Constitution for Church of the King
We seek to obey Scripture through the following standards for the orderly government of our church. These standards do not supplant Scripture, but rather are an expression of our understanding of biblical church government under God.
.ARTICLE I. Name:
This church body shall be known as Church of the King ( Sacramento CA )
.ARTICLE II. Standards and Objectives:
A. Primary Standard: Church of the King is a body (“corpus”, corporation) of Christian believers who are united for the chief purpose of glorifying the Triune God by striving to proclaim and obey His revelation as found in the 66 books of the Holy Scriptures. As the inspired, inerrant, infallible, and comprehensive rule of faith and life for the Christian, the Scriptures are recognized by Church of the King as the unchallengeable authority and supreme judge to which all religious controversies or creeds, as well as all opinions and regulations of men, must be subordinate.
B. Secondary Standards: We affirm the ecumenical creeds of the church: the Apostles Creed, the Nicene Creed, the Athanasian Creed, and the definition of Chalcedon . We also hold in high regard the secondary standards of the historic Reformation Churches: the Westminster Confession of Faith (1647), the Belgic Confession (1561), the Westminster Larger and Shorter Catechisms (1647), the Heidelberg Catechism (1563), and the Canons of Dort (1619).
.ARTICLE III. Members:
A. Communicant members
1. Communicant members shall be those individuals who have been baptized in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit and received by the elders on the basis of one of the following:
a) a credible profession,
b) a transfer of membership letter from an acceptable church,
c) reaffirmation of faith,
d) Children in a household where at least one parent is a communicant member in good standing.
2. The names of members shall be removed from the rolls of the church only by order of the elders on the basis of death, transfer to another church, or moral discipline.
B. Voting Members
1. All male members in good standing of Church of the King who are married or who are at least twenty years of age (Num. 1:2-3, 18, 30ff; 14:29; 26:2, 4; Ex. 30:14; 38:26; 2 Chron. 25:5), who are in regular attendance at Church of the King and who, in the determination of the Elders, are capable of sound judgment, are eligible to vote in church matters, and are expected to exercise the franchise. Each will, regardless of family size, have one vote.
.ARTICLE IV. Expectation of Members:
1. Members of Church of the King shall devote themselves to both the private and public means of grace including the regular attendance of church services and congregational meetings.
2. Members of Church of the King shall, in obedience to the Word of God and as a token of God’s gift to us, tithe cheerfully and regularly to the ministry and labor of this church.
3. Members of Church of the King shall recognize, respect, and submit to the Elders of Church of the King in obedience to Hebrews 13:17.
ARTICLE V. The Calling and Conduct of Congregational Meetings:
1. Elders will call congregational meetings.
2. All meetings shall be conducted following the guidelines of Robert’s Rules of Order.
3. There shall be at least one congregational meeting annually.
4. At least three (3) weeks notice will be given before any meeting is held.
ARTICLE VI. Prerogatives of the Members:
The election of the officers of the church will be transacted by the voting members (Article III) of the congregation at duly called meetings. All other business of the church shall be conducted by the elders of the church.
ARTICLE VII. Church Discipline:
One of the marks of a true church of Jesus Christ is that it maintains discipline. The purpose of church discipline is, through biblical means, to prevent, restrain, or even to remove any evil that may threaten the church and to promote and encourage that which is good and glorifying to God.
1. Preventative Discipline: This aspect of church discipline guards the entrance into the church and seeks to prevent unbelievers from becoming a part of the local assembly (Cf. Acts 9:26 -27).
2. Formative Discipline: Once a person has become a member of the church, they immediately come under the primary work of the church, which is formative discipline.
3. Corrective Discipline: A third aspect of church discipline is corrective discipline whereby the church applies lawful (i.e., biblical and constitutional) influence to a wayward member by means of informal and/or formal action and hoping to see the member restored to a place of conformity to Christ’s rule (Gal. 6:1)
4. Excommunication: A severe aspect of church discipline, which is the church’s responsibility to perform, is the removal of a member by judicial action (I Cor. 5:9-13). The church has no choice but to obey Christ in these matters (Matt. 18:17 ).
ARTICLE VIII. Church Officers:
Article VIII: Leadership & Church Governance
Church Officers: Church of the King shall be governed by a Session of Elders, consisting of a minimum of two men, duly qualified, ordained and installed. If, at any time, Church of the King does not have two or more installed elders (including one or more installed pastors), she shall remedy the situation in accordance with the CREC Constitution and Book of Procedures.
Session of Elders: The Session shall consist of all duly elected, ordained and installed Pastors and Elders, each of whom shall serve a perpetual term. Elders shall be men who are approved of by the congregation, declared qualified by the Session and worthy of imitation (Heb 13:7). The Session shall bear sole responsibility for the governance of the congregation; the care of souls as under-shepherds of Christ’s flock; the coordination of public worship and other religious activities; and fiduciary duties on behalf of Church of the King.
Diaconate: The Diaconate shall consist of all duly elected, ordained and installed Deacons, each of whom shall serve a perpetual term. Deacons shall be men who are approved of by the congregation, declared qualified by the Session and worthy of imitation (Heb 13:7). Diaconal responsibilities include the administration and oversight of the temporal affairs of the church; care for the poor, sick, friendless and needy; to promote a spirit of hospitality and liberality among the members; and other duties as assigned by the Session, to whom they are accountable.
Selection, ordination and installation of officers:
1. Church of the King shall select, train and subsequently ordain and install men as elders (including pastors) and deacons for service in the church. The Session shall bear the responsibility for ensuring that men recommended to the church as potential officers satisfy the qualification requirements set forth in Scripture in such passages as I Timothy 3, Titus 1, I Peter 5, Acts 6 and Numbers 11.
2. The Session shall produce, publish and maintain manuals of training and conduct for elders and deacons, and shall ensure that procedures set forth in said manuals are followed in these matters.
3. Congregational votes to elect elders (including pastors) and deacons shall be conducted in a manner to be determined by the Session, provided that it must be consistent with obtaining wise and informed consent from the congregation and with all applicable provisions of this constitution.
Removal from office
1. An officer who, by his conduct, including a violation of his vows, shall display unfitness for office may be suspended or removed from office by vote of the Session. Such action may be initiated by members of the Session or by complaint from members of the congregation. However, to bring a charge potentially leading to removal from office, the complainant (whether or not a member of the Session) must have two or more witnesses (including the complainant) to the circumstances upon which the complaint is based (I Timothy 5:19; Deut 19:15; Matt 18:16). To satisfy this requirement, the two witnesses may not be husband and wife.
2. Before an officer can be removed, he is entitled to due process, including a hearing before the Session to defend himself against the charges. He is also entitled to defense counsel and to call witnesses in his defense. If the Session cannot muster two or more impartial members of Session to hear the case (I Timothy 5:21), it must call for the assistance of other ordained men to help try the case. Preference will be given to calling upon other CREC elders or pastors, but if none are available, trusted ordained men of another Reformed denomination may be called upon.
3. If an officer has been found guilty of sin leading to his removal from office, he shall be rebuked before the church (I Timothy 5:20) and the circumstances of his removal shall be stated, with due regard to propriety, especially as to necessary protection of innocent individuals affected by the man’s sins.
4. If an officer has been found guilty of sin, but the Session has concluded the matter does not demand his immediate removal from office, he shall be rebuked before the church (I Timothy 5:20) and the circumstances shall be stated, with due regard to propriety, especially as to necessary protection of innocent individuals affected by the man’s sins. Thereafter, the officer shall serve in probationary status for a period to be determined by the Session (Gal 6:1; Heb 12:6-8; Prov 29:17).
Leaves of absence
A member of Session or of the Diaconate may, upon request, be granted a specified temporary or a long-term leave of absence. In deciding whether to grant a leave of absence, the Session shall consider the reasons and circumstances on a case-by-case basis. The decision shall be announced to the congregation in a timely manner.
Leaves of absence for members of Session or the Diaconate may also be granted upon the initiation of Session at their discretion. Reasons must be given to the elder or deacon but may be withheld from the congregation if, in the judgment of Session, harm would be done to the officer or his family by disclosure of the reasons. The fact of the leave of absence must, however, be revealed to the congregation in a timely manner. This process may not be used to cover up sinful behavior that could lead to censure or dismissal. Pastoral wisdom must be carefully applied in cases of discretionary leaves of absence.
The decision to restore an officer to active service after a leave of absence is at the sole discretion of the Session.”
ARTICLE VIII. Amendments:
Amendments to this Constitution or to the Explanatory Notes to the Constitution may only be made in the following manner:
1 Approval of the amendment by unanimous consent of the Elders.
2. The review and comment of the congregation
3. Formalization and ratification by unanimous vote of the Elders.