Local Church Constitution
The Local Church Constitution has been framed and adopted by the General Assembly of The Christian and Missionary Alliance in Canada, the denomination’s highest legislative body.
Because each Christian and Missionary Alliance church is an integral part of the national and worldwide fellowship, it is united in governance, fellowship and service in order to promote unity of faith in the fullness of Jesus Christ as Saviour, Sanctifier, Healer and Coming King, thereby facilitating the spread of the Gospel at home and abroad under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Each local church shall be governed by the following constitution.
This constitution has two objectives:
1) to state the purpose of this local church and to define the nature of the relationships of this local church to The Christian and Missionary Alliance in Canada and the district of which it is an integral part; and
2) to stipulate the enabling instruments, legal procedures, and the empowering conditions under which this local church is to carry out its local and worldwide work.
The local church is the fundamental unit of Christian fellowship as exemplified in the Scripture. Faithfulness in multiplying churches around the world that are nourished in the Bible and full of the Holy Spirit is the scriptural pattern for carrying out the redemptive purposes of God and the Great Commission of our Lord and Saviour. The statement of our founder, A.B. Simpson is as relevant today as when he gave it in his address to General Council in 1912:
“We need to be perfectly adjusted in our loyalty to Christ and at the same time in our responsibility to the special trust which He has committed to our hands. God does not want us to be afraid of losing our consecration by being true to The Christian and Missionary Alliance, by knowing how to keep rank and by marching loyally under our own standard.
“Further, we must have the right adjustment of our home and foreign work, and the interdependence each upon the other, the home work as the constituency of the foreign, and the foreign as the outlet and complement of the other.
“Our foreign work is not only the fulfillment of the supreme duty of the Church of Christ, but the loftiest inspiration and uplift of our whole Christian life at home.
“God grant that this work may never lose its old simplicity, self-sacrifice and separation, not only from the secular but from the religious world in its spirit and practice. But at the same time, we must keep abreast of the progress of our age and be men and women of today in our message and ministry to our generation.”
Article 1 – Name
第一章 — 名字
The name of this church shall be Coquitlam Mandarin Church of The Christian and Missionary Alliance in Canada.
The church shall receive approval of the District Executive Committee of the district of The Christian and Missionary Alliance in Canada of which it is a part (the district) prior to the legal registration or use of the name.
Article 2 – Purpose
第二章 — 宗旨
The purpose of this church is to glorify God by proclaiming the good news of Jesus Christ and persuading men and women to become his disciples and dependable members of His Church.
Certain principles condition the implementation of this purpose:
2.1. The church fosters spiritual maturation through participation of its members in worship and nurturing activities according to their maturity, gifts and abilities in ministering to the needs of the body in her task of evangelization at home and aboard.
2.2. The church observes the ordinances of believer’s baptism and the Lord’s Supper and complies with the biblical qualifications for selection of church leadership. She considers the basic methods of communicating the Gospel to be through worship, preaching, teaching, witnessing and example. She takes discipline and restoration of the offender seriously. She holds that the fullness of the Holy Spirit is essential for holiness of life and effective witness. She affirms the necessity for fervent prayer, faithful service and sacrificial giving as modeled by Christ himself. She regards social service and good citizenship as outgrowths of the Gospel.
2.3. The local church is the visible, organized expression of the Body of Christ. She conducts her affairs decently and in order. She organizes herself so that all members can contribute according to their gifts and abilities to the total working of the body. She operates on the assumption that the congregation finds broader meaning and outreach by fulfilling her biblical responsibilities within and beyond the life and witness of the denomination.
2.4. The church cultivates fellowship and not sectarianism. Her local and extended family seeks for common spiritual ground on which fellowship with other groups may be enriched and strengthened through an open and transparent relationship.
Article 3 – Statement of Faith
第三章 — 信条
This church subscribes to the following Statement of Faith which is the Statement of Faith of The Christian and Missionary Alliance in Canada as amended from time to time.
- There is one God, who is infinitely perfect, existing eternally in three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
- 只有一位神，即无限完美、永存不朽之圣父、圣子、圣灵三一真神。（赛44:6, 45:5-6；太5:48；申32:4；太3:16-17, 28:19）
- Jesus Christ is true God and true man. He was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. He died upon the cross, the Just for the unjust, as a substitutionary sacrifice, and all who believe in him are justified on the ground of his shed blood. He arose from the dead according to the Scriptures. He is now at the righthand of the Majesty on high as our great High Priest. He will come again to establish his Kingdom of righteousness and peace.
- 耶稣基督既是真神，也是真人，因圣灵感孕，由童贞女马利亚所生。祂在十架上以义者代替不义者，舍命牺牲，藉所流之血，叫一切信祂的人都得称为义。耶稣按圣经所说已经从死里复活，现今在至高神的右边作我们的大祭司，将来必再来建立祂公义和平的国度。（腓2:6-11；来2:14-18；西2:9；太1:18；路1:35；林前15:3-5；约壹2:2；徒13:39, 来4:14-15；9:24-28；太25:31-34；徒1:11）
- The Holy Spirit is a divine Person, sent to indwell, guide, teach and empower the believer, and to convince the world of sin, of righteousness and of judgment.
- 圣灵具有神的位格，奉差遣居于信徒之内，为其提供指引、教导、和能力，叫世人为罪、为义、为审判，自我责备。（约14:16-17, 16:7-11；林前2:10-12）
- The Old and New Testaments, inerrant as originally given, were verbally inspired by God and are a complete revelation of his will for the salvation of people. They constitute the divine and only rule of Christian faith and practice.
- 新旧约圣经乃神所默示，在原文上毫无错误，既是神救赎人的完备启示，也是基督徒信仰与实践唯一属神的准则。（提后3:16, 彼后1:20-21）
- Humankind, originally created in the image and likeness of God, fell through disobedience, incurring thereby both physical and spiritual death. All people are born with a sinful nature, are separated from the life of God, and can be saved only through the atoning work of the Lord Jesus Christ. The destiny of the impenitent and unbelieving is existence forever in conscious torment, but that of the believer is everlasting joy and bliss.
- Salvation has been provided only through Jesus Christ. Those who repent and believe in him are united with Christ through the Holy Spirit and are thereby regenerated (born again), justified, sanctified and granted the gift of eternal life as adopted children of God.
- It is the will of God that in union with Christ each believer should be sanctified thoroughly thereby being separated from sin and the world and fully dedicated to God, receiving power for holy living and sacrificial and effective service toward the completion of Christ’s commission. This is accomplished through being filled with the Holy Spirit which is both a distinct event and progressive experience in the life of the believer.
- Provision is made in the redemptive work of the Lord Jesus Christ for the healing of the mortal body. Prayer for the sick and anointing with oil as taught in the Scriptures are privileges for the Church in this present age.
- The universal Church, of which Christ is the Head, consists of all those who believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, are redeemed through His blood, regenerated by the Holy Spirit, and commissioned by Christ to go into all the world as a witness, preaching the Gospel to all nations. The local church, the visible expression of the universal Church, is a body of believers in Christ who are joined together to worship God, to observe the ordinances of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper, to pray, to be edified through the Word of God, to fellowship, and to testify in word and deed to the good news of salvation both locally and globally. The local church enters relationships with other like-minded churches for accountability, encouragement and mission.
- 以基督为首的普世教会，涵盖所有相信主耶稣基督、被祂宝血所救赎、被圣灵所重生、被基督所差派到全世界对万民传福音的人。地方教会作为普世教会的有形部份，是指一群相信基督的人所联合起来的团体，其目的是为了在一起敬拜上帝、施行洗礼与圣餐礼、祷告、从神的话语中得造就、彼此团契、并藉言语和行为由近及远证实救恩的好消息。地方教会为了彼此守望、互相鼓励、共同宣教，所以就与其他志同道合的教会相交来往。（弗3:6-12，1:22-23；徒2:41-47；来10:25；太28:19-20；徒1:8，11:19-30, 15）
- There shall be a bodily resurrection of the just and of the unjust; for the former, a resurrection unto life; for the latter, a resurrection unto judgment.
- The second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ is imminent and will be personal and visible. As the believer’s blessed hope, this vital truth is an incentive for holy living and sacrificial service toward the completion of Christ’s commission.
第四章 — 隶属关系
This church is a constituent member of the district and national organizations of The Christian and Missionary Alliance in Canada as such organizations are defined in the Manual. The policies and regulations of this church shall be consistent with, and the church shall operate in accordance with, the Manual of The Christian and Missionary Alliance in Canada as amended from time to time.
Article 5 —Ordinances
第五章 — 圣礼
Believer’s baptism and the Lord’s Supper are recognized as the two ordinances of the Church as commanded by the Lord Jesus Christ. Baptism is an act of obedience for all believers. While other modes of believer’s baptism are recognized, baptism by immersion is taught and practiced as the scriptural mode. The Lord’s Supper is administered regularly and offered to all believers.
Article 6 – Membership
第六章 — 会籍
6.1. Privileges and Qualifications 特权和资格
There shall be a voting membership and such additional types of association as may be defined in the bylaws.
The privileges of membership include eligibility to vote, to be considered for election to serve on the Board subject to Article VIII and such further privileges as may be specified in the bylaws.
The qualifications for membership include a credible testimony of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ before members of the Board; believer’s baptism; a commitment to the principles of the Preamble; a commitment to the Purpose (Article II), and Statement of Faith (Article III) of this church; submission to the discipline procedures of The Christian and Missionary Alliance in Canada; and such further qualifications as may be specified in the bylaws.
6.2. Discipline 纪律
Discipline is an exercise of that spiritual authority which the Lord Jesus has given to his Church. The purposes of discipline are to maintain the honour of the Redeemer, the purity of the Church, the spiritual benefit of the members and the restoration of the offender. The discipline of a member shall be the responsibility of the Board or its designates, and shall be in accordance with the Discipline and Restoration Policy for Members of Local Churches adopted by The Christian and Missionary Alliance in Canada. It shall be a condition of membership that persons accept and comply with the Discipline and Restoration Policy for Members of Local Churches.
Article 7 – Government
第七章 — 行政
There shall be an annual meeting of the membership to be held as specified in the bylaws. It shall receive reports from the senior pastor and the Board, receive financial statements, and shall conduct such other business as may be presented in keeping with the bylaws.
Unless another process for election is stipulated in the bylaws, at the annual meeting the members shall elect a Board from among the voting membership to be responsible for the affairs of the church between annual meetings. The Board is amenable both to the membership and to the district superintendent as constitutionally defined.
Meetings of the membership may be called by the Board by proper notice to the membership as specified in the bylaws. The senior pastor or his appointee shall act as the chair of meetings of the membership.
Article 8 – Board
第八章 — 长议会
8.1. Composition and Responsibilities 组成及职责
The highest functioning authority of the local church shall be the Board of Elders which may be called by another name and is herein referred to as the Board. Board members shall be elected, and along with the senior pastor, will provide oversight of the ministry and operation of the local church. Criteria for membership on the Board are the biblical qualifications of elders.
The church may, by a two-thirds majority of the members present at a duly called meeting of the membership, choose to have women serve on the Board.
The Board shall have a minimum number of four members, including the senior pastor, with the maximum number to be established by the bylaws.
With the exception of the senior pastor, who is a member ex-officio, the members of the Board shall be elected at the annual meeting unless another process for election is stipulated in the bylaws.
The senior pastor or a member of the Board appointed by him shall be the chair. The senior pastor shall have primary responsibility for oversight of the Board and the church and shall function within the job description approved by the Board.
The Board shall serve with the senior pastor in the oversight of the church. It shall have authority to fill vacancies between annual meetings. It shall hold regular meetings for prayer and business and shall report as the church membership may decide. Special meetings of the Board may be called by the chair or upon written request by a majority of its members. All other officers and organizations, except the Nominating Committee, are amenable to the Board.
Persons shall not vote on any matter which may directly or indirectly result in financial benefit to them, whether such benefit be in the nature of salary or other payment.
8.2. Officers 官员
The officers of the church shall include, but not be limited to, the chair, vice chair, secretary and treasurer. Additional officers of the church may be designated by the bylaws of the church or laws of the province or territory in which this church is located. They shall be appointed from among the Board members, except in the case of the chair, when that post is filled by the senior pastor.
8.3. Duties 职责
The officers shall carry out the following duties and such additional duties as directed from time to time by the Board:
8.3.1. Chair 主席
The chair shall preside at regular and special meetings of the Board.
8.3.2. Vice chair 副主席
The vice chair acts in the absence or at the request of the chair.
8.3.3. Secretary 文书
The secretary shall keep the minutes of meetings of the Board and the membership. The secretary shall have the care of the corporate seal, if any, and ensure the safekeeping of the official records. The secretary shall conduct the official correspondence of the church as directed by the Board.
8.3.4. Treasurer 财政
The treasurer shall ensure that all funds of the church are received and disbursed as directed by the Board, shall ensure that proper records are maintained, and shall report as required.
8.4. Trustees 信托人
Where required, trustees shall be selected in conformity with the laws of the province or territory. They shall be under the direction of the membership and the Board.
Article 9 – Pastor and Licensed Workers
第九章 — 牧师和注册同工
9.1. Senior Pastor 主任牧师
The district superintendent shall suggest to the Board the names of such workers as in his judgment have proper qualifications for senior pastor of this church (who may be given another title). The Board shall give consideration only to candidates approved by the district superintendent. The senior pastor of the church shall be called by the Board and appointed by the district superintendent. Upon his appointment by the district superintendent, the senior pastor and spouse become members of the church.
Churches, which by a two-thirds majority vote of the members present at a duly called meeting of the membership have affirmed to have women serve on the Board, may call a woman to serve as senior pastor in consultation with the district superintendent.
The senior pastor may resign from the church by giving due notice of his intention to the district superintendent and the Board. The Board may, with the written approval of the district superintendent, terminate the employment of the senior pastor in accordance with the policies of The Christian and Missionary Alliance in Canada.
The district superintendent may, after consultation with the Board and with the approval of the District Executive Committee, terminate the appointment of the senior pastor.
9.2. Pastors (other than senior) and Licensed Workers 其他牧师和注册同工
The senior pastor shall consider for ministry staff only those candidates who in his judgment have proper qualifications for pastors or licensed workers in the church and are approved by the district superintendent. All licensed workers shall be nominated by the senior pastor, called by the Board and appointed by the district superintendent. Upon appointment, the licensed worker and spouse become members of the church.
The licensed worker may resign from the church by giving due notice of intention to the senior pastor and the district superintendent and through the senior pastor to the Board. The senior pastor may, with the approval of the Board, and after consultation with the district superintendent, terminate the employment of workers covered in this section in accordance with the policies of The Christian and Missionary Alliance in Canada. The district superintendent may, after consultation with the senior pastor and Board and with the approval of the District Executive Committee, terminate the appointment of the licensed worker.
Article 10 – Organizations
第十章 — 组织
The Board may establish organizations, committees and teams strategic to fulfilling the purpose of this church. They shall be under the authority of the Board and shall fulfill the duties determined by the Board.
Article 11 – Missions
第十一章 — 差传
The biblical basis of missions and the current efforts to transform the world for Christ shall be emphasized and promoted throughout the year in conjunction with the district and national programs of The Christian and Missionary Alliance in Canada. The church shall enlist prayer support, recruit workers and raise financial support for the global work of The Christian and Missionary Alliance.
Article 12 – Property and Records
第十二章 — 物业和档案
This church will be operated without purpose of gain for its members, and any profits or other assets of the organization will be used solely to promote its objectives.
Real property may be acquired, disposed of, improved or encumbered by order of the Board, subject to the approval of the membership and the District Executive Committee. Except as otherwise provided herein, all real property shall be registered in the name of the district in which the property is situated and the district shall be deemed to be the legal and beneficial owner of all real property, appurtenances and effects. The district, pursuant to the provisions of the District Constitution, shall be entitled and authorized to mortgage, hypothecate, pledge or otherwise create a security interest in, or charge on, all or any part of such property to secure payment of debt or performance of any other obligation of either the church or the district.
The above requirements may be waived by an incorporated church by a two-thirds majority of the members present at a duly called meeting of the membership and with the approval of the District Executive Committee. In such cases the church shall have a clause in its bylaws which states that, should the church cease to exist as a corporate body, or cease to be subject to the Manual which includes the Statement of Faith of The Christian and Missionary Alliance in Canada, all of its real property, appurtenances and effects then owned or held by it shall inure to the benefit of, and become the property of, the district corporation of The Christian and Missionary Alliance in Canada, within which jurisdiction this church is located or with which it is affiliated by law. Further, the church will assume full responsibility for all encumbrances with respect to the subject property and will obtain a full release for the district of any security interest provided by the district for the benefit of the local church.
Should the church cease to exist or cease to be subject to the Manual which includes the Statement of Faith of The Christian and Missionary Alliance in Canada, all of its real property, appurtenances and effects then owned or held by it shall inure to the benefit of and become the property of the district corporation of The Christian and Missionary Alliance in Canada within which this church is located or with which it is affiliated by law.
Should the church cease to be subject to the Manual which includes the Statement of Faith of The Christian and Missionary Alliance in Canada, but continue to abide by a similar Statement of Faith and promote similar purposes, the District Executive Committee of the district within which this church is located or with which it is affiliated by law may allow the church to retain ownership of all of its real property, appurtenances and effects.
The official records of all officers of this church and all its departments are the property of the church. All financial records shall be prepared and maintained according to Generally Accepted Accounting Principles, and shall be subject to an audit, review or other independent evaluation annually as prescribed by the bylaws.
In the event of the death or resignation of an incumbent officer or upon the election or appointment of a successor, the current records of the office shall be returned to the secretary of the Board. All records, other than the current ones, shall be kept in a secure repository designated by the Board.
Article 13 – Nominating Committee
第十三章 — 提名委员会
The Nominating Committee when required shall consist of the senior pastor and a minimum of four members with equal representation from the Board and the membership, the number to be established in the bylaws. The senior pastor, or his appointee, shall chair this committee. They shall be elected by ballot by the respective bodies at least three months prior to the annual meeting and shall serve until the annual meeting. In cases where only the required number is nominated, the ballot may be waived by unanimous vote.
Article 14 – Elections
第十四章 — 选举
In preparation for elections at the annual meeting, the Nominating Committee shall present and post, at least three weekends prior to the annual meeting, one name for each office to be filled. Any procedures for receiving additional nominations from the membership shall be specified in the bylaws. Elections shall be by ballot and, in order to be elected to the Board, a nominee must receive a majority of the ballots cast.
Article 15 – Bylaws
第十五章 — 附则
Church bylaws may not be in conflict with this Constitution. Bylaws and subsequent revisions become valid upon adoption by a majority of the votes cast at a duly called meeting of members and approval of the District Executive Committee. A copy of the bylaws must be filed with the district.
Article 16 – Amendments
第十六章 — 修订
This constitution may be amended only by special resolution at any regular business session of General Assembly of, written notice having been given prior to the General Assembly.
Adopted – General Assembly 2004
采用 – 2004 总会大会
Amended – General Assembly 2010
修订 – 2010年总会大会
Amended – General Assembly 2014
修订 – 2014年总会大会
Amended – General Assembly 2016
修订 – 2016年总会大会