Every nonprofit, including churches, is required to file Articles of Incorporation with the State. Beyond those documents, a Constitution, Bylaws and/or Policies are also needed, and are written by the nonprofit. For People’s Church, we’re just not big enough to need both a Constitution and Bylaws, so we don’t have both. Which of those two names will be used for our foundational document is yet to be determined. Don’t be confused if you hear both words used interchangeably in conversations during this process. On this web page, we will use the word Bylaws.
Bylaws exist to support and enhance the functioning of the congregation. They are written in language to satisfy legal requirements, as well as to encapsulate and carry out the vision of the congregation.
Effective church bylaws provide structure, organization, and legal protections. They delegate authority to the congregational board, so that group understands the expectations and limits of their responsibilities. Bylaws deal with both common and infrequent situations, such as the calling of a minister and the purchasing of real estate.
People’s Church has a Policy Manual to guide day-to-day decisions and procedures in a more detailed way than is addressed in the Bylaws. They include topics such as personnel, financial, safety, organization and committee info, weather related closures, building and grounds, and much more.
To change our Bylaws document, the current Bylaws require a 2/3 affirmative vote of those Members of the congregation voting on the proposal. Changes in Policies require only a majority vote of the Board of Trustees.