“If you declare with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For one believes with his heart is justified, and declares with his mouth is saved,” (Romans 10:9-10).
WBFM Ministry Objectives
To work at getting everybody involved. By working towards developing one’s self as a part of a small group will lead to greatness. They will be able to support each other, pray for each other and hold each other accountable for their actions and words. From him, the whole body joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work (Eph. 4:16).
To learn to be creative. There are multiple ways to learn and help others. By thinking outside the box in these areas will allow others to find and use the spiritual gifts that God gave them.
To make an effort to meet people where they are. We are following the Apostle Paul’s example in 1 Corinthians 9:19-22 which was with the intent of reaching more people. Also, we are obeying the greatest commandment which is to love (Matt. 22:37-40).
To know where to find resources that will help you be more effective. You are allowing God to use other believers in your life which follows the concepts He established of iron sharpening iron and interdependence within the Body (Prov. 27:17).
To be good stewards of the resources you do have. If you are doing what is right, investing what God has given you, He will reward you. Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness! (Matt. 25:23)
How do I join Walking By Faith Missions Church?
What type of entity is Walking by Faith Missions Church?
Walking By Faith Missions Church was formally established in Texas on June 28, 2017, however, we have been independently evangelizing since 2015. Our church is a member of the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE number 31933), and chartered by United Christian Faith Ministries (charter number 605829). This formalized our church and gave us recognized ordaining authority as an independent Evangelical Church.
Church Constitution & Bylaws
– We believe in the Lord Jesus Christ for eternal life through His death and the power of His resurrection.
– We believe the Bible to be God’s word and the revelation of His will to man and accept it as our rule for faith and conduct.
– We believe Christian fellowship, mutual edification, and evangelical effort, in the form of local churches, is God’s ordained order for His people.
– We believe each church is to assemble together for worship, fellowship, counsel, and instruction in the Word of God, and the work of the ministry
– We believe each church should exercise the gifts and offices provided for in the New Testament to obtain the Christian goal, “Be ye therefore perfect even as your Father in heaven is perfect.”
– We believe God has called and anointed us to emphasize the fullness of the Gospel through the Baptism of the Holy Spirit.
Therefore, we have accepted and adopted the following Statement of Fundamental Truths and Constitution. We shall seek, by the grace of God, to be governed by the Constitution as set forth, and will also seek to teach and propagate the doctrines contained in the Statement of Fundamental Truths.
Statement of Fundamental Truths
The scriptures inspired. The Bible is the inspired Word of God, a revelation from God to man, the infallible rule of faith and conduct, and is superior to conscience and reason, but not contrary to reason (2 Timothy 3:15, 2 Timothy 3:16, 1 Peter 2:2).
The one true God. The one true God has revealed himself as the eternally self-existent, self-revealed “I AM” and has further revealed Himself as embodying the principles of relationship and association, i.e., Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Deuteronomy 6:4, Mark 12:29, Isaiah 43:10, Isaiah 11, Matthew 28:19).
Man, his fall and redemption. Man was created good and upright for God said, “Let Us make man in our image, after our likeness.” But man, by voluntary transgression, fell and his only hope of redemption is in Jesus Christ the Son of God (Genesis 1:26-31, Genesis 3:1-7, Romans 5:12-21).
The salvation of man
Conditions of Salvation: The grace of God, which brings salvation, has appeared to all men, through the preaching of repentance toward God and faith toward the Lord Jesus Christ; the washing of regeneration and the renewing of the Holy Spirit, and being justified by the hope of eternal life (Titus 2:11, Romans 10:13-15, Luke 24:47, Titus 3:5-7).
Evidence of salvation: The inward evidence to the believer of his salvation is the direct witness of the spirit (Romans 8:16). The outward evidence to all men is a life of righteousness and true holiness.
Baptism in water: The ordinance of baptism by a burial with Christ should be observed as commanded in the scriptures by all who have repented and believed in Christ as Savior and Lord. In so doing, they have the body washed in pure water as an outward symbol of cleansing, while their heart has already been sprinkled with the blood of Christ as in inner cleansing. They declare to the world that they have died with Jesus and been raised with Him to walk in newness of life (Matthew 28:19, Acts 10:47, Acts 48, Romans 6:4, Acts 20:21, Hebrews 10:22).
The Lord’s Supper: The Lord’s supper, consisting of the elements, bread and the fruit of the vine, is the symbol expressing our sharing the divine nature of our Lord Jesus Christ (2 Peter 1:4), a memorial of His suffering and death (1 Corinthians 11:26), a prophecy of His second coming (1 Corinthians 11:26), and is enjoined on all believers until He comes.
Regeneration: All people who turn from their sins and put their faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ receive a new birth by which their life is regenerated by the power of God’s Holy Spirit (John 3:3-6, Titus 3:5).
From that time forth the regenerated person has God’s Holy Spirit dwelling within them enabling them to live a holy life (1 Corinthians 3:16, 2 Peter 1:3-4). Also giving them the power to be witnesses for Jesus Christ (Acts 1:8).
The promise of the Father: All believers are entitled to the promise of the Father and the baptism in the Holy Spirit according to the command of our Lord Jesus Christ. This was the normal experience in the early Christian Church. With it comes a deeper spiritual life and service, the bestowment of the gifts and their uses in the work of the ministry (Luke 24:49, Acts 1:4, 1 Corinthians 12:1-31). This wonderful experience is distinct from and subsequent to the experience of the new birth (Acts 10:44-46, Acts 11:14-16, Acts 15:7-9).
Sanctification: The scriptures teach a life of holiness without which no man shall see the Lord. By the power of the Holy Spirit, we are able to obey the command, “Be holy, for I am holy.” Sanctification is the will of God for all believers and should be pursued by walking in obedience to God’s Holy Spirit. Sanctification is experienced in basically three ways:
Instant or positional sanctification. This is what happens to every person who puts their trust in the finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ. When we are saved through faith in Jesus, we are sanctified in the eyes of God through the blood of the cross. As God the Father looks at us, He sees the holiness of Jesus, which is imputed to us and does not see our sin (Hebrews 10:10, Hebrews 14).
Progressive or practical sanctification: This is the process by which we strive to live on a day to day basis by considering ourselves dead to sin and alive to God in holy living through the power of God’s divine nature within our lives (Romans 6; Philippians 2:12, Philippians 2:13, 2 Peter 1:3, 2 Peter 1:4).
Final sanctification: This is when we are totally set free from the presence of sin within our life after seeing Jesus our Lord and being made like Him because of seeing Him as He really is in all His glory (1 John 3:2).
The church: The church is the body of Christ, the habitation of God through the spirit with divine appointments for the fulfillment of her great commission. Each believer, born of the spirit, is an integral part of the church, which is written in heaven (Ephesians 1:22, Ephesians 1:23, Ephesians 2:22, Hebrews 12:23).
The ministry and evangelism: A divinely called and scripturally ordained ministry has been provided by our Lord for the evangelization of the world and the edifying of the body of Christ (Mark 16:15-20, Ephesians 4:11-13).
Divine healing: Deliverance from sickness is provided for us in the atonement, and is the privilege of all believers (Isaiah 53:4, Isaiah 53:5, Matthew 8:16, Matthew 8:17).
The blessed hope: The resurrection of those who have fallen asleep in Christ and their translation, together with those who are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord, is the imminent and blessed hope of the Church (1 Thessalonians 4:16, 1 Thessalonians 4:17, Titus 2:12, 1 Corinthians 15:51, Romans 8:23).
The millennial reign of Jesus: The revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ from heaven, the salvation of national Israel, and the millennial reign of Christ on earth are the scriptural promise and the world’s hope (2 Thessalonians 1:17, Revelation 19:11-14, Romans 11:26, Romans 11:27, Revelation 20:1-7).
The lake of fire: The devil and his angels, the beast and the false prophet, and whoever not found written in the Book of Life, shall be consigned to everlasting punishment in the lake, which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death (Revelation 19:20, Revelation 20:10-15).
The new heavens and the new earth: We, “according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth wherein dwells righteousness” (2 Peter 3:13, Revelation 21, Revelation 22)
For the purpose of establishing and maintaining a place for the worship of the one true God; to provide for Christian fellowship for those of like precious faith, irrespective of social position or worldly possessions; for the propagation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ both in-home and foreign lands, this church shall be governed by the following Constitution:
KNOW ALL MEN BY THESE PRESENT:
That, we, the undersigned have this day voluntarily associated ourselves together for the purpose of forming a unincorporated church under the Laws of the State of Texas, and we hereby certify:
Walking By Faith Missions Church
As stated in the Articles of Establishment of Walking By Faith Missions Church.
PURPOSES AND POWERS
THE PURPOSES FOR WHICH THIS CHURCH IS FORMED ARE:
To establish a Biblical Christian Church with a School of the Bible department and with missionary, literature, educational and all other departments it may deem useful to propagate and practice the full Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ and for its service to the community.
It is one purpose of this local church to earnestly seek and promote the unity of God’s people in the Scriptural manner of Godly love, respect and faithful voluntary cooperation with liberty. To that end, it shall associate and cooperate freely with other churches and with church organizations. To act as Trustee under any trust incidental to the principal objects of the church and to receive, hold, administer and expend funds and property subject to such trust.
To enter into, make, perform and carry out contracts of every kind for any lawful purpose without limit as to amount and with any person, firm, association or corporation; to draw, make, accept, endorse, discount, issue and execute promissory notes, warrants, and other negotiable or transferable interests.
To take, purchase or otherwise acquire; to own, hold, occupy, use and enjoy, manage, improve, develop and work; to grant, sell, exchange, let, demise and otherwise dispose of real estate, buildings; and improvements and every night, interest and estate therein without limit as to the amount thereof and wheresoever the same may be situated; to erect, construct, alter and repair buildings; to assume any and every kind of contract, agreement and obligation by or with any person, firm, corporation or association, or any Federal, State or other Government for the erection, construction, alteration, repair, renewal, equipment, improvement, development, use, enjoyment, leasing, management or control of any buildings, improvements or structures of any kind wherever the same may be situated.
To purchase or otherwise acquire, to own, hold, use and enjoy, to sell, assign and transfer, exchange or otherwise dispose of, deal in or deal with personal property of every kind and description without limit as to the amount thereof and wheresoever the same may be situated.
To borrow and to loan money and to give and to receive evidence of indebtedness and security thereof; to draw, make accept, endorse, execute, and issue promissory notes, warrants, and other debentures of the church, or otherwise to make guarantees of every kind and secure any or all obligations of the church by mortgage, trust deed or otherwise.
To do all other acts necessary or expedient for the administration of the affairs and attainment of the purposes of the church and to have and exercise all the powers now or hereafter conferred by the Laws of Texas, as a Faith-Based Organization (FBO).
A NON-PROFIT FREE ECCLESIASTICAL CHURCH
This church is organized pursuant to the Non-Profit Free Ecclesiastical Church Law of the State of Texas; the property of this church is irrevocably dedicated to religious and charitable purposes, and upon liquidation, dissolution, or abandonment, shall not inure to the benefit of any private person except a fund, foundation, or corporation organized and operated for religious or charitable purposes and as designated in Article X of this Constitution.
(A) The ordinance of Baptism by immersion in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit as commanded in the Scriptures shall be administered to all those who have believed in the Lord Jesus Christ to the saving of their souls and who give clear evidence of their fruit (Matthew 28:19, Colossians 2:12).
(B) The ordinance of the Lord’s Supper shall be observed regularly as a part of public worship, as commanded by the Lord (Luke 22:19, 20; I Corinthians 11:23-26).
(C) Infants and small children may be dedicated to the Lord in the church upon the request of the parents or guardians (Mark 10:13-16; Luke 18:15, 16).
(D) The ministration of laying on of hands accompanied with the anointing with oil, for the healing of the sick, shall be granted as a request is made and the need may require (Mark 16:18; James 5:14).
Membership in Walking By Faith Missions Church shall be eligible to all who give evidence to their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and who voluntarily hold to the fundamental doctrines of the Christian faith. When a person chooses to be a part of Walking By Faith Missions Church and involve themselves they are automatically considered a member (Ephesians 4:16).
A member is one who attends regularly, serves at and contributes financially or volunteers their time to Walking By Faith Missions Church.
A member can be removed from the church because of disciplinary reasons or safety issues after counselings fail from the church leadership and the said member.
All member’s records are to be private and kept in the Pastors office for safekeeping.
The officers of Walking By Faith Missions Church shall consist of a President, a Vice President, and Secretary-Treasurer. The pastor shall be considered the President of the church. There shall not be less than three (3) and no more than five (5) officers (directors) at any time. The board of directors shall handle the business of the church and therefore should be business-minded. They should see into the spiritual side of all businesses as well. These should lay hold of the vision given them and see it is implemented.
PASTOR AND PRESIDENT
Section 1. Term of Office: The Pastor is the President of the Church. He is also an Elder holding the office of pastor. He shall hold this office until his death or until he resigns.
Section 2. Vacancy of Pastorate: The vacancy shall be filled by the appointment of a new pastor by the departing pastor or the Board of Elders when the departing pastor is not available to do so. In some cases, a Pulpit Search Committee may be selected who will search for pastoral candidates and submit them to the departing pastor and/or elders for final approval. In most cases, when able, it is best to follow the examples set forth in scripture of the person called by God (pastor or another fivefold minister) to pass the mantle on to the one God has chosen and shown him (Joshua 1, 1 Kings 19:19-21, 2 Kings 2:1-14). Imparting the anointing and call of God to the one who has already proven themselves to be faithful (2 Timothy 2:2, Luke 16:12).
Section 3. Duties of Pastor: The Pastor shall be considered the spiritual overseer of the church and shall direct all the church activities. He shall preside over all business meetings of the church and shall be an ex-officio member of all committees and departments.
Section 4. Support of Pastor: The Pastor shall be supported according to his needs, either by freewill offerings or by stated allowance as shall be decided upon by the Directors and/or Elders in its regular business sessions.
The Vice-President of the Corporation shall also be an Elder. He must be one who is trusted by the pastor with adequate business and leadership gifts to take charge of the Pastor/President’s absence. He shall be appointed by the Pastor and ratified by the Elders.
The Secretary-Treasurer of the Corporation shall be appointed by the Pastor and ratified by the Elders. A secretary or administrative assistant may be utilized in the day-to-day record keeping (accounts receivable and payable) as is necessary.
Directors shall be appointed by the Pastor and ratified by the Elders. The Board of Elders shall fill the office of Directors and officers of the Church when qualified persons are lacking to fill such positions.
BOARD OF ELDERS
The Board of Elders shall be appointed by the Pastor. There shall not be less than three (3) and no more than five (5). They are to be called upon to fill the pulpit, to pray for the sick, visit newcomers, shut-ins, absentees, and hospital visitation. They shall also, along with the Pastor, seek God’s direction for the church, and support the pastor in the vision given him by God, in the church’s present and future ministry. Elders shall remain so until they resign or are deemed unfit.
Requirements: As a summary statement for all that follows in the qualifications, Paul says an elder is to be a man who is above reproach (1 Tim. 3:2; Tit. 1:7). His lifestyle is such that no one can legitimately accuse him of conduct which is unbefitting a mature believer. However, this does not mean he is perfect or without room for improvement. Why? Because none of us are perfect (Phil. 3:10-14; Ps. 143:2).
Generally speaking, an elder is to be a model of Christian maturity and the qualities of these passages are marks of maturity which normally characterize the qualified man. Note that these qualities may also be seen from the standpoint of a man’s fundamental relationships—to God, His Word, self, family, others including the outside world, and things.
AS TO GOD AND HIS WORD
(1) Not a new convert (1Tim. 3:6). Not a neophyte, novice, one newly converted. Does he truly know the Lord and has he shown definite progress in spiritual maturity?
(2) Devout (Tit. 1:8). Does he demonstrate a definite commitment to know, love, and walk with God?
(3) Holding fast to the faithful word, able to exhort, and refute (1 Tim. 3:2; Tit. 1:9). Is he a student of the Bible? Is he stable in the faith, sound in doctrine and practice? Does he know the Word well enough to teach it to others? Is he able to use the Word of God to exhort people with sound doctrine and to refute those who are antagonistic to the faith or the truth of Scripture?
AS TO HIMSELF
(1) If a man aspires to the office of overseer (1 Tim. 3:1). Based on biblical criteria and motives, does he have a strong desire to serve the Lord and the body of Christ as an overseer of the flock, or does he feel constrained by necessity (cf. 1 Pet. 5:2, “shepherd the flock of God among you, exercising oversight not under compulsion, but voluntarily according to the will of God”)?
(2) Temperate (1 Tim. 3:2). In the everyday situations of life does he tend to react according to biblical principles so that he remains under God’s control? Is he Spirit-controlled and disciplined rather than self-indulgent?
(3) Prudent (1 Tim. 3:2). Is he prudent or biblically minded to the extent that he walks wisely according to the wisdom of Scripture?
(4) Not quick-tempered (Tit. 1:7). Does he have a short fuse? Is he emotionally stable and in control of his feelings?
AS TO HIS FAMILY
(1) Husband of one wife (1 Tim. 3:2; Tit. 1:6). Literally, a one-woman man. He is a man totally devoted and faithful to his own wife so that he is not distracted by other women? (See the Addendum on this controversial clause.)
(2) One who manages his own household well (1 Tim. 3:4-5; Tit. 1:6). Does his wife love, respect, and follow his leadership, and are his children believers, under control, respectful of authority, and responding positively to God?
AS TO OTHERS
(1) Hospitable (1 Tim. 3:2; Tit. 1:8). Literally, “a lover of strangers.” As he is able, does he share his home with others in order to minister to their needs?
(2)Able to teach (1 Tim. 3:2). Is he able to communicate the Word of God to others? Is he able to handle those who disagree with him in a patient and gentle manner? Have others recognized in him the ability to teach and communicate the Word at least in small group settings?
(3) Not self-willed (Tit. 1:7). A self-willed man is a self-centered man who demands his own way because he cares only for himself. As a servant, an elder must seek to please God and care for others. Is he able to set aside his own preferences in order to promote unity and care for the needs of others?
(4) Loving what is good (Tit. 1:8). Literally, “a lover of goodness.” He is a man who is devoted to that which is good or beneficial either in things, deeds, or people (Ps. 15). Does he take advantage of opportunities to do good to all men (both Christians and non-Christians) in order to build them up rather than tear them down?
(5) Not pugnacious or a striker, i.e., anger out of control (1 Tim. 3:3; Tit. 1:7). Does he show a tendency to be either physically or verbally abusive? Has he shown a disposition to use a position of leadership to bully or push people around?
(6) Uncontentious (1 Tim. 3:3). He is not a quarrelsome person who struggles against others for self-seeking reasons such as jealousy or selfish ambition. He may strongly disagree, but he will state his case without being contentious.
(7) Gentle (1 Tim. 3:3). This word in the original Greek text refers to strength under control, like a powerful, but a gentle horse. Does he handle others in a gentle, patient, and gracious way? Is he yielding, showing a mellow gentleness, or is he heavy-handed, insisting on the letter of the law?
(8) Just (Tit. 1:8). In his relationships with others, is he able to make just decisions, those that are wise, fair, impartial, objective, and honest according to the principles of Scripture?
(9) Respectable, orderly, balanced (1 Tim. 3:2). Is he respected by others because his life adorns the Word of God? The basic idea of this word is orderly. It describes a man whose behavior is good and blended harmoniously in a balanced manner.
(10) Having a good reputation with those on the outside (1 Tim. 1:7). Does he have a good
reputation among unbelievers because he has a life-style of unquestioned integrity.
AS TO THINGS
(1) Free from the love of money (1 Tim. 3:3; Tit. 1:7). Does he have his priorities straight? Is he seeking his significance, security, and primary satisfaction from material wealth? Is he involved in dishonest business practices? Is the amount of salary he receives the most important thing about his occupation? Is he seeking the office of an elder for personal gain?
(2) Not addicted to wine (1 Tim. 3:3; Tit. 1:7). Is he free from any form of substance abuse (alcohol, drugs, etc.) or any kind of addiction which might take control of his life, cause belligerent and irresponsible behavior, and cause weaker Christians to stumble (Rom. 14:13-21)
The Pastor and/or Board of Elders shall appoint the Board of Deacons. There shall never be less than four members on the Board of Deacons. The Board of Deacons shall act in conjunction with and to aid the Pastor in all matters of Walking By Faith Missions Church. They shall act in the determination of the meeting of material needs (i.e., food, clothing, financial, etc.) of anyone who might seem to be in need of whether they are a part of the Church or not. They may also aid the Pastor in any of the ordinances.
THE QUALIFICATIONS OF DEACONS
The only passage that mentions the qualifications for deacons is 1 Timothy 3:8–13. In this passage, Paul gives an official but not an exhaustive list of the requirements for deacons. The similarities of the qualifications for deacons and elders/overseers in 1 Timothy 3 are striking. As the qualifications for elders, a deacon must not be an addict (v. 3,), not greedy for dishonest gain (v. 3), blameless (v. 2; Titus 1:6), the husband of one wife (v. 2), and an able manager of his children and household (vv. 4–5). Furthermore, the focus of the qualifications is the moral character of the person who is to fill the office: a deacon must be mature and above reproach. The main difference between an elder and a deacon is a difference of gifts and calling, not character.
Paul identifies nine qualifications for deacons in 1 Timothy 3:8-12:
Dignified (v. 8): This term normally refers to something that is honorable, respectable, esteemed, or worthy, and is closely related to “respectable,” which is given as a qualification for elders (1 Tim. 3:2).
Not double-tongued (v. 8): Those who are double-tongued say one thing to certain people but then say something else to others, or say one thing but mean another. They are two-faced and insincere. Their words cannot be trusted, so they lack credibility.
Not addicted to much wine (v. 8): A man is disqualified for the office of deacon if he is addicted to wine or other strong drink. Such a person lacks self-control and is undisciplined.
Not greedy for dishonest gain (v. 8): If a person is a lover of money, he is not qualified to be a deacon, especially since deacons often handle financial matters for the church.
Sound in faith and life (v. 9): Paul also indicates that a deacon must “hold the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience.” The phrase “the mystery of the faith” is simply one way Paul speaks of the gospel (cf. 1 Tim. 3:16). Consequently, this statement refers to the need for deacons to hold firm to the true gospel without wavering. Yet this qualification does not merely involve one’s beliefs, for he must also hold these beliefs “with a clear conscience.” That is, the behavior of a deacon must be consistent with his beliefs.
Blameless (v. 10): Paul writes that deacons must “be tested first; then let them serve as deacons if they prove themselves blameless” (v. 10). “Blameless” is a general term referring to a person’s overall character. Although Paul does not specify what type of testing is to take place, at a minimum, the candidate’s personal background, reputation, and theological positions should be examined. Moreover, the congregation should not only examine a potential deacon’s moral, spiritual, and doctrinal maturity, but should also consider the person’s track record of service in the church.
Godly wife (v. 11): It is debated whether verse 11 refers to a deacon’s wife or to a deaconess. For the sake of this discussion, we will assume the verse is speaking about the qualifications of a deacon’s wife. According to Paul, deacons’ wives must “be dignified, not slanderers, but sober-minded, faithful in all things” (v. 11). Like her husband, the wife must be dignified or respectable. Secondly, she must not be a slanderer or a person who goes around spreading gossip. A deacon’s wife must also be sober-minded or temperate. That is, she must be able to make good judgments and must not be involved in things that might hinder such judgment. Finally, she must be “faithful in all things” (cf. 1 Tim. 5:10). This is a general requirement that functions similarly to the requirement for elders to be “above reproach” (1 Tim. 3:2; Titus 1:6) and for deacons to be “blameless” (1 Tim. 3:10).
Husband of one wife (v. 12): The best interpretation of this difficult phrase is to understand it as referring to the faithfulness of a husband toward his wife. He must be a “one-woman man.” That is, there must be no other woman in his life to whom he relates in an intimate way either emotionally or physically. Manage children and household well (v. 12): A deacon must be the spiritual leader of his wife and children.
In general, if a moral qualification is listed for elders but not for deacons, that qualification still applies to deacons. The same goes for those qualifications listed for deacons but not for elders. For example, a deacon should not be double-tongued (v. 8, ESV). Paul does not explicitly say this about elders, but no doubt it applies to elders since Paul has said that elders must be “above reproach,” which would include this prohibition.
Still, we should observe the differences in the qualifications, since they either signify a trait that is particularly fitting for the office-holder in order to accomplish his duties or is something that was a problem in the location to which Paul writes (in this case, Ephesus). This should be more clear as we turn to consider a deacon’s responsibilities.
Whereas the office of elder is often ignored in the modern church, the office of deacon is often misunderstood. Based on the New Testament, the role of the deacon is mainly to be a servant. The church needs deacons to provide logistical and material support so that the elders can focus on the Word of God and prayer.
The New Testament does not provide much information concerning the role of deacons. The requirements are given in 1 Timothy 3:8-12 focus on the deacon’s character and family life. There are, however, some clues as to the function of deacons when their requirements are compared with those of the elders. Although many of the qualifications are the same or very similar, there are some notable differences.
Perhaps the most noticeable distinction between elders and deacons is that deacons do not need to be “able to teach” (1 Tim. 3:2). Deacons are called to “hold” to the faith with a clear conscience, but they are not called to “teach” that faith (1 Tim. 3:9). This suggests that the deacons do not have an official teaching role in the church.
Like elders, deacons must manage their house and children well (1 Tim. 3:4, 12). But when referring to deacons, Paul omits the section where he compares managing one’s household to taking care of God’s church (1 Tim. 3:5). The reason for this omission is most likely due to the fact that deacons are not given a ruling or leading position in the church—that function belongs to the elders.
Although Paul indicates that a person must be tested before he can hold the office of deacon (1 Tim. 3:10), the requirement that he cannot be a new convert is not included. Paul notes that if an elder is a recent convert “he may become puffed up with conceit” (1 Tim. 3:6). One implication concerning this distinction could be that those who hold the office of elders are more susceptible to pride because they possess leadership over the church. On the contrary, it is not as likely for a deacon, who is in more of a servant role, to fall into this same sin. Finally, the title “overseer” (1 Tim. 3:2) implies general oversight over the spiritual well-being of the congregation, whereas the title “deacon” implies one who has a service-oriented ministry.
Beyond what we can glean from these differences in qualifications, the Bible does not clearly indicate the function of deacons. Yet based on the pattern established in Acts 6 with the apostles and the Seven, it seems best to view deacons as servants who do whatever is necessary to allow the elders to accomplish their God-given calling of shepherding and teaching the church. Just as the apostles delegated administrative responsibilities to the Seven, so the elders are to delegate certain responsibilities to the deacons so that the elders can focus their efforts elsewhere.
As a result, each local church is free to define the tasks of deacons based on their particular needs. What are some duties that deacons might be responsible for today? They could be responsible for anything that’s not related to teaching and shepherding the church. Such duties might include:
Facilities: The deacons could be responsible for managing the church property. This would include making sure the place of worship is prepared for the worship service, cleaning up, or running the sound system.
Benevolence: Similar to what took place in Acts 6:1–6 with the daily distribution to the widows, the deacons may be involved in administrating funds or other assistance to the needy.
Finances: While the elders should probably oversee the financial business of the church (Acts 11:30), it may be best left to the deacons to handle the day-to-day matters. This would include collecting and counting the offering, keeping records, and so on.
Ushers: The deacons could be responsible for distributing bulletins, seating the congregation, or preparing the elements for communion.
Logistics: Deacons should be available to help in a variety of ways so that the elders are able to concentrate on teaching and shepherding the church.
In case of a lack of qualified persons to fill the Board of Deacons, the Elders shall act as the Deacons until the Board of Deacons is established.
BOARD OF USHERS
A Board of Ushers shall be installed in the annual business meeting of Walking By Faith Missions Church. The Pastor and President of Walking By Faith Missions Church shall appoint a chairman to act as the head of the Board of Ushers. The duties of the Board of Ushers shall be as follows:
– To see that the church is always in order for services.
– To assist the Pastor in every way possible during the process of meetings.
– To prepare for the comfort of everyone in attendance.
– To maintain order and discipline throughout the church. The Pastor, Board of Deacons and the appointed chairman of the Board of Ushers shall appoint members to serve on the Board of Ushers. They shall be appointed to serve for one year. These men may succeed themselves indefinitely.
The Board of Deacons and the Board of Elders shall act as the Communion Board. One man shall be appointed to serve as Chairman of the Communion Board. It shall be his duty to make arrangements for the preparation and serving of communion when announced by the Pastor.
VACANCY OF OFFICES
The Pastor and President of the church shall have the authority to declare any office vacant. Grounds for such action shall be:
– Failure to cooperate with the church’s program and ministry.
– Unscriptural conduct.Doctrinal departure from the tenets of faith.
– For any good and sufficient cause. Any incumbent under charges shall have an opportunity for a fair and impartial hearing before the joint meeting of the Board of Elders shall be considered final and the incumbent may have no further recourse.
Section 1. Meetings for Worship.
Meetings for public worship shall be held on each Lord’s Day and during the week as may be provided for under the direction of the Pastor.
Section 2. Annual business meeting.
There shall be an Annual Business Meeting of Walking By Faith Missions Church. This business meeting shall be held at the end of the fiscal year. This meeting shall be conducted in the auditorium of Walking By Faith Missions Church. New officers, elders, and deacons shall be installed and all reports shall be read at the Annual Business Meeting.
Section 3. Special business meetings.
Special business meetings of the legal members may be called by the pastor or by written petition of three-fourths (3/4) of the legal membership.
Section 4. Notice of business meetings.
Written notice of the date and place of the Annual Business Meeting and of any special business meetings shall be sent by regular mail to all active members at least ten (10) days and not more than thirty days prior to such meeting. In addition, the pastor shall announce such meeting at the worship services of Walking By Faith Missions Church at least ten (10) days prior to such meeting.
Section 5. Quorum.
No record of any special or regular business meetings of Walking By Faith Missions Church shall be made unless one-half (1/2) or more legal members are present to constitute a quorum.
Section 6. Order of Business.
The regular order of business for the Annual Business Meeting of Walking By Faith Missions Church shall be as follows:
– Reading of previous minutes.
– Report of the treasurer.
– Report of committees.
– Unfinished business.
– Installation of officers.
– New business.
This order of business may be altered or suspended at any meeting by a majority vote of the members present. The usual parliamentary rules as laid down in “Robert’s Rules of Order” shall govern all debates when not in conflict with this Constitution.
All funds needed for the maintenance of Walking By Faith Missions Church shall be provided by voluntary contributions, gifts, and offerings. Every member shall decide before God what he or she can cheerfully give to the support of the Lord’s work at home and in the foreign field (Malachi 3:10, I Corinthians 16:1-2; Romans 12:8).
All offerings shall be counted by at least two members.
Deposits must be made by Walking By Faith Missions Church promptly in a local bank. A separate account will be established for Walking By Faith Missions Church. Annual reports will be furnished to the officers and made available to the membership. Two signature checks are to be used.
The treasurer must be a board member (officer/director). However, a secretary or administrative assistant may be utilized in the day-to-day record keeping as necessary. Financial records, without exception, are to be kept in the church office.
The Pastor shall act as overseer of all financial activities. If a member wishes to see the church financial records, it must be done in writing stating exactly what they wish to see and it cannot violate any church privacy of its members or staff.
DEPARTMENTS AND COMMITTEES
The church shall provide for the establishment of a School of the Bible Department, young people’s work, relief committees, home and foreign missionary committees, and any other departments or committees as the needs of the work may require. These committees and departments shall be subordinate to the church and shall contribute to the harmony and development of the whole. They shall be under the general supervision of the Board of Elders. The pastor shall be an ex-official member of all committees or departments and shall determine when the need for such committees and departments must be organized.
The Officers of Walking By Faith Missions Church shall have power to carry out all of the purposes and powers set forth in Article II. The President and the Secretary-Treasurer’s signature shall be sufficient certificate for negotiating any and all of the provided powers in said Articles.
This Constitution may be amended or changed by a two thirds (2/3) vote of the officers (directors) at any regular or special meeting called for that purpose, provided due notice of such proposed change shall have been made.
Said organization is organized exclusively for charitable, religious and educational purposes, including the making of distributions to organizations that qualify as exempt organizations under section 508(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, or corresponding section of any future federal tax code.
CONDUCT OF CHURCH
No part of the net earnings of the organization shall inert to the benefit of, or be distributable to its members, trustees, officers, or other private persons, except that the organization shall be authorized and empowered to pay reasonable compensation for services rendered and to make payments and distributions in furtherance of the purposes set forth in the purpose clause hereof.
No substantial part of the activities of the organization shall be the carrying of propaganda, or otherwise attempting to influence legislation, and the organization 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. Notwithstanding any other provision of this document, the organization shall not carry on any other activities not permitted to be carried on (a) by an organization exempt from federal income tax under section 508(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, corresponding section of any future federal tax code, or (b) by an organization, contributions to which are deductible under section 170(c)(2) of the Internal Revenue Code, or corresponding section of any future federal tax code.
Upon the dissolution of the church, assets shall be distributed for one or more exempt purposes within the meaning of section 508(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, or corresponding section of any future federal tax code, or shall be distributed to the federal government, or to a state or local government, for a public purpose. Any such assets not disposed of shall be disposed of by the Court of common pleas of the county in which the principal office of the organization is then located, exclusively for such purposes or to such organization or organizations, as said Court shall determine, which are organized and operated exclusively for such purposes.