FAITH & PRACTICE
Everything should be done in a fitting and orderly way ( I Corinthians 14:40 )
At the founding of Evangelical Formosan Church (EFC) in October, 1970, it was fully recognized that the church should have bylaws to follow for an effective operation and management. Therefore, the church founding coworkers and the first Senior Pastor shared the responsibility to draft the first English versions of today’s ｢EFC Local Church Bylaws｣ and ｢ Statement of Faith｣ during the first few months. These drafts were revised several times and were formally voted and approved by all 36 EFC active members on November 15, 1972. They went into effect on February 1, 1973. The English versions of ｢EFC Local Church Bylaws｣ and ｢ Statement of Faith｣ were also translated into Chinese for the convenience of application.
After the establishment of the EFC General Assembly (EFCGA) in October 1982, the Bylaw Department quickly assembled all pastors of the founding churches and the Board Directors to draft the Chinese version of ｢EFCGA Constitution｣. The draft was first reviewed and confirmed by the EFCGA Executive Board, and then it was approved and accepted in the January 21, 1984 EFCGA Meeting by a 2/3 vote. It was put into effect on March 21, 1984. In order to keep up with the growth and effective management of EFC churches, the Chinese versions of ｢EFC Local Church Bylaws｣ and the ｢EFCGA Constitution｣ have been appropriately amended as needed in recent years. Based on the actual needs, additional rules, regulations, and policies have also been continuously adopted in recent years. They are all included in this book of EFC Bylaws.
All amendment proposals of ｢EFC Local Church Bylaws｣ and the ｢EFCGA Constitution｣ must be approved and accepted in the EFC General Assembly Meeting. Since this meeting is only held once every other year, a formal amendment of Bylaws or Constitution can only be made once every two years. All EFC bylaws are made in every effort to be explicit and clear. Should there be any ambiguity of any part of the bylaws, a request of an official interpretation can be made to the Bylaw Department.
The EFC bylaws feature the following spirit and characteristics:
- They are based upon the foundation of biblical teachings.
- They advance both spiritual teaching and church management together.
- They keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.
- They maintain order of the church and discipline of individuals.
- They encourage the utilization and complement of gifts.
- They attend to the efficiency and flexibility of the church functions.
- They protect the basic human rights.
- They ensure the legitimacy and facility of amending the Constitution and Bylaws.
- They promote rather than restrict evangelism.
- They employ simple and clear language.
Currently, all updated EFC Constitution, Bylaws, Regulations, Rules and other related Policies are announced through EFCGA website. EFC members are welcome to visit the General Assembly’s website for the amended and updated information.
Through the EFCGA’s organization, the EFC brings all his local churches and institutes together to form an effective gospel spreading team. Therefore, this constitution has been established to sustain and improve the functions and effectiveness of the organization. This constitution adopts the basic principle of a congressional system. The Pastor-in-Charge is the spiritual leader of the organization, while the layman leader is the Moderator to take charge of the administration and management.
The EFC constitutes a General Assembly formed by the representatives from all EFC local churches and institutes. The quota of representatives is established on the principle of fair representation and reasonable balance of power and duty. The General Assembly is the highest administrative entity of the EFC churches and institutes. It elects the EFCGA Executive Board members, reviews and approves any proposals of amendments to the EFCGA Constitution and EFC Local Church Bylaws, approves and adopts EFCGA annual budget and financial reports.
The EFCGA consists of the Executive Board, Personnel Committee, Board of Directors and Ministerial Association.
They are all responsible for their specific assigned duties. During the adjournment of EFC General Assembly, the Executive Board is responsible for executing the resolutions of the General Assembly. The EFCGA establishes a permanent headquarter. The elected Secretary General by the General Assembly takes charge of the headquarter administration and the execution of the EFCGA Executive Board’s resolutions. Secretary General is also responsible for the coordination of the important ministries of the EFC local churches and institutes. Secretary General may form various organizations as needed.
A1100 Organization: The Evangelical Formosan Church General Assembly (hereafter referred to as “EFCGA”) consists of all EFC’s local churches and institutes. The highest policy making entity of the EFCGA is the Representatives Meeting (hereafter also referred to as General Assembly).
A1200 Duties: To elect officers of the EFCGA and to confirm regulations, bylaws, annual financial report, and annual budget. Officers to be elected include: Pastor-in-Charge, Vice Pastor-in-Charge, Moderator, Vice Moderator, Board of Directors, Department Heads, and Auditors. Secretary and Treasurer shall be elected by the new Board of Directors. Moderator is to nominate Secretary and Treasurer candidates among new Board of Directors, nomination shall be approved by the Board of Directors with over 50% of the vote. (26/2010.03.03)
A1210 Pastor-in-Charge: He/she is the spiritual leader of EFC and officially represents EFC for any contact with other churches and the community. He/she shall serve a term of two years, and may be re-elected consecutively for once.
Bylaw Spirit: The spiritual leadership is assumed by the Pastor-in-Charge called by God.
A1220 Vice Pastor-in-Charge shall assist the Pastor-in-Charge in managing the affairs of the GA, and assist the shepherding work for the Region that he/ she belongs. He/she shall serve a term of two years, and may serve one ensuing term if elected consecutively. The Vice Pastor-in-Charge (the one that is selected by the Executive Board from among the Vice Pastors-in-Charge) shall act as Pastor-in-Charge in his/her absence. [27/2012.2.25]
A1230 Moderator: He/she is the legal representative of the EFC. He/she calls and presides the General Assembly. He/she shall serve a term of two years, and may be re-elected consecutively for once. He/she shall also serve as the Chairperson of the EFCGA Board of Directors and the Executive Board.
Bylaw Spirit: In order to share the heavy burden of the Pastor-in-Charge, who not only cares for his/her local church, but also leads the EFCGA, the EFCGA Moderator shall be responsible for
the administration of the EFCGA.
A1240 Vice Moderator: He/she shall act as the Moderator if the Moderator is unable to perform his/her duty for any reason. He/she shall serve a term of two years, and may be re-elected consecutively for once. The Vice Moderator shall also be the Vice Chairperson of the EFCGA Board of Directors and the Executive Board.
A1250 Secretary: He/she shall be responsible for keeping the minutes of General Assembly. He/she shall also manage and retain all EFCGA related files and documents. The Secretary shall act as the Moderator in the absence of both Moderator and Vice Moderator. He/she shall serve a term of two years, and may be re-elected consecutively for once. He/she shall also serve as Secretary of the EFCGA Board of Directors and the Executive Board. If for any reason the position becomes vacant, the Board Directors shall elect among themselves a person to fill the vacancy. The elected person shall perform duty until the next General Assembly.
A1260 Treasurer: He/she shall serve a term of two years, and may be re-elected consecutively for once. The Treasurer’s duties are defined by A2340. He/she shall also serve as Treasurer of the EFCGA Board of Directors and the Executive Board. If for any reason the position becomes vacant, the Board Directors shall elect among themselves a person to fill the vacancy. The elected person shall perform duty until the next General Assembly.
A1270 Board of Directors: (See A2000, Chapter II for their Duties)
A1280 Department Heads: (See A5000, Chapter V for their Duties)
A1290 Duties of Auditors
Bylaw Spirit: Management of all departmental and institutional finances is responsible to General Assembly and the IRS of the United States. Therefore, the Delegates to EFCGA Biennial Meeting
shall elect responsible auditors to review and audit all financial data.
A1291 To audit the financial reports of all Departments and Institutes subsidiary to the GA.
A1292 To report to Heads of Departments, Presidents of Institutes and make reports during the General Assembly Meeting.
A1300 Elections: The GA Moderator, Vice Moderator, Secretary and Treasurer shall be elected from the incumbent members of the Board of Directors by the Delegates. The Pastor-in-Charge and Vice Pastor-in-Charge shall also be elected from the incumbent senior pastors. All the Board of Directors, each Department Head, and accounting auditors shall be elected from lay representatives by the Delegates. [28/2014.02.24]
A1310 If the qualified candidates (Bylaw A2430) for Board Directors are less than the proposed seats or there is a need for recruiting someone with special experience to serve the Board of Director, GA Personnel Committee may nominate someone who is neither the “lay representatives” nor the “incumbent elder or deacon” but has all other Board Director’s qualifications and is an active member at local EFC church. This category of Board Directors shall not be more than one quarter of total seats of the Board. The term and job responsibilities are identical to other Board Directors. [28/2014.2.24]
A1400 Meeting Session: GA shall conduct a General Assembly Meeting biennially. Emergency GA Meetings may be called by the Moderator as is deemed necessary, with consent from the Executive Board.
A1500 General Assembly Delegation: Delegates shall consist of Lay Representatives, Ministerial Representatives, and Institutional Representatives.
A1510 Lay Representatives
A1511 Number: The number of Lay Representatives from each local church is to be determined according to the following criteria: One representative for the first 50 voting members of the local church. Thereafter, one additional representative is added for every additional 50 voting members. The maximum number of representatives from each local church shall be limited to 10. The Chairperson of each local Church Council shall be designated as one of the representatives (ex officio) of the local church. [26/2010.3.3]
Bylaw Spirit: The quota of the representatives to the EFCGA Biennial Meeting is determined on the bases of a fair representation and a reasonable balance of power/responsibility of the church
members. Since the incumbent chairperson is the administrative leader of the church, he/she shall be the ex officio representative of the church to actively participate the EFCGA’s policy resolutions and to thoroughly carry them out.
A1512 Qualification: Lay Representatives shall be members of the local Church Council (comprising elders and deacons). If a local church is without incumbent deacons and elders, representatives shall be elected from members of the Coworkers Committee.
A1513 Election: Lay Representatives are to be elected by the Church Council or Coworkers Committee from incumbent elders, deacons, or coworkers.
A1514 Term: Term is one year and may be re-elected consecutively.
A1515 Others: Incumbent elders of the local churches who have not been elected as Lay Representatives may attend the General Assembly Meeting as Participators (without voting right).
A1520 Ministerial Representatives:
A1521 The Senior Pastor of a local church shall be a Ministerial Representative (ex officio).
Bylaw Spirit: The Senior Pastor is the ex officio representative of the church to participate the EFCGA’s policy resolutions and to carry them out in his/her church.
A1522 If a local church is without a Senior Pastor, the Minister who serves full-time at that local church with the equivalent role of a Senior Pastor shall be appointed as its ex officio Ministerial Representative.
A1523 Other full-time ministers may elect among themselves up to two Ministerial Representatives. [29/ 2016.02.20]
A1524 Other full-time pastors who have not been elected as Ministerial Representatives
may attend the General Assembly Meeting as Participators (without voting right).
A1530 Institutional Representatives
A1531 Presidents of the EFC subsidiary Institutes, and Chairpersons of their Board of Directors or Board of Trustees shall be the Institutional Representatives (ex officio).
Bylaw Spirit: The Presidents of Institutes and their Board Chairpersons are the ex officio Representatives of the Institutes, these are the same as the Pastor-in-Charges and the Chairpersons of the local churches.
A1532 If the President/Chairperson cannot attend the General Assembly Meeting, deputies may be elected as substitutive Representatives.
A1533 All the other full-time ministers may elect among themselves up to two Representatives to the Meeting. [26/2010.3.3]
A1534 All other full-time ministers who have not been elected as Representatives may attend the General Assembly Meeting as Participators (without voting right).
A1600 The First General Assembly Delegation: Seven incumbent members of the Board of Directors, six full-time Ministerial Representatives, six Lay Representatives from the three independent churches (Los Angeles, East Valley, and South Bay) and four Lay Representatives from the two newly planted churches (San Fernando Valley and Orange County). The Lay Representatives are to be the incumbent Chairpersons and secretaries from the Church Councils. Should a Lay Representative already be an EFC Board Director, a replacement might be selected by and from the local Church Council.
Board of Directors
The Board of Directors are responsible for managing all properties of the EFC churches and institutes, establishing and enforcing the fringe benefits of all full-time employees, representing EFC for solving any legal allegations, and drafting the amendments of the EFC Constitution and Bylaws.
A2100 ORGANIZATION: The Board of Directors (“Board”) shall select a Chairperson, vice Chairperson, Secretary and Treasurer as Board officers. These officers shall constitute the legal corporate representatives of the EFC. The Pastor-in-Charge and the Vice Pastor-in-Charge shall be members of the Board without holding the title of Board Director.
A2210 Managing assets、finances、investments、and real estate transactions for all EFC churches and institutes.
A2220 Working with the EFC Ministerial Association in making long term goal for church growth.
A2230 Preparing amendment proposals for the Constitution and the Local Church Bylaws.
A2240 Working with EFCGA’s Personnel Committee in handling personnel affairs.
A2250 Implementing the fringe benefits for all church’s full-time personnel.
A2310 Chairperson: He/she is the legal Chief Executive Officer of the Evangelical Formosan Church, Inc. He/she shall call and preside the Board meetings. The Chairperson shall be assumed by the Moderator of the EFC General Assembly.
Bylaw Spirit: In order to achieve a consistency in the responsibilities and the exercise of authorities, the EFCGA’s Moderator shall assume the Chairmanships of all EFCGA’s major administrative organizations, such as Executive Board, Board of Directors and Personnel Committee.
A2320 Vice Chairperson: He/she shall act as Chairperson in case of his/her absence. The Vice Chairperson shall be assumed by the Vice Moderator of the EFC General Assembly.
A2330 Secretary: He/she shall be responsible for preparing Board meeting minutes. He/she shall maintain all documents concerning the Board, and shall carry the Corporate Seal. Should both the Chairperson and Vice Chairperson be absent, the Secretary may assume and perform such duties vested in the Chairperson. The Secretary shall be assumed by the Secretary of the General Assembly.
A2340 Treasurer: He/she is responsible for the EFC’s corporate accounting, bookkeeping, and finances. He/she shall administrate the annual offering and donation income and the distribution of receipts to individuals who have made pecuniary or other donations to the EFC. He/she is also responsible in managing all assets and finances of EFC churches and institutes. He/she shall set up and execute regulations regarding financial management. The Treasurer shall be assumed by the Treasurer of the General Assembly.
A2350 Meeting: The Chairperson may call Board meetings as needed. However, he/she shall call meeting at least once every six months.
A2410 Number: The Board consists of thirteen Directors. The number of Directors may be increased or decreased with the approval of the EFC General Assembly upon the Board’s recommendation.
A2420 Election: The Chairperson, Vice Chairperson, Secretary and Treasurer of the Board shall be assumed by the Moderator, Vice Moderator, Secretary and Treasurer of the General Assembly, respectively. The persons taking charge of other Departments which are under the administration of the Board shall be elected by and from the incumbent Directors. [26/2010.3.3]
A2430 Qualification: Board Director candidate must be an incumbent elder or deacon of a local church. He/ She must have served as elder or deacon at a local EFC for at least six years. In addition, he/she must have served at least one term as a chairperson to a local church council or as a GA Executive Board member. [28/2014.02.24]
Bylaw Spirit: EFCGA’s Board Director assumes a very important responsibility. Therefore, his/her character and spiritual life、administrative experience in the EFC and abilities to contact、communicate and coordinate with the local churches shall be emphasized for his/her candidacy.
A2510 The initial Board consists of five Directors. The term of each Director is to be determined by lot. Two Directors shall serve a three-year term, two Directors a two-year- term, and the remaining one Director shall serve an one-year term.
A2520 Thereafter, the General Assembly Meeting shall elect Directors to replace those Directors whose terms are expired or make up the increased numbers of new Directors.
A2530 Director shall serve a two-year term, and he/she can be re-elected consecutively for two times. Should any Director resign during the term, the vacant position shall be filled by election in the next regular GA Meeting. This amendment applies from the newly elected Directors of the 31st GA Meeting (2020). [31/ 2020.03.13]
A2540 The Board Chairperson, Vice Chairperson, Secretary and Treasurer shall each serve a two-year term. Each of them may be re-elected consecutively.
During the adjournment of the EFC General Assembly Biennial Meeting, the Executive Board of the EFCGA shall be in charge of the execution of all resolutions made in the EFC General Assembly Biennial Meeting, and also responsible for planning, reviewing, coordinating and promoting the important ministries of the local churches and institutes.
A3110 The Executive Board (EB) shall consist of the Board Directors, the Pastor-in-charge, the Vice Pastor-in-charge and the Department Heads. Its officers shall consist of a Chairperson, Vice Chairperson, Secretary and Treasurer.
A3120 An expanded EB Meeting shall be held in the year when the regular General Assembly Meeting is not held. Attendees shall consist of Board Directors, Pastor-in-Charge, Vice Pastor-in-Charge, Heads of non-Director held Departments, Regional Pastors-in-Charge, Regional Assembly Chairpersons and Presidents of EFC Institutes. [26/2010.3.3]
Bylaw Spirit: In order to save the expenses for holding the General Assembly Meeting, the Meeting shall be called only once every two years (biennial meeting). During the year of the adjournment of the General Assembly Meeting, an expanded Executive Board Meeting shall be called with an emphasis on the connection and promotion of church missions. The expanded Executive Board Meeting shall be authorized to review and adopt that year’s EFCGA budget and last year’s final financial report.
A3210 The EB shall plan, administer and execute the affairs of the General Assembly.
A3220 The annual budget and final financial report shall be reviewed and approved by the expanded EB Meeting during the adjournment year of the General Assembly Meeting.
A3310 Chairperson: He/she shall call and preside over the Executive Board meetings. The Chairperson shall be assumed by the Moderator of the GA.
A3320 Vice Chairperson: He/she shall assume and perform the duties of the Chairperson in his/her absence. The Vice Chairperson shall be assumed by the Vice Moderator of the GA.
A3330 Secretary: He/she shall take and keep the minutes of the EB meetings. He/she shall also keep all documents and records of the EB. Should both EB Chairperson and Vice Chairperson fail to call and preside over the EB meeting as scheduled, the Secretary may assume and perform the duties of the EB Chairperson.
A3340 Treasurer: He/she is responsible for organizing the accounting、bookkeeping and finances of the GA, administering and issuing the annual receipts to those who have made contributions to the GA, managing GA’s assets and investments, and establishing and enforcing regulations for managing the accountings of the EFC local churches and institutes. The Treasurer shall be assumed by the Treasurer of the GA.
A3350 Department Heads: Each Department Head shall plan, organize, and recruit committee members to accomplish the established goals of that Department. All candidates for the committee members shall be confirmed by the Executive Board.
A3360 Pastor-in-Charge: The Pastor-in-Charge is the spiritual leader of the Executive Board. He/she shall ensure that all actions undertaken and resolutions adopted by the Executive Board conform to Scripture. He/she shall also give encouragement and guidance to the Executive Board for general affairs.
Bylaw Spirit: The Pastor-in-Charge shall not only be the spiritual leader of the EFC General Assembly, but also be the spiritual leader of EFCGA’s various committees, so as to achieve consistency in leadership.
A3370 Vice Pastor-in-Charge: The Vice Pastor-in-Charge shall assist the Pastor-in-Charge in conducting GA affairs, and assist the shepherding work for the Region that he/she belongs. [27/2012.2.25]
A3410 Executive Board members shall be elected from and by the Delegates to the General Assembly Meeting.
A3420 The EB Chairperson shall be assumed by the Moderator of the GA.
A3430 The EB Vice Chairperson shall be assumed by the Vice Moderator of the GA.
A3440 The EB Secretary shall be assumed by the Secretary of the GA.
A3450 The Pastor-in-Charge and the Vice Pastor-in-Charge shall be assumed by the Pastor-in-Charge and the Vice Pastor-in-Charge of the GA, respectively.
A3460 The Department Heads shall be elected from the Incumbent Ministerial Representatives or Lay Representatives. If he/she is a Ministerial Representative, he/she shall have served full-time at EFC for at least two years. If he/she is a Lay Representative, he/she shall have served as an Elder/Deacon in EFC for more than four years. [31/ 2020.03.13]
Bylaw Spirit: The qualifications for various Department Heads shall be emphasized on the individual character, spiritual life, experience in EFC, understanding of EFC, and ability to connect local churches.
A3510 The Chairperson, Vice Chairperson, Secretary, Treasurer, Pastor-in-Charge, and Vice Pastor-in-charge shall each serve a two-year term. Each may be re-elected consecutively once.
A3520 The Department head held by a Director shall serve a two-year term. He/she may be re-elected consecutively once. [26/2010.3.3]
A3530 Other Department heads held by non-Directors shall each serve two-year terms. Each may be re-elected consecutively twice.
Secretary General [31/ 2020.03.13]
The EFCGA establishes a permanent office; it is managed by the elected Secretary General of the EFC Executive Board with a responsibility to manage and execute all resolutions of the EFC Executive Board. He/She shall also be responsible for coordinating all important ministries of the EFC local churches and institutes. Based on actual needs, the Secretary General may organize various working committees, such as Women Committee, Education Committee, Young Senior Committee and English ministry Committee, to effectively support and carry out important ministries.
A4110 To be responsible to execute the resolutions of the EFC Executive Board.
A4120 To be responsible to coordinate and care for the programs of all EFCGA Departments, local churches and institutes.
A4130 To attend the EFCGA Executive Board meetings and present the status report of the programs.
A4140 To propose the new yearly ministry plans and financial budgets to the Executive Board for approval and adoption.
A4141 To present the yearly review of the ministry programs and financial reports to the Executive Board.
A4142 To be fully responsible for the personnel and administration of the EFCGA Headquarter. The salaries and benefits of the Headquarter staff shall be determined by the Secretary General according to the “U.S. EFC Full-Time Employee Benefits Policy” stated in EFC Bylaws and the approved yearly personnel budget by the EFC Executive Board.
A4150 To organize and establish voluntary working committees to assist and carry out the important ministries.
A4160 To work with EFCGA Pastor-In-Charge and the Moderator to resolve the difficulties or the needs of the local churches.
A4161 If necessary, the Secretary General can be authorized to represent the EFCGA Pastor-In-charge or the Moderator to attend EFCGA’s external meetings or activities.
A4162 To develop and organize with the EFCGA Pastor-In-Chief and Moderator the necessary training programs for equipping the coworkers.
A4163 If necessary, he/she may join with the EFCGA Pastor-In-Charge and Moderator in signing the EFCGA official announcements and/or letters.
A4164 To assign jointly with the EFCGA Pastor-In-Charge and the EFC Regional Pastor-in-Charge the Supervising Pastor for the EFC local church in the subject Region.
A4165 To coordinate with the EFC local church and the Regional Assembly where the candidate belongs, in determining the date for the candidate’s ordination. Also, to appoint jointly with the EFCGA Pastor-In-Charge the “Ordination council” to administer the ordination.
A4166 To assist the Pastor-in-Charge in reviewing the applications of Ministers Association membership as well as the pastor ordination.
A4170 To gather EFC local church Sunday Worship information as well as the church growth data on a regular basis and report them to the EFCGA Executive Board.
A4180 To perform all other pertinent Secretary General functions and duties as
stated in the EFC Bylaws.
A4181 To work with the Pastor-in-Charge and the Moderator in confirming the vision and goals of the EFCGA.
A4210 The Secretary General shall be an EFC pastor with a good spiritual life, and preferably he/she has management training and practical management experience.
Bylaw Spirit: The Secretary General must be a person who can execute the resolutions and important ministries originated by the Executive Board and be capable of successfully carrying out the ministries and achieving the goal of EFCGA. At the same time, he/she shall have a clear call as a shepherd and be able to view things with spiritual insight.
A4310 The Secretary General shall be appointed by obtaining a two-thirds “effective ballots” of the EFCGA Executive Board voting. (According to the United States Meeting Rule, the “effective ballots” is the sum of the “yes” and “no” votes. All blank ballots and illegal ballots are not counted in the total number of votes cast. The term “effective ballots” used in the following EFC bylaws shall have the same meaning as defined here. No further explanation will be provided redundantly.)
A4320 The salary and the benefit of the Secretary General shall be determined by the EFCGA Executive Board according to the “U.S. EFC Full-Time Employee Benefits Policy “as stated in the EFC Bylaws and the approved yearly personnel budget.
A4410 The initial term shall be two years. The second term and thereafter shall be four years.
A4420 Three months prior to the completion of each term, the EFCGA Executive Board shall determine the re-appointment of the Secretary General with a two-thirds vote of the “effective ballots”.
A4510 When the Secretary General is unable to complete the appointment due to personal reasons, he/she shall submit a written resignation to the Moderator of the Executive Board in writing 60 days before his/her departure, and he/she may resign after approval by the Executive Board. The severance payment will be determined and disbursed by the Executive Board.
A4610 If the Secretary General is incompetent, involving in any crime, or under any complaint, the EFCGA Moderator can request the Executive Board to investigate and confirm the situations, then the Executive Board may dismiss the Secretary General with a two-thirds of the “effective ballots”.
A4620 The dismissal is effective immediately. A severance payment in an amount equivalent to three months of his/her current salary shall be disbursed.
According to the needs of the ministry, the Executive Board can set up various departments to efficiently carry out the promotion of EFC. The heads of various departments shall be elected by the delegates of the General Assembly Meeting. Its members are to be recommended by the Department Heads and to be reviewed by the Executive Board. Based on the actual needs, departments may be suspended or continued, and names may be modified by the Executive Board if necessary.
A5100 The GA established the following Departments to plan, execute and coordinate all programs of the GA. The GA may increase or decrease the number of departments according to actual needs.
A5111 Department Heads: The Department Heads shall be elected by and from the delegates to the General Assembly Meeting.
A5112 Department Members: Members shall be authorized by the Executive Board during the first EB meeting of the year. Each member shall serve a two-year term.
A5113 Vice Department Heads, Secretaries and Accountants shall be elected from and by the members of each department. Each shall serve a two-year term.
A5120 Each Department shall conduct regular meetings on a pre-set schedule and shall prepare and submit its meeting minutes to the GA.
A5200 DEPARTMENTAL JURISDICTION and FUNCTIONS:
A5210 Bylaw – To draft and review the amendment proposal for GA Constitution, Local Church Bylaw, and the related EFC Regulations; to explain the GA Constitution, Local Church Bylaw, and other related EFC Regulations. [27/ 2012.2.25]
A5220 Benefits – To draft or revise policies regarding benefits for full-time ministers and other employees of the Church, and to implement all such policies upon adoption by the Board of Directors.
A5230 Planning – To draft proposed church growth plans and submit such plans to the GA Executive Board for approval. Then the Executive Board shall designate responsibilities to appropriate GA Departments for execution.
A5240 Treasury – To keep and manage the EFCGA’s corporate accounts, collection of annual contributions, and issuance of receipts to individuals contributing to the EFC. They are also responsible for managing all GA assets and investments, formulating and executing regulations regarding financial management of all EFC branch churches and institutions.
A5250 Mission (Including Overseas Mission Department and Taiwan Mission Department).
A5251 Church Planting Committee – To plan and establish new local churches, and to assist the new dependent churches in becoming independent local churches.
A5252 Sending Committee – To prepare, plan and coordinate overseas missions. These two Committees mentioned above shall submit their annual plans to the Mission Department for approval and implementation. (During the 1991 General Assembly Meeting, the Overseas Mission Department was established to perform the programs of the Sending Committee. While the Taiwan Mission Department was established during the 1996 EFCGA EB Meeting to undertake the ministries of Taiwan mission.)
A5260 Education – To plan for educational and training programs for the EFC, and to implement those programs upon approval by the EFCGA Executive Board.
A5270 Devotion – To develop programs relating to personal, family and church devotion, and to implement those programs upon approval by the EFCGA Executive Board. Also to counsel individuals who have committed themselves to be full-time ministers.
A5280 English Ministry – To plan for English Ministries, and to coordinate the programs among the Taiwanese, Mandarin and English congregations.
A5290 Literature – To help spread the Gospel by publishing periodicals or other publications, and to supervise the work of the GA Publishing Company. (During the 1991 General Assembly Meeting, it was decided to expand and rename the Literature Department as the “EFC Communication Center.”
A5291 Youth – To plan and coordinate the church youth ministries.
A5292 Women – To oversee, counsel and implement women ministries among the local churches.
A5293 Family – To plan and counsel ministries related to family, marriage, and serving couple.
A5294 General Service – To organize and manage GA’s general activities, e.g., EFC official documents, certificates, charts, GA and Executive Board meeting brochures. Also, to coordinate travel and lodging arrangements for Delegates to the General Assembly Meetings.
A5295 Community Service – To coordinate GA ministries related to community issues.
A5296 Fellowship – To facilitate communication among local church Fellowships, and to coordinate GA’s sports activities.
A5297 Ordinance – To draft guidelines regarding church ordinances, and supervise worship programs (the Church Music Committee will provide the lead for the church music programs).
A5298 Personnel Data – To collect and file all staffs’ employment records. To notify such persons or related organizations regarding their term expiration dates and procedures for re-appointments. The Personnel Data Department Head shall also be the Secretary of the GA Personnel Committee.
A5299 Foundation – To make various investments to increase EFC assets for supporting more gospel ministries. To publicize the operation of the Foundation Department and to mobilize members to support EFC funds. The Foundation Department may utilize the funds upon the approval of the Board of Directors.
General Assembly / Local Churches Relationship
The EFCGA has set up rules to regulate local church’s property purchasing, building fund raising, church planting, church mission, fellowship & caring, and required payments to the EFCGA.
A6100 Procedure to purchase buildings and/or real properties by the Local Church.
Bylaw Spirit: In order to secure the safety of local church and institute assets, the EFCGA requires that all EFC churches and institutes register the ownership of their properties in the name of “Evangelical Formosan Church”. The EFCGA shall have the responsibility of reviewing the property management of all local churches and institutes. However, all property use right belong to local churches and institutes.
A6110 Purchase and Sale: Local Churches may purchase or sell church buildings or related real properties upon approval from a congregational meeting. The Local Church shall invite the Board of Directors to send an official representative of the GA to attend and observe its congregational meeting. All resolutions adopted shall then be confirmed by the Board of Directors before taking effect. The signatures of the following three individuals shall be present together on all valid escrow documents: Chairperson of the Board of Directors (representing the GA), Chairperson and Secretary of the Local Church Council. If the number of the active voting member of the local church decreases below 30, the right of sales shall belong to the Board of Directors. [27/ 2012.2.25]
Bylaw Spirit: When a church is contemplating a closure of its ministry, the church shall submit all its right of selling its church property to the EFCGA’s Board of Directors. In doing so, the church assets can be secured not to get into private person, but to continue the ministry of spreading the gospel.
A6120 Recording of Title to Real Property – All documents shall be entitled “Evangelical Formosan Church.”
Bylaw Spirit All local churches’ properties shall be registered in the name of “Evangelical Formosan Church”. The purpose is to secure the proper use and safety of church properties. As long as a church is in normal operation, the EFCGA shall not interfere with the church’s right in managing and operating its own property.
A6130 Right – All rights of use of the church building belong to the Local Church.
A6140 Building Funds – The Local Church shall organize a Trustee to manage Building Funds and to be responsible for the bank loan.
A6200 The Relationship between the EFCGA and Local Churches.
A6210 The General Assembly Meeting shall be held at least once every two years.
A6220 The Local Church is obligated to contribute toward the expenses of the GA. Each Local Church shall contribute an amount equivalent to one tenth (1/10) of its General Fund Income (“GFI”). GFI of the Local Church is defined as = (Total Income)—(Building Fund contributions) – (Special contributions designated for outside entities approved by the Church Council) – (Love Fund and Scholarship Funds established by the Church Council).
Bylaw Spirit: At the beginning of the establishment of the EFC, all church members fully agreed to fellow the biblical teaching, and to allocate one tenth of church’s income for mission work. When the EFCGA was formed, all founding churches ( EFCLA, EFCEV, EFCSB, EFCSF and EFCOC) agreed to continue the spirit of tithe. They would submit one tenth of their church’s incomes to the EFCGA to be of one heart in carrying out the joint church missions and church planting work.
A6230 The GA shall plan and promote all EFC mission projects. The GA shall be responsible for mission projects beyond the reachable areas of Local Churches, while Local Churches remain primarily responsible for the mission outreach of its own surrounding communities.
A6240 The GA shall routinely appoint representatives to visit Local Churches to promote better relationship and caring.
A6250 Raising Building Fund
A6251 In principle, once a Local Church has accumulated a total saving of 30% of the total cost required for the purchase of the proposed church facilities, the Local Church may apply to GA for Church Building Helping Fund and seek permission from the GA to raise helping funds from other Local Churches. [27/2012.2.25]
A6252 The time period for a Local Church to raise funds from other Local Churches and the total amount to be raised shall be agreed upon jointly by the GA and the Local Church. In principle, such fund raising efforts shall be limited to six months.
A6253 Should the purchase of church facilities fail for any reason, all funds raised by and through other Local Churches shall be transferred to the GA for temporary safe keeping, until the Local Church begins another purchase of church facilities. Then, the fund transferred to GA shall be returned completely to the Local Church. While the interest incurred during the fund managing period by the GA shall be transferred into GA’s mission fund.
A6300 Principles to plant a Branch Church by the GA or by a Local Church
A6310 GA or a Local Church shall do their best to financially assist the living expenses of the minister of the newly planted branch church before it becomes an independent Local Church. All other expenses incurred are the sole responsibility of the branch church.
A6320 Building Program – GA or the Local Church shall contribute to the Building Fund of its planted branch church. The branch church may raise building fund through the mother church and other local churches. The procedure is recorded in A6250.
A6400 Requirements for Becoming an Independent Local Church ( Referring to B2200 to B2343).
A6410 Financial independence;
A6420 Appointment of a full-time pastor; and
A6430 Voting members are more than 30.
General Assembly / EFC Institutions Relationship
The regulations concerning the relationship between the EFCGA and the Logos Evangelical Seminary have already been established, while those for other EFC institutes are yet to be established.
A7100 LOGOS EVANGELICAL SEMINARY. [26/2010.3.3]
A7110 Logos Evangelical Seminary belongs to the Evangelical Formosan Church General Assembly (EFCGA). [26/2010.3.3]
A7120 The Seminary shall be incorporated, and shall be governed by its Board of Directors according to the Faith Statements and Policies established by EFCGA. [26/2010.3.3]
A7130 EFCGA shall support the Seminary for the preparation of persons for ordination and other ministries and for continuing study on the part of ordained ministers and laypersons. [26/2010.3.3]
Procedures For Non-EFC Churches / Organizations To Join the EFCGA
The EFC welcomes any churches or institutes with the same mission vision and service principle to join EFC Team.
A8100 Any non-EFC churches and/or non-EFC gospel entities/organizations desire to join the EFC family, they shall apply to the EFCGA with written request letters.
A8200 Upon receipt of written request letter, the GA shall review the application based on the following criteria to make a decision.
A8210 Agreement with EFC’s vision of evangelism, EFC’s Faith Statements and EFC’s Bylaws, and having a willingness to comply with them.
A8220 The above agreement and willingness shall be confirmed by all their co-workers and two thirds of their members. They shall all sign the agreement to show their responsibilities.
A8230 GA shall delegate an official representative to the prospective organization to fully understand the organization. If necessary, GA shall invite representatives of the prospective organization to report to the GA.
A8300 If GA decides to adopt the prospective organization into the EFC family, GA shall make arrangements for a joint thanksgiving service.
The EFCGA has set up a Personnel Committee to be responsible for reviewing the qualifications of all EFC full-time ministers and institute principles、 applications for ordinations, coordinating the full-time ministers’ transfer arrangements, and treating the complaints by the full-time ministers.
A9100 ORGANIZATION: The Personnel Committee shall consist of Pastor-in-Charge, Vice Pastor-in-Charge, Secretary General, Chairperson of Ministerial Association, Moderator, Vice Moderator, Secretary, Treasurer, Head of Bylaw Department, Head of Fringe Benefits Department, and Presidents of EFC Seminaries. The Committee officers shall consist of a Chairperson, a Vice Chairperson, and a Secretary, whose positions shall be assumed by the Moderator, the Vice Moderator and Secretary of the Board, respectively.
A9210 To review the qualifications of all EFC full-time ministers and CEO candidates for the EFC subsidiary institutes.
A9220 To provide ministers to non-independent branch churches.
A9230 To confirm the application of ministers to the independent branch churches.
A9240 To coordinate the transfer arrangements for all full-time ministers.
A9250 To investigate and resolve full-time ministers’ complaints.
A9260 To review and confirm EFC ministers’ ordination applications.
A9300 DUTIES of CHAIRPERSON, Vice CHAIRPERSON and SECRETARY:
A9310 Chairperson: To call and conduct meetings. The position is assumed by the GA Moderator (Chairperson of the Board of Directors).
A9320 Vice Chairperson: The Vice Chairperson shall substitute the Chairperson in his/her absence. The position is assumed by the GA Vice Moderator (Vice Chairperson of the Board of Directors).
A9330 Secretary: The Secretary shall keep the minutes. He/she shall keep all files for the Personnel Committee. The position is assumed by the GA Personnel Data Department Head.
A9410 The meetings are called by the Chairperson depending on need.
Any amendment proposal for this Constitution shall be submitted to the EFCGA’s Executive Board in writing by EFC local churches, EFCGA’s various departments or EFC institutes. The approval of any amendment proposal needs a two thirds (2/3) effective vote by the EFC General Assembly Meeting. The approved amendment shall be effective immediately.
A10100 Written amendments proposals may be submitted by the local churches, the EFC departments, or EFC subsidiary institutes to the EFCGA Executive Board.
A10200 EFCGA Executive Board \shall ask the By-laws Department to draft the amendments for adoption by a two-thirds effective vote.
A10300 EFCGA Executive Board sends the approved amendment proposals to the local churches by the end of year prior to the General Assembly Meeting, so that the church councils may have opportunities to discuss them and let their representatives to the GA Meeting to express their opinions.
A10400 Upon approval by a two-thirds effective vote of the GA Meeting, the adopted amendments become effective immediately.
EFC LOCAL CHURCH BYLAWS
B1100 NAME: The name for all local churches belong to the EFCGA shall be called: Evangelical Formosan Church of _______________ (hereafter called the Church).
B1210 To proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to establish the Christ churches.
B1220 To promote the five functions of the Church: Worship, Teaching, Fellowship, Evangelism, and Service.
B1300 AFFIRMATION OF THE FAITH: FAITH STATEMENTS — WE BELIEVE
B1310 That the Bible, containing the Old and New Testaments, is the inspired and infallible Word of God, the necessary and complete revelation of His will for salvation, and is the ultimate authority for Christian faith and life.
B1320 In the one true and living God, eternally existing in three distinct persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
B1330 That the triune God is the Creator, the Sustainer and Ruler of all Creation, but is prior to, and distinct from the Creation.
B1340 That the first man, Adam, was created by God in His image, but fell from his original state by sinning against God, and hence incurred upon himself and all his posterity the guilt of sin, condemnation, and death; therefore, all humans are in need of salvation, but are totally incapable of saving themselves.
B1350 That after the Fall, God, in His mercy and love, made provision for human redemption through the establishment of the covenant of grace with His people by the promise and the actual giving of the Savior Jesus Christ, whom to believe is justification and life.
B1360 That Jesus Christ is the Son of God, sent by the Father, begotten by the Holy Spirit, and born of the virgin Mary; that He lived a sinless and obedient life, suffered and died on the cross vicariously for the sins of those who believe in Him; that God raised Him from the dead, exalted Him both as Lord and Christ, and gave Him the Holy Spirit for His Church.
B1370 That humans are saved by grace through faith in Christ in response to the Gospel preached, or otherwise presented, in the power of the Holy Spirit, through whom ransomed sinners became the sons of God and heirs of eternal life. That Jesus Christ is the only mediator between God and men; through Him and only through Him the believer has access to the Father.
B1380 That every believer is a new creature in Christ, and is called to walk in the Spirit, to die unto sin, and to live unto righteousness, and thereby manifest the fruit of the Spirit, conforming oneself to the image of Christ; that good works are the fruit of the Christian life, and are not ways of justification.
B1390 That God alone is the Lord of our conscience, and that the believers are free from the commands of men which are contrary to, or in addition to, the Scriptures in matters of faith and conduct.
B1391 That the church, consisting of all true believers, being Christ’s own and indwelt by the Holy Spirit, is the Body of Christ, the invisible church; that the church is holy, universal and one in Christ; that the invisible church manifests itself in the visible church, the local congregations consisting all who profess to believe in Christ and are baptized; that as the people of God and a kingdom of priests, the church is called to grow unto the stature of the fullness of Christ and to fulfill her missionary work through the exercise of the gifts of the Holy Spirit, in worship, ordinances, fellowship, discipline, and services.
B1392 In the priesthood of all believers, and the parity of the ministers and the laity.
B1393 That in(on) the last day, as(at) the consummation of redemption, Christ will come again personally and visibly to the earth to judge the living and the dead; that there will be a bodily resurrection of the dead, of the believers through the Holy Spirit unto the inheritance of eternal life, and the unbelievers unto condemnation; and that a new heaven and a new earth will be ushered in.
B1400 THE CHURCH GOVERNMENT
Bylaw Spirit: The Congregational Meeting is formed of and called by the Active Members of the church, which is the highest policy-making organization. The Elder Board is a jointly established caring and management team of Senior Pastor, who is also a full-time elder, and lay elders. The Board faithfully serves the church members and prepares them for the works of service, so that the church may be built up. The Congregational Meeting not only deals with church businesses, but also is a part of worship to commemorate God’s abundant grace for the church and to lift up Lord Jesus’ name in the church.
B1410 Active members of the Church shall be responsible for church ministries. They may make suggestions to the Church Council regarding church matters.
B1420 The Officers of the Church are:
B1423 Deacons (Co-Workers for non-independent Churches).
B1424 Committee Chairpersons and Fellowship Group Leaders.
Bylaw Spirit: Church is the body of Christ. It is manifested through the visible and local churches. Therefore, church is the spiritual home of believers, who shall respect and make faithful offering to this home. According to Paul’s principle in ordaining elders right at the beginning of establishing a church (Acts 14:23), the church shall emphasize the spiritual caring of the members. The EFC is established in the sequence of small to big; the local church is also formed sequentially from Fellowship Stage to Developing Stage, and then the Organizing Stage, and finally the Independent Stage. A lot of spiritual caring needs were provided by the EFCGA or her mother church during her growth period.
B2100 The means for establishing an EFC local church consist of :
B2110 By an independent-stage EFC local church.
B2120 By the EFC General Assembly or an EFC Regional Assembly.
B2130 By adopting an established non-EFC church into the EFC.
B2200 GUIDELINES for CHURCH DEVELOPMENT
B2210 Fellowship Stage
B2211 Attendance Requirement: Five or more baptized adult members (at least three families).
B2212 Finances: The mother church that established it or the EFC General Assembly may assist part of the costs if necessary.
B2213 Council of Co-workers: The mother church shall send at least three provisional co-workers to assist the new church.
B2214 Regular Sunday Service: The unit plants the church is responsible for making arrangement for the pulpit.
B2215 In principle, the time to advance from Fellowship Stage to Developing Stage is limited for two years.
B2220 Developing Stage
B2221 Attendance Requirement: Ten or more baptized adult members (at least seven families).
B2222 Finances: The mother church that established it or the EFC General Assembly may assist part of the costs if necessary.
B2223 Council of Co-workers: The unit plants the church shall send at least five provisional co-workers to assist the new church.
B2224 Regular Sunday Service: If there is no resident minister, the unit plants the church is responsible for making arrangement for the pulpit.
B2225 In principle, the time to advance from Developing Stage to Organizing Stage is limited for two years.
B2230 Organizing Stage
B2231 Attendance Requirement: Fifteen or more baptized adult members (at least ten families).
B2232 Finances: The mother church that established it or the EFC General Assembly may assist part of the costs if necessary.
B2233 Council of Co-workers: Five or more co-workers shall be elected from the Church’s Congregational Meeting.
B2234 Regular Sunday Service: If there is no resident minister, the unit plants the church is responsible for making arrangement for the pulpit.
B2235 [Deleted 27/ 2012.2.24]
B2240 Independent Stage (Independent Church)
B2241 Attendance Requirement: Thirty or more baptized adult members.
B2242 Finances: Independent.
B2243 Church Council: Council members are elected from the Church’s Congregational Meeting. The Church Council shall consist of at least seven members; they may be elders and deacons.
B2244 Regular Sunday Service: If there is no Senior Pastor or resident minister, the Supervising Pastor assigned by the EFCGA is responsible for making the arrangement for the pulpit.
B2245 The time for advancing to an Independent Stage from Pioneering Stage shall not be less than one year and not more than five years. [27/ 2012.2.24]
B2300 GUIDELINES for ADVANCING or DEMOTING CHURCH STAGE
B2310 Advancement below the Organizing Stage
B2311 When the conditions are met, with the approval of the Congregational Meeting, the Church may submit an application to the unit planted the Church for approval to advance to next level.
B2312 The unit planted the Church shall report the advancement of the Church to the EFCGA.
B2313 The unit planted the Church shall arrange with the Church for a Special Thanksgiving Service.
B2320 Advancement from Organizing Stage to Independent Stage.
B2321 When the conditions are met, with more than half of the Congregational Meeting’s approval, the Church may submit an application for advancement to the EFCGA.
B2322 Approval by the Executive Board of the EFCGA.
B2323 The Regional Assembly and the local church together shall arrange a Special Thanksgiving Service together. [27/ 2012.2.24]
B2330 If a Church below the Organizing Stage cannot continue its existence, with agreement of the unit planted the Church, the Church may apply for a proper solution from the EFCGA.
B2340 When an independent Church loses its qualification for independence.
B2341 With the approval of the majority of the Congregational Meeting, the Church may apply to the EFCGA to have its independent status revoked.
B2342 The EFCGA may take initiative to revoke the Church’s independent status.
B2343 When the Church loses its independent status, it is reclassified into a proper level below the Organizing Stage according to its attendance record.
B2400 Both the church administration and fiscal year start from January 1st to December 31st of the calendar year.
B2500 If a local church does not comply with EFC’s Faith Statements, Bylaws/Regulations, the Ordinances, and the Resolutions of the EFCGA, the EFCGA shall first advise the church. If the advice is not accepted, the EFCGA with the approval of the Executive Board, shall either treat the situation with a proper solution, or take over the church’s administration.
B2600 The relationship between the EFCGA and the local churches, and the privileges and obligations of the local churches, are stated in the EFCGA Constitution.
Bylaw Spirit: Believers must believe and be baptized (Acts 2:41~42, Matthew 28:19, Mark 16:16), join a church, become a church member, live a church life, accept biblical teaching, connect and have fellowship one another, receive Lord’s Supper, pray in one heart, and participate in proclaiming the gospel. The purposes of establishing a church membership are to help believers to make commitment to one another, to achieve mutual protection and accountability, and to carry out the responsibility、duty and right for the church. Therefore, there exists a treaty relationship between members and God, it is also the basis for the believers to commit to one another, only in so doing that Christ’s witness can be manifested. The EFC establishes a Confirmation Ceremony to allow persons who had been baptized in their babyhood to join the church and become church members.
B3100 MEMBER’S QUALIFICATION:
B3110 Any person affirms that Lord Jesus Christ is his/her personal Savior, has been baptized or confirmed in EFC, and accepts EFC’s Faith Statements, Bylaws and Practices.
B3120 Those who have been baptized or confirmed in other churches, show their Christian faith and character, and accepts EFC’s Faith Statements, Bylaws and Practices.
B3200 MEMBER’S APPLICATION PROCEDURE:
B3210 Any person qualified under B3110. [31/ 2020.03.13]
B3220 Any person qualified under B3120:
B3221 Any qualified person may present his/her membership application to the Pastoral Office or the Secretary of the Board of Elders (or the Church Council).
B3222 The applicant has to attend an orientation class.
B3223 Upon the review and approval of the Board of Elders (or the Church Council), the applicant may be received as a member.
B3300 MEMBER’S OBLIGATION
B3310 He/she shall observe the EFC’s Bylaws and Regulations.
B3320 He/she shall cultivate a true and sincere Christian love and fellowship with one another, and shall obey those whom they have elected to hold offices of the Church in accordance with the teachings of the Scriptures(I Thessalonians 5:12-13).
B3330 He/she shall fully support the ministry of the Church with his/her time, gifts, and offerings.
B3340 He/she shall attend church worship services, observe Lord’s days and partake the communion services.
B3350 He/she shall attend the Congregational meetings.
B3360 He/she shall lead a life of Christian faith.
B3400 CLASSIFICATION of MEMBERSHIP
B3410 Active Members
B3411 He/she shall be eighteen years old or older.
B3412 He/she shall attend the Church’s Sunday worship services no less than seven times per quarter. (Persons who receive leave authorizations or encounter unavoidable circumstances are excused.)
B3413 The right to vote is granted three months after obtaining membership.
B3414 The right for candidacy (referring to EFC Election Rules).
B3420 Under-Age Active Members
B3421 He/she is under eighteen years old and has been baptized or confirmed of faith (Infant Baptism does not apply).
B3422 He/she shall have no rights for voting and candidacy.
B3423 He/she may attend the Congregational meetings.
B3430 Inactive Members
B3431 He/she attends the Church’s Sunday worship services less than seven times per quarter. (Persons who receive leave authorizations or encounter unavoidable circumstances are excused.)
B3432 Volunteer- A person who travels or moves out but would like to keep his/her membership.
B3433 He/she shall have no rights for voting and candidacy.
B3434 If the reason for his/her being inactive is removed, the Board of Elders may reinstate his/her membership to active status.
B3440 Children Member
B3441 A child who has received infant baptism or has been dedicated to the Lord by his/her parents.
B3442 He/she shall have no rights for voting and candidacy.
B3450 The Board of Elders shall review qualifications of membership every quarter.
B3500 Termination of Membership
B3510 A person who wishes to terminate his/her membership from the Church shall inform the Secretary of the Board of Elders or the Pastoral Office in writing.
B3520 A person who wishes to transfer his/her membership to another church shall submit his/her application in writing to the Secretary of the Board of Elders or Pastoral Office. Upon the approval of the Board of Elders, the applicant’s membership information may be transferred to the other Church as designated.
B3530 Any member whose Christian life seriously violates the EFC’s Faith, Bylaws, and Practices.
B3531 By a two-thirds of valid votes, the Board of Elders may terminate the person’s EFC membership, and notify the person of this action (According to the US parliamentary procedure, “valid votes” is defined as the sum of yeas and nays, excluding the abstained and invalid ballots. In the following articles “valid votes” shall refer to the above definition and will not be addressed repeatedly).
B3532 The person may make appeal and refutation within two weeks in writing.
B3533 The Board of Elders shall review the appeal within two weeks. A two-thirds of valid votes is required to uphold the original decision of termination.
B3534 If the decision of termination is not upheld by a two-thirds of valid votes, the Board of Elders shall reinstate the person’s membership immediately.
REMARK: If a local church does not set up a Board of Elders, then the duties of the Board of Elders are carried by the Church Council.
Board of Elders, Church Council, Co-worker Committee
Bylaw Spirit: A church must be managed, although different church denominations may have different modes of church management. The mode of EFC’s church management is progressively modified to accommodate the stages of the church growth. Before reaching the Independent stage, that is for the first three stages of Fellowship, Developing and Organizing, the Co-worker Committee shall manage the church ministries. After reaching the Independent stage, Elders and Deacons are elected to form Church Council, and to appoint a Senior Pastor to lead the church together. When there are 5 Elders or more in the Church Council, then a Board of Elders can be formed with the Senior Pastor and at least 5 Elders. The Board of Elders and the Church Council shall then be responsible for church management. When a meeting is called to discuss business proposals, a prayer mind shall be kept to search God’s will. Except any personal confidential matters and unresolved issues, all resolutions and meeting minutes made by the Church Council shall be clearly open to public.
B4100 THE BOARD of ELDERS:
Bylaw Spirit: The Board of Elders, being faithful to Christ and accountable to the believers, shall carry out the mission and ministry of the church. The Board of Elders not only shall lead the believers, but also shall be accountable to them. It is because the authority of the Board of Elders is not only granted by Christ, and also given by all believers. The full-time coworkers, other than the Senior Pastor, of the Pastoral Office may attend the Board of Elders Meeting by the permission of the Board. However, they may join the discussion of church matters, but not the voting process to maintain their impartial position.
B4111 Established by at least 5 incumbent Elders and the Senior Pastor (or Acting Senior Pastor). When both Senior Pastor and Acting Senior Pastor are vacant, the Board of Elders shall suspend its function, the Church Council shall resume full responsibilities in managing church ministries. [28/ 2014.02.24]
B4112 Should there be less than 5 incumbent Elders, and thus the Board of Elders could not be established, then the duties of the Board of Elders shall be performed by the Church Council.
B4113 The officials of the Board of Elders are the Chairperson, the Vice Chairperson, the Secretary, and the Treasurer. The Chairperson and the Vice Chairperson are to be elected by the Church Council from among the Elders of the Board of Elders. The Secretary and the Treasurer are to be elected by the Board of Elders from among themselves.
B4120 Duties of the Officials
Bylaw Spirit: A Chairperson is the center of coordination and communication, he shall seek participants’ consensus, work with Pastor’s vision, in order to achieve the most appropriate conclusion. A Chairperson is not a decision maker, nor a vision initiator. Therefore, a Chairperson is to avoid being the sole decision maker in the church, in order to prevent from being a dictator without seeking the mind of God. During a meeting, the Chairperson shall try to encourage coworkers to a full participation of the discussion, and expression of their ideas.
B4121-1 Calls the Board of Elders, Church Council, and Congregational meetings, and carries out church administrative duties.
B4121-2 The agenda of the Board of Elders, Church Council and Congregational meetings shall be discussed and agreeable with the Senior Pastor first.
B4121-3 Understands Senior Pastor’s vision and helps sharing it among co-workers.
B4121-4 Leads and coordinates Elders/Deacons (Co-workers) to follow up on meeting resolutions.
B4121-5 To work with the Senior Pastor in leading Elders/Deacons (Co-workers) and building team unity in service.
B4121-6 To be concerned with the needs and opinions of Pastoral Office and Elders/Deacons (Co-workers).
B4121-7 Responsible for the budgeting of the salaries and benefits of Pastoral Office’s staff.
Bylaw Spirit: A pastor is a person proclaiming gospel, not an employee of the church. A pastor is a God’s servant called to be the shepherd of the church; he shall be respected by all elders, deacons and believers. An honorarium is not a wage; a respectful heart shall be borne to care about pastor family’s needs.
B4121-8 Responsible for coordinating the budgeting of church departments.
B4121-9 Other responsibilities which are required of a Church Council (Co-worker Committee) Chairperson.
B4122 Vice Chairperson – In the Chairperson’s absence or inability to perform his/her duties, the Vice Chairperson shall act on behalf of Chairperson. The Vice Chairperson is also the Vice Chairperson of the Church Council and the Congregational Meeting.
B4123 Secretary – The Secretary shall keep Minutes of the Board, a current Membership Roster, and manage all documents required by the Church Bylaws. He/she is also the Secretary of the Congregational Meeting.
B4124 The Treasurer – The Treasurer shall manage and keep the church’s accounting records. All the church incomes and expenses shall be recorded in detail in the church account book.
B4130 Qualifications and Terms of members (elders) of the Board of Elders
B4131 He/ she shall lead a pure and respectable life according to the teachings of the Scriptures (I Peter 5:1~3; I Timothy 3:1~7; and Titus 1:5~9).
B4132 He/she shall have served at least one term as a Deacon of the Church, and has been an Active Member of the Church for at least two years. Or he/she shall have served as an Elder or a Deacon in other church for a minimum of three years, and has been an active member of this Church for a minimum of three consecutive years (if the other church was also an EFC church, two years shall be acceptable). [27/ 2012.2.24]
B4133 The term of an elder is three years. If reelected, he/she may serve consecutively for another term.
Bylaw Spirit: An elder may serve consecutively for six years; the seventh year is a Sabbatical year. The elder then may be nominated and re-elected to be a new term elder. It is so regulated as to allow the persons in service to have a rest.
B4140 The Responsibilities of the Board of Elders (I Peter 5:1~3)
B4141 To assume full responsibility of church property and to decide on the use and management of the church facilities.
B4142 To care for the spiritual and physical needs of church members and faith seekers.
B4143 To plan for church growth and to carry out its implementation.
B4144 To represent the church in coordination with the EFCGA.
B4145 To review and disburse the expenses authorized by the Board of Elders and Church Council. To determine and administer the church’s personnel honorarium.
B4146 To review and approve applications for church membership, and to discipline member for wrongdoings.
B4147 To assist pastors in teaching, visiting, and counseling; and to keep the Church’s Faith Statements.
B4148 To recommend candidate for the Senior Pastor. To confirm the Senior Pastor’s selection of full-time staff for the Pastoral Office.
B4149 To confirm the Church Council’s recommended leaders for Committees and Fellowship groups.
B4150 Board Meeting
B4151 The Meeting shall be called at least once per quarter by the Chairperson.
B4152 If the Chairperson refuses to call a Meeting requested by the majority of the Board of Elders, then the Meeting can be called by any Board member elected by the Board.
B4153 The summons of the Meeting shall be sent to all Board members. The Meeting can only be held when more than a half of the Board members attend.
B4154 If any proposal in a meeting agenda is contrary to the teaching of the Scripture, or if the pastor is not at peace with the issue and so clearly expressed, then the proposal shall not be put to vote. It shall be tabled. The proposal can be discussed again and resolved in the next meeting after further prayers.
B4200 CHURCH COUNCIL
Bylaw Spirit: In order to fulfill the need of church ministry, the Church Council shall elect necessary numbers of elders and deacons in accordance to their gifts and talents; in so doing as to achieve a sharing and cooperation of professional resources in the church, and ultimately to prepare all God’s people for works of service to build up the body of Christ.
B4211 The Council shall consist of Elders, Deacons and the Senior Pastor, or a Minister who is recognized to carry the equivalent authority as a Senior Pastor by the EEC General Assembly.
B4212 The officials of the Church Council shall be the Chairperson, the Vice Chairperson, the Secretary, and the Treasurer.
B4213 All full-time ministers besides the Senior Pastor shall also be present at the Church Council (with no right to vote).
B4221 Chairperson – The Chairperson of the Board of Elders shall be the Chairperson. In the Chairperson’s absence, the Vice Chairperson of the Board of Elders shall act on his/her behalf.
B4222 Vice Chairperson – The Vice Chairperson of the Board of Elders shall be the Vice Chairperson of the Church Council.
B4223 Secretary – The Secretary shall be elected from the Church Council’s Elders and Deacons. He/she shall be responsible for taking minutes and keeping records of the proceedings of the Church Council meetings. He/she shall take care of the documents as requested by the Pastoral Office and the Board of Elders. In his/her absence, the Secretary of the Board of Elders shall perform his/her duties.
B4224 If the Board of Elders has not been established, the Chairperson, Vice Chairperson, Secretary and Treasurer of the Church Council shall be elected by and from all its Elders and Deacons.
B4230 Qualification and Term of a Deacon
B4231 According to the Scripture ( I Timothy 3:8-13), a Deacon candidate shall be a person of good reputation and faithfully participate in soul-winning and other ministries of the Church.
B4232 A Deacon shall have been an active member for at least one year and have been baptized for at least two years.
B4233 The term for a Deacon is two years, and he/she can be re-elected consecutively twice.
Bylaw Spirit: A Deacon may serve consecutively for six years; the seventh year is a Sabbatical year. Thereafter he/she may be re-nominated and re-elected to serve a new term. It is so regulated as to allow the persons in service to have a rest period to regain their strength.
B4241 To plan, coordinate and execute general church business.
B4242 To review and appoint members of the Pastoral Office.
B4243 To assign Chairpersons of Church’s special working groups and Committees.
B4244 To review and approve the addition of working groups, committees, or fellowship groups to meet the Church’s needs.
B4245 To review and adopt the annual budgets proposed by all Church’s working groups.
B4246 To care for those in need, in sickness, in loneliness, and in distress.
B4247 To be responsible for the ministries of evangelism, mission, and education of the Church.
B4248 To develop the Church’s financial resources.
B4249 To be responsible for general church businesses.
B4251 In case of vacancies, if the Board of Elders so desires, they shall be filled according to the Regulations of Elections to complete the terms of the offices.
B4252 If more than one-half of the term of the office remains, it shall be considered as a full term.
B4261 Any officer who ceases to be an Active Member of the Church or has not attended regular meetings for three consecutive times shall automatically be removed from his/her office. (Persons who are on authorized leaves or with unavoidable circumstances are excused.)
Bylaw Spirit: A person in service not only shall be faithful to Christ, but also accountable to the believers. Furthermore, if he/she is consecutively absent from a regular meeting for three times, he/she is no longer knowledgeable enough about the church business, and thus he/she is not suitable to attend any discussion and make any decision of church business.
B4262 The Board of Elders may terminate the office of a officer being disciplined.
B4263 Any officer may resign by submitting a written resignation to the Board of Elders (or Church Council). The resignation shall be announced in the Church Bulletin after approval by the Board of Elders.
B4271 The Chairperson shall call meetings at least once per quarter.
B4272 If the Chairperson will not call the meeting, then the meeting may be called by any selected member of the Board of Elders, when such a meeting shall be requested by the majority of the Church Council members.
B4273 The summons of the Meeting shall be sent to all Council members. Only when more than half of the Council members attend, shall the Meeting be held.
B4280 The election of Elders and Deacons shall comply with Regulations of Election.
B4300 COMMITTEES, GROUPS, and FELLOWSHIPS
Bylaw Spirit: The church is the body of Christ; fellowships and small groups are the parts of body. Fellowships may be subdivided into youth fellowship, sisters fellowship, college fellowship, young- adults fellowship, gospel fellowship, Caleb fellowship and Luke fellowship. Small groups can be formed according to remote or close-by locations, or for the convenience of pasturing. Believers shall live as parts of church; actively participate fellowships or small groups, accept one another. They shall not form their groups of favoritism and protect their own interest to cause fights among self-seeking groups in the church.
B4310 The Church Council may organize the following committees or groups:
B4311 Each Church shall set up Worship, Education, Evangelism, General Affairs, Caring, Fellowship, Finance, and Accounting groups.
B4312 The Church may also organize, according to the Church’s needs, such committees or groups for Devotion, Teaching, Transportation, Translation, Meal Service, English Ministries, Fellowship, Literature, Maintenance, Audit, Audio Recording, Video Recording, Ushers, Planning, Purchasing, Family Gathering, Individual Evangelism, Public Relation, Cell Groups, Matrimony, Funeral, Music and others.
B4320 The Pastoral Office may organize schools or fellowships as listed below: Adult Sunday School, Children Sunday School, Youth Fellowship, Women Fellowship, College Students Fellowship, Young Adult Fellowship, Gospel Fellowship, Caleb Fellowship, Luke Fellowship, Library, Music, and Choir.
Bylaw Spirit: Pastor shall give his/her full attention to prayer and the ministry of the Word. Therefore, Pastor shall lead the church in the ministry of shepherding.
B4330 The Church Council may recommend adding or removing committees or groups as necessary.
B4340 Selection and Assignment of Committee Chairpersons and Group Leaders
B4341 All Committee Chairpersons and Group Leaders shall be appointed by the Church Council and confirmed by the Board of Elders.
B4342 The Treasurer of the Board of Elders shall be the Chairperson of the Finance Committee.
B4343 The Choir Conductor and the Superintendent of Sunday School shall be recommended by the Senior Pastor and confirmed by the Board of Elders.
B4344 The Leaders of Choir and Fellowships shall be selected from Church Active Members of the Choir and Fellowship groups. The Leaders shall be confirmed by the Board of Elders (Please refer to Guidelines for EFC Fellowships, for selecting Leaders for the Junior High and High School Fellowship groups.)
B4400 Council of Co-workers (Council of Committee Chairpersons and Fellowship Leaders)
B4410 Organization: It shall consist of Fellowship Leaders, Committee Chairpersons, Group Leaders, Sunday School Superintendents, Choir Conductors and Directors, and Fellowship Group Counselors.
B4421 Chairperson: The Chairperson of the Board of Elders shall be the Chairperson of the Council of Co-workers, and shall preside over meetings.
B4422 Secretary: The Secretary of the Church Council shall be the Secretary of the Council of Co-workers. He/she shall take and keep minutes of the meetings.
B4431 To coordinate the work of all Groups, Committees and Fellowships.
B4432 To maintain a good working relationship among all co-workers.
B4433 To ensure the implementation of all work planned.
B4434 To reflect opinions for improvement.
B4441 The Chairperson of the Board of Elders shall call the meeting at least once every half year. The announcement shall be made on Sunday.
Congregational And Worship Meetings
B5100 CONGREGATIONAL MEETING
Bylaw Spirit: The Congregational Meeting is where the believers may review, discuss and affirm the mission and ministry carried by the church team of leaders. The believers shall also confirm and support the prospects carried out by the team of leaders. Therefore, the Senior Pastor and the Church Council shall submit reports to the Meeting, which shall include the church’s annual plan, fiscal report, budget, elections of Elders and Deacons, appointment of the Senior Pastor, land purchasing and church building project. The congregation shall participate the decision of the aforementioned church important businesses to carry out mutual responsibilities for the church.
B5110 Calling Meetings
B5111 The Meeting shall be called at least once a year. The Chairperson of the Board of Elders (or the Church Council) is the Chairperson of the Congregational Meeting.
B5112 With a majority consent of the Board of Elders, the Chairperson of the Board of Elders may call a Provisional Congregational Meeting.
B5113 With a petition signed by one-third of the Church’s Active Members, the Chairperson of the Board of Elders shall call a Provisional Congregational Meeting.
Bylaw Spirit Active Members are more familiar with the Church business, therefore, they are most likely to make right and beneficial decisions for the Church in both areas of resolutions and elections in the Congregational Meetings.
B5114 The date and the objective of the Meeting shall be announced on the Sunday two weeks prior to the Meeting; the agenda of the Meeting shall be distributed one week before the meeting (only the Agenda, not the Congregational Meeting Brochure).
B5115 The Congregational Meeting shall be held only when more than half of the Active Members attend.
B5116 Any resolutions, such as elections, adoption of annual budgets and financial reports….., to be made in a Congregation Meeting, the ballots may be picked up personally by the Active Members in different Congregations at different times if the Church desires to do so.
B5117 The total attendance for the Congregational Meeting shall be based on the total ballots picked up by the Active Members.
B5118 Vote count shall be based on the total ballots actually casted and collected.
B5120 Meeting Procedure
B5121 Roll Call: the Secretary of the Board of Elders (or the Church Council) shall take a roll call.
B5122 Prayer: by the Chairperson or the Pastor.
B5123 Reports of the Board of Elders and the Church Council.
B5124 Report of the Senior Pastor (Minister).
B5125 Report of Church business, discussion of proposals, and making resolutions (No impromptu motions shall be made in a Congregation Meeting).
B5126 Elections and announcement of the election results.
Bylaw Spirit: In order to minimize the hurts born by a person having lost the election, the local church is encouraged to nominate an equal number of candidates for the positions to be filled in the election. Let the members exercise a confirmation, rather than an election, is a better way to keep a unity in the church.
B5127 Reading and confirming the minutes of Meeting.
B5128 Closing Prayer: by the Chairperson or the Pastor.
B5130 Church Businesses Conducted by the Congregational Meeting
B5131 To listen to the annual reports of the Board of Elders and Church Council on Church’s finance, ministries, and future plans.
B5132 To listen to the Pastor’s reports on his/her shepherding work and plans.
B5133 To select the Auditors for the next fiscal year.
B5134 To confirm the church’s year-end finance report and to review the new budget.
B5135 To confirm Pastor’s appointment, and to elect Elders and Deacons.
B5136 To make resolutions on other Church businesses.
B5200 PUBLIC MEETINGS
B5210 The Church’s regular meetings include Sunday Worships, Sunday Schools, Prayer Meetings, and Sacrament.
B5220 The Board of Elders or the Church Council may decide to hold other special meetings.
B5300 QUALIFICATION for the PRESIDER of the SACRAMENT.
B5310 The Presider of Sunday Worship must be accepted by the Board of Elders or Church Council.
B5320 The Senior Pastor (or the Pastor assigned by GA) shall be fully responsible for the arrangement of the Sunday Worship speaker. If necessary, the speaker may be the one confirmed by the Pastoral Office.
B5330 The Senior Pastor (or the pastor assigned by GA) shall have the full responsibility of conducting the Ordinance (Baptism, Holy Communion, Confirmation of Faith, or Child Dedication). If necessary, the Senior Pastor (or the pastor assigned by GA) may appoint an ordained Pastor to officiate.
B5340 The officiant of a wedding or funeral proceeding shall be assigned by the Pastoral Office.
Bylaw Spirit In order to emphasize the importance of forming a shepherding team、conforming to a common vision、maintaining a church unity、and adopting a manifold ministry, a church with multiple full-time pastoral staff shall appoint a Senior Pastor to lead with vision. A Senior Pastor shall be responsible for making arrangement for sermon services、performing sacrament、and establishing the goal of church’s annual plan and the strategy to achieve it, so as to make a church with commission and vitality.
B6110 The Senior Pastor or a Minister recognized by GA to carry an equivalent authority of a Senior Pastor.
B6120 Ministers with special ministries: Education, Counseling, Music, Fellowship, Caring, and Evangelism.
B6210 Senior Pastor
B6211 He/she shall teach according to the Truth of the Scripture, evangelize, cultivate the growth of believers’ spiritual lives, and shepherd the church with love.
B6212 He/she shall follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit, work with GA, and lead the church with vision and direction.
B6213 He/she shall seek God’s will in prayers with co-workers of Church Council (Council of Co-workers) in making plans for church’s ministries and growth.
B6214 He/she shall be responsible for arranging and developing church’s shepherding, teaching, and preaching.
B6215 He/she shall discover, reserve, and equip the church elders, deacons, and co-workers and build a harmonious serving team.
B6216 He/she shall care for the spiritual growth and maturity of the church elders, deacons, co-workers, and members.
B6217 He/she shall preside over sacraments, wedding, funeral, and other ceremonies.
B6218 When no Senior Pastor is appointed, the duties will be carried out by an Acting Senior Pastor, Resident Pastor, or Delegated Pastor (Referring to “EFC Regulations on Appointment of Replacement in the Absence of Senior Pastor”).
B6219 And other necessary duties of a pastor.
B6220 Full-Time Ministers
B6221 A full-time Minister is directly accountable to the Senior Pastor in church ministries.
B6222 To coordinate, develop and plan with the associated committees and working groups regarding the assigned special ministries.
B6223 To attend the Congregational Meeting, and to be present at the Church Council Meetings.
B6230 The Counselors and Secretary: They are directly accountable to the Senior Pastor in their ministries.
B6240 A full-time pastoral staff shall join their local EFC church as Active Members and may not take up any jobs outside of EFC system without the consent of the Church Council. [28/ 2014.02.24]
B6300 APPOINTMENT of SENIOR PASTOR: (Based on I.5 EFC Regulations on Appointment of Replacement in the Absence Of Senior Pastor)
Bylaw Spirit: Appointing pastor for a church is an entrusted procedure by Christ and fellow believers; when a pastor is found, he/she shall be respected for his/her duly responsible position and leadership、fully trusted、in everyone’s prayer，and shall not be treated indifferently. A pastor’s success is also a church’s success; a healthy pastor makes a church healthy. A Senior Pastor is the church’s spiritual leader、the model for fellow believers and the master of the pastoral office. The Senior Pastor shall be in full cooperation with the Board of Elders and Church Council in church ministry. He/she shall shepherd and lead the church with God-given vision.
B6311 Local church to form a Pastor Searching Committee (It may be formed by the Board of Elders or by persons assigned by the Church Council).
B6312 The local church’s Pastor Searching Committee shall first present the list of potential candidates under their consideration to the EFCGA’s Pastor Searching Supervising Committee (Including EFCGA’s Secretary General, Pastor-in-Charge, Moderator and the subject Regional Pastor-in-Charge ) for review. Thereafter the Pastor Searching Committee may contact and interview the candidates, and invite the candidates to be guest speakers.
Bylaw Spirit: It is recommended that the local church, in the process of appointing a pastor, would only invite one candidate for consideration, and no subsequent invitation for a second candidate is given until an appointment resolution has been made for the first candidate. This recommendation is to avoid a potential church conflict when two candidates are considered at the same time, especially for the small church.
B6313 The Pastor Searching Committee presents their sole candidate recommendation to the Church Council for approval with a two-thirds vote. Candidate for senior pastor position shall meet the qualifications of EFC Ministerial Association member (please see EFC Ministerial Association Regulations for details) [27/ 2012.2.24]
Remark: The original B6314 is re–numbered as B6325, while original B6315 is re-numbered as B6314. [27/ 2012.2.24]
B6314 The approved Senior Pastor candidate by the Church Council must be approved by the Congregational Meeting by voting. [27/ 2012.2.24]
B6321 A GA delegate shall oversee the voting of Congregational Meeting.
B6322 The voting shall be conducted anonymously.
B6323 The Congregational Meeting requires the attendance of more than half of its Active Members.
B6324 The candidate needs a two-thirds valid vote of the attendance to be appointed.
B6325 The approved candidate shall submit his/her application to the EFCGA’s Personnel Committee for the membership of the EFC Ministerial Association. The Personnel Committee shall commission the Ministerial Association to conduct the initial review and to make the recommendation. The Personnel Committee shall review and make the final approval. It is effective only after the acceptance by the Executive Board of GA. [27/ 2012.2.24]
Bylaw: Spirit The first two-year term for a newly appointed Senior Pastor is in a period of mutual adjustment and accommodation; it may take two years to decide whether he/she is a suitable pastor for the church. Thereafter, the appointment is extended to a five-year term. It will allow the Senior Pastor to be able to concentrate on making plans for church’s long-term development and growth. It is not assured that there will not be any conflict between him/her and the church during the five-year term period. If any complaint against him/her ever happens during the term, it shall be dealt with the procedures of resignation and termination.
B6331 The first term is two years.
B6332 Thereafter each term shall be five years until retirement.
B6341 The Board of Elders shall review annually with the Senior Pastor regarding his/her last year’s shepherding performance. The Church Council or the Council of Co-worker shall conduct the annual review, if the church has not established the Board of Elders.
B6342 The Board of Elders shall conduct the review three months before the expiration of the Senior Pastor’s term.
B6343 The Board of Elders shall submit the Senior Pastor’s renewal proposal to the Church Council.
B6344 The Church Council shall approve with a majority valid vote and notify GA of the result.
B6345 In case the Church Council does not renew the term of the Senior Pastor, the Senior Pastor shall be notified immediately. A minimum time of three months shall be given prior the termination. Upon receiving the notice, if the Senior Pastor decides to notify the Church Council in writing about his/her decision to leave before the expiration of his/her term, the Church Council may compensate the Senior Pastor with an equivalent honorarium for the number of unused working days before the expiration of his/her term. The Church Council may decide according to her financial situation whether to provide any severance pay for the Pastor or not. No regulation is given on the severance benefit. [27/ 2012.2.24]
B6350 Resignation and Termination
B6351 If for any personal reason that the Senior Pastor seeks to resign before the term expires, the Senior Pastor shall submit his/her official resignation to the Board of Elders (or Church Council) in writing sixty days prior to leaving the office. The church may decide according to her financial situation whether to provide the severance pay for the Pastor or not. No regulation is given on the severance benefit. [27/ 2012.2.24]
B6352 In case of disputes, the Board of Elders (or the Church Council) shall recommend termination with a two-thirds valid vote.
B6353 The Board of Elders (or the Church Council) shall notify the GA Personnel Committee within two weeks.
B6354 The GA shall send a delegate to the local church to mediate and call a special Church Council Meeting within one month.
B6355 The Senior Pastor shall remain in office, if the Church Council shall not be able to obtain a two-thirds valid vote to agree on the termination recommendation by the Board of Elders.
B6356 If the Church Council obtain more than a two-thirds valid vote of attending council members to agree on the Board of Elders’ termination recommendation, then a special Congregational Meeting shall be called within three weeks.
B6357 The Congregational Meeting shall proceed voting as described by B6320.
B6358 The termination shall take effect immediately, with the Church paying three months of current honorarium.
B6400 Appointment of Other Staff in the Pastoral Office
Bylaw Spirit: All ministers in the Pastoral Office is a service team led by the Senior Pastor. Therefore, the staff in the Pastoral Office, including church employees and all ministers shall be rightfully recommended by the Senior Pastor and confirmed by the Board of Elders or the Church Council. When any staff member is found not suitable or causing any conflicts, it is the responsibility of the Senior Pastor to recommend a resignation or termination for that member, in order to maintain a leadership for a coherent and united team.
B6411 The recommendation shall be made by the Senior Pastor or Board of Elders and approved by the Church Council. [28/ 2014.2.24]
B6412 In the case of recommending a full-time minister, a notification shall be sent to the GA Personnel Committee, and an acceptance of the candidate as an EFC Minister by the Committee shall be obtained before a formal appointment can be made.
B6420 Voting: It shall be approved by a two-thirds valid vote of the members present at the Church Council Meeting.
B6431 All terms are two years (including the first term). The term shall not be changed by the promotional ordination. [26/ 2010.3.3]
B6441 The Senior Pastor or Board of Elders shall notify the Church Council of the renewal three months prior to the expiration of the term. [28/ 2014.02.24]
B6442 A two-thirds valid vote of the Church Council shall be required to approve the renewal.
B6450 Resignation and Termination
B6451 The staff/minister who wishes to resign shall submit his/her official resignation in writing to the Senior Pastor sixty days prior to leaving the office. [27/ 2012.2.24]
B6452 If the Senior Pastor shall agree to terminate a staff member because of his/her inadequate performance or disputes, then he/she shall be terminated.
B6453 If the Senior Pastor shall disagree with the termination, but the Church Council shall be able to get a two-thirds valid vote for termination, then that person shall be terminated.
B6454 The termination shall be in effect immediately, with the Church paying one month of current honorarium.
Bylaw Spirit: The purpose for a disciplinary action is, as the discipline and judgment given by God toward the Israel people in the Old Testament, solely for salvation. Therefore, the church shall practice reasonable degree of discipline toward both ministers and believers. After any disciplinary action, it is important to show a spirit of reconciliation and acceptance, to sustain one another in the walk of heavenly way. In order to avoid any disciplinary action, the church shall be responsible for education and training, such as holding a seminar on the legal matter on sex harassment by the EFCGA, the believers and the ministers shall actively participate.
B7100 Regulations of Discipline are established to uphold the faith and order of the Church.
B7200 Members, Deacons, Elders, and Ministers shall be disciplined if they shall violate the teachings of Scriptures, the EFC Statements of Faith, the EFC By-laws, or the EFC Practices.
B7300 DISCIPLINE UNIT
B7310 Discipline of Members, Elders, and Deacons:
B7311 The Board of Elders (or the Church Council) shall implement.
B7312 The Board of Elders (or the Church Council) shall otherwise constitute a Discipline Committee to implement.
B7320 Discipline of Ministers:
B7321 The GA Executive Board shall implement.
B7322 The GA Executive Board shall otherwise constitute a Discipline Committee to implement.
B7330 If there is a severe dispute in a local church, the Regional Assembly shall take the initiative to settle the dispute. If the dispute is not resolved, then the GA will get involved to settle it. [27/ 2012.2.24]
B7400 DISCIPLINE PROCEDURE
B7411 In case of grievances among church members, the procedure set forth in the eighteenth chapter of Matthew shall be followed.
B7412 Any dispute charges shall be submitted in writing to the Discipline Committee in the local church. [27/ 2012.2.24]
B7413 In case of any grievances occurring among Church Elders, Deacons and Ministers that cannot be settled by the Board of Elders, the matter shall be taken to the Discipline Committee in Regional Assembly. If the grievance does not get settled, the Executive Board of GA shall be notified for further resolution. [27/ 2012.2.24]
Bylaw Spirit: The relationship between the EFCGA and the local churches shall be not only on the administrative matters, but also on the shepherding matters. The EFCGA shall be always concerned with the spiritual status of the local churches. This will avoid the situation of feeling helpless when facing a conflicting case, which will certainly cause a great loss and harm for the church, believers and ministers.
B7420 Fault and Violation
B7421 The Discipline Committee in the local church shall make best efforts to advise and guide the person in fault and violation to mend his/her way. [27/ 2012.2.24]
B7422 If the offender does not accept the guidance, the Discipline Committee shall report its finding to the Board of Elders. If the offender is a minister, the Committee shall report its finding to the Discipline Committee of Regional Assembly. If the dissuasion is not accepted, it shall be reported to the EB of GA for disciplinary actions. [27/ 2012.2.24]
B7423 Depending on the severity of the violation or fault, the disciplinary actions may include disallowing participation in Holy Communion, revoking church membership, suspension or termination of employment.
B7424 The disciplinary action requires a two-thirds valid vote to carry.
B7431 If the disciplined person wishes to appeal, he/she shall submit a written appeal and refutation to the Discipline Committee within two weeks.
B7432 The Discipline Committee shall reexamine the appeal within two weeks. A two-thirds valid vote is required to uphold the original disciplinary action or change to other mode of disciplinary action.
B7433 If it is finally reported to the GA, the final decision made by GA shall be accepted. [27/ 2012.2.24]
B7500 The Organization of the Discipline Committee. [27/ 2012.2.24]
B7510 The Church Discipline Committee: Senior Pastor, Chairperson, Vice Chairperson, and Secretary (if the offender is one of these committee members, he/ she shall be excluded). [27/ 2012.2.24]
B7520 The Regional Assembly Discipline Committee: Regional Pastor-in–Charge, Regional Chairperson, local church representatives (generally, it is the Chairperson of the Church Council). [27/ 2012.2.24]
B7530 The GA Discipline Committee: Secretary General, Pastor-in–Charge, Moderator, Secretary, and Director of Bylaw Department. [27/ 2012.2.24]
Bylaw Spirit: Bylaw is not the bible, nor an unamendable holy principle of faith; bylaw is established through the different situations of the history. It is a consensus of believers that the bylaw is to maintain order in doing things, and to keep a unity in the church. Therefore, when the historical situations change, the bylaw shall be appropriately amended to accommodate the timely need. Consequently, when the local church thinks it is necessary to amend the bylaw, the GA shall deal with the case according to the proper procedures, and present it to the General Assembly Meeting for resolution.
B8100 THE PROPOSING UNIT
B8110 The local church
B8111 The proposed bylaw amendment, petitioned and signed by two-fifths of the local church’s Active Members, shall be submitted to the Church Council for consideration.
B8112 The Church Council may submit its own proposal with a two-thirds valid vote.
B8120 All GA’s Departments
B8130 All GA’s subsidiary institutes.
B8210 Each proposing unit shall submit its written proposal to the GA Executive Board. The written proposal shall be first forwarded to the Department of Bylaws for thorough review before being recommended to the Executive Board for resolution.
B8220 After a thorough discussion, the Executive Board shall either pass or revise the proposed amendment with a two-thirds valid vote.
B8230 EFCGA Executive Board shall send the approved proposals to the local churches, before the end of year, to allow them time to discuss the proposals. The local churches may express their opinions of the proposals through their delegates in the biennial General Assembly Meeting.
B8240 By receiving a two-thirds valid vote of the General Assembly Meeting, the amendments shall become effective immediately.
B8300 Adoption Dates of Local Church Bylaw Amendments
B8310 The above Local Church Bylaw was first voted and approved on November 15th , 1972, by 36 Active Members of EFCLA, and took effect on February 1st, 1973.
B8320 The Local Church Bylaw was twice amended on January 15th, 1976 and January 21st, 1979, and was approved officially by the Congregational Meeting.
B8330 Following the establishment of the Evangelical Formosan Church General Assembly in October, 1982, new amendments of Bylaw were proposed by the Executive Board of the General Assembly, they were then forwarded to the local churches for review and confirmation before they were adopted in the General Assembly Meeting on January 21st , 1984. The amendments took effect on March 21st , 1984.
B8340 The Bylaw was amended again, and was approved by the Executive Board of the General Assembly on December 14th , 1991. After review by the local churches, the Bylaw was amended, confirmed, and passed on January 10th , 1992, by the EFC General Assembly Meeting. They took effect on February 11th , 1992. The Bylaw was partially amended on November 23rd, 1996 and January 30th, 1998.
EFC ELECTION RULES
Membership Meeting (Congregational Meeting)
C1100 When the Board of Elders decides to call a Congregational Meeting, it shall be posted publicly two weeks prior to the scheduled meeting, and it shall be also announced in Sunday Services during the two week period.
C1200 A list of eligible voting members shall be posted when the announcement is made. Any objection shall be submitted within 7 days of the announcement. Corrections shall be made by the Board of Elders.
C1300 Member who is at least 18 years old and is an Active Member with a registered membership for more than three months shall have the right to vote.
C1400 Those who are excused for being out of town for traveling or inevitably absent shall be deducted from the quorum. No absentee vote shall be accepted.
C1500 Members who are prohibited to partake the Holy Communion by the Board of Elders have no rights for voting nor candidacy.
C1600 Voting shall be conducted anonymously.
C1700 Ballots shall be kept for six months, to be prepared for inspection by GA.
C1800 The result of election shall be publicly posted for two weeks. Within this period, if there is any objection, reasons and evidences shall be submitted to the Board of Elders for clarification.
C1900 Elections that are discrepant with EFC Bylaws and these Election Rules shall be nullified.
NOTE: Above duties of the Board of Elders shall be carried by a Church Council or Council of Co-workers if no Board of Elders has been established in a church.
Election of Co-Workers (Non-Independent Church)
C2100 PRESIDER of the MEETING: A delegate appointed by its Founding Unit (General Assembly or Mother Church).
C2200 QUALIFICATION of CANDIDATE
C2210 According to Biblical teachings (I. Tim 3:8~13), he/she shall be of good reputation, faithfully involved in ministries of salvation and others.
C2220 He/she shall be a Member having been baptized for more than one year.
C2300 NOMINATION: For the first election, the nomination shall be made by the Founding Unit. The second election and thereafter, the nomination shall be made by the Council of Co-workers.
C2410 During the Developing Stage, the co-workers shall be appointed by the Founding Unit.
C2420 During the Organizing Stage, the co-workers shall be elected from and by their members.
C2430 Number of Co-workers shall be decided jointly by the Founding Unit and the Council of Co-workers.
C2440 To be elected, a candidate shall have a majority vote of the members present.
C2500 Term of Office:
C2510 Two years, may be re-elected consecutively.
C2520 The term of the elected Co-workers of the first election shall be decided by lot: one half of them shall serve two years, and the other half one year.
C2530 The Council of Co-workers shall be automatically dissolved after the Church advances to the Independent Stage.
Election of Elders、Deacons
C3100 PRESIDER: The Chairperson of Church Council shall preside the election. In case the Chairperson is a candidate, the order of succession to preside shall be the Vice Chairperson, the Secretary, and the Treasurer.
C3200 QUALIFICATION of CANDIDATE:
C3211 According to the Biblical teachings (I Peter 5:1~3, I Timothy 3:1~7, and Titus 1:5~9), he/she shall lead a life with purity and shall be well respected.
C3212 A candidate must have been (1) a deacon at least one term and an active member two years in this church, or (2) an elder or a deacon at other churches for more than three years and an active member for more than three years in this church. (if the other church was also an EFC church, two years shall be acceptable). [27/ 2012.2.24]
C3221 The candidate shall be a person of good reputation, faithfully involved in soul saving ministry and other ministries of the church, and a follower of the Biblical teachings such as I Timothy 3:8-13.
C3222 He/she shall be an active member of the church for more than a year, and shall have been baptized for more than two years.
C3310 Primary nomination will be initiated in the Church Council and must be approved by the Board of Elders. If the nominee is considered not suitable for the position, the Board of Elders shall appoint the Chairperson to talk to the nominee and advice him/her to give up the right to be a candidate if necessary. If he/she is not willing to give up the right to be a candidate, the Board of Elders shall dissolve the person’s right to be a candidate.
C3320 The chairperson of the Church Council shall contact each nominee. The pastor and the Chairperson of the Church Council shall check with his/her dedication and willingness to serve. The Church Council shall confirm the final list of nominees who have accepted the nomination. The final list of nominees must be posted two weeks prior to the election.
C3400 ELECTION DATE: the election shall be made by the first day of November each year.
C3510 The quorum shall be more than one half of all active members. Ballots must be counted during the meeting.
C3520 To be elected an elder must win two thirds of the votes, deacon one half.
C3530 If the number of elected fails to fill the seats, a second voting from the list of the remaining candidates may be conducted at the same meeting to meet an intended number.
C3540 If the second voting still cannot meet the intended number, no further voting shall be conducted. The Board of Elders or the Church Council shall decide within one month whether to hold another election or not.
C3600 TERM of OFFICE:
C3611 Three years, and may be re-elected for one consecutive term.
C3612 For the first Board of Elders: terms shall be determined by lot. Two-fifths for three years, another two fifths for 2 years and the remaining one fifths one year. (Two years or more is to be regarded as one term.)
C3621 Two years, and may be re-elected for two consecutive terms.
C3622 For the first council, terms must be determined by lot. One half shall serve two years the other one half one year. (Those who serve the one year-term may be re-elected for three consecutive terms.)
C3700 When there is a vacancy, the Board of Elders may decide to hold an election to fill it.
Election of Pastor-in-Charge and Vice Pastor-in-Charge of General Assembly
C4100 PRESIDER: Moderator of the General Assembly.
C4210 Current EFC Senior Pastors.
C4220 He/she shall have been pastoring EFC local churches full-time for more than five years after their ordinations. He/she shall have been a Regional Pastor-in-Charge for one term or more. [This additional requirement for Vice Pastor-in-Charge was adopted by the GA Executive Board through E-mail voting on 2011.12.17]
C4300 The Personnel Committee of General Assembly shall nominate at least 3 candidates from a list of qualified Senior Pastors to be elected as Pastor-in-Charge. The list of candidates shall be approved by the Executive Board before putting on ballot for the next General Assembly Meeting. The nomination shall be made in the last Executive Board Meeting (usually in the beginning of November) before the next General Assembly Meeting. [26-6/ 2011.11.4]
C4410 Quorum must be more than one half of General Assembly Meeting delegates. Election shall be conducted anonymously.
C4420 The person who receives a majority of the valid votes shall be the Pastor-in-Charge.
C4430 If none of the candidates has received a majority of valid votes, a second voting shall be conducted. The two candidates who received the most votes shall be the candidates of the second voting. Who receives more votes shall be the Pastor-in-Charge.
C4440 After the Pastor-in-Charge is elected, the GA Representatives (including both Lay and Ministerial Representatives) from each Grand District shall elect their Grand District Pastor-in-Charge (namely the GA’s Vice Pastor-in-Charge) from a list of qualified candidates from their own Grand District according to the rules of C4420 and C4430. [26-6/ 2011.11.4] [GA-EB adopted on 2011.12.17 through E-mail voting]
C4500 Term of office: Two years, and may be re-elected for one consecutive term.
Election of Board Directors
C5100 PRESIDER: Moderator of the General Assembly. If the Moderator is a candidate, the order of succession to preside shall be the Vice Moderator, the Secretary, and the Treasurer.
C5200 QUALIFICATION of CANDIDATES
C5210 His/her Christian life bears good witness and he/she is also well respected as an incumbent Elder or Deacon of EFC local churches, or co-worker of a Regional Assembly.
C5220 Lay believers with vision and burden for EFCGA ministry.
C5230 He/she shall have been an Elder or a Deacon for more than six years in the EFC , and also shall have been a Chairperson of a local Church Council or an EFCGA Executive Board member for at least one term. [25-5/ 2009.6.5]
C5240 [Deleted 25-6/ 2009.11.6]
C5310 The Personnel Committee of General Assembly is the Nomination Committee.
C5320 The EFC local churches shall submit their recommendations with brief resumes of the committed candidates to the Nomination Committee of General Assembly by the end of October prior to the year of General Assembly Meeting.
C5330 The Nomination Committee shall evaluate the recommended candidates in the last Executive Board Meeting prior to the year of the General Assembly Meeting.
C5340 The Nomination Committee may also select suitable persons as candidates from the General Assembly Meeting delegates.
C5350 The Nomination Committee shall nominate candidates equal to or more than the number of vacant positions of the Board of Directors in consideration of their gifts and the region of churches they represent.
C5360 The Nomination Committee shall notify the local churches and the nominees by December 22nd of the year prior to the next General Assembly Meeting.
C5410 Quorum shall be more than one half of all General Assembly Meeting delegates. Voting shall be conducted anonymously.
C5420 The Board Directors shall be elected in the order of the number of votes they received.
C5430 The elected Director shall not receive less than one half of the valid votes.
C5440 If the number of elected Directors is less than the intended number, a second voting from the list of the remaining candidates shall be conducted on the same day, until all positions are filled.
C5500 [Deleted 25-6/ 2009.11.6]
Election of Department Heads
C6100 PRESIDER: The Moderator of General Assembly. If the Moderator is a candidate, the order of succession to preside shall be the Vice Moderator, the Secretary, and the Treasurer.
C6200 QUALIFICATIONS of CANDIDATES:
C6210 All General Assembly Meeting delegates with good Christian livings.
C6220 With visions and burden for EFCGA ministry.
C6230 Ministers shall have served full-time for more than two years in EFC. Laymen shall have served as EFC Elders or Deacons for more than four years. Both types of candidates shall be the incumbent EFC Ministers, Elders or Deacons.
C6310 The Personnel Committee is the Nomination Committee.
C6320 EFC institutions and EFC local churches may submit their recommendations of committed candidates with their brief resumes and selected Departments of services to the Nomination Committee by the end of October the year prior to the next General Assembly Meeting.
C6330 The Nomination Committee shall evaluate recommended candidates in the last Executive Board Meeting prior to the year of the General Assembly Meeting.
C6340 The Nomination Committee may also select suitable persons as candidates from the General Assembly Meeting delegates.
C6350 The Heads of the Departments specifically assigned to the Board Directors shall be appointed from among themselves by the newly elected Board of Directors.
C6360 The Nomination Committee shall nominate one to three candidates for each Of the other remaining Departments.
C6370 The Nomination Committee shall notify the EFC local churches and nominees by December 22nd prior to the year of the next General Assembly Meeting.
C6410 Quorum shall be more than one half of all General Assembly Meeting delegates. Voting shall be conducted anonymously.
C6420 The following positions and Department Heads shall be assumed by the Board Directors: The Moderator, Vice Moderator, Secretary, Treasurer, and Departments of Bylaws, Benefits, Planning, EFC Foundation and others if needed in the future.
C6430 The elected Heads of Departments shall not receive less than one half of the valid votes.
C6440 If a second voting is needed, the candidates who received the top two votes from the first voting shall be the candidates of the second voting . Winner of the two shall be the elected.
C6500 TERM of OFFICE:
C6510 The term of Moderator, Vice Moderator, Secretary, Treasurer is all two years and Each may be re-elected for one consecutive term.
C6520 The term of the Department Head assumed by the Board Director is two years and may be re-elected for one consecutive term. [25-6/ 2009.11.6]
C6530 The term of the Head of Department not assumed by the Board Director is two years and may be re-elected for two consecutive terms.
Election of EFCGA Moderator and Vice Moderator
C7100 PRESIDER: The Moderator of General Assembly. If the Moderator is a candidate, the order of succession to preside shall be the Vice Moderator, the Secretary, and the Treasurer.
C7200 QUALIFICATIONS of CANDIDATES:
C7210 He/she shall be the incumbent Elders or Deacons of EFC local churches, and his/her Christian life shall bear good witness and shall be well respected.
C7220 He/she shall be lay Christians with vision and burden for EFCGA ministry.
C7230 He/she shall have been an Elder or Deacon of EFC for more than six years, and he/she shall be an incumbent Elder or Deacon of EFC. He/she also shall have been a Chairperson of an EFC local Church Council or an EFCGA Executive Board member at least for one term.
C7240 He/she shall be a Lay Delegate to the General Assembly Meeting.
C7310 The Personnel Committee of General Assembly is the Nomination Committee.
C7320 The EFC local churches shall submit their recommendations with brief resumes of the committed candidates to the Nomination Committee of General Assembly by the end of October the year prior to the next General Assembly Meeting.
C7330 The Nomination Committee shall evaluate the recommended candidates from EFC local churches in the last Executive Board Meeting prior to the year of the General Assembly Meeting.
C7340 The Nomination Committee may also select suitable persons as candidates from the General Assembly Meeting delegates (who has met the qualifications of being a Board Director).
C7350 The Nomination Committee shall nominate at least three candidates from the list of Board Director nominees who shall have qualified background and willingness to be the candidates for Moderator and Vice Moderator. The list of nominees shall then be submitted to the Executive Board for approval to be put on ballot in the next General Assembly Meeting. The candidates for Moderator and Vice Moderator shall be first elected as Board Directors in the General Assembly Meeting before their candidacy becomes official. [26-6/ 2011.11.4]
C7410 Quorum shall be more than one half of all General Assembly Meeting delegates. Voting shall be conducted anonymously.
C7420 He/she receives a majority of the valid votes shall be the elected Moderator.
C7430 If none of the candidates has received a majority of valid votes, a second voting shall be conducted. The candidates who received the top two votes shall be the candidates of the second voting. Winner of the two shall be the elected Moderator.
C7440 After the Moderator is elected, the Vice Moderator shall be elected from the remaining four candidates according to the rules of C7420 and C7430.
C7500 TERM: each term is two years and may be re-elected for one consecutive term.
Explanations of Election Voting Procedures [ 27- 4 / 2013.2.23]
C8100 “Election” General Rules.
C8110 The Presiding officer for the “Election” shall be the Chairperson of the Church Council. If the Chairperson cannot preside the election because of absence or need of avoidance due to his/her own candidacy, then the order of succession to preside shall be Vice Chairperson and Secretary.
C8120 The “ballots” shall be authorized by the Church Council, and they shall be properly printed before the election.
C8130 “Election” shall be performed with an “anonymous” voting.
C8200 “Prayer” and “Full explanation of Voting Procedures” before voting:
C8210 The Senior Pastor (if there is no Senior Pastor, then the order of succession is the Acting Senior Pastor and the Resident Pastor or Minister) shall lead the prayer to start the Election.
C8220 The “Election Presiding Officer” shall give a full explanation of the “Voting Procedures” for the election.
C8221 Procedures for marking the ballot:
C8221-1 “Election with more candidates than positions available” (other than the GA biennial meeting, the EFC local churches usually do not use this format): It shall be clarified “how many candidates may be marked” in each ballot. If more candidates are marked than the number allowed, then the vote is considered “Invalid”; if there is no marking on any candidate, then the vote is considered “Abstention”.
C8221-2 “Election with candidates equal to positions available” (EFC local churches mostly use this format): There are two choices marked as “Agree” and “Disagree” for every candidate on the ballot. Only one choice can be marked for any candidate. If both choices are not marked for any candidate, then the vote for that candidate is considered “Abstention”; if both choices are marked for any candidate, then the vote for that candidate is considered “Invalid”.
C8222 Both the invalid ballot and the abstention ballot are not considered effective votes, they shall not be counted.
C8223 The counting of the “Total effective votes”:
C8223-1 “Election with more candidates than positions available”: “Total effective votes” = “Total ballots collected” – “Total abstention ballots” – “Total invalid ballots” (Remark: The total number of effective votes for every candidate is same.)
C8223-2 “Election with candidates equal to positions available”: “Total effective votes” for every candidate = The sum of his/her “total agree ballots” and “total disagree ballots”. (Remark: The total number of effective votes for every candidate may be different.)
C8224 The calculation of the “Voting Ratio” for “every candidate”:
C8224-1 “Election with more candidates than positions available”: The “Voting Ratio” for every “candidate” = His/her “total ballots obtained” divided by the common “Total effective votes”.
C8224-2 “Election with candidates equal to positions available”: The “Voting Ratio” for every “candidate” = His/her “total agree votes” divided by his/her own “Total effective votes”.
C8225 The “Voting Ratio” needed to be elected:
C8225-1 The “Voting Ratio” needed to be elected as an “Elder” shall reach two thirds of the “Total effective votes”.
C8225-2 The “Voting Ratio” needed to be elected as a “Deacon” shall exceed one half of the “Total effective votes”.
C8300 “Person opening ballots” (If there is no special request, no reading of the ballots to the public necessary.) and the “Person counting ballots” shall conduct the business openly and accurately. The number and persons for the positions of “Person opening ballots” and “Person counting ballots” shall be decided by “Raising Hands” voting during the “Congregation Meeting”. No “candidate” nor his/her relatives shall be the “Person opening ballots” and “Person counting ballots”. The results of voting shall be announced immediately during the meeting, and the results shall also be posted on the church’s bulletin board for 10 working days.
C8400 The keeping of the ballots after the conclusion of ballot counting:
C8410 The results of voting shall be kept in the “Congregational Meeting” minutes.
C8420 All ballots shall be accurately counted and saved in a sealed envelope immediately during the meeting. Both “Person opening ballots” and “Person counting ballots” shall sign on the seal of the “sealed envelope”.
C8430 The “sealed envelope” shall be kept by the Secretary of the Church Council for “an effective period of 6 months”.
C8500 Procedures for demanding a “ballot recount”:
C8510 Any “candidate” may file a “written request with legitimate reasons” to the “Secretary” of the Church Council for a “ballot recount” within the 10 working days posting period of the voting results on the church’s bulletin board.
C8520 The “Secretary” shall forward the “request for ballot recount” to the Chairperson of the Church Council for calling a “Church Council Meeting” (the person made the request shall be excused from attending the meeting) to resolve the request and carry out the resolution. If the “sealed envelope” is opened during the “ballot recount”, the envelope shall be sealed again after the recount, and it shall be signed again by the “Person opening ballots” and “Person counting ballots”.
C8530 The “Secretary” shall notify the “person made the request of a ballot recount” with the result of recount within “a month” after receiving the request.
C8600 Procedures for making an “appeal” to the result of ballot recount:
C8610 If the “person made the request for the ballot recount” does not agree with the result of first ballot recount, he/she may make a final appeal to his/her Regional Assembly within 5 working days of receiving the first recount result.
C8620 The Regional Assembly shall resolve the second request for the “ballot recount” and respond to the person who made the request within 10 working days after receiving his/her “appeal”.
C8630 The resolution on the appeal for “ballot recount” made by the “Regional Assembly” is considered as a final result, the “person made the request for ballot recount” shall submit to the result.
C8640 The opened “sealed envelope” shall be sealed again and signed by the “Person opening ballots” and “Person counting ballots” again.
Regulations of EFC Ministerial Association
Appointment of Ministers
D1110 Ministers for the non-Independent Churches shall be appointed by the Personnel Committee of General Assembly in coordination with the local churches. The terms of ministers are specified in the “EFC REGULATIONS ON APPOINTMENT OF REPLACEMENT IN THE ABSENCE OF SENIOR PASTOR”. The terms can be renewed if needed. EFCGA Pastor-in-Charge shall coordinate with the local church to assign a Supervising Pastor to assist with ministries of a non-Independent church. The term shall be one year which can be renewed if needed. (Ref. “EFC REGULATIONS ON APPOINTMENT OF REPLACEMENT IN THE ABSENCE OF SENIOR PASTOR”)
D1120 The appointment of a Senior Pastor or other full-time ministers of an Independent church shall conform to procedures stated in Chapter 6 of EFC Local Church Bylaws. (Ref. B6300 – B6454)
D1130 An Independent church without a pastor may apply to the Personnel Committee of General Assembly for a temporary substitute minister and a Supervising Pastor. The Personnel Committee of General Assembly may assign ministers according to “EFC REGULATIONS ON APPOINTMENT OF REPLACEMENT IN THE ABSENCE OF SENIOR PASTOR”. The church may re-apply when the term ends if necessary. If the church decides to fill the position, the procedure shall conform to D1120.
D1200 Referring to EFC Local Church By-law B6320 for issues concerning the supervision of voting on the appointment of pastor.
D1300 The GA delegate who monitored the voting shall report the result to the General Assembly.
D1400 After having affirmative votes, the Board of Elders shall submit an appointment letter to the General Assembly for signature. The Chairperson of the Board of Elders shall present the signed appointment letter to the pastor as an official appointment.
D1500 Referring to D1120 for renewal of pastor appointment.
Qualification for EFC Ministers
D2110 He/she has a degree of Master of Divinity (M. Div.) obtained at seminaries recognized by the EFC General Assembly.
D2120 He/she has a degree of Master of Christian Studies (M.C.S.) or its equivalent degree obtained at seminaries recognized by the EFC General Assembly.
D2130 He/she does not have any of the above mentioned degrees, but with at least five years of pastoral experience as an ordained Pastor by other church and two years of Delegated Minister/Pastor or full-time Pastor in EFC.
D2140 The ministers who are not graduates of the Logos Evangelical Seminary shall complete the required “Understanding EFC” course (regarding EFC System, Bylaws, Philosophy of Pastoral Ministry, Statement of Faith, and Church Planting, etc.) given by EFC General Assembly before submitting the applications for the EFC Ministerial Association Memberships. Correspondence course, instead of in-class course, may be accepted when available.
D2200 FAITH: He/she shall be willing to accept the EFC Statement of Faith, EFCGA Constitution, and EFC Local Church Bylaws.
D2300 CALLING: He/she shall be sure of being born again in Christ and of the calling from God; he/she shall have pure and correct perception of faith, and a strong commitment to serve God.
D2400 EFC Pastors-In-Charge and Secretary Generals automatically become the Associate Members of the EFC Ministerial Association, after they have retired from the EFC Institutes. [29-4/ 2017.2.11]
D2410 EFC Senior Pastors, Pastors-in-Charge, and Secretary Generals may be invited to be the Supervising Pastors of EFC local churches after they have retired from their positions. [29-4/ 2017.2.11]
Regulations of Ordination of EFC Pastors
D3100 QUALIFICATIONS of APPLICANTS: Applicants shall fulfill one of the following requirements:
D3110 Those who have at least two years full-time pastoral related experience after acquiring a M. Div. Degree, one year of which shall be with EFC; who have also completed the required course of “Understanding EFC” (regarding EFC System, Bylaws, Philosophy of Pastoral Ministry, Statement of Faith, and Church Planting, etc.).
D3120 Those who have at least one year full-time pastoral related experience after acquiring a M.C.S. or an equivalent degree, and have also served in EFC for over a year after acquiring a M. Div. Degree. [26-4/ 2011.2.25]
D3130 Those who have at least five years full-time pastoral related experience after acquiring a M.C.S. or equivalent degree and, one of which shall be with EFC. (This revision takes effect on Jan. 1, 2009. Those who have been serving in EFC churches on or before Dec. 31, 2008 may apply the “three years pastoral related experience” regulation before this revision.) [25-3/ 2008.11.7]
D3140 If the applicant’s qualification does not meet the above requirements of D3110, D3120, and D3130, he/she may be submitted by the EFCGA to a「Special Review Committee」for review after an initial screening by EFCGA. The result of review shall then be presented to the Personnel Committee for further review. The 「Special Review Committee」shall comprise the incumbent Pastor-in-Charge, Moderator, Secretary General, President of Logos Evangelical Seminary, President of Global Enrichment Theological Seminary, and two Senior Pastors, a total of seven Pastors and Elders. [25-3/ 2008.11.7]
D3200 APPLICATION PROCEDURE: [25-5/ 2009.6.5]
D3210 The Church Council of the local church may submit their application to EFCGA in accordance with the 「EFC Procedure for Pastoral Ordination Application」. The application shall not be submitted earlier than three months before the completion of the required time period of pastoring experience. EFC will post four periods in a year for accepting applications. All applicants shall complete the submission of all required documents before the deadline. [25-5/ 2009.6.5]
D3220 The EFCGA shall conduct its initial screening of the qualification and documents of the applicants, and then forward the applications within two weeks to the Regional Assemblies where the applicants belong. The Pastor-in-Charge of the Regional Assembly shall invite three Senior Pastors within the Region to form a 「Review Committee」, and complete the review within two months. [25-5/ 2009.6.5]
D3230 If the number of Senior Pastors in a Region is less than three and is thus inadequate to form a 「Review Committee」, then the Secretary General of EFCGA shall invite three Senior Pastors to form the 「Review Committee」 and complete the review within two months. [25-5/ 2009.6.5]
D3300 REVIEW PROCEDURE:
D3310 When the review is completed, the 「Review Committee」 shall fill in the 「Personnel Review Committee Member Report Form」 and mail the result back to EFCGA. The EFCGA shall forward all pertinent documents to the 「Personnel Committee」 of EFCGA for a final review. [25-5/ 2009.6.5]
D3320 The Moderator shall call the Meeting of Personnel Committee of EFCGA to verify the review results. The results shall be reported to the Executive Board within a month. [25-5/ 2009.6.5]
D3330 The EFCGA shall reply to the applicants and their Regions the results of the reviews within three months of the date the applications were received. [25-5/ 2009.6.5]
D3340 The EFCGA (Pastor-In-Charge, or authorizing Secretary General to do) shall coordinate a date for the ordination service with the applicant’s Church and Region; and convene a 「Ordination Council」to administer the ordination. [28-6/ 2015.12.03]
D3400 The date of Ordination Service shall be scheduled beyond the date of completion of the years of pastoral service requirement. [25-5/ 2009.6.5]
D3500 To be qualified for applying ordination, the church he/she serves must be an Independent stage church. [25-6/ 2009.11.6]
Organization Regulations of EFC Ministerial Association
D4100 All full-time ministers serving in EFC churches or institutes may apply to the EFCMA for EFCMA memberships. The application procedure shall be in accordance with the「EFC Procedure for Ministerial Association Membership Application」. [26-4/ 2011.02.25]
D4110 There are two categories of membership for the Ministerial Association: Full and Associate Members. Those who possess the following qualifications are Full Members, others Associate Members. [25-5/ 2009.06.05]
D4111 Those who serve full-time as ministers/pastors in EFC churches. [25-5/ 2009.06.05]
D4112 Those who serve as Presidents of EFC institutes. [25-5/ 2009.06.05]
D4120 The application for either category (Full or Associate membership) requires the official recommendation of the church or institute.
D4130 The Associate Members shall have no rights to vote and to be voted for.
D4140 Ministers with other backgrounds, such as ministers of Gospel Stations, Delegated Pastors/Ministers, or Missionaries designated by the GA, etc., their applications shall be handled case by case as needed. [25-6/ 2009.11.6]
D4150 Benefits of ministers shall be processed in accordance with the regulations. [25-5/ 2009.6.5]
D4160 If a minister resigned from EFC church or institute wants to join EFC again, he/she shall have to apply for the EFCMA membership again.
D4170 Ministers honorably retired from EFC churches automatically become Associate Members of the EFC Ministerial Association.
D4171 Pastors who have held positions as EFCGA Pastor-in-Charge or Secretary General in the past, and also have retired from EFC Institutes or local churches, may apply to the EFCGA Personnel Committee for obtaining the Associate Members of the EFC Ministerial Association, if the Pastors so desire. [28-6/2015.12.3]
D4180 Those who have already been serving as ministers in EFC churches but yet to fulfill the EFC ministerial education requirements may be temporarily accepted as Associate Members to take part in activities of the Association. When they complete all the EFCMA requirements, then they may be formally reviewed and approved for Full Members. [25-4/ 2009.2.20]
D4200 DUTIES of EFCMA
D4210 To perform the projects assigned by the EFCGA Executive Board.
D4220 To coordinate the various ministries of ministers in EFC local churches.
D4230 To organize a committee, per request of the EFCGA Personnel Committee, to review and recommend new full-time ministers; to review applications for EFCMA membership.
D4240 To organize a committee to review the qualifications of ministers who are applying for ordination.
D4250 To assist ministers on their pastoral studies, devotion and fellowship.
D4260 To coordinate with the EFCGA and Pastor-in-Charge in implementing the annual mission goal.
D4300 The EFCGA’s MA shall institute its Regional MA’s to facilitate its ministry.
D4310 The Regional MA shall be composed of all incumbent EFC full-time ministers in the Region.
D4320 The Regional MA’s officers shall include a Chairperson, a Secretary, and a Treasurer. The term for each position is two-year, and may be re-elected consecutively. The Regional Pastor-in-Charge shall be the Chairperson, while the Secretary and the Treasurer shall be elected by and from the members of the Regional MA. [28-6/ 2015.12.03]
D4330 The Regional MA shall prepare the annual budget for their ministries and present it to the Chairperson of EFCGA’s MA (the EFCGA Pastor-in-Charge).
D4340 The Regional MA Chairperson (Regional Pastor-in-Charge) shall keep a close business contact with the EFCGA’s MA Chairperson (EFCGA Pastor-in-Charge)
in order to coordinate and implement the ministries commissioned by the EFCGA’s MA; to report regularly of the Regional MA’s plans of ministries to the Chairperson of the EFCGA’s MA (EFCGA Pastor-in-Charge).
D4400 The EFCGA’s MA officers shall include a Chairperson and several Vice Chairperson. The position of the Chairperson shall be assumed by the EFCGA Pastor-in-Charge, and the Vice Chairperson the Vice Pastor-in-Charge. Their terms shall coincide with those of the Pastor-in-Charge and Vice Pastor-in-Charge. [28-6/ 2015.12.03]
D4500 Duties of EFCGA’s MA Chairperson and Vice Chairpersons:
D4510 A joint EFC-MA meeting shall be called in coordinating with every Biennial EFC General Assembly Meetings; to take charge of the coordination and implementation of various duties of the EFCMA. [28-6/ 2015.12.03]
D4520 To be a representative of EFCMA (or appointing a delegate) to attend the EFCGA related meetings.
D4530 The Vice Chairpersons shall assist the Chairperson with the implementation of the EFCMA business, and the Executive Board shall elect a most suitable replacement from the Vice Chairpersons to assume the Chairperson’s duty in his/her absence. [28-6/ 2015.12.03]
D4600 The Chairperson of the EFCGA’s MA shall collect all annual budgets from the Regional MA’s and prepare a combined total EFCMA’s budget. The total EFCMA’s budget shall be submitted to the EFCGA to be accepted into the EFCGA’s total annual budget.
D4700 Amendments may be made by the Bylaw Department or by any Regional MA. The amendment proposed by any Regional MA shall be presented to the Bylaw Department through Vice Pastor-in-Charge and Pastor-in-Charge for review and comment; then it will be submitted to the Executive Board for approval. Amendments shall take effect immediately thereafter. [28-6/ 2015.12.03]
- To effectively achieve the Great Mission commended by our Lord through the EFC Regional Assembly’s full cooperation, joint planning, resource sharing and mutual encouragement.
- To develop and execute the goals and strategies of the regional mission work.
- To seek co-workers, train co-workers and delegate co-workers to spread gospel and plant churches with a team spirit.
- To coordinate the regional mission activities.
- To plan regional revival, evangelic, and training meetings.
- To establish a good relationship in regional resource sharing and mobilization.
- To prepare and audit the Regional Assembly’s annual budget and financial report.
- To raise fund for the Regional Assembly’s budget plan.
- To review and improve the Regional Assembly’s function.
- The Regional Assembly consist of “ex officio” members and “selected” members.
- The Regional Assembly shall establish the five basic positions of Regional Pastor-in-Charge, Regional Chairperson, Regional Secretary, Regional Treasurer and Regional Mission Director. Other positions can be established as needed.
- The basic organizational structure of the Regional Assembly
- Meeting: The Regional Assembly Meeting shall be held at least twice a year ( The meeting can be conducted by “telephone conference” to minimize the expenses ). The meeting shall be called by the Regional Chairperson in coordination with the Regional Pastor-in-Charge.
A. “Ex Officio” members: Referring to the regional churches’ Senior Pastors ( in the absence of a Senior Pastor, the pastor or minister in charge of the church may represent the church), Chairpersons of the Church Councils ( or the Chairpersons of the Co-Workers Committee) and the EFCGA’s Board Directors residing in the subject Region. The terms of these members end with the terms of their respective positions in their local churches or the EFCGA.
B. “Selected” members: In order to maintain the stability and continuity of the operation of a Regional Assembly, the Regional Assembly shall select 3 to 5 senior elders or deacons from their regional churches to be their members. It is preferred that these selected members are not the incumbent elders or deacons of the regional churches. These selected members shall have served as an elder or deacon at least one term in one of the EFC local churches and they are still faithfully and enthusiastically serving the churches. Those with gifts of spiritual leadership shall be considered for nomination first. The term of these members is two (2) years, they can be reselected consecutively twice. C. The regional churches do not include the gospel stations, however, the gospel stations are welcome to send representatives to the Regional Assembly meeting as observers. D. The Regional Assemblies shall complete the processes of determining their new year’s constituting members and report them to the EFCGA by December 10 of each year.
A. Regional Pastor-in-Charge: To be elected from the regional churches’ Senior Pastors. In the absence of the Senior Pastor, the EFCGA in coordinating with the Regional Assembly will assign an appropriate pastor or minister to hold the position. The term is one (1) year, he/she can be re-elected consecutively. The Regional Pastor-in-Charge is responsible for leading the Regional pastoral work and mission activities. The Regional Pastor-in-Charge is also the Ex Officio Chairperson of the Regional Ministerial Association.
B. Regional Chairperson: To be elected from the “lay” members. The term is one (1) year, he/she can be re-elected consecutively. The Chairperson is responsible for calling the Regional Assembly meetings, coordinating the administrative work, conducting Regional Assembly meetings and promoting the Regional mission ministry with the Regional Pastor-in-Charge.
C. Regional Secretary: To be elected from the “lay” members. The term is one (1) year, he/she can be re-elected consecutively. The Secretary is responsible for taking the minutes of the Regional meeting, the safekeeping and dealing of the Regional business documents. In the absence of the Regional Chairperson, he/she substitutes the Regional Chairperson in conducting the Regional meeting.
D. Regional Treasurer: To be elected from the “lay” members. The term is one (1) year, he/she can be re-elected consecutively. The Regional Treasurer is responsible for managing the Regional budget and financial matters. E. Regional Mission Director: To be elected from the “clergyman” or the “lay” members. The term is one (1) year, he/she can be re-elected consecutively. The Regional Mission Director is responsible for carrying out the mission projects approved by the Regional Assembly meetings.
- Central Region of Southern California
- East Region of Southern California
- Southwest Region of Southern California
- US Central Region
- US East Region
- US South Region
- New Zealand Region
- Australia Region
- North Taiwan Region ( including the area north to Tzou Shui River and the Hua Lien area )
- South Taiwan Region ( including the area south to Tzou Shui River and the Tai Tung area )
- Any rules or regulations enacted by the Regional Assembly in conflict with the EFCGA’s Constitution, Bylaws, Rules or Regulations will be considered invalid.
- The Regional Assembly may enact their own enforcement details for this 「Regional Assembly Regulations」 to accommodate their regional specific needs and characteristics. However, the regionally enacted enforcement details must be approved by the EFCGA’s Executive Board for their validity.
- Any amendments of the Regional Assembly’s enforcement details must be approved by the EFCGA’s Executive Board for their validity.
- Supervising Pastor
- Acting Senior Pastor
- Resident Pastor In the absence of a Senior Pastor, the GA Personnel Committee may coordinate with the local church to assign a qualified EFC minister as their Resident Pastor ( ordained pastors) or a Resident Minister (yet to be ordained) to take charge of the ministry. The assignment shall be in respect of the disposition of the local church. The term of a Resident Pastor or a Resident Minister is two years, and renewable. The responsibilities of a Resident Pastor or a Resident Minister end automatically on the day a new Senior Pastor is installed. A Resident Pastor and/or Minister shall cooperate fully with the Supervising Pastor assigned by the GA Pastor-in-Charge, to work under the supervision, so that the ministry of the church can grow and prosper smoothly.
- Delegated Pastor
In the absence of a Senior Pastor and an Acting Senior Pastor, the Pastor-in-Charge in coordination with Secretary General and the Regional Pastor-in-Charge of the local church shall assign a Supervising Pastor to assist Church Council Meeting, Pastor Search Committee, communion and baptism, and other church ministry, as well as arrangement of the pulpit and Sunday School faculty. A Supervising Pastor shall be a full-time EFC ordained pastor, whose assignment shall be in respect of the disposition of the local church. An independent church may submit their own candidate to be approved by the Pastor-in-Charge of the General Assembly. A pre-independent church may require the coordination of the Head of Mission and Church Planting to assign a Supervising Pastor, in order to be approved by the local church and Pastor-in-Charge of GA. The term of a Supervising Pastor is one year, and renewable. The responsibilities of a Supervising Pastor end automatically on the day a new Senior Pastor is installed.
In the absence of a Senior Pastor, the Church Council may elect a full-time ordained pastor of their church to be an Acting Senior Pastor, and to file a report to the GA Personnel Committee. Duties of an Acting Senior Pastor are same as those of a Senior Pastor. The term of an Acting Senior Pastor is one year, and renewable. The responsibilities of an Acting Senior Pastor end automatically on the day a new Senior Pastor is installed.
In the absence of a Senior Pastor, the GA Personnel Committee may coordinate with the local church to assign a Delegated Pastor to take charge of the ministry. A Delegated Pastor must be an ordained pastor well experienced in pastoring, who also identifies himself with the EFC Spirits, and is willing to observe EFC regulations. The term of a Delegated Pastor is one year, and renewable. The responsibilities of a Delegated Pastor end automatically on the day a new Senior Pastor or a Resident Pastor (Minister) is installed. A Delegated Pastor shall cooperate fully with the Supervising Pastor assigned by the GA Pastor-in-Charge, to work under the supervision, so that the ministry of the church can grow and prosper smoothly. （Note: Regulations of the Delegated Pastor may also apply to the Delegated Minister）
This Personnel Benefits Policy is for employees of EFC churches in the United Sates. For regions outside of the U.S., adjustments need to be made to accommodate local needs.
- Employees of church/ organizations who have worked for a full year but less than five years shall receive ten working days for vacation every year.
- Employees who have served for five years, but less than ten years, may take fifteen working days for vacation every year.
- Employees who have served for ten years or longer may accumulate one extra working day for vacation for every year of service beyond ten years, but shall not exceed taking twenty working days for vacation per year.
- One must have served one full year prior to utilizing vacation time.
- Full honorarium and benefits remain in effect during vacation time.
- Vacation accumulated from the previous year is better to be used up in the current year. Any unused vacation time must be used up by the end of next year.
- Vacation time shall be accumulated from the first day of work and shall not be affected by transfers within the EFC churches/organizations. Should employment be interrupted, vacation time shall start over.
- Should employment transfers occur, the accumulated vacation needs to be used up before transferring to the new EFC church or organization. However, for the case of employment termination or retirement, the unused vacation may be compensated in salary at the rate of one-thirtieth ( 1/30 ) of the current salary ( without the fringe benefits ) for each vacation day.
- Non full-time employees (those who work more than 20 hours per week, but less than 40 hours a week) shall have their vacation days calculated weekly and be pro rated against full-time employees’ hours.
- For example, vacation time for the 32 hours for the first week of work is calculated as follows: (32/40) x (10/52) x 8 = 1.23 hours
- Seven legal holidays are recognized for the year:
- Should a legal holiday occur on a Saturday, Sunday or on a traditional holiday ( such as : full-time pastors and ministers’ regular time-off on Mondays ), another day may be designated as a legal holiday and the date must first be approved by the church or organization.
a. New Year’s Day
b. Memorial Day
c. Independence Day
d. Labor Day
a. Thanksgiving Day
e. The day after Thanksgiving
f. Christmas Day
- Three-fourth of one day (six hours) may be accumulated every month, for up to a maximum of nine days in a year for sick leave. Unused sick leave may be accumulated for up to 60 working days. Unused sick leave may not be compensated in salary.
- Sick leave may be used to care for full-time employee’s spouse, children and parents. Sick leave may also be used to take care of personal emergency matter with the approval of supervisor.
- The secretary of church or organization is responsible for recording sick leave and vacation.
Full-time employee shall have three working days of bereavement leave per death in the family in the local area, five working days for out-of-area and seven working days for out of the country. Family includes spouse, children, parents, grandparents, siblings and parents-in-law.
Policy is currently not in place.
- Sabbatical Leave — Only for Full-Time pastors and ministers(The Seminary may make adjustments according to need).
Sabbatical Leave may be categorized into two kinds: 1. Short-Term sabbatical leave 2. Leave of Absence
- Short-Term Sabbatical Leave
- Leave of Absence
(1) EFC church/organization pastors and ministers who have served for more than one year may request an approval, with a study plan, from the church/organization for up to two weeks of sabbatical leave annually.
(2) Unused sabbatical leave may be carried over into the next year (not to exceed four weeks in a year).
(3) Sabbatical leave may not be used as a vacation.
(1) Pastors and ministers who have served for more than ten years may request a temporarily leave of absence to pursue an advanced degree program, a special study , book writing or mission work. Time is limited to one-half of one year, but may be extended by one’s church /organization.
(2) Leave of absence requests should be submitted at least six months in advance. Details of one’s work to be done during such a leave should be clearly addressed on the application and must be approved by the church/organization board.
(3) In the event of transfer within EFC church/organization, one must have served at least three years in the new church/organization in order to apply. If the three years of service at the new church/organization and the years at a previous church/organization exceed ten years of service, then the surplus years may be carried over to the next set of ten years. Two leaves may not be requested within a five year period.
(4) During one’s leave of absence, full honorarium and medical and dental insurances shall be paid for by the employee’s church/organization. Should subsidies come from outside sources, half of such subsidies shall be given to the church/organization.
(5) After one’s leave of absence, the said pastor or minister has an obligation to serve for at least one year at the church/organization. Otherwise, the said pastor or minister shall reimburse half of the monies received during his/her leave.
- Full-time pastors/ministers or employees who receive 1099 or W2’s but do not have 7.65% SSI paid, the respective church/organization shall make contributions of 10% of their monthly honorariums/salaries to the GA. Those who receive W2’s with 7.65% SSI paid, the respective church/organization shall make contributions of 2.35% of their monthly honorariums/salaries to the GA.
- For new churches founded by the GA, or full-time missionaries sent by the GA, the above contributions at an appropriate rate shall be made by the Mission and Church Planting Department until churches become independent or missions accomplished.
- For new churches founded by local churches, or full-time missionaries sent by local churches, the said local church shall make the above appropriate contributions until churches become independent or missions accomplished.
- The GA shall put the collected amount of contributions from each church/organization for their employees into each employee’s 401K account. The retirement benefits policies for full-time employees outside of the U.S. area shall be made separately according to their local regulations.
- 401K benefits for employees within the U.S.
(1). Qualification: Full-time employees who are at least age 21 and work more than 1,000 hours per year.
(2). Enrollment Date: May enroll or make any change every 1/1, 4/1, 7/1, 10/1. May terminate any time.
(3). Personal Savings: Set by IRS
(4). Church/Organization Payments: For pastors/ministers who use 1099 or W2 Forms without the 7.65% SSI paid by their church/organization, pay 10% of their honorariums/salaries. For employees and those who use W2 Form with the 7.65% SSI paid by their church/organization, pay 2.35% of their honorariums/salaries.
(5). Ownership: One owns 100% of one’s and Church/Organization’s contributions. (Amended on 3/13/2004)
(6). Loans: One may borrow 50% against one’s account, (minimum $1,000, maximum $50,000). One loan per year, not more than two items. Interest is calculated at Prime Rate + 1%. Loans shall not exceed five years (monies must be paid back into one’s own original account within five years).
(7). Withdrawals: You may withdraw funds in the event of termination of employment, retirement, death, or permanent disability. Withdrawals that are not rolled over into an IRA or another plan may have penalty and tax to be paid.
(8). Investment Choices: One is free to invest in any desired form or product. Losses and gains are personal responsibility.
(9). Reports: Investment companies provide investment reports quarterly.
- Full-time pastors/ministers and employees’ spouses residing in the US and unmarried children may enjoy medical and dental insurance benefits. Unmarried children may buy into the insurance according to the age limit set by the insurance company. If one’s spouse’s work offers insurance coverage, then a monthly $200 medical supplement may be requested from one’s church/organization (Approved by the 2nd Executive Board Meeting in 2006)
- Medical insurance selection guidelines should be decided by local church/organization.
- Typical Reimbursements: such as phone, equipment, public relations performed for church/organization purposes.
- If regarded as necessary, the church/organization may provide a vehicle for their senior pastor or their organization’s executive to use. Car insurance, maintenance and repairs shall be paid by the church/organization regardless whether the vehicle was bought under one’s name or under the church/organization’s name. Transportation subsidies for other full-time pastors/ministers may be decided by local churches/organizations and or use IRS’ mileage reimbursement rate.
- When participating in events sponsored by the GA, the expenses associated with the minister and spouse, should be paid by the local church/organization. Local church/organization sponsored events should also follow these guidelines, but subsidies from the GA shall not be sought.
- To enroll for courses at the seminary, the local church shall fully pay the fee for one course a year. Fees for more than one course a year shall be subsidized in half and the other half paid by oneself ( the church may announce such needs and receive offerings from members who share the same burden). Approval for the senior pastor is needed from the church council and approval for other full-time pastors/minister’s is needed from the senior pastor and church council. Not to exceed three courses per year.
Amendment of this policy is to be drafted by the Benefits Department and approved by the Executive Board.
Explanation: This policy pertains to sending full-time EFC missionaries.
- Same qualification as the General Assembly ministers.
- Certainty of God’s calling and confirmed by the co-workers.
Chosen by the General Assembly, one term consists of two years. The term may be renewed. Employment letter will be given by the General Assembly. He/she has to be (1). A cross- cultural missionary or (2). Out of where he/she has been residing for a long-term. (In other words, he/she shall leave the place where he/she has received a citizenship.)
- Missionary Who Serves inside the EFC Churches a. For every year the missionary served he/she can have three weeks of furlough. The time spent on furlough must include his/her participation in the Annual General Assembly Meeting.
- Missionary Who Serves outside the EFC Churches He/she may retain his/her status as an EFC minister and become an Associate Member of the Ministerial Association. However, he/she shall receive no EFC monetary support. He/she may pay his/her own way to attend the Annual General Assembly Meeting as an observer. The EFC minister may send in an application to the General Assembly Mission Department. Once approved by the Personnel Department, he/she will be employed for a two-year term. The term may be renewed. The General Assembly shall issue an appointment certificate.
b. His/her Social Security or Pension can be transferred through the General Assembly.
c. The General Assembly will pass on the honorarium given by the local church to the missionary. The amount of the honorarium will be decided by the agreement between the General Assembly and the local churches.
- Same as that of the EFC minister termination policies.
- Any missionary who becomes a Senior Pastor in the local EFC church shall automatically lose his/her status as a missionary after two years of service.
Background: The purpose of this regulation is to encourage disciples to make full use of their gifts from God to build a church of Christ, and to accomplish the great mission commended by Jesus Christ.A. Qualification
- Education: M.Div. or M.C.S.
- Experience: He/she must have served as an elder, deacon, or counselor.
- Profession: Non-controversial professions.
- Applicants must complete the GA required courses of “Understanding EFC”.
- He/she is willing to accept and comply with the EFC Statement of Faith, Constitution, and Bylaws.
- Application shall be submitted to GA Personnel Committee.
- The Personnel Committee commissions the Ministerial Association to review the application.
- The Ministerial Association submits its approval to the Personnel Committee for verification; the result shall be reported to the Executive Board.
- He/she shall be an Associate Member of the Ministerial Association.
- Before being ordained as a pastor, he/she may administer sacraments when authorized by a Supervising Pastor, Regional Pastor-in-Charge or Pastor-in-Charge of EFCGA.
- He/she may attend the EFC General Assembly Meeting.
- Each term shall be two years. The term renewal shall be decided by EFCGA and the Local Church 3 months prior to the expiration of the term.
- He/she shall not receive salary from church.
- He/she shall be the principal person in charge of pastoring the church.
- He/she with a Degree of M.Div. may apply to GA for ordination after 3 years of pastoring service (5 years for a person with a Degree of M.C.S.) in accordance with the procedure of the 「Regulations of EFC Ministerial Association」 (D3200).
- When occasion of misconduct occurs that contradicts the teaching of the Bible, EFC Statement of Faith, or EFC Constitution and Bylaws, or misconduct that bears poor witness of the Christian faith, EFCGA may terminate his/her service.
- Amendments of this regulation shall be drafted and reviewed by the By-law Department of GA. The draft shall be submitted to Executive Board for approval.