Highland Park Church (Kokomo.IN.USA)A Church Where You Can Grow. Reach. Connect. Deepen.

About Us:
The Constitution of Highland Park Church
Kokomo, Indiana
Adopted June 21, 1992     Revised January 27, 2008

SECTION I: GOVERNMENT

Article I: Operational Policy and Character of the Church

Our fellowship shall be based on the clear and obvious truth of Scripture.  The head of this church shall be Christ; the decision-makers shall be the elders; and the elders shall be accountable to the membership.

Article II: Membership

  1. Any person meeting the following requirements may be considered as a candidate for membership:
    1. a profession of repentance toward God,
    2. a profession of dependence upon the work of Christ in His death, burial and resurrection as the only basis of forgiveness and salvation,
    3. general agreement with the doctrine and approach of Highland Park Church,
    4. a life not characterized by extreme hypocrisy (drug/alcohol abuse, immorality, spouse/child abuse, criminal activity, unethical business practices, etc.).
  2. A candidate for membership shall share his/her testimony with any current elder. The elder shall present a recommendation regarding the candidate to the board of elders, who may accept the candidate into membership.

Article III: Church Discipline and Accountability

This section refers to members of Highland Park Church, not unsaved people or non-members who attend (unless under discipline from another evangelical church).

  1. Church members shall be disciplined by the method and for the gross sin recorded in the following passages: Matthew 18:15-17; 1 Corinthians 5:11-6:7; Galatians 1:9; 2 Thessalonians 3:10-15 and 2 John 10.  The elders shall be the final authority in all matters of discipline.
  2. Accountability principles require that members attend Highland Park Church on a fairly regular basis. Minimal regular attendance shall be defined as approximately twelve services per year. Members who neglect attending regularly shall be removed from the membership roll, unless exempted. Exemptions include shut-ins, elderly members, out-of-area members, members working Sundays, etc. Each situation shall be weighed by the elders.
  3. A member removed from the roll due to lack of attendance is welcome to fellowship with us and may reapply for membership when he/she is ready to become more involved in the church.

Article IV: Officers of the Church

  1. A nominating committee consisting of eight to ten members shall meet annually, preferably in February, for the purpose of selecting candidates for office. This committee shall consist of two elders, two deacons, two deaconesses, and the remainder shall be non-office-holding members; all committee members shall be chosen by the elders. The committee shall be chaired by the senior pastor. The committee shall present its nominations to the elders. A screening form developed by the elders shall be distributed to the nominees. The completed screening form will assist the elders in evaluating the nominees (see Article V, #5). A list of the approved nominees shall be presented to the membership at the annual business meeting. Candidates must receive at least a two-thirds approval, written ballot, to confirm the position.
  2. Officers of the church include elder, deacon, deaconess, treasurer, assistant treasurer, financial secretary, church clerk. Other offices may be created as necessary. All terms of office, except for staff pastors, shall be for two years. Staff pastors are reaffirmed or removed every five years.
  3. Officers shall be members of Highland Park Church. Teachers (for example, Sunday School and Children's Church), club directors, and club leaders are to be members as well. (Exceptions allowed if cleared by the elders.) Substitute teachers and helpers, though not required to be members, must abstain from sexual immorality, drunkenness and/or use of illegal drugs, dishonesty, etc. Failure to comply will result in dismissal.
  4. The board of elders shall consist of the senior pastor and three or more men who are elected by the congregation and are not pastoral staff members. Elders must be male, profess salvation, have been baptized by immersion, and meet the criteria of 1 Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:6-9.  They shall meet as necessary. The chairman of the board of elders shall be selected by the elders annually. The senior pastor may not serve as chairman.
  5. Elders shall have the following duties:
    1. making decisions regarding the ministry of the church,
    2. stewardship of the church's funds,
    3. exemplifying the Christian life for others to model,
    4. shepherding the flock including praying, visiting, anointing (as per James 5:13-16),
    5. handling problems including church discipline,
    6. taking charge of the Lord's Supper.
     
  6. Staff pastors shall be responsible for:
    1. preparing and delivering edifying sermons from the Word of God,
    2. visiting members who are hospitalized or shut-in,
    3. counseling members as needed,
    4. performing funerals for deceased members,
    5. officiating wedding ceremonies according to each staff pastor's convictions,
    6. overseeing ordinances,
    7. initiating a vision for the future.
     
  7. The Sunday School superintendent shall oversee the Sunday School ministry, working with the teachers and in conjunction with the other elders.
  8. The board of deacons shall answer to the elders. Deacons shall serve as the church's trustees and shall be responsible for making decisions regarding buildings, grounds, matters of safety, and insurance. Deacons shall meet the qualifications of 1 Timothy 3:8-13.  The deacons shall elect a chairman annually.
  9. The board of deaconesses shall answer to the board of deacons and to the board of elders. Deaconesses shall assist those boards and pursue special concerns expressed by the women of the church, such as a safe and adequate nursery, women's banquets, baptism of women and other special concerns.  Deaconesses shall meet the qualifications of 1 Timothy 3:11.  They shall elect a chairwoman annually.
  10. The treasurer shall furnish a financial report for all regular elders' meetings. He/she shall also provide monthly reports for the membership. The treasurer shall receive all monies, pay all bills, and keep an accurate account of all transactions. He/she shall work in conjunction with the financial secretary and assistant treasurer.
  11. The church clerk shall maintain an accurate membership roll and take minutes at congregational business meetings.
  12. The financial secretary shall keep a record of incoming monies and verify the record with the treasurer as necessary.

Article V: Limitations, Policies, and Accountability Checks

  1. The church shall hold a regular business meeting at least once per quarter. The meeting date is to be determined by the elders and communicated to the congregation with at least one week advance notice.  All church officers are expected to attend regular business meetings.
  2. Twelve members at a business meeting shall constitute a quorum. The elders, deacons, or twelve voting members may call a special business meeting. Two weeks notice shall be required for a special business meeting, except in an emergency.
  3. The church shall hold an annual meeting, preferably in April. Available church statistics shall be presented during this meeting. Additionally, candidates for office will be presented for confirmation.
  4. All officers seeking to resign shall give at least one month's notice to the elders unless resigning for moral, doctrinal, or crisis reasons.
  5. Each candidate for office shall indicate his/her general agreement with the doctrine of our church.
  6. The deacons are the church's trustees but shall make no purchases without permission or delegated authority (and its accompanying limits) from the elders. The deacons shall not take out a loan or handle real estate without consent of the membership at a business meeting.
  7. The elders may not approve funds for any project exceeding one week's average offering (based on previous year) without permission from a two-thirds majority of the members present at a business meeting.
  8. All missionaries being considered by the church board for financial support must be approved by the elders and confirmed by a two-thirds majority at a business meeting.
  9. The board of elders or a two-thirds majority of the membership present at a business meeting may remove any officer from his/her office.
  10. If any office or position is vacated, the elders may appoint someone to serve until the next annual meeting.
  11. Showers, weddings, and other activities may be held in the church building if a member of the church is willing to take responsibility for the facilities, including clean-up and replacement of any damaged items or property. The elders or deacons reserve the right to grant or refrain from granting permission for any and all activities involving church properties.
  12. Non-members of the church may be required to pay a fee for the use of church facilities.
  13. No drinking of alcoholic beverages shall be allowed on church properties.  No smoking is allowed in the church building. 
  14. All church organizations (for example, Sunday School, Awana, church-related home fellowship groups, Women's Missionary Society) shall answer to the elders and the membership.
  15. Guest speakers shall be in general agreement with the doctrinal statement of Highland Park Church.
  16. Men shall be taught doctrine or Bible content or be under the preaching of men only, whether in a service, Sunday School, or any official church function (1 Timothy 2:11-15).  For practical purposes, a man shall be defined as a male eighteen years or older. Women may teach non-doctrinal materials (Biblical geography, languages, teaching techniques, etc.) to men, as well as sharing testimonies or personal applications of Scripture. Women may lead songs, be involved in drama, usher, minister in music, and anything else not specifically limited to men in our understanding of Scripture or the Constitution. Women may teach Bible or doctrine to women or children.
  17. Voting members must be at least sixteen years of age.
  18. The elders shall interpret and apply this constitution.
  19. All new pastoral staff will be given a probationary status during the first year of employment. Even though pastoral staff is approved by the congregation for a five-year term, new pastors will be evaluated during the first year of employment. During the probationary period, the elders shall either
    1. confirm employment,
    2. terminate employment, or
    3. extend the probationary period.
    This applies to new pastors only during their first term of service. Once employment is confirmed, they may only be removed as described in Article V, point 9.

Article VI: Amendments

This constitution may be amended at any time by a two-thirds majority of the membership present at a business meeting. It is suggested that this constitution be evaluated every five years for possible adjustments.

 

SECTION II: DOCTRINE (OUR BELIEFS)

Article I: The Holy Scriptures

We believe that the thirty-nine books of the Old Testament and the twenty-seven books of the New Testament are verbally inspired by God and inerrant in the original manuscripts. Scripture is the only infallible source in determining matters of faith and practice.
(2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:21; Psalm 119)

Article II: God

We believe that God is one unity made up of three distinct persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (the Trinity). Each person is equal in attributes. God is present everywhere, has all knowledge and power, is holy and loving, had no beginning and shall have no end.
(Exodus 20:2-3; Matthew 28:19; Luke 3:22; Isaiah 6:3; Psalm 90:2; Genesis 1:1, 26)

Article III: The Lord Jesus Christ

We believe that the Son of God has always existed as God. At a point in time, He became man in the person of Jesus Christ. He was miraculously conceived while Mary was yet a virgin. Though He became fully man, He also remained fully God, although He limited Himself to the Father's wishes. He lived a sinless life. He suffered physically and spiritually on the cross, shedding His blood on behalf of mankind. His death satisfied the justice and righteous wrath of God so that the believer can be forgiven in a way that does not compromise God's character. On the third day, He rose bodily from the grave. He later ascended into heaven to sit at the right hand of the Father, where He intercedes on behalf of believers.
(John 1:1-3, 3:16; Hebrews 1:8, 13:8; Philippians 2:5-10; Isaiah 53:5-6; 1 Corinthians 15:3-4; Luke 24:39; Acts 1:9-10; Revelation 5:9; 1 John 2:12; Romans 3:24-31; Romans 5:6-10)

Article IV: The Holy Spirit

We believe that God the Holy Spirit is active in the conversion process and that He indwells and empowers every genuinely converted believer.
(Matthew 28:19-20; Genesis 1:2; John 16:7-11; Acts 1:8; 1 Corinthians 12:13; Romans 8:9; 1 Corinthians 6:11)

Article V: Man

We believe that man was created by God in His own image, meaning that man is a moral and spiritual being. The first man chose to willfully disobey God, and as a result the world is cursed and the image of God in man is damaged and marred. The natural, unsaved man is spiritually dead and unable to deliver himself from sin and eternal damnation.
(Genesis 2:7; 1 Thessalonians 5:23; Genesis 5:3; Romans 5:12; Romans 3:10-12; Isaiah 64:6; Ephesians 2:1-3; Roman 5:18-21; Romans 1:16)

Article VI: Salvation

We believe that to be "saved" means to have one's sins (past, present, and future) forgiven by God, to have become a new creation in Christ, and to be delivered from hell and the power of sin. Salvation cannot be achieved through personal effort, self-reform, or religious ritual. In order to be saved, one must exercise saving faith by repenting from sin and trusting in what Christ did on the cross to make us right with God.

Saving faith depends upon the work of Christ, not what we can or cannot do.  No other conditions are to be added (such as baptism, church membership, etc.) to salvation. These practices may evidence genuine conversion, but they cannot cause it.
(John 1:12; 3:16, 18, 36; 5:24; 6:29; Acts 13:39; 16:31; Romans 1:16-17; 3:22-26; 4:4; 10:4; Galatians 3:22)

Article VII: Assurance of Salvation

We believe that every true believer can be sure of his/her salvation because salvation is never earned or deserved; it is a gift, not a loan. The Holy Spirit bears witness to our conversion, as does a changed life, but the so-called carnal Christian is not entitled to assurance.
(Romans 8:16; 2 Corinthians 13:5; 1 John 5:13; 1 John 2:3-4; 5:10)

Article VIII: Perseverance (Security)

We believe that if a person is truly saved, he will, without exception, continue to believe until the end. The fruit of genuine conversion is endurance.  Although some who appear to be truly saved may not be actually saved, the Lord knows His own. A person who truly possesses salvation cannot lose that salvation, but a truly saved person cannot permanently live in gross sin.
(1 John 2:19; 5:1-5; John 6:37, 44; 10:26-30; Romans 8:31-39; Hebrews 10:39)

Article IX: Spiritual Gifts

We believe that every genuine believer has at least one spiritual gift and often several. The Holy Spirit is sovereign and distributes gifts as He chooses.  He is under no obligation to give all types of gifts to every generation of believers. We do NOT hold to the following:

  1. It is always God's will for every believer to be physically healed in this life.
  2. Failure to be healed always indicates a lack of faith.
  3. Only those speaking in tongues have been baptized and/or filled with the Spirit.
  4. It is God's desire for all believers to speak in tongues.
  5. The gift of tongues is the most important spiritual gift.

Although we do not endorse tongues as being a spiritual gift given today, we will accept those who disagree into our membership as long as they do not hold to the above beliefs and do not promote tongues.
(Ephesians 2:20; Hebrews 2:3-4; 1 Corinthians 14:21; 1 Peter 4:10; Romans 12:6-8; 1 John 5:14; Romans 8:22-25; Galatians 4:13; 2 Timothy 4:20)

Article X: Sanctification

We believe that every true believer is perfect in God's eyes, even though he/she continues to struggle with sin. With the power of the Holy Spirit, the believer will grow in his/her walk as a new creature in Christ.
(Titus 1:1; Ephesians 2:8-10; Galatians 5:22-25; Hebrews 10:39; Romans 6:4; Colossians 3:1-3; Romans 12:1-2; 1 John 1:8-10; 2:5; 3:10; 5:4-5; Hebrews 12:4-11)

Article XI: Angels, Satan, and Demons

We believe in the existence of angels who serve and glorify God, observe Christian worship, and minister to believers.
(Hebrews 1:4; 13:2; Luke 2:8-15; Isaiah 6:2; 1 Corinthians 11:10; 1 Peter 1:12; Ephesians 3:10)

We also believe in the existence of fallen angels (also called demons) who are led by the adversary, Satan. These fallen angels oppose God and His people and will ultimately be cast into the Lake of Fire. The believer, possessing the Holy Spirit and using the armor of God, can experience personal victory over demonic opposition.
(Ezekiel 28:13-17; Matthew 4:1-11; Revelation 12:9-11; Ephesians 6:12; Job 1:6-12; Revelation 20:10; 1 John 3:8; 1 Peter 5:8-9)

Article XII: The Church

We believe that the Church is the living body of Christ and consists of all true believers, regardless of denominational affiliation, who have genuinely been saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. The Church is a New Testament entity, not a continuation of Israel. The individual (local) church is a specific body of believers, gathered together to minister to one another to the glory of God.

We observe two ordinances that remind us of the work of Christ: the Lord's Supper and believer's baptism (by immersion). These ordinances are edifying, but symbolic; they do not contribute toward salvation.
(Matthew 16:18; 1 Corinthians 12:13; Ephesians 1:22-23; 2:11-22; 3:4-7; Hebrews 10:24-25; 13:17; 1 Timothy 3:15; Acts 2:42; 5:29; Matthew 28:19-20; 1 Corinthians 11:23-34)

Article XIII: Church Leadership

We believe that the individual church is to be led by men (males) called elders, bishops, overseers, or pastors.
(Acts 20:17, 28; Philippians 1:1; 1 Timothy 2:12; 3:1-13)

Article XIV: The Second Coming

We believe that one day Jesus Christ will return to resurrect the dead in Christ and to immortalize "we who remain." We also believe that there will be a seven year period of God's wrath on the earth, called the Tribulation or Daniel's 70th week. We believe that a literal millennium (thousand year reign of Christ) will follow the Tribulation, during which God will once again exalt His nation, Israel (premillennialism). We recognize the diversity of opinion as regards the return of Christ to the clouds (the "rapture") and its relationship to the tribulation. Though our position has historically been that of Pretribulationalism, we can accept members with other viewpoints.
(I Thessalonians 4:13-17; 5:1-11; 1 Corinthians 15:51-58; 2 Thessalonians 2:1-13; Daniel 9:24-27; Revelation 20:4)

Article XV: Heaven and the Lake of Fire

We believe that, at death, the souls of believers are consciously with the Lord, and that one day the saved from all ages will receive new bodies and enjoy the bliss of the New Heaven and the New Earth. The lost, however, will spend eternity in the Lake of Fire, where they will be in constant misery.
(Job 19:25-27; Daniel 12:2; 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17; 1 Corinthians 15:51-58; Revelation 21:1-4; John 5:28-29; Revelation 20:11-15; 2 Corinthians 5:8; Luke 16:19-31; John 3:16-18)

Article XVI: Morality

Our faith and moral standards cannot be separated; one leads to the other.  We, therefore, take the following moral stands:

  1. Pro-Family
    We believe that the family is a God-ordained institution, consisting of an exclusive heterosexual relationship between husband and wife. We believe that children are owned by God and entrusted to parents, not the state. We repudiate child abuse (sexual, physical, or mental), spouse abuse, and irresponsibility. We believe in discipline, including moderate spanking of children. We acknowledge the Biblical teaching of male headship and its implications. We believe the rearing of children to be a worthwhile and dignified vocation.
    (Psalm 127:3-4; Ephesians 5:22-6:4; Romans 1:18-27; Genesis 2:21-24; Proverbs 22:15; Titus 2:3-5; 1 Corinthians 11:3)
  2. Pro-Life
    We believe that abortion is murder and loathsome to God (except when done in self-defense to preserve the mother's life). We believe retarded, deformed, and handicapped individuals are fully human and should be treated as such. 
    (Psalm 139:13ff; Exodus 4:11)
  3. Pro-Temperance
    We believe that illegal chemical use and drunkenness are sinful behaviors.
    (Epheshians 5:18)

REVISIONS

September 26, 1993

Section One, Article II, #2 was:

  1. A candidate for membership shall share his/her testimony with any current elder. The elder shall present a recommendation regarding the candidate to the board of elders, who may then recommend the candidate to the members.

Section One, Article II, #3 (now deleted) was:

  1. The existing membership shall vote to approve the candidate into membership at any Sunday morning service. A two-thirds majority of those present is required.


March 27, 1994

Section One, Article IV, #3 was:

  1. Officers, regular teachers, club directors, etc., shall be members of Highland Park Church (students living away from home excepted).  Substitute teachers, club leaders and helpers, though not required to be members, must, along with our members, abstain from sexual immorality, drunkenness and/or use of illegal drugs, dishonesty, etc. Failure to comply will result in dismissal.


February 26, 1995

Section One, Article IV, #1 was:

  1. A nominating committee consisting of eight to ten members shall meet annually, preferably in February, for the purpose of selecting candidates for office. This committee shall consist of two elders, two deacons, two deaconesses, and the remainder non-office holding members, chaired by a staff pastor, all chosen by the elders. The committee shall present its nominations to the elders. A screening form developed by the elders shall be distributed to the nominees. The completed screening form will assist the elders in evaluating the nominees (see Article V, #5).  A list of the approved nominees shall be presented to the membership at the annual business meeting. Candidates must receive at least a two-thirds approval, written ballot, to confirm the position.

Section One, Article IV, #4 was:

  1. The board of elders shall consist of the pastoral staff, the Sunday School superintendent, and at least two other men. Elders must be male, profess salvation, have been baptized by immersion, and meet the criteria of 1 Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:6-9.  They shall meet as necessary. The chairman of the board of elders shall be selected by the elders annually. A staff pastor may not serve as chairman.

Section One, Article IV, #6 was:

  1. Staff pastors are full-time teaching/administrative elders. Staff pastors shall be responsible for:
    1. preparing and delivering edifying sermons from the Word of God,
    2. visiting members who are hospitalized or shut-in,
    3. counseling members as needed,
    4. performing funerals for deceased members,
    5. officiating wedding ceremonies according to each staff member's convictions,
    6. overseeing ordinances,
    7. establishing a vision for the future.


July 22, 2001

Section One, Article V, #1 was:

  1. The church shall hold business meetings on a monthly basis, although exceptions are allowed. This meeting shall usually be held the Sunday after the regular elders' meeting. Officers shall regularly attend business meetings.


June 30, 2002

Section One, Article IV, #2 was:

  1. Officers of the church include elder, deacon, deaconess, treasurer, assistant treasurer, financial secretary, church clerk, and Sunday School superintendent. Other offices may be created as necessary. All terms of office, except for staff pastors, shall be for two years.  Staff pastors are reaffirmed or removed every five years.


January 23, 2005

Section One, Article V, #19 was added.

 


January 27, 2008

Section One, Article IV, #2 was:

  1. Officers of the church include elder, deacon, deaconess, treasurer, assistant treasurer, financial secretary, church clerk, and Sunday School superintendent. Other offices may be created as necessary. All terms of office, except for staff pastors, shall be for two years. Staff pastors are reaffirmed or removed every five years. The Sunday School superintendent shall be appointed by the elders from among their number.

Section One, Article IV, #4 was:

  1. The board of elders shall consist of the senior pastor, the Sunday School superintendent, and two or more men who are elected by the congregation and are not pastoral staff members. Elders must be male, profess salvation, have been baptized by immersion, and meet the criteria of 1 Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:6-9.  They shall meet as necessary. The chairman of the board of elders shall be selected by the elders annually. The senior pastor may not serve as chairman.

Section One, Article IV, #7 was removed:

  1. The Sunday School superintendent shall oversee the Sunday School ministry, working with the teachers and in conjunction with the other elders.

ON THE WEB
SINCE 1996

 


Highland Park Church
516 West Sycamore Street
Kokomo, Indiana, USA
765.452.1779
church@highlandpc.com