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Though an autonomous body, CWBC has chosen to be affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention. Carpenter’s Way is also a member of the Willow Creek Association of Churches.
Qualifications for Membership
To become a member of Carpenter’s Way Baptist Church each person must meet the following qualifications:
1. Profession of faith alone in Jesus Christ as Lord and savior.
2. Fulfillment of believer’s baptism.
3. Agreement to adhere to the constitution, by-laws, policies and practices of this church.
4. Acceptance of the Statement of Faith.
5. Completion of the membership class.
Responsibilities of Membership
In becoming a member of Carpenter’s Way Baptist Church, a person commits himself/herself to the following responsibilities of membership:
1. To make it his or her habit to participate regularly in the services and meetings of the church as health permits,
2. To be actively involved in ministry as health permits,
3. To contribute of one’s means to the financial support of the ministries of Carpenters Way in an intentional and consistent manner.
The members of this church who are eighteen years of age and older shall exercise their power through duly-called business meetings and shall have authority on:
a. The approval of amendments to the church’s constitution and/or bylaws,
b. The calling of the Lead Pastor,
c. The acquisition or disposal of real estate,
d. The approval of the total annual church budget,
e. The election and confirmation of church officers.
Removal from Membership
Members may be removed from the church roll for the following reasons:
1. Transfer of membership to another church,
2. The request of the member who desires to be removed from membership,
3. The death of the member,
4. If a member is not actively involved in the church for a period of one year he or she may be removed from the church membership at the discretion of the Elder Council. The Elder Council, when not aware of the reasoning for an individual’s inactivity, should seek to make contact with the inactive member prior to removing his/her name from the membership rolls
5. The discipline of the member in accordance with Matthew 18:15-17 and 1 Corinthians 5:1-13 for the following reasons:
a. Holding a false and heretical doctrine,
b. Living a sinful and unrepentant lifestyle which may cause a potential disruption to the church body.
Every year CWBC sets aside 10% of it’s annual budget to support Mission work around the world. 5% is given to the Corporative Programof the Southern Baptist Convention, 1/2% is given to the Unity Baptist Association, and 4 1/2% is designated to missions that fall outside of the Corporative Program through the Missions Investment Team of CWBC. In addition to ongoing financial support of missions, CWBC is active in taking the Good News of Hope and Freedom through Short-Term Mission Projects and local outreaches.
In light of the broad and diverse interpretation of the Holy Scriptures within the Christian Community, we set forth the following affirmations to give clear definition to what we believe the Word of God teaches regarding the following areas:
1. The Sanctity of Human Life
Human life is a gift from God to be cherished from the time of conception until natural death. All humans have the God-given right and responsibility to enjoy the length of life willed by their Creator.
God is sovereign over the giving and taking of life. Human life begins at conception – each soul an immediate creation of God – and continues until the soul is separated from the body in death.
(Gen. 1:27; Job 10: 8-10; Ps. 139:13-16; Eccl. 12:7)
2. Human Sexuality
All humans are created by God as either male or female. Sexual relations between husband and wife are commended by God, solely to be enjoyed within the married estate. Premarital, extramarital, and homosexual relations are prohibited in Holy Scripture.
(Gen. 1:27; 2:18-24; Ex. 20:14; Lev. 18:22; Rom. 1:26-27; I Cor. 6:9-10, 18; Heb. 13:4)
3. Marriage and Family
God has ordained the family as the foundational institution of human society. It is composed of persons related to one another by marriage, blood, or adoption.
Marriage is the uniting of one man and one woman in covenant commitment for a lifetime. It is God’s unique gift to reveal the union between Christ and His church and to provide for the man and the woman in marriage the framework for intimate companionship, the channel of sexual expression according to Biblical standards, and the means for procreation of the human race.
The husband and wife are of equal worth before God, since both are created in God’s image. The marriage relationship models the way God relates to His people. A husband is to love his wife as Christ loved the church. He has the God-given responsibility to provide for, protect and lead his family. A wife is to submit herself graciously to the servant leadership of her husband even as the church willingly submits to the headship of Christ. She, being in the image of God as is her husband and thus equal to him, has the God-given responsibility to respect her husband and to serve as his helper in managing the household and nurturing the next generation.
Children, from the moment of conception, are a blessing and heritage from the Lord. Parents are to demonstrate to their children God’s pattern for marriage. Parents are to teach their children spiritual and moral values. They are to lead them, through consistent lifestyle example and loving discipline, to make choices based on Biblical truth. Children are to honor and obey their parents.
(Genesis 1:26-28; 2:15-25; 3:1-20; Ephesians 5:21-33; 6:1-4; 1 Peter 3:1-7.)
4. Corporate Worship
Scripture teaches that believers should not forsake gathering together. It is, therefore, the responsibility of every believer to commit themselves to intentional, systematic and regular gathering together with other believers for the sake of worship, evangelism, ministry, encouragement and discipleship.
(Ephesians 4:1-16; Hebrews 10:25)
5. Evangelism and Missions
It is the duty and privilege of every follower of Christ and every church of the Lord Jesus Christ to endeavor to make disciples of all nations. The new birth of man’s spirit by God’s Holy Spirit means the birth of love for others. Missionary effort on the part of all rests thus upon a spiritual necessity of the regenerate life, and is expressly and repeatedly commanded in the teachings of Christ. The Lord Jesus Christ has commanded the preaching of the gospel to all nations. It is the duty of every child of God to constantly seek to win the lost to Christ by verbal witness undergirded by a Christian lifestyle, and by other methods in harmony with the gospel of Christ.
(Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 1:8; 1 3:15-16)
Christ’s people should, as occasion requires, organize such associations and conventions as may best secure cooperation for the great objects of the Kingdom of God. Such organizations have no authority over one another or over the churches. They are voluntary and advisory bodies designed to elicit, combine, and direct the energies of our people in the most effective manner. Members of New Testament churches should cooperate with one another in carrying forward the missionary, educational, and benevolent ministries for the extension of Christ’s Kingdom. Christian unity in the New Testament sense is spiritual harmony and voluntary cooperation for common ends by various groups of Christ’s people. Cooperation is desirable between the various Christian denominations, when the end to be attained is itself justified, and when such cooperation involves no violation of conscience or compromise of loyalty to Christ and His Word as revealed in the New Testament
7. The Christian, Social Order, and Politics
All Christians should seek to make the will of Christ supreme in our own lives and in human society. Means and methods used for the improvement of society and the establishment of righteousness among men can be truly and permanently helpful only when they are rooted in the regeneration of the individual by the saving grace of God in Jesus Christ. In the spirit of Christ, Christians should oppose racism, every form of greed, selfishness, and vice, and all forms of sexual immorality. We should work to provide for the orphaned, the needy, the abused, the aged, the helpless, and the sick. We should speak on behalf of the unborn and contend for the sanctity of all human life from conception to natural death. In order to promote these ends Christians should be ready to work with all men of goodwill in any good cause, always being careful to act in the spirit of love without compromising their loyalty to Christ and His truth. The church does not endorse a particular political party, but rather encourages its people to vote for that candidate they feel best exemplifies the principles of righteousness, truth, and brotherly love laid forth in the Scriptures.
(Romans 12–14; 1Corinthians 5; 2 Corinthians 5:11-17)
God is the source of all blessings, temporal and spiritual; all that we have and are we owe to Him. Every believer is, therefore, urged to serve Him with their time, talents, and material possessions; and should recognize all these as entrusted to them to use for the glory of God and for helping others. According to the Scriptures, Christians should contribute of their means cheerfully, regularly, systematically, proportionately, and liberally for the advancement of the Redeemer’s cause on earth.
(1 Corinthians 6:19-20; 12; 2 Corinthians 8-9; Philippians 4:10-19)
The officers of the church are the elders and members of Servant Leader Teams. The number of elders is determined by the Elder Council. Any regular attendee of Carpenters Way can identify and recommend in writing qualified individuals to the Elder Council as potential candidates for offices in the church during the nomination process prior to the annual business meeting.
Men will serve as the elders of the church and are responsible for the collective and individual oversight and encouragement of the spiritual life, the general welfare and equipping of the flock entrusted to them for ministry. Potential candidates for eldership shall be nominated by a regular attendee of Carpenter’s Way and will be examined and prepared by the existing Elder Council, and presented for approval by the assembly. The sitting Elder Council will examine each nominee according to I Tim. 3:1-7; II Tim. 2:24-25; Titus 1:5-9 as well as evidence of having the spiritual giftedness for Shepherding God’s flock.
Each elder shall serve a six-year term as long as he is faithful to his calling and has the confidence of his fellow elders. Following a one-year leave from the Elder Council, a former Elder shall again be eligible to be nominated for the office of elder. An elder may resign his office at any time and for any reason.
The ministry of eldership is significant and is accomplished while continuing the care of family and upholding of work responsibilities. Therefore, elders may need to request leave from some of the tasks of eldership for a period of time. Such sabbatical times will be arranged through the mutual consent of the elders.
The Elder Council shall consist of men who are committed to exercising general oversight of the church. The Elder Council shall elect a chairman who shall preside over the meetings of the Elder Council, and also elect a secretary to record meetings. The term of chairman shall be no more than two years, coinciding with the church year. The chairman has the sole authority to sign legal documents and contracts as ordered by the membership and/or the Elder Council.
The Lead Pastor may not be the chairman of the Elder Council and shall be the only permanent elder.
Additional members of the paid Pastoral staff may serve on the Elder Council if nominated and elected in the same way any church member is nominated and elected into this office but will be considered a Vocational Elder. In number, there must always be at least two more non-vocational Elders than there are vocational Elders serving on the Elder council at any given time. The vocational elder will serve a 6-year term just as non-vocational Elders at which time he must take at least one year off from the Elder Council. Vocational Elders may not serve as Chairman of the Elder Council.
Servant Leader Teams
Men and women will serve as servant leaders of the church and are responsible for the corporeal needs of the church. They shall be nominated by the membership and examined by the Elder Council and presented for approval by the membership. The qualifications for Servant Leaders will follow that of Deacons in I Timothy 3:8-13. We believe that both men and women may serve in this servant leader or “deacon” office for two reasons:
The reference to women in I Timothy 3:11 can be translated from Greek with equal accuracy as a reference to the “wife of the Deacon” or as a “woman deacon”.
Romans 16:1 refers to “our sister phoebe, a deacon in the church of Cenchrea” clearly showing that the New Testament church had women deacons.
The Servant Leaders serve at the direction of, and are accountable to, the Elder Council.
Each servant leader shall serve a 3-year term as long as he/she is faithful to his/her calling and has the confidence of the elders and other servant leader team members with whom he/she serves. Following a one-year leave, a member shall again be eligible for the office of servant leader. A servant leader may resign his/her office at any time and for any reason. The elder council at any time may require a member of a Servant Leadership team to recuse himself/herself from a particular vote if their appears to be a conflict of interest. A Servant Leader team member can be disciplined and/or removed from their office in accordance with Matthew 18:15-17, and 1 Corinthians 5:1-13 for the following reasons:
a. Holding a false and heretical doctrine,
b. Living a sinful and unrepentant lifestyle which may cause a potential disruption to the church body,
c. being divisive and not submitting to the rest of the Servant Leader team on which he/she serves or to the counsel of Elders under whose authority he/she serves.
A. – Permanent Servant Leader Teams:
1. Financial Team
The financial team is tasked and accountable to the Elder Council with the general oversight and accountability of all church receipts and expenditures as well as the establishment of annual budget proposals in preparation for each annual business meeting.
2. Mission Investment Team
The Mission Investment team is tasked and accountable to the Elder Council for the general oversight and disbursement of all funds designated for missions.