CONSTITUTION AND BY-LAWS
CONSERVATIVE CONGREGATIONAL CHRISTIAN CONFERENCE
In gratitude to Almighty God for the gift of salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ; and believing that, to the glory of God, the task of the church of Jesus Christ is three-fold, i.e., the worship of God, the edification of the saints, and the evangelization of the world; and believing further that there is a definite need among congregationally governed churches of historic Biblical persuasion for an association to assist them in the performance of said task: We therefore as autonomous churches declaring our unqualified belief in the entire Word of God written, humbly invoking the guidance of the Holy Spirit, have covenanted together to form such an association.
Article I – Name
The name of this organization shall be: THE CONSERVATIVE CONGREGATIONAL CHRISTIAN CONFERENCE, hereinafter called the Conference.
Article II – Purpose
- To promote the worship of God in our churches.
- To deepen and extend the fellowship of our churches.
- To encourage a steadfast, Biblical witness by our churches.
- To facilitate cooperation and counsel among our churches with regard to evangelism, edification, Christian education, stewardship, missions, church extension, Christian action, women’s and men’s fellowships, youth activities, the pastoral ministry, and other related concerns.
- To preserve and promote the Scriptural principles of the autonomy of the local church and the freedom of the believer in Christ.
Article III – Statement of Faith
- We believe the Bible consisting of the Old and New Testament, to be the only inspired, inerrant, infallible, authoritative Word of God written.
- We believe that there is one God, eternally existent in three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
- We believe in the deity of Christ, in His virgin birth, in His sinless life, in His miracles, in His vicarious and atoning death through His shed blood, in His bodily resurrection, in His ascension to the right hand of the Father, and in His personal return in power and glory.
- We believe that for salvation of lost and sinful man regeneration by the Holy Spirit is absolutely essential.
- We believe in the present ministry of the Holy Spirit by Whose indwelling power and fullness the Christian is enabled to live a godly life in this present evil world.
- We believe in the resurrection of both the saved and the lost; they that are saved unto the resurrection of life and they that are lost unto the resurrection of damnation.
- We believe in the spiritual unity of all believers in Christ.
Article IV – Statement of Polity
- We believe that Jesus Christ is the Head of His body, the Church universal, and of each local church.
- We believe that each local church is in itself a complete church, and therefore autonomous and possesses all rights and responsibilities of the church by the Holy Spirit as set forth in the Holy Scriptures.
- We believe that Jesus Christ exercises His authority in each local church by the Holy Spirit and through the Holy Scriptures.
- We believe that each local church is ultimately answerable only to Jesus Christ, and not to any association, conference, council, synod or any other ecclesiastical body.
We believe that it is proper and beneficial for each local church to seek fellowship and counsel of other such local churches.
Article V – Membership
Membership in this Conference shall be attained by the voluntary association of churches, ministers, Consecrated Laborers (Commissioned Christian Workers, Students under Conference Care, Lay Preachers) or individual lay members who find themselves in full accord with the Statement of Faith and Statement of Polity (Articles III, IV) of this Constitution, the Code of Ethics for Ministers and Churches, and with the general principles of this Conference as set forth in the Constitution and By-Laws. Conference membership, whether of church, minister, Consecrated Laborer or lay members, may be subject to review by the ensuing Annual Meeting of the Conference. Church membership shall be accorded on the basis of the standards of the Conference, as set forth in the By-Laws of this Constitution. Ministerial membership shall be accorded on the basis of the approved ministerial standards of the Conference, as set forth in the By-Laws of this constitution. Consecrated Laborers shall be accorded standing on the basis of the respective stands of the Conference, as set forth in the By-Laws of this Constitution. Churches are not necessarily barred from membership because of other affiliations so long as they adhere to the Statement of Faith and the Statement of Polity and the workings of the Conference. Individual Lay Membership may be held only by members of congregationally governed churches which are not members of this Conference. In the event that a non-member church joins this Conference, the individual lay membership of any of its members ceases.
A church, minister, Consecrated Laborer, or individual lay member may withdraw from membership in this Conference at any time by its or his own action, and will be removed from the membership when written notice of such action is given to the Chairman of the Credentials Committee.
A church, minister, Consecrated Laborer, or individual lay member may be dismissed from membership in this Conference for continued inactivity, at the decision of the Credentials Committee and the ratification of the Conference.
In the event that there is received a written statement that a member church, minister, Consecrated Laborer, or individual lay member has departed from the standards of faith and practice set forth in this Constitution and By-laws or in the Code of Ethics for Ministers and Churches, the Credentials Committee shall make a careful investigation of the matter. If the charge appears to the Committee to be justified and is received in accordance with I Timothy 5:19 from at least two or three witnesses, the Committee shall report the matter to the Conference for appropriate action. The right to appeal to the Conference by the party accused is presupposed.
Article VI – Associated Relationships
The Conservative Congregational Christian Conference encourages the forming of local fellowships, conferences or associations of churches and ministers who are in accordance with Article V, Section 1 of the Constitution and who are in sympathy with the Statements of Faith and Polity of this Conference.
Fellowships, conferences, or associations, whether state or area, may be recognized in this associated relationship upon request to and approval by the Credentials Committee. Such action will be subject to review by the ensuing Annual Meeting of the Conference.
Recognition by the Conference does not bestow membership in this Conference upon churches or ministers of the respective groups. Churches, ministers, or individual lay members may attain voluntary membership according to Article V – Membership, of this Constitution.
Fellowships, conferences or associations, recognized by this Conference, will be represented in the Conference business meetings by the delegates of their member churches which are also members of this Conference.
Article VII – Meetings
ANNUAL MEETING. There shall be an Annual Meeting of the Conference at such time and place as determined by the Executive Committee, unless the same are specifically designated by the Annual Meeting of the previous year.
SPECIAL MEETINGS. These may he called at the direction of the Executive Committee, or upon written request of members representing one-fifth of the total membership of the Conference.
REPRESENTATION. Churches becoming members of the Conference shall be entitled to representation at various meetings of the Conference by two lay delegates who shall be members of that local church for the first 100 members or fraction thereof and thereafter one delegate who is a member of that local church for each 500 members or fraction thereof. Voting privileges at Conference meetings shall also be extended to ministerial members, to individual lay members of the Conference, with the understanding that not more than one lay member from any non-member church shall be entitled to vote, and to all Conference Officers and members of the Board of Directors.
PROCEDURE. The guide for parliamentary procedure in all meetings shall be Robert’s Rules of Order, Revised, in all cases not covered by special rules of this Constitution and By-laws.
Article VIII – Board of Directors
The business of the Conference shall be conducted and the property of the Conference shall be managed by a Board of Directors, numbering not fewer than twelve nor more than thirty members, and shall include the elected officers of the Conference. The initial Board having been elected in three equal groups, for one year, for two years, and three years, respectively, one-third of the membership of the Board of Directors (exclusively of the Conference Officers named in Article VIII who are ex-officio members of the Board with full voting rights) shall be elected annually for a term of three years in future Annual Meetings of the Conference. A sitting board member may be nominated for and elected to a second consecutive term. Upon serving a second consecutive term, said member shall have a one-year lapse before eligibility for further service on the Board is renewed. At no point shall the board be composed of a majority of members elected to serve a second consecutive term.
The Board of Directors shall establish an Executive Committee, to consist of the officers of the Conference. The Board may delegate to the Executive Committee such of its powers and authority as may be deemed necessary for the proper functioning of the Conference.
The Board of Directors shall fill any vacancy arising among the officers of the Conference, the Committees or in the Board itself, until the next Annual Meeting of the Conference at which time the Conference shall fill the vacancy for the unexpired term.
The Board of Directors shall appoint annually an Endorsing Agent for Military Chaplains who shall represent the Conference on the Chaplaincy Commission of the National Association of Evangelicals. All military endorsements are subject to review of the Board of Directors.
The Board of Directors shall establish Foresee Publications as the Christian Education supply and publication arm of the Conference; such operation to be under the direction of the Board of Directors.
Any action of the Board of Directors may be subject to review and ratification by the Conference at its Annual Meeting or any special meeting.
Article IX – Officers
The elected officers of this Conference shall be:
A President, a Vice-President, a Recording Secretary, a Conference Minister, a Treasurer and a Controller.
The term of office for each of the above officers shall be three years, and for the duration of their tenure they shall be ex-officio members of the Conference Board of Directors with full voting rights.
The terms of the President and the Vice-President shall expire simultaneously; the following year the terms of the Conference Minister and the Controller shall expire; and the third year the terms of the Recording Secretary and the Treasurer shall expire.
The office of the Conference President and the Conference Vice President shall be limited to two full terms, but following a one year lapse, their eligibility for re-election shall be restored. No Conference officer, except for the Conference Minister, may serve more than twelve consecutive years in Conference offices without a lapse of at least one year between those offices.
The duly elected officers of the Conference shall hold their office until their successors are chosen and installed in their stead which shall be at the Annual Meeting at which they are elected.
If for any reason an officer chooses to resign, a letter of resignation shall be directed to the President, who in turn shall call it to the attention of the Board of Directors, which Board will have the power to accept such a resignation between the meetings of the Conference. This procedure shall also be followed if any members of the Board of Directors choose to resign. In the event that the President resigns, the letter of resignation shall be directed to the Conference Minister, who shall present it to the Board of Directors for action.
This revised Constitution and By-laws shall become the Constitution and By-laws of the Corporation established under the Constitution and By-laws replaced by this instrument.
The Conference shall adopt such By-laws as it shall deem appropriate and necessary for the operation of the Conference. The By-laws shall provide for the manner of amendment thereof.
Amendments to this Constitution shall be proposed in writing by submitting the same to the Recording Secretary at the Annual Meeting preceding their consideration for adoption. These amendments shall be read to the Annual Meeting and copies of the same shall be mailed as soon as possible after the Annual Meeting at which they are first proposed to each of the Conference members (churches, ministers, and individual lay members). A two-thirds favorable vote of the delegates duly elected, and of others entitled to vote (See Article VII, paragraph 3), shall be required for adoption; and the orderly numbering, lettering, capitalization and spelling of the Articles shall be cared for by the Constitution Study Committee. Conference documents cited as binding in this Constitution shall be eligible for amendment or dissolution under the same terms as this Constitution. Documents cited in multiple places shall be held to the highest of the competing standards.
Article XIII- Dissolution
No part of the net earnings or other assets of this Conference shall ever inure to the benefit of any donor, member, or officer of this Conference, or of any private individual. No donor, member, individual committee, associate or affiliate member or officer of this Conference shall be entitled to be a recipient in the distribution of any assets of this Conference upon dissolution. Any assets of said Conference must be distributed or given to one or more organizations recognized by the Internal Revenue Service as one organized exclusively for religious, charitable, scientific, literary, or educational purposes.
Code of Ethics for Ministers
In My Own Life—
- I will always devote time to seeking the will of God through reading the Scriptures and prayer.
- I will endeavor to keep myself physically and emotionally fit.
- I will seek in all ways to be Christ like in my attitude and conduct.
- I will seek mutual accountability and spiritual friendship with fellow Christians for personal encouragement and nurture in order to ensure faithfulness to my calling as a steadfast follower and competent servant of my Lord Jesus Christ.
In Relationship to My Family—
- I will consider each member of my immediate family as precious gifts from God, and will carefully, lovingly and responsibly meet their needs as a sacred obligation before Him.
- I will give spiritual leadership in my home.
I will be faithful and loyal to my family members, loving them as Jesus Christ loves His Church.
In Relationship to the Church—
- I will remember that I am called to lead, but also to serve.
- I will never violate a confidence given to me.
- I will be diligent in my duties as pastor, never lazy, but with God as my judge and my Shepherd.
- I will be Biblical in my preaching, presenting the whole counsel of God, speaking the truth in love.
- I will strive to introduce people to Christ, and to build His Church.
- I will consider my call to the church a sacred responsibility and stand by my commitment to the church and leaders.
- I will seek the unity of the church and resist any attempts to divide the congregation, either by supporting factions within the congregation or by my own initiative.
In Relationship to Other Ministers—
- I will be a brother in Christ to my fellow ministers.
- I will not seek to build the church I serve at the expense of another church, nor my ego at the expense of another minister.
- I will not speak uncharitably of either my predecessor or my successor.
- I will refrain from pastoral contacts with former parishioners except with the knowledge of the
In Relationship to the Conference—
- I will participate in the larger fellowship of the Conservative Congregational Christian Conference,
and seek to support through prayer and action its aims and objectives.
In Relationship to the Community—
- I will seek to be responsible in my personal finances.
- I will seek to build a positive relationship with the community without sacrificing my ministry to
CODE OF ETHICS FOR CHURCHES
The Christian Church is the Body of Christ and the Bride of Christ which He desires to be “a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.” (Eph.5:27) In as much as every local church is an expression of the whole Body it is needful for her to be committed to vigilance in all of her relationships:
In Relationship to Christ— Believing that Jesus Christ is the Head of the Church…
- We will honor and exalt Him in all of our relationships and ministries. We will keep ourselves free from all policies and practices which might tend to mar the beauty of the Bride of Christ.
In Relationship to Fellow-Members— Believing that the local church is an expression of the family of God…
- We will promote unity among the members of the congregation, resisting all jealousy, rivalry, self-seeking and division which would disturb that unity.
- We will “… make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification.” (Romans 14:19)
In Relationship to Other Churches— Believing that the Church is a universal body…
- We will attempt to maintain honorable relationships with other churches in the community.
In Relationship to the Community— Believing that the witness of the church in the community affects the ministry of that church to the community and reflects on Christ, the Head of the Church…
- We will endeavor to keep our dealings with agencies, businesses and individuals in the community honest and above reproach.
In Relationship to the Conference— Believing that our membership in the Conservative Congregational Christian Conference is not only a privilege but also involves responsibility…
- We will fulfill our fellowship, ministry and financial obligations to the Conference to the best of our ability by participation in national and regional activities, by contribution to the Conference budget, and by other means as time and resources present.
- We will uphold the doctrines and principles of the Conference.
In Relationship to the Pastor and Other leaders of the Church—Believing that the pastor and other spiritual leaders are shepherds of Christ’s flock…
- We will love, honor and submit to them as they, by example and word, watch over our souls preaching the Word to correct, rebuke, encourage, and to carefully instruct (2 Tim 4:2).
- We will support the pastor financially so that they will be able to meet their obligations without bringing reproach upon themselves or the church.
- We will not allow anything among us that would undermine our spiritual leaders or rob them of the confidence of the church and the community.
- We will endeavor to respond to all criticism dealing with the pastor, other spiritual leaders, or their families in an honorable manner, not tolerating subversive or clandestine meetings.
- Whenever legitimate criticism or charges against anyone arise, we will follow Scriptural direction for church discipline, always with a desire for reconciliation and restoration and always making use of the cloak of love.
I – Board of Directors
The Board of Directors, numbering not fewer than twelve nor more than thirty members, and including the elected officers of the Conference, shall be responsible to conduct the business of the Conference and manage the property of the Conference. Regular meetings of the Board of Directors shall be held at such times and place as shall be determined by the Board, but not less than once a year. Special meetings of the Board may be called by the Conference President on one month’s notice to each Board member. Such meetings may be also called by the Conference Minister in like manner upon written request of any five members of the Board. A business quorum shall be any majority of the members of the Board. They shall keep written minutes of each meeting, which are to be made available to the Conference upon request.
An Executive Committee shall be established by the Board of Directors, which will consist of the officers of the Conference: the Conference Minister, the President, the Vice-President, the Recording Secretary, the Treasurer and the Controller. Because of their responsibilities they are ex-officio members of the Administration Council. The Board may delegate to the Executive Committee such of its powers and authority as may be deemed necessary for the proper functioning of the Conference.
An Advisory Board of past Presidents of the Conference and past Conference Ministers shall be granted voice representation at any and all Board meetings but without the right to vote.
The Board of Directors or the Executive Committee may appoint in addition to the offices provided for in the Constitution such assistant secretaries, assistant treasurers and other subordinate officers and agents as may be deemed necessary. Such appointed officers shall hold office for the terms of, and exercise the powers and perform the duties assigned to them by the action of the appointing body. They are not, however, members of the Executive Committee.
The Board of Directors may employ or cause to be employed such other persons as the needs of the Conference may require. Such persons shall generally serve under the Conference Minister.
Conferencing – In the event it is deemed desirable for a Board, Council, or Committee to conduct business via teleconference or other technological application, they may do so unless there is objection by one-third of the group. Agendas and reports shall be distributed seven days prior to any such meeting. Mechanism for recognition and granting the floor shall be determined by the chair and communicated at the outset of the meeting.
The Board of Directors shall maintain documents that guide and govern the manner in which the Board performs its functions. The documents shall be delivered to each member of the Board upon their election and shall contain the Constitution and By-Laws, a Policy Manual, and any other documents deemed relevant by the Board. The Board shall use the Policy Manual as a repository for the Conference’s rules, procedures, and decisions made by the Board of Directors that have a lasting impact on Conference operations. The Policy Manual may be a paper or an electronic document.
The Board of Directors shall assign the administration of Conference restricted funds to appropriate committees in consultation with the Finance Committee and determine frequency and manner for reporting of fund activities. The Board shall determine frequency and dissemination of all Committee reports, including written reports to be presented at the Annual Meeting of the Conference and at such other times as the Board of Directors shall request it.
II – Officers
The Conference Minister shall be the Executive Director and Pastor of the Conference. He shall promote and represent the Conference to both members and non-members, in order to accomplish the purpose of the Conference as stated in Article II, Sections 1-5 of the Constitution. He shall be responsible for the functioning of all councils and committees, and shall appoint the Director of Conference Services, the Director of Conference Outreach, and the Director of Conference Regional Activities. He shall have an advisory relationship with the various regional fellowships associated with the Conference. He shall conduct the official correspondence of the Conference, and shall give notice of all meetings of the members and of the Conference committees.
He shall be responsible for the registration for the Annual Meeting. He shall maintain an official record of the Conference membership and have custody of the Conference seal which he shall apply with his signature to any documents requiring it when authorized by the Board of Directors, Executive Committee or the President. He shall receive and process all money received by the Conference according to procedures developed in conjunction with the Treasurer and the Finance Committee. He shall perform such other duties as may be prescribed by the Board of Directors, the Executive Committee or the President under whose supervision he shall be.
The President shall be the Chairman of the Board of Directors and the Executive Committee, and shall preside at all their meetings, as well as at the meeting of the Conference as a whole. He may, with the consent of the Board of Directors, delegate to other elected officers of the Conference such presidential authority and power as may be deemed necessary and appropriate to facilitate Conference operations. He shall, under authority of the Board of Directors, have general oversight over the ministry of the Conference. The President’s specific area of responsibility pertains to the Conference Administration of which he is the Director.
The Vice-President shall, in the absence of the President, perform the duties and functions of his office, and in addition thereto such other duties as the Board of Directors may from time to time prescribe.
The Recording Secretary, or a temporary substitute, shall attend all meetings of the Board of Directors and of the Conference and cause to be recorded all the votes and minutes of all proceedings in a book to be kept for that purpose. He shall perform all such other duties as may be prescribed by the Board of Directors or the Executive Committee.
The Treasurer shall have custody of the corporate funds and securities of the Conference. The Treasurer shall cause to be kept full and accurate accounts of receipts and disbursements in records belonging to the Conference, and shall ensure the deposit of all monies and other valuable effects in the name of and credit of the Conference, in repositories indicated by the Board of Directors. The Board of Directors are to see that the Treasurer’s records be audited annually by an approved certified public accountant, the report of which will be reviewed by the Finance Committee, presented to the Board of Directors, and made available to the Conference membership. The Treasurer shall lead the preparation of the Conference’s annual budget.
The Controller shall approve the expenditures of all monies in accordance with the adopted budget. The Controller shall make such recommendations to the Board of Directors for the handling of funds and establishing of proper financial controls deemed necessary for proper stewardship.
III – Ministries
Ministry Staff positions shall be those which require Credentialed standing with the Conference. Such positions shall be established and filled by the Board of Directors and Conference Minister. Such positions shall be approved through funding by the Conference. Ministry Staff, while subject to the Board of Directors, shall function under the direction and review of the Conference Minister, and may also be dismissed by the Conference Minister upon majority concurrence of the Executive Committee. At the invitation of the Conference Minister, Ministry Staff shall participate ex-officio with both the Executive Committee and Administrative Council. Ministry Staff shall be regarded as ex-officio to Committees in their Conference division and have access to the resources of and also support the work of Conference committees.
All Conference committee candidates shall meet these minimum eligibility requirements:
- A Credentialed Pastor or member in good standing of a Conference church shall be eligible to serve.
- A pastor of a member church, who does not hold his standing in the Conference, may serve on any committee, with the exception of the Credentials Committee, as long as he is pastor of a member church. If he ceases his relationship to a member church, he is automatically dropped from the Committee membership, unless he is called to another member church. He may not be elected to the Board or a Conference office.
- Associate members may serve on any committee with the exception of the Credentials Committee. They may not be elected to the Board, a Conference office, or appointed to Committee chairmanship.
Conference Organization. The Conference is organized in two arcs: Conference Ministry and Conference Life.
Conference Ministry shall have three divisions, each with a Director and oversight committees and Regional and Area expressions. The three divisions are: Church Development, Church Multiplication, and Conference Care. The Director of each Division shall be appointed by the Board of Directors. The Divisions, while subject to the Board of Directors, shall function under the supervision of the Conference Minister.
The arc of Conference Life shall be two divisions comprised of Conference Administration and Conference Services. The Divisions, while subject to the Board of Directors, shall function under the supervision of the Conference President.
The arc of Conference Ministry: Church Development, Church Multiplication, Conference Care.
The Church Development division focuses on the strengthening and development of member churches.
The Director of Church Development (DCD) shall shepherd this ministry in cooperation with the Church Development Committee.
A Church Development Committee (CDC) shall consist of five members, three to be elected by the Conference to serve on a staggered basis of three year terms and two to be appointed by the Board of Directors to serve one year terms.
The Committee shall promote Church Development in the Conference to strengthen existing churches and help them do effective ministry for God’s Kingdom in accord with the CCCC values and vision.
Church Development will be implemented through regional hubs established by the Church Development Committee. These hubs shall provide Church Development training and resources in their local areas.
The Church Multiplication ministry focuses on the starting and development of new churches.
The Director of Church Multiplication (DCM) shall direct this ministry in cooperation with the Church Multiplication Committee.
A Church Multiplication Committee (CMC) shall consist of five members, three to be elected by the Conference to serve on a staggered basis of three year terms and two to be appointed by the Board of Directors to serve one year terms.
The Committee shall promote Church Multiplication in the Conference to birth and develop healthy reproducing churches in affiliation with the CCCC.
Church Multiplication will be implemented through regional hubs established by the Church Multiplication Committee. These hubs shall provide Church Multiplication training and resources in their local areas.
The Conference Care division focuses on the pastoral care and encouragement of member ministers and churches.
The Director of Conference Care (DCC) shall shepherd this ministry in cooperation with the Conference Care Committee. Conference Care will be implemented as locally as possible by Community Pastor networks in conjunction with Area and Regional services.
A Conference Care Committee (CCC) shall be made up of the Director of Conference Care and five appointed members from the Regional Pastors as appointed by the Board.
Conference Care will be implemented as locally as possible by Community Pastor networks in conjunction with Area Pastors and Regional Services. Task oriented teams may be created and implemented by the DCC and CCC as needed. Area and Regional Pastors may be tasked by Conference officers and Committees to serve as local representatives of Conference business.
The Conference Care committee will provide supportive care in nurturing the health of the pastors and churches of the Conference. It will administer directive care by assessing and guiding those looking to enter pastoral ministry as well as churches looking to affiliate with the CCCC. It will also provide transitional care to pastors and churches going through times of change and restorative care to churches and pastors going through periods of conflict or other difficulties.
Regional Ministries shall be conducted under the supervision of the Conference Minister, and shall bridge the arcs of Conference Ministries and Conference Life.
Regional Fellowships, which shall be self-governing, whether state or area, are encouraged by the Conference. They shall be recognized and approved by the Credentials Committee. They shall engage with regional ministries and hub resources and activities as those develop.
Regional Pastors shall be appointed by the Conference Minister for one year terms. They shall serve Regional Fellowships, Ministry Hubs, and general Conference needs under the oversight of the Conference Minister.
The Conference Life arc.
The Conference Life Director shall be the President of the Conference. He shall chair the Administration Council and the Conference Services Council and shall, with the chairmen, oversee the committees making up the Councils.
The Administration Council focuses on constitutional study, credentialing of members, Conference finances and the nominating process. The Council shall be made up of its Director, the Historian, and the chairmen of each of the following committees: Constitution Study Committee, Credentials Committee, Chaplains Committee, Finance Committee, Stewardship Committee, and Nominating Committee. The purpose of the Council is to provide administrative support and credentialing to the Conference churches and individual members.
A Constitution Study Committee of three shall be elected by the Conference on a rotating basis for three-year terms. This Committee shall annually review the Constitution and By-laws, offer for consideration any appropriate revisions or amendments, and take necessary procedural steps to bring them before the Conference. This Committee shall study also the constitutional problems for local churches at the request of the same, and recommend suggestions for improving the constitution thereof. The Committee shall supply at the direction of the Board the Parliamentarian for the Annual Meeting.
A Credentials Committee of five shall be appointed by the Board of Directors on a rotating basis for three year terms; the Conference Minister shall be an ex-officio member of this Committee without vote. This Committee shall have the following duties:
- The Committee shall receive and review all applications for membership in the Conference. In making such a review, the Committee shall make every reasonable effort to investigate and interview all individuals making application to the Conference. The investigation should include, if at all possible, a personal interview by a Conference Care Committee member or their designee. They shall either approve or disapprove the application, or refer it to the Board of Directors for review. In the event of approval, the Committee has power to grant membership subject to approval by the next Annual Meeting of the Conference at which the applicant is present.
- The Committee shall take action with regard to requests for transferal or dismissal, such action being subject to approval by the next Annual Meeting of the Conference except where dismissal has been requested by the party in question.
- All applications for membership, transfer, or dismissal, either approved or disapproved by the Committee and all such applications then in process are to be listed and circulated by the Committee to the entire membership of the Conference not less than thirty days before the Annual Meeting. Only those so listed and circulated shall be presented to the Annual Meeting for ratification.
- The Committee shall have the power to renew ministerial licenses granted by the Conference upon application by the licensee.
- The Committee shall have the power to receive applications from prospective students who wish to prepare themselves for some form of the Gospel ministry and who desire to come under Conference Care. Such action will be subject to approval by the Conference at the Annual Meeting.
- The Committee, through the Endorsing Agent for Military Chaplains and other institutional chaplains, shall report to the Board of Directors regarding the endorsement of any ministerial member seeking to practice an institutional or the military chaplaincy.
- The Committee shall make an annual review of the ministerial activities of those with full memberships or licenses to determine the current out reach of the Conference and the propriety of continued ministerial status of the members.
- The Committee shall make a careful investigation of those cases where discipline may be necessary as ordered by the Constitution (Article V, Sections 3-4).
A Chaplains Committee of four, shall be appointed by the Board of Directors to serve on a rotating basis for three year terms. The chairman of the Committee shall be the Endorsing Agent for Conference Chaplains and shall be appointed annually by the Board of Directors. The Committee shall be concerned with the support and spiritual well-being of all currently assigned Conference chaplains and their families. They shall assist the Conference in the recruitment, processing and endorsing of new chaplains. Their work shall be supportive and advisory with all action subject to the approval of the Conference Minister, the Credentials Committee and/or the Board of Directors.
A Finance Committee shall be appointed by the Board of Directors. The Treasurer and Controller shall serve as exofficio members of this Committee. The Finance Committee will review the Conference’s financial reports on a regular basis, establish sound financial controls, request an annual Audit, and review the findings of the Audit. The Finance Committee will also assist the Treasurer and Controller in writing an annual budget that will be submitted to the Board of Directors.
A Stewardship Committee shall be appointed by the Board of Directors. This Committee shall build a culture of biblical stewardship in the Conference. They shall devise ways and means of providing for the financial needs of the Conference and shall make such financial needs known to the membership of the Conference.
A Nominating Committee of five, two appointed by the Board of Directors and three to be elected by the Conference, shall serve on a rotating basis for three year terms. This Committee shall provide a slate of candidates for the various offices and committees with the exception of the first term of a new Conference Minister who shall be nominated by a special search committee appointed and instructed by the Board of Directors for that purpose. This Committee shall submit a preliminary slate of nominations to the Conference Minister who shall publish the slate to all Conference members and churches no less than thirty days in advance of the Annual Meeting.
The Board shall appoint an Historian for a three-year term. The Historian shall assure that the Conference office is a repository for materials of historical interest, maintain an historical account of the Conference from its inception, and promote an interest in the churches in the details of their own histories and anniversaries.
The Conference Services Council focuses on communications, women’s ministry, annual meeting planning, and the missions and outreach of the Conference. The Council shall be made up of its Director and the chair of each of the following committees: Annual Gathering Planning, Communications, Women’s Ministry, Missions and Micronesia Ministry.
An Annual Gathering Planning Committee of five shall be under the supervision of the Board of Directors. The Board shall appoint an Annual Meeting Coordinator for a three year term who shall serve as Chairman of the Committee. In addition the Board shall appoint four other members, one of whom shall serve as Advance Site Planner, Local Arrangements Chairman, one as Registrar, and one as Seminar Coordinator. The Conference Minister, the President, and the Treasurer shall all be ex-officio members.
A Communications Committee of three to five members shall be appointed by the Board of Directors to serve on a rotating basis for three-year terms. The Communications Committee of the CCCC will be comprised of the Communication Coordinator, the FORESEE Editor and the Media Manager plus no more than two additional members also appointed as needed by the Board and selected for skills and expertise that are included under the committee’s purview.
The Communications Committee shall oversee, serve and assist the Home Office and other Conference entities to maintain current, effective communication of the purpose and values of the CCCC, news and updates and required administrative content to its constituents and to the world-wide audience as appropriate. The Communications Committee will have oversight and/or authorize production of print and electronic media that represents the CCCC including but not limited to: website design and implementation, social media, online audio/video projects, the Yearbook, published reports, Conference DVDs, and mass media communication and marketing pieces.
A Women’s Ministries Committee of a minimum of three and maximum of six shall be elected by the Conference on a rotating basis for three-year terms. This Committee shall seek to promote the growth and spiritual welfare of the women of the Conference. The Committee will seek to provide avenues for publications, correspondence, information for ideas and programs, and adequate funding for its own separate budget through contributions from women’s groups and individuals. The purpose of this Committee shall be to unify in Christ, encourage, strengthen, network, and minister to the needs of the women in member and other churches.
A Missions Committee of a minimum of three and a maximum of six shall be appointed by the Board of Directors for three year terms. This Committee shall encourage and stimulate cross-cultural mission interests in the local churches by assisting in the development of local missions programs as requested, by suggesting special missions’ projects to the Conference, and by encouraging the prayer and financial support of our member missionaries. It shall administer such missions’ scholarship funds as are entrusted to it by the Conference.
A Micronesia Ministries Committee of a minimum of three and a maximum of six shall be appointed by the Board of Directors on a rotating basis for three year terms. This Committee shall have the responsibility for the planning and promoting of the Brother to Brother ministry in cooperation with the Congregational Churches of Micronesia.
IV – Standards and Membership for Ministry
General Membership Information
A person who applies to this Conference as an Ordained Minister, Licensed Minister, Commissioned Christian Worker, student under Conference Care or Lay Preacher shall be required to provide a one-time application fee of an amount determined by the Board of Directors.
Full standing for Ministers and Commissioned Christian Workers shall require their attendance at an Annual Meeting.
For applicants seeking Ordained Ministerial standing and having no previous relationship with this Conference, a one-year waiting period shall be required. The Credentials Committee may grant a ministerial license in the meantime.
Prospective candidates for the ministry, the mission field, and other areas of service are encouraged to apply for Conference Care Membership.
Full standing for Ordained Ministers, Licensed Ministers, Commissioned Christian Workers, and students under Conference Care requires that they be a person of Christian character and conduct, evidencing a consistent personal testimony of Christian experience, expressing a godly motivation for seeking this standing, demonstrating knowledge of the Bible and Christian theology and have membership in a congregationally governed church.
Only an Associate Membership may be granted to those having their credentials and/or other membership in a non-congregationally governed body. This Associate Membership will carry with it all the privileges of the Conference with the exception of holding office, serving on the Board of Directors or Credentials Committee, a committee chairmanship, and voting.
Membership cards for Ordained Ministers, Licensed Ministers, Commissioned Christian Workers and Lay Preachers shall be issued annually on a calendar year basis following the return of the annual questionnaire and a gift of any amount to the financial support of the General Fund of the Conference. Refusal to contribute in this way to the financial support of the Conference for a period of two consecutive years will result in a review by the Credentials Committee and in dismissal should it be shown to be warranted.
Ordained Ministers, Licensed Ministers, Commissioned Christian Workers and Lay Preachers who are inactive in the Conference for a period of two years, during which time they do not answer Conference or regional correspondence or questionnaires; do not attend any Conference or regional meetings; and do not make any contact whatever with this Conference, shall be contacted if at all possible by the Credentials Committee to ascertain their interest in the Conference. If there is no response or no interest indicated, the names of such members may be recommended for removal from Conference membership by the Credentials Committee at the Annual Meeting.
Ordained Ministers, Licensed Ministers, and Commissioned Christian Workers who for a period of two or more years (during one year for Licensed Ministers) fail to exercise the functions of the ministry for reasons other than disability or retirement and who pursue secular employment with no apparent effort to serve as a pastor or in some capacity as a minister (i.e. beyond those activities ordinarily done by laymen) shall be questioned by the Credentials Committee as to the propriety of their continued standing as a minister or a Commissioned Christian Worker. If such persons persist in the neglect of their ministry and refuse to resign from Conference standing unless there are extenuating circumstances, the Credentials Committee may recommend, to any Annual Meeting of the Conference, removal of their membership status or transferal to Individual Lay Membership within the Conference. The right to request reinstatement upon a return to proper ministry is presumed.
Ordained Ministerial Membership
A Ministerial standing in this Conference shall require:
- A minimum academic attainment of a degree from an accredited Bible institute or the equivalent in formal education or Christian service. However, this Conference considers seminary training to be desirable.
- A vocational call to a specific place of service that involves the ministry of the Word.
- Acceptable ordination to the Christian ministry, as determined by the Credentials Committee.
- Reception into membership in the Conference in the manner provided by the Constitution (Article V).
- Good and regular standing of ministers shall indicate that they do hold Conference membership and are not under disciplinary penalty as a result of charges against them.
Licensed Ministerial Membership
Ministerial license to preach conferring authority to perform the regular functions of parish ministry, including the solemnization of marriages where legally permissible, shall be granted by the Conference upon recommendation by the Credentials Committee and shall expire with the closing date of the ensuing Annual Meeting of the Conference. Such license is renewable at the discretion of the Credentials Committee upon application to its chairman at least thirty days before expiration of the license.
A Licensed Ministerial standing in this Conference shall require:
- A minimum academic attainment of a degree from an accredited Bible institute or the equivalent education or Christian service. However, this Conference considers seminary training to be desirable.
- A call to a particular place of service that involves the ministry of the Word
- Reception into membership in the Conference in the manner provided by the Constitution (Article V).
- Licensed Ministerial standing shall be recognized as valid as long as the licensee is actively engaged in an appropriate form of ministry.
- Under special circumstances, a student in seminary may be granted Licensed Ministerial standing while performing the functions of a parish ministry.
- Licensed Ministerial standing is normally the first step to ordination and Ordained Ministerial standing. A license should be held for one year before seeking ordination.
Commissioned Christian Worker Membership
Persons who have been commissioned into a Christian vocation such as a missionary, tent making worker, mission executive or support worker, an editor of a Christian periodical, a director of Christian education, a director of evangelism, a minister of music, or those who give service within Christian non-profit agencies as a teacher, doctor, nurse, or social worker may be received into Conference membership as a Commissioned Christian Worker.
Commissioned Christian Worker standing in the Conference shall require:
- A competency in the chosen professional field, on-the-job experience may be considered as equivalency for formal training in certain cases.
- Acceptable commissioning by a local church into a particular Christian vocation, as determined by the Credentials Committee.
- An engagement or formal invitation to a particular position.
- Reception into membership in the Conference in the manner provided by the Constitution (Article V).
Since commissioning is to a particular vocation, if there is a change in vocation, there must be a recommissioning. If there is a change in church membership, then the new church must endorse the commissioning.
Persons called to such Christian vocation other than the ordained ministry and who are received into the Conference as Commissioned Christian Workers are entitled to all the rights and privileges of the Conference. This status does not grant authority to perform the regular functions of parish ministry, including the solemnization of marriages.
The Commission shall be recognized as valid as long as the Commissioned Christian Worker is actively engaged in the form of specific service to which he was commissioned.
Conference Care Membership
Prospective candidates for the ministry, the mission field, and other areas of service such as Christian education, church administration, ministry of music and similar areas, may be received under Conference Care for guidance in preparation. Under such care the enrollee will study the Conference Study Course. The enrollee shall have an annual personal conference with a member of the Credentials Committee or with some Conference representative appointed by them. A person who has been received under Conference Care is considered a member of the Conference under Conference Care and is entitled to vote at all Annual Meetings and special meetings of the Conference. His vote does not necessarily have to be included in the delegation from his home church, if that church is a member of the Conference.
Conference Care standing may be granted to candidates from foreign countries who are resident, and only for so long as they are resident, for study in the United States of America.
Lay Preacher Membership
The Conference shall provide for the status of Lay Preacher upon the application of an individual to the Credentials Committee and shall be available only to lay members of the Conference. Such status shall be granted for the purpose of recognizing an active lay witness of an individual, but it shall not include the privileges of Licensed Ministerial standing such as authority granted by the Conference to perform the regular functions of a pastorate including the solemnization of marriages, and officiating at funerals, baptisms/dedications, and the Lord’s Supper.
The status of Lay Preacher for the individual shall expire with the closing date of the ensuing Annual Meeting of the Conference and be renewable at the discretion of the Credentials Committee upon application at least thirty days before the expiration of such status.
Individual Lay Membership
This membership shall be granted to members of congregationally governed churches which are not members of this Conference. Such Individual Lay Members shall be granted the full privilege of Conference membership in accord with the Constitution (Article V, Sections 1-4 and Article VII, Section 3).
An Associate Lay Membership may be granted to individuals who are members of non-congregationally governed churches which will carry with it all the privileges of Associate status (By-law VII, Section 1,f.).
Churches, ministers. or individual lay members from non-member churches, whose applications for membership have been processed too late to be circulated to the entire Conference membership before the Annual Meeting, or whose applications are still in process, may be given the right to speak from the floor and/or the right to vote at the said Annual Meeting, by a majority vote of the assembled delegates.
V. Standards and Membership for Churches
Churches applying for membership to this Conference shall make application to the Credentials Committee, and be considered under guidelines approved by the Board of Directors. Standing as a Member Church requires that the church affirms agreement with the CCCC Statement of Faith and the CCCC Statement of Polity. The church shall also agree to conduct its ministry in agreement with the CCCC Code of Ethics for Churches. Additionally, standing as a member church shall require:
- Acceptable Constitution and By-laws.
- Record of a vote by the membership to join the CCCC.
- Submission of the most recent Annual Report of the church.
- Leadership representatives of the applicant church shall have attended at least one Annual Meeting.
Churches shall honor their witness to Christ, to one another, and to the Conference in both doctrine and demeanor, the Statement of Faith and Code of Ethics for Churches serving as an initial guide.
- A Member Church shall maintain ongoing communication and activity with the Conference. A Member Church is entitled to appoint delegates to vote at all Annual Meetings and special meetings of the Conference, as per Article VII of the CCCC Constitution.
- Membership shall be for as long as the Church continues its ministry. Churches who are inactive in the Conference for a period of two years, during which time they do not participate in the financial support of the Conference; answer Conference or regional correspondence or questionnaires; do not participate in Conference or regional meetings, or do not make any contact whatever with the Conference, shall be contacted if at all possible by the Credentials Committee to ascertain their interest in the Conference. If there is no response or interest indicated, the names of such member churches may be recommended for removal from Conference membership by the credentials committee at the Annual Meeting.
Concerns about the departure of a local church from the CCCC Statement of Faith, Statement of Polity, Code of Ethics for Churches, or dishonorable conduct and conflict shall be referred to the Credentials Committee, who shall deploy the resources of the Conference toward resolution of the concern. If concerns are validated, the Board of Directors shall be apprised, and the Credentials Committee shall recommend to the Conference a vote for removal at the Annual Meeting.
Church in Development
Churches that are newly planted with a CCCC member Pastor and in partnership with the Church Multiplication Committee may be received as a Church in Development for guidance and encouragement by the CCCC until the church is fully organized, meeting all the requirements for church membership in the CCCC Constitution and By-laws and the standards of the Credentials Committee.
Good and regular standing shall require that a Church in Development submits an annual written report to the Church Multiplication Committee
A Church in Development shall be assigned one delegate.
Processes for Member Church standing shall be established by the Church Multiplication Committee and the Board of Directors and the Credentials Committee.
VI. Ordination to the Christian Ministry
Ordination to the ministry shall be by a local church, after examination by a council called by said church.
A candidate for ordination to the Christian ministry and subsequent ministerial membership in this Conference will be expected to have a life which is bearing the fruit of the Spirit, and which is marked by deep spirituality and the best of ethical practices. The candidate may be disqualified by any habits or practices in his life which do not glorify God in his body which belongs to God, or which might cause any brother in Christ to stumble.
Every candidate for ordination is encouraged to first apply for Ministerial License.
This Conference recommends that any local church which calls an unordained person to its pastorate who does not hold a Ministerial License from this Conference allow a trial period of one year before proceeding with his ordination.
There is to be no per-capita assessment or apportionment levied by this Conference upon the member churches or ministers. The churches and ministers are expected to assume voluntarily a share in the financial support of the General Fund of the Conference. This does not preclude fees for services such as an application fee.
VIII. Conference Records
All records of Conference business in the hands of Conference officials are the property of the Conference, contents of which must be made available to authorized Conference officials upon request, and which must be delivered to the Conference upon termination of the service of officials.
The seal of the Conference in use at the time of this Constitutional revision shall continue as the official seal of the Conference, and shall be used by having the same, or a facsimile thereof, impressed or affixed, or reproduced otherwise.
X. Fiscal Year
The fiscal year of the Conference shall be from January 1 to December 31.
These By-laws may be amended by the affirmative vote of two-thirds of the Conference members present and voting at an Annual Meeting or special meeting of the Conference, provided that in writing thirty days notice of the substance of proposed amendments to the By-laws be given to all members of the Conference. Conference documents cited as binding (serves a defining role) in these By-laws shall be eligible for amendment under the same terms as these By-laws. Position Papers and other statements of public stance of the Conference shall be presented to the Conference for ratification, amendment, or dissolution by standards established by the Board of Directors. Upon adoption of amendments, the orderly numbering, lettering, capitalization and spelling of the By-laws shall be cared for by the Constitution Study Committee.