Local Church Organization
A group of adults may organize as a local church when they achieve the following:
a. Adult members from 10 or more resident families.
b. An average worship attendance of 50 or more over the preceding twelve consecutive months.
c. Have signed and returned the National Conference Covenant.
Each local church is free to establish the structure that will best suit the needs and ministries of the congregation and community, with the exception of the following requirements with regard to 422, “Local Board,” 423, “Lay Delegates,” and 424, “Personnel Relations Team.”
422 Local Board
The local board is the local church’s highest governing body. Churches are free to use other terminology as they see appropriate (board of administration, governing board, church council, elder board, etc.). Throughout the Discipline, “local board” or “board” are used in a generic sense to refer to the church’s highest governing group.
The local board oversees all affairs pertaining to the local church.
a. The local board will consist of at least three members of the church.
b. The senior pastor shall be a member of the board.
c. Other members of the board will depend on the structure which the local church chooses to adopt.
d. All lay board members must be members of the local church.
a. The board shall establish the structure that will best suit the needs and ministries of the congregation and community.
b. The board shall keep its rulings and policies in harmony with the policies and proceedings of the US National Conference.
c. The board shall provide for the selection of church leaders and lay delegates.
d. The board shall provide for the responsible handling and accounting of the church’s finances.
e. The local board has authority in all matters pertaining to persons holding local church ministerial licenses.
f. The local board has authority in all matters pertaining to persons holding the lay ministers license.
g. The local board shall recommend to the bishop those ministers who are qualified for a national conference license.
h. The local board shall have final authority the power to disband a local church, subject to the provisions in ¶452.
i. The local board shall have power to withdraw from the denomination, subject to the provisions in Chapter 14, “Churches that Withdraw.”
5. Special Meetings
Situations may arise which call for the involvement of the bishop. A special meeting of the local board may be requested by the bishop, the cluster leader, the senior pastor, or upon the written requests of three members of the local board. The bishop will determine whether or not to actually call a special meeting.
The bishop or his designee shall chair special meetings of the local board.
423 Lay Delegates
Lay delegates represent the local church to the national conference, and also serve as voting delegates at the US National Conference.
All lay delegates must be adult members of the local church they represent. The church shall not select anyone who holds a National Conference license or is being recommended to the National Conference for license.
Each local church may determine the method for selecting lay delegates.
The local board shall inform the US bishop of the delegates and alternates chosen, according to the timeline specified by the bishop
424 Personnel Relations Team
1. Each church shall have a Personnel Relations Team. Its primary responsibility is to cooperate with the stationing committee in securing a new senior pastor when the need arises. The local board will determine the constituency of the Personnel Relations Team.
2. Depending on its structure, a church may give the Personnel Relations Team responsibilities in related areas, such as the work and support of the senior pastor.