While acknowledging the Lord Jesus Christ as head, this church shall remain independent of any ecclesiastical alliances and entanglements. The government of this church shall consist of the voting Elders and Pastors who will make all the final decisions based on Biblical truth. However, it shall be the privilege and responsibility of the Leadership (Deacons and Ministry Leaders) to influence this decision-making process through a balance of accountability existing between the Pastors, Elders, Deacons and Ministry Leaders.
The procedure for making decisions that necessitate formal input from the Leadership shall be as follows:
a) The Leadership will present all proposals to the board of Elders.
b) Then the members of MBC will have an opportunity to give input to the Leadership on a proposal.
c) Finally, after careful consideration, the Elders will consider all the input and formulate a final decision.
Decisions that necessitate an Elder vote:
a) The scope of decision making;
1) Planning Issues:
• Long-term planning a strategy.
2) Program Issues:
• Approval of yearly ministry plan.
3) People Issues:
• Accountability of church leadership.
• Naming of a Pastor, Elder or Deacon.
• The removal of a Pastor, Elder or Deacon who ceases to function as a competent spiritual leader as defined in this document (see Articles 3 & 5).
• Discipline (excommunication issues).
4) Financial Issues:
• Semi annual financial report.
• Approval of a yearly budget.
• Approval of non-budgeted items over 10% of the amount budgeted for a given department for a quarter or a year.
5) Principles and precepts of the Word:
• The life application of doctrinal positions in MBC.
6) Board of Trustee decisions:
• Those decisions that require a legal board decision.
b) The process of decision making:
1) The agenda items to be voted on at an Elder business meeting will be communicated to the Elders at least one week before the business meeting.
2) Each business meeting should conclude with a reading of action items from the meeting and any proposed resolutions for the following meeting.
3) Elders with questions and/or input should contact the subcommittee or point person among the Elders responsible for the proposal during the week, to obtain information before the next business meeting.
c) Resolutions must be a unanimous decision to pass:
1) A resolution can pass with one disagreeing vote, after no less than one week’s time, in which all Elders examine their decision through the following process.
• Each Elder will examine his motives concerning the resolution so as to get his heart into such a state as to have no will of its own. The goal is to be sure he has submitted his will to the will of God.
• Each Elder will discuss his views of the resolution with appropriate others so as to benefit from the multitude of counsel.
• Each Elder will examine the Word to look for principles that might apply to the resolution in question.
• Each Elder will take time to wait before the Lord in prayer concerning this resolution.
• After an initial vote is taken and recorded there will be a period of one (1) calendar week to give a voting Elder time to reverse their decision.
• If a voting Elder chooses to reverse their vote, they must first send an email (letter) notifying the Lead Elder stating the reversal of their vote on the specific item(s). He must produce a hard copy of the email sent to all the Elders and lastly they are to acquire a signature of another Elder with the date and time of the signing of the letter.
2) There will be full support for any Elder decision made with one disagreeing vote; the disagreeing Elder will be mute concerning his disagreement and any conditions of the vote being noted in the minutes.
3) An “emergency” business meeting may be called and its agenda items should be communicated to all Elders one (1) week in advance or Elders contacted by phone.
4) It is the responsibility of the Elder who will be gone for more than one week to communicate his absence to the Elders.
5) A crisis, emergency meeting that requires an “immediate” emergency decision can be made through the following process:
• A sincere effort to call all Elders must be made.
• A binding decision can be made with two thirds (2/3) of the voting Elders present agreeing minus one (1).
d) Passing decisions with some Elders not present:
1) All business meetings with one or more Elders absent will still take place as long as there is a quorum (two thirds) for voting purposes
2) Any absentee Elder(s) will be informed at the earliest possible time of the decision made by a designated Elder.
3) A decision may be made with absentees if all Elders present represent at least two thirds (2/3) of the current voting Elders. Elders present must agree that the decision is urgent enough to necessitate the decision being made before the next scheduled business meeting.
4) The absent Elder(s) will be responsible to retrieve a copy of the meeting minutes before the next business meeting.
Roles & Functions:
a) The Elders have the responsibility and authority to make the decisions stated in ARTICLE III; Section 2.
b) It is important to recognize in the titles chosen that all Pastors function as Elders and that all Elders qualify as Pastors. The primary difference lies in their function. The Pastors are called to be responsible for specific ministries of MBC. In addition they are to exercise the responsibilities of oversight.
Definition of Roles and Function
Elder: A man, subject to ordination requirements, who is a member of the board of Elders. He is responsible for the oversight of temporal affairs and day to day business functions of MBC, its Pastor(s), ministries, as well as the church members.
Pastor: A man subject to ordination requirements, who is responsible for managing the spiritual affairs and overall spiritual growth of MBC. He is the spiritual overseer of the church, and shall have charge of the pulpit and conduct regular and special
worship services of the church. He shall have spiritual authority over the teachings within the church, Sunday Schools, Small Groups, and Bible Studies etc.
Associate Pastors and Directors (Ministry Leaders): A person who directs MBC ministries under the oversight of the Senior Pastor.
The Elders: Each individual Elder is accountable to the Elder board.
a) The Elders have the final authority and responsibility to make sure each Elder is fulfilling his role as an Elder of MBC.
b) The Elders have the final authority and responsibility to make sure each Pastor is fulfilling his role as a Pastor of MBC.
The Pastors are voting members of the Elder board.
a) “Pastors” includes the Senior Pastor and Associate Pastors.
b) In the case of a newly appointed Pastor or Associate Pastor, he will serve as counsel on the Elder board until ordained as an MBC Elder through the process stated under the process of ordination. The Pastors work with the Elders as “one among equals” in the decision-making process (Ref. Article 5 section 2B).
c) Pastors yet to be ordained as MBC Elders will function as counsel, but not vote until such time they are ordained as Elders.
d) The Senior Pastor is responsible to manage the MBC Associate Pastors and Ministry Leaders and to ensure monthly reports are presented to the board of Elders concerning these ministries.
e) New ministry initiatives may be implemented by a Pastor within his area of responsibility without Elder board approval provided the following criteria’s are met (subject also to the financial criteria stated in this document):
1) New initiatives must be discussed among the Pastors before implementation.
2) A Pastor designates a Ministry Leader who is responsible for the initiative.
3) The Pastor informs Elders of new ministries at the next elder business meeting.
4) The point person should have written goals for any ministry that will last more than three (3) months.
5) After three (3) months, new ministries will be evaluated by the Elder board in light of the church’s current ministry plan.
6) After an initial three month evaluation, new ministries will be re-evaluated by the Elders at the end of each calendar year. After re-evaluation, ministries will be redirected, discontinued or written into the church’s yearly ministry plan and presented at the annual business meeting.
The Founding Pastor Emeritus:
The Founding Pastor Emeritus will not participate as a voting member in the Elders’ business meetings. The Elders of MBC will welcome his counsel (as needed) in the Elder meetings.