who:

  1. Confesses Jesus Christ to be his Savior and Lord and has shown satisfactory evidence of the new life in Christ in his daily life;
  2. Subscribes to the “Doctrines and Statements of Faith” Article III of the Constitution of the church;
  3. Has received water baptism in the Name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit;
  4. Has attended the church regularly and participates in a small group of the church;
  5. Is willing to support the church by praying regularly and is willing to learn to tithe and make offerings faithfully;
  6. Is in agreement with the purpose, direction, administration of the church and is willing to indicate his commitment to the church and submission to the leadership including their disciplinary actions by signing the membership covenant.

      B. Core Membership

      Core members are by appointments from the Board of Elders only. A core member must:

      1. Meet the requirements for general membership;
      2. Have attended church prayer meetings regularly and tithed faithfully
      3. Have demonstrated genuine discipleship in his spiritual walk, including his commitment to the Scripture, Missions concerns and to the leadership.

      1.3 Procedures of Application for General Membership

      A Bible believer who desires general membership in the church must complete the application form designed by the church for this purpose, to affirm his desire and qualifications. The person must secure the signatures of two members, who recommend him, and must attend a membership class satisfactorily.
      Upon receipt of the membership application, the completion of the membership class, and the satisfactory interview of the applicant by representatives appointed by the Board of Elders, the applicant shall be received as a general member, after signing the membership covenant. If the applicant is found fully qualified except that he has not been baptized, he shall be received as member immediately after his baptism.

      1.4 Termination and Deactivation of Membership

      A member may withdraw his membership voluntarily by giving notice to the Board of Elders, and his membership will be terminated. If a member has moved away indefinitely and ceased to maintain a residence in the locality, his membership is deemed to have terminated from the date of his moving. If a member is mostly absent in attending the worship services of the church for three months in succession without proper justification, or has failed to keep up with the membership qualifications, his membership shall be deactivated to the status of being inactive. Inactive members do not enjoy the privileges of members. If the member continues to be negligent in the fulfillment of the membership requirements for the three months or more, his membership will be terminated.

      1.5 Resolution of Conflicts, Suggestions, Grievances and Disciplinary Action

      A. Suggestions, Grievances or Conflicts with Church Policy

      1. Anyone with suggestions or grievances concerning church life or policy is encouraged to speak to his small group leader. If the leader cannot handle the issue, he will refer it to the supervising leader. If the supervision leader, including the Head Coach and the Division Leader, cannot handle the issue, they will instruct the one with suggestions and/or grievances to submit his/her case to the Board of Elders.
      2. Any suggestions or grievances involving church policy or polity should be brought to the Board of Elders in writing with supporting documentation. The party should prayerfully wait for and abide by the decision of the Board of Elders.
      3. The party with grievances must refrain from reaching the general public with the grievances. He will be put under the disciplinary action of the church for the disturbances caused about this regulation.

      B. Resolution of Personal Conflicts

      The purpose for the resolution of personal conflict is to restore the offending party to harmonious relationship with the Lord and with the other member of the church. Conflict management in the church is never for the sake of vengeance or vindication (Matthew 18; Galatians 6:1). The following procedures are to be followed.

      1. When a member of the church is wrongly treated by another or when one is aware of a private act of sin, not publicly known, by another, one is to approach the offending member personally to speak the truth in love with willingness to forgive and desire to restore him. If the offending member repents, he is restored.
      2. When the offending member refuses to repent, the one who originally approaches him should ask another two or three to share with the person. The best candidates are the small group leader and small group members. If he then repents, relationships, spiritual and fellowship-wise are restored.
      3. When the offending member refuses to repent, the one who originally approaches him, his small group leader and his Head Coach or Division Leader should approach and confront him with his sin. If he then repents, relationship, spiritual and fellowship-wise are restored.
      4. If the offending member continually refuses to repent, this matter is to be brought to the attention of the Board of Elders. Progressive disciplinary actions will become necessary.

      C. Disciplinary Actions

      In such cases as, continual refusal to repent in personal conflicts as stated in Sub-section 1.5B, and in public offenses, such as actions destructive to church unity, purity and peace, or actions that ruin Christian witness in the community, the Board of Elders shall exercise church discipline. The church discipline serves as incentive for repentance of the offender, thus affection restoration, and for witness to the Holiness of the Lord. Only the general and the core members are subject to the disciplinary actions of the church.

      1. The Board of Elders will call a meeting with the offending party together with relevant witnesses for the sake of clarification and instruction. The offending party will be given the chance to state his case and to hear the verdict of the Board of Elders. If he publicly repents, he is restored to the Lord and the church.
      2. In case the offender refuses to repent, the Board of Elders shall announce the case to the general membership and suspend him from his small group. The Board will also instruct the membership to withhold fellowship from him. If he publicly repents, he is forgiven and accepted back into fellowship.
      3. If the offending member still refuses to repent, then the Board of Elders will terminate his membership from the church and instruct the church to regard him as a non-Christian. In case he publicly repents, he must still be restored to fellowship with the church. The Board of Elders will make the decision for the restoration of his/her membership (Matthew 18; II Thessalonians 3; II Corinthians 2; Galatians 6).
        ARTICLE II. ORDINANCES

      2.1 Baptism

      Baptism by immersion, sprinkling, or pouring is recognized and practiced as a Scriptural ordinance to signify the union with Christ in His death, burial and resurrection, and a sign of obedience to Christ (Matthew 28:19; Acts 2:38, 41; 8:12, 36-38; Romans 6:1-7).

      2.2 The Lord’s Supper (Communion)

      The ordinance of the Lord’s Supper (Communion) shall be observed regularly. Everyone who is redeemed by the blood of Christ and has obeyed the ordinance of baptism may participate. But believers should be advised not to participate in an unworthy manner (I Corinthians 11:27-29).

      ARTICLE III. MEMBERSHIP MEETINGS

      3.1 Core Business Meetings

      Core membership business meetings should be conducted twice annually to affirm elder and pastor appointments, to affirm annual budgets and to receive ministerial and financial reports from the Boards. Only core members are permitted to participate in these meetings. These meetings are also designed that the membership may pray and seek the will of the Lord in matters including the securing of a new church building. The date, agenda and the proposals for each membership meeting should be announced and posted by the Board of Elders four Sundays before the meeting. Other proposals including amendments must be submitted to the Board of Elders at least two Sundays before the meeting by five or more core members. The Board shall post these proposals, after they have been approved, along with whatever proposal the Board of Elders may have, at least one Sunday before the meeting.

      3.2 Celebration Meetings

      Regular celebration meetings should be called three times a year for the remembrance and rejoicing in the grace of the Lord to the church. It is to be a time of worship, fellowship and testimony as a whole congregation.

      3.3 Special Core Business Meetings

      Special membership business meetings may be called by the Board of Elders whenever the Board considers it necessary and should be announced at least four Sundays before the meeting as stated in 3.1. Only the core members may participate in these meetings. In case of an emergency, the Board of Elders may call a meeting in less than four Sundays for a preliminary resolution, which should be confirmed and rectified subsequently in a meeting called according to the procedure stated in 3.1.

      3.4 Quorum

      A quorum shall be a simple majority of the core membership. If a quorum is not met, the meeting may adjourn to a stated time at least two weeks later. Notice of the adjournment shall be announced and posted on the intervening Sundays. The core members then present shall constitute a quorum.

      ARTICLE IV. OFFICERS

      4.1 Board of Elders

      The Board of Elders shall consist of the pastor(s) and a minimum of two elders. A member of the Board shall serve as the Chairman. All elders are equal in their exercise of ruling leadership. The pastors have additional responsibility in the teaching of truth in the church. Elder candidates are appointed by the Board of Elders according to biblical qualifications and are to be affirmed individually in a membership meeting. Elders thus appointed are to be ordained by the pastor(s) and the existing elders to the general overall responsibility of the church.

      The elders are to oversee the congregation and to be responsible for the spiritual nurture and growth of the people. They are to be directly involved in the planning of the direction of the church, and oversee the Board of Deacons in the administration of church ministries. They are to be responsible in the acceptance of membership applications, and in such case as necessary, to discipline members for the sake of restoration. They shall also supervise the financial budgeting of the church (I Timothy 3:1-7, 4:14; 5:17; I Peter 5:1-4; Acts 20:28; Galatians 6:1; II Corinthians 2:5-11; Matthew 18:12-17).

      Elders shall serve in the Board of Elders on a rotational basis, when possible. All non-ruling elders remain as resource persons to the Board. A special period of prayer by the whole church should be conducted before the appointment of new elders (Acts 14:23; Ephesians 5:17; Acts 20:28).

      Owing to ill health, moving out of the locality or other personal reasons, an elder may resign from active service. However, in case when the life and testimony of an elder should become contrary to the Word of God, he should not be retained in office and shall be dismissed. By the unanimous decision of the remaining members of the Board of Elders, such removal can be effected (I Timothy 5:19, 20).

      4.2 The Deacons

      Deacons are appointed according to Biblical qualifications to serve in the Board of Deacons for a fixed term no less than a year. The nomination and the number and specific offices of deacons as well as the term of service shall be determined by the Board of Elders. Only core members may be appointed to this office. Following three years of service, a deacon is recommended to rest for one year (Acts 6:1-5; I Corinthians 12:28).

      Deacons are assigned according to their specific offices, including a Social Service Coordinator, Physical Facility Coordinator, and other such position as deemed necessary. The Board of Deacons is under the supervision and authority of the Board of Elders. Deacons have the delegated authority from the Board of Elders to form their own departmental committee with selected personnel approved by the Board of Elders.

      4.3 The Pastors

      (1) Senior Pastor

      The Senior Pastor is a full-time spiritual leader of the church who has the task of equipping the church members for the work of ministry and building up the Body of Christ. In addition to his position in the Board of Elders, he shall be an ex-official member of all church organizations (Ephesians 4:11-16; II Timothy 4:2; 2:2; I Timothy 5:17).

      In case of a vacancy, the Board of Elders shall search and appoint a senior pastor candidate from among the available candidates. He must be called to the full time ministry, meet the Scriptural qualifications of an elder, have adequate experience in pastoral ministries, consent with the church doctrines and must be able to carry out the church purposes (I Timothy 3:2-7; Titus 1:5-9; Matthew 28:18-20). A special period of prayer by the whole church shall be conducted before the appointment of the candidate.

      A special core business meeting shall be convened for the affirmation of the candidate. Upon acceptance of the invitation from the church, he shall become the senior pastor.

      Either the church or the pastor may terminate the appointment of the office of the senior pastor with a six-month notice. Request for the resignation of the pastor must meet the unanimous approval of the remaining members of the Board of Elders.

      (2) Associate and Assistant Pastors

      According to the need of the church, the Senior Pastor may assemble a team of pastors to help him carry out the spiritual ministries of the church. They are appointed by the Senior Pastor and approved by the Board of Elders. No membership confirmation is necessary.

      The dismissal of an Associate or Assistant Pastor is pending on the recommendation of the Senior Pastor and the approval of the Board of Elders.

      (3) Advisory Pastor

      Under such situation when the church is not able to find an appropriate person as the senior pastor, the Board of Elders may appoint an advisory pastor. He will serve in the church in the role of a senior pastor but with a fixed, agreed-upon term of service. His functions and other regulations will be the same as those governing the senior pastor.

      4.4 The Board of Trustees

      The Board of Elders, as required for incorporation by the State of California, shall form the Board of Trustees. The Board of Trustees is responsible for the handling of church properties and other legal affairs.

      4.5 Additional Salaried Personnel

      As additional salaried positions for secretaries, church administrators, ministers-in-preparation and interns are needed; such positions shall be recommended by the Senior Pastor and established by the Board of Elders.

      4.6 General Guidelines

      All officers of the church and salaried personnel must conscientiously subscribe to the Purpose and Statements of Faith of the church before taking office.
      In the event that the number of elders has fallen below the minimum required, or that any pastor’s position is vacant, a special committee shall be created by the Board of Elders to temporarily take up the needed responsibilities.

      ARTICLE V. DISSOLUTION

      The church may be dissolved at the proposal of the Board of Elders and an eighty-percent affirmative vote in a core business meeting specially called for this purpose. In case of dissolution, all church assets, properties and proceeds therefrom above liabilities, shall be divided among the missionary units receiving support from the church. In accordance with the California State Law, the Board of Trustees shall have sole authority to carry out this disposition.

      ARTICLE VI. AMENDMENTS AND REVISIONS

      Amendments to the By-laws shall be submitted to the Board of Elders by five or more core members of separate families in written form two months before a membership meeting. The proposed amendment, when approved by the Board of Elders, or the version modified by the Board of Elders shall be posted at least four Sundays before the meeting for the affirmation process of the membership.

      Approved by the Board of Elders and Affirmed by the Core Members on June 7, 2009

      William C. Tang, Chair, Board of Elders 

      FIRST AMENDMENT

      Approved by the Board of Elders and Affirmed by the Core Members on August 31, 2002

      BY-LAWS

      ARTICLE IV. OFFICERS

      4.1 Board of Elders

      The Board of Elders shall consist of the pastor(s) and a minimum of two elders. A member of the Board shall serve as the Chairman. All elders are equal in their exercise of ruling leadership. The pastors have additional responsibility in the teaching of truth in the church. Elder candidates are appointed by the Board of Elders according to biblical qualifications and are to be affirmed individually in membership meeting. Elders thus appointed are to be ordained by the pastor(s) and the existing elders to the general overall responsibility of the church.

      4.3 The Pastors

      (1) Senior Pastor

      The Senior Pastor is a full-time spiritual leader of the church who has the task of equipping the church members for the work of ministry and building up the Body of Christ. In addition to his position in the Board of Elders, he shall be an ex-official member of all church organizations (Ephesians 4:11-16; II Timothy 4:2; 2:2; I Timothy 5:17).

      SECOND AMENDMENT
      Approved by the Board of Elders and Affirmed by the Core Members on June 7, 2009

      CONSTITUTION

      ARTICLE II. PURPOSE

      … The principal mode of ministry will be small groups (Matthew 2722:37-39; Mark 16:15, 16; Romans 10:14; Matthew 28:18-20; Ephesians 4:11-16; II Timothy 3:16, 17; Acts 2:42-47).

      ARTICLE III. DOCTRINES AND STATEMENTS OF FAITH

      13. That every marriage is a solemn covenant between a man and a woman before God who designed the marital relationship to be a one-flesh union unto death (Genesis 2:22-24; Mark 10:9). To enter a Christ-centered marriage, the man and the woman should both be professing Christians (II Corinthians 6:14-18).

      ARTICLE V. GOVERNMENT

      The governing body of the church is the Board of Elders, which consists of pastor(s) and elders. The Board of Elders has the responsibility of supervising the church, particularly over spiritual affairs. Any elder is to be appointed by the Board of Elders and affirmed by the church core membership. The Board of Elders also assumes the responsibilities of the Board of Trustees required by law for the incorporation of the church. A member of the Board shall serve as the Chairman. The Senior Pastor serves as the Chairman of the Board of Elders. The number of members in the Board of Elders is not to exceed eleven.

      BY-LAWS

      ARTICLE IV. OFFICERS

      4.3 The Pastors
      (2) Associate and Assistant Pastors

      Upon resignation of the Senior Pastor, the Associate Pastor(s) and Assistant Pastor(s) must also submit their resignations with a three month notice.

      The End
      Of
      The Constitution and By-Laws