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As I shared with you the past couple months, our Elders are recommending we update our church bylaws. The main reason for this is that our legal counsel has recommended we update our doctrinal statement (which is part of our bylaws) to clarify our commitment to the Bible’s teaching about human sexuality. As we worked on this project this past year, we decided not just to update our current doctrinal statement, but instead to recommend a new one.
The reason for this is not to change any of our doctrinal positions. Our current statement has served us well and we are in full agreement with it. However, our current statement is not very well-written or well-rounded. It has always felt a bit clunky, like it is the product of a “cut and paste” job that somehow skipped its final edit!
During this past year, we reviewed many doctrinal statements from large evangelical ministries to find one we could use as a basis for our new statement. The one we landed on is the doctrinal statement of the Evangelical Free Church of America. My guess is that most of you are probably not familiar with this denomination. But they are a solid group. One of their most famous pastors is Chuck Swindoll.
So, we used this statement as a foundation for our new statement, but we also added some of our own content and style to reflect our vision and values. Outside of this change to our doctrinal statement, we have not made many other significant changes to our bylaws. But I do want to highlight two of the most important.
The first is our vision statement. Our current bylaws have the old vision statement from over twenty years ago. So, we have replaced that with our current vision statement.
The second change has to do with the role of deacons and deaconesses. Long before I came to Rocky Peak, we had deacons and deaconesses who served under the leadership of the elders. However, we have not had these positions (in a formal way) for over twenty years. So, we also have removed the reference to these roles.
We will be voting on these new bylaws at our all-church Encounter on Sunday, January 29th. To prepare for this, we are posting a copy of our current bylaws and the new proposed bylaws on our website (and the RP app) so you can compare them.
If you have any questions or feedback on the new bylaws, feel free to email me, or discuss them with our pastors and elders at one of the Q & A sessions after the weekend services on January 14-15, or January 21-22 in the Summit building.