Austin Church Of Christ (Christian)
A. The name of this organization is: Austin Church of Christ
B. The address is: 103 Second Street Southwest, Austin Minnesota,
C. The words "church" and "congregation" in this document are
A. The purpose of this organization is to be the kind of
congregation (church) designed and described by Christ and the Apostles in
the New Testament, and shall not be for the profit of itself, nor of any
individual, nor of any organization.
B. In carrying out the above-mentioned purpose, this congregation
shall have an entirely autonomous status. It is not subject to, and
neither shall it be controlled by, any state or national religious or
missionary organization, nor by any external body or group.
C. The congregation shall be limited to religious, charitable and
educational activities within the meaning of Section 501(c)(3) of the U.S.
Internal Revenue Code.
D. The purpose and specifics in this article are not intended to be
and shall not be held in limitation of the powers now or hereafter granted
to this non-profit congregation under the laws of the State of Minnesota,
but are intended to be and shall be in furtherance thereof.
The period of duration of existence of this congregation shall be
IV. Membership and Fellowship.
A. Only God can set the terms for membership in His church. Based on
the New Testament, we believe those membership terms are: persons who
believe Jesus is the Christ begin a process of reforming their lives
(repentance), professing such belief publicly, are baptized (immersed),
and commence participation in the life of the church as persons intending
to obey God’s commands.
B. An “active member” of this congregation shall fulfill the terms
stated in IV, A. above and declares an intention to be a member of this
congregation. Active membership shall be retained by continuing with
frequent attendance and financial support and participation in the
ministry and work of this congregation for the most recent six-month
period of time.
C. We recognize that not all individuals have come to a point of
faith as to be considered “active members.” But no person will be excluded
from fellowship in this congregation who desires to participate in the
activities and ministries of this church.
D. Notwithstanding the foregoing, a person may be removed
from membership in… or fellowship with… this congregation by the process
stated in Matthew 18 for causes such as, but not limited to, prolonged or
sustained disruptiveness to the church, misbehavior that brings dishonor
to the church, misbehavior toward other members of the church,
participation in a legal proceeding against this church or any of its
A. Under the spiritual guidance of the Elders, the Core Group shall
be responsible for the general business of the congregation. The By-laws
shall contain the conditions of membership in the Core Group and the
procedures for the operations and continuation of the Core Group, its
members and officers.
B. Trustees shall be accountable to the Core Group to be the
legal representatives of the congregation to the State, and to perform
specific functions, such as, but not limited to, oversight of the physical
plant and facilities and certain funds as directed by the Core Group.
VI. Spiritual Leadership and
A. Elders shall provide spiritual leadership that is consistent with
the mission of the church. The qualifications and responsibilities of
Elders shall be the same as are outlined in the New Testament. Equivalent
Scriptural words are: presbyter-elder, pastor-shepherd-teacher and
B. Deacons perform ministry-service that is consistent with the
mission of the church. The qualifications and responsibilities of Deacons
shall be the same as are outlined in the New Testament. Equivalent
Scriptural words are: deacon, deaconess, and servant.
C. The church may employ persons to perform spiritual leadership
and/or ministry-service for the church. These persons shall meet the same
Scriptural qualifications as Elders or Deacons, as appropriate for their
type of employment.
D. The By-laws shall contain the conditions for the appointment of,
and terms of service for, Elders, Deacons, Trustees, and employed persons.
VII. Permitted Activities of the
A. Not withstanding any provisions of these articles, the
congregation shall not carry on any other activities not permitted to be
carried on, (a) by a congregation exempt from federal income tax under
Section 501(c) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 (or corresponding
provisions of any future United States Internal Revenue Law), or (b) by a
congregation the contributions to which are deductible under Section 107
(c)(2) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 (or the corresponding
provisions of any future United States Internal Revenue Law).
B. No substantial part of the activities of this congregation shall
be the carrying on of propaganda or otherwise attempting to influence
legislation and the congregation shall not participate in or intervene in
(including the publishing or distribution of statements) any political
campaign on behalf of any candidate for public office.
C. This congregation shall have no capital stock.
D. No Core Group officer, Core Group member, Trustee, Elder or
Deacon, nor any leadership or ministry person, nor any member shall have
personal liability for the congregation’s obligations.
A. Upon dissolution of the congregation, the Core Group shall, after
paying or making provisions for the payment of all of the liabilities of
the congregation, dispose of all the assets of the congregation
exclusively for the purposes of the congregation in such a manner, or to
such organization or organizations organized and exclusively for
charitable, educational, religious or scientific purposes as shall at the
time qualify as an exempt organization or organizations under Section
501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 (or the corresponding
provisions of any future United States Internal Revenue Law) as the Core
Group shall determine. Any of such assets not so disposed of shall be
disposed of by the District Court of the county in which the principal
office of the congregation is then located, exclusively for such purposes
or to such organization or organizations as said court shall determine,
which are organized and open exclusively for such purposes.
B. Core Group shall notify the IRS and the State of Minnesota that it
is going out of existence.
IX. Congregational Meetings.
A. Annual Meeting. The Core Group shall call at least one meeting of
the congregation during the early part of each calendar year with a posted
written agenda. The meeting shall include a written summary report of the
Core Group's actions for the prior year including summary financial
B. Other Meetings. The
Core Group, for any purpose it deems expedient, may call additional
meetings of the congregation.
C. A duly called meeting is one for which the Core Group posts a
written notice of that meeting’s date, time, place, and its agenda in an
easily read position in the narthex with an announcement of the posting of
such notice made during at least two consecutive Sunday morning services
the first of which is at least fourteen days prior to that meeting. Longer notice and more announcements are preferred when it is practical to
D. “Voting members” are all the “active members” of the congregation
who are at least sixteen years old and present at a duly called meeting. The “voting members” present and voting at a duly called meeting
constitute a quorum.
E. Participation and decorum:
1. During any congregation meeting, a place in the agenda shall be
provided for “voting members” to speak in an orderly manner for up to two
minutes each per major topic. No more than two additional persons shall
speak on a point of view already presented. Those who attempt to exceed
this limit may be declared “out of order” by the chairperson of the
2. The chairperson of the meeting in his/her sole
discretion that certain conduct at the meeting is out of order or
disorderly may ask any person to cease such conduct or to dismiss them
from the meeting if they don’t cease their conduct, or may terminate the
X. By-Laws and Amendments.
A. Any and all amendments to this document or the By-laws shall be
adopted by at least a two thirds majority of “voting members” at a
congregational meeting duly called by the Core Group, the posted agenda
for which includes the purpose of adopting or amending this certificate or
adopting or amending By-laws to this certificate and the text of the
B. This meeting and the prior notification shall be according to
terms specified in IX. C.
By the words of the gospel we will strive to reach the people of
the community and the world to bring them to Jesus Christ and his kingdom.
We will nurture, support and encourage each other's walk with the Lord
through prayer, witness, and loving concern. We will encourage concern for
missions and support of missions throughout the world.
II. Core Group.
A. The Core Group consists of no less than twelve members of the
congregation and not more than about twenty members. The term of service
is two years, beginning in January with approximately half the terms
commencing in alternate years. Persons employed for spiritual leadership
(ministers) are members of the Core Group. Any person attending a Core
Group meeting may be asked to leave the meeting during the time there is a
discussion concerning them personally.
B. People desiring to serve on the Core Group shall make that desire
known during the month of November for service to begin the following
January. The officers of the Core Group shall serve as a committee to
gather names of those willing to serve on the Core Group. They shall place
the names of prospective new members before the Core Group no later than
the December meeting. If there are more than twenty persons desiring to
serve on the Core Group the officers shall meet with all prospective
members to come to a consensus on which people shall serve. Preferably
some members who have already served at least two years will yield to
persons who are requesting new terms of service. Core Group members who
have served a 2-year term may volunteer to serve one consecutive 2-year
term provided the Core Group agrees. After that, at least one year off
the Core Group is required.
C. Every voting member of the Core Group shall be an active member of
at least one Ministry Group (section G, below) and participate in the work
and ministry of the church.
D. Core Group Officers shall be from the membership of Core Group:
Chair - each new year the previous Vice Chair typically will become the
Vice Chair - each year a new Vice Chair is elected.
Past Chair – after the year’s service as Chair, the person takes this
Secretary - records the minutes of the Core Group and Congregational
(This person may serve consecutive years if willing and nominated.)
E. Election of Officers - All officers will be elected by
the Core Group for a one-year term.
F. Regular meetings of the Core Group shall usually be held on the
first Wednesday of each month at 7:03 PM unless changed by a two-thirds
vote of the Core Group. A quorum is two-thirds of the members.
G. Ministry Groups: The chairman of the Core Group shall appoint
these Ministry Groups from among the congregation provided at least two
members and usually the committee chairman are from the Core Group. Some
of the major areas of responsibility for each committee are listed.
1. Spiritual Direction (Employed Leaders & Elders)
a) Preaching and worship calendar
b) Shepherding and member concerns
c) Evangelism and church growth
d) Coordination with all the other functions & committees
2. External Ministries
a) Foreign and non-local church growth enterprises
b) Foreign and non-local benevolence enterprises
c) Development of membership commitments to these programs
d) Coordination with Local Service Ministry Group
3. Worship & Music
a) Plan and execute music portion of worship ministry
b) Plan and execute audio-visual support
c) Coordinate with preaching and worship calendar
4. Stewardship & Finance
a) Keep records of all expenditures with monthly reports to the Core Group
b) Approves/disapproves all spending requests except for capital
expenditures, which are decided by the entire Core Group
c) Provides a spending plan to the Core Group prior to a new fiscal year
(If none is submitted Core Group may use
the totals expended from the previous year as a guide for the succeeding
5. Education & Youth
a) Children and youth education
b) Children and youth development, camp, fellowship, activities
c) Adult education
d) Coordinate with week-day programs
6. Local Service Ministry (Deacons/Deaconesses)
a) Dinners and other social gatherings
b) Ministry to shut-ins and persons in need
c) Hospital & nursing home visitations
d) Coordinate with women’s organizations
7. Property and Legal Matters (Trustees)
a) Monitor building and equipment
b) Repairs and replacements
c) Cleaning & facilities maintenance
d) Safety inspections and requirements
H. Other Ministry Groups may be created and staffed as decided by the
III. Elders, Deacons, and Trustees.
A. Any “active member” of the church who wishes to become an Elder,
Deacon, or Trustee may express the desire to become a candidate to a Core
Group officer or to an Elder. Commonly such persons will have served on
the Core Group.
B. The Elders review the candidates as to their qualifications
according to Scripture. [Added by Core Group,
1Mar06, "Qualified candidates will be presented to the Core Group for
review."] The candidates who pass the review are presented
to the congregation who shall have at least 4 Sundays to review the
candidates. Any person wishing to express their concerns or objections
about a candidate may do so to one of the Elders.
C. The Elders, upon determining there is a consensus of
the congregation about the candidates, may present those who are accepted
by the congregation for dedication to a two-year appointment (term).
D. Successive terms shall be limited to a total of three
consecutive two-year terms providing that at the start of each new
two-year term the person is approved by the same process (A., B., C.,
above) as for any new candidate. After three consecutive terms (six
continuous years) in such service, every Elder, Deacon, or Trustee shall
take a sabbatical year before commencing any new two-year term.
E. The term of an Elder, Deacon, or Trustee may cease by the person's
resignation, or it may be terminated by the Core Group at a special
meeting called for that purpose after at least 10 days personal
notification to all Core Group members. At least two-thirds majority of
the entire current membership of the Core Group is required to terminate.
F. Dedication of Elders, Deacons, and Trustees. Annually
at a Sunday morning worship service, persons newly appointed along with
those continuing for the second year of their term will be presented in
person in front of the congregation.
IV. Employed Persons for Spiritual Leadership and Ministry-Service
A. If persons are to be employed to perform spiritual leadership or
to provide ministry–service, the method of appointment and the terms of
employment shall be:
1. Each person appointed for spiritual leadership
(commonly called Pastor, Preacher, or Minister) shall be reviewed and
approved by at least two-thirds majority of the Core Group and then
recommended to the congregation for an indefinite term of service subject
to approval by at least a two-thirds majority of “voting members” who are
present and voting.
Employment may cease by the person's resignation, or may be
terminated by the Core Group at a special meeting called for that purpose
after at least 10 days personal notification to all Core Group members. At
least two-thirds majority of the entire current membership of the Core
Group is required to terminate a person employed for spiritual
2. Each person appointed for ministry-service shall be
reviewed and approved by at least two- thirds majority of the Core Group
and announced to the congregation.
Employment may cease by the person's resignation, or may be
terminated by the Core Group at any meeting by at least a two-thirds
majority of the entire current membership of the Core Group.
3. The church may terminate an employed person at will or without