DOCUMENT 1: ARTICLES Of CONSTITUTION
We the people do declare and establish this constitution to extend the Kingdom of Our Lord Jesus Christ, to preserve and secure the principles of our faith, and to govern the body in an orderly manner.
This constitution will preserve the liberties of each individual church member and the freedom of action of this body in its relation to other churches.
ARTICLE I: NAME
This congregation shall be known as Southern Hills Baptist Church of Sioux City, Iowa.
ARTICLE II: OBJECTIVES
The purposes of this church are and shall be:
- To make disciples of Jesus Christ in Siouxland, throughout the United States, and around the world,
- To share Christ with as many people as possible in Siouxland, throughout the United States, and around the world,
- To teach those who trust Christ to obey all of Christ’s commands by proclaiming and teaching God’s Word, the Bible,
- To teach people to understand God’s person, character, and ways, so that they might worship Him, glorify Him, and live in submission to Him,
- To build a vibrant fellowship of believers focused around a common experience of God’s grace, and,
- To encourage one another to live under the Lordship of Christ, to grow in Christ and to become more like Christ; committing ourselves completely to God’s purposes in this world, submitting our whole being to Him, and being faithful stewards of the possessions that have been entrusted to us.
ARTICLE III: STATEMENT OF FAITH
The Holy Bible is the inspired Word of God and is our sole standard for faith and practice. The church believes that The Baptist Faith and Message as adopted by the Southern Baptist Convention in 1963 and amended in 2000 is a faithful statement of biblical doctrine and is the general doctrinal confession of the church (available in the church office or online at www.sbc.net/bfm/bfm2000.asp). This church is a body of baptized believers personally committed to proclaiming the good news of salvation to lost mankind. The ordinances of the church are baptism and the Lord’s Supper.
ARTICLE IV: RELATIONSHIPS
This church is autonomous and self-governing under the Lordship of Christ. The government of this church is vested in the body of believers who compose it. It is subject to the control of no other ecclesiastical body, but it recognizes and sustains the obligations of mutual counsel and cooperation, which are common among Baptist churches. Insofar as is practical, this church will cooperate with and support the Northwest Iowa Southern Baptist Association, the Baptist Convention of Iowa, and the Southern Baptist Convention.
ARTICLE V: RESPONSIBILITIES OF CHURCH MEMBERSHIP
We recognize that a church is not a building or an organization, but a body of baptized believers working together to make disciples in this world. As part of that body, each member has certain responsibilities to others in the church. In the power of God, we purpose – individually and corporately – to do the following:
- We will walk together in Christian love, caring for one another and encouraging and admonishing one another.
- We will be faithful in assembling for worship and fellowship and in praying earnestly for others as well as for ourselves.
- We will encourage one another in times of sorrow and hardship and share one another’s joys.
- We will not gossip about one another nor listen to gossip about one another.
- We will seek to walk under the Lordship of Jesus Christ and live exemplary lives in this world.
- We will seek to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ in Siouxland as widely as we are able.
- We will seek to uphold the highest standards of biblical morality in our personal lives and in our fellowship together.
- We will work to maintain a faithful ministry of discipleship and education in this church so that we may encourage one another to walk in obedience to Christ in all things.
- We will participate in the church’s ordinances, submit to its discipline and live, serve, and teach in accord with its doctrinal statement (as defined in Article III).
- We will be faithful stewards of our resources and abilities in sharing the gospel with people of all nations.
- We will seek, when we move from this place, to find another church of like faith and practice at which we can continue to grow spiritually and minister in Christ’s name.
Each of us must seek to live individually to the glory of God who redeemed us through Christ so that we may walk together in unity and power to proclaim Christ in this world.
ARTICLE VI: CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS
This constitution may be amended as follows:
Proposed amendments shall be announced in morning worship services four successive Sundays. Copies of the proposed amendment(s) will be made available each Sunday morning. No sooner than four weeks after the initial presentation of the proposed amendments, a business meeting will be held for the purpose of voting on the proposed amendments. A three-fourths (3/4) majority vote of the members present and voting shall be required for adoption of the proposed amendments.