On Sunday, April 15, as part of our next Faith Family Gathering, your elders will be bringing a recommendation regarding a proposed revision to our church bylaws. The goal behind the proposal is to better position us as a church to care for and shepherd the members of our faith family well. Specifically, the change relates to Article II, which is entitled, "Membership and Purpose."


In addition to some grammatical and language updates, there are two primary components of the revision:  

  1. The revision will provide the elders with discretion to remove someone from membership under out-of-the-ordinary or exceptional circumstances. This is unusual, but there are occasions when we are faced with a membership status change that does not fit within the guidelines of our current bylaws.
     
  2. The revision will allow the elders to define the process for formally receiving and releasing members. Currently, this is being done by a vote of the elders in their monthly Elder Council meetings.

Additionally, the revision better articulates our practice and conviction regarding believer's baptism, which is by immersion; and it references a membership process, which currently includes the membership class, a written testimony assignment, a personal meeting with an elder, and approval by the Elder Council.

Current wording for Article II:

The Church is organized and shall be operated exclusively for religious, charitable and educational purposes within the meaning of Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. More particularly, the purpose of the Church is to glorify God by making disciples of all nations. Any person is qualified for full membership in the Church upon his or her profession of saving faith in Jesus Christ, his or her identification with Christ and His body through believer’s baptism, and completion of a membership class that provides instruction on the purpose, philosophy, and ministry of the Church. Membership may be removed on behalf of a member by a request from another church of like faith, by death of the member, or by church discipline (Matt. 18:15-20; 1 Cor. 5:1-13). Matters of church discipline, including restoration to membership, shall be directed by the Administrative Elder Team ("AET") based on biblical principles. Members of the Church shall have no property rights or other ownership interest in any assets of the Church.

Proposed wording for Article II:

The Church is organized and shall be operated exclusively for religious, charitable, and educational purposes within the meaning of Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. More particularly, the purpose of the Church is to glorify God by making disciples of all nations. Any person is qualified for membership in the Church upon his or her profession of saving faith in Jesus Christ, identification with Christ and His body through believer’s baptism by immersion, and completion of the membership process, which includes the Membership Class. The Membership Class provides instruction on the purpose, philosophy, and ministry of the Church. Membership may be removed on behalf of a member by a request from another church of like faith, by death of the member, by church discipline, or by other exceptional circumstances the elders deem appropriate. (Matt. 18:15-20; 1 Cor. 5:1-13). The elders of Brook Hills determine how and when members are received or released from membership. Matters of church discipline, including restoration to membership, shall be directed by the Administrative Elder Team ("AET") based on biblical principles. Members of the Church shall have no property rights or other ownership interest in any assets of the Church.


As part of the Faith Family Gathering on April 15, the elders will present the recommendation, provide some additional comments and explanation, and ask the members of The Church at Brook Hills to affirm (or not affirm) the proposed revision. You may also view a complete version of our church bylaws at brookhills.org/bylaws.