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How do we begin and complete this process?

  1. Discuss with church leaders and the church family the need for Constitution-Bylaws-Policies & Procedures. Liability insurance and incorporation are two other aspects of legal (formal) structure for guidance and protection of a local church. This discussion usually begins with the pastor and deacon body.
  2. Recommend to the church family that the church pursue this matter(s) and elect a Constitution-Bylaws-Policy & Procedures Committee. Some churches use “Legal Structure Committee” or “Administrative Manual Committee.”
  3. Train this committee to conduct its work effectively. Please contact our department to request this training.
  4. Begin the compilation and writing of these materials.
    • Examine the church’s current situation, documents, minutes, etc.
    • Secure copies of other churches’ materials.
    • Solicit input and suggestions from the congregation.
    • Compile a rough draft.
  5. Present the rough draft to the church. Practice the “four step rule” of presentation:
    • Declare to the church that next Sunday they will receive the rough draft.
    • Distribute the rough draft to each church member on the second Sunday.
    • Discuss the rough draft with the church without voting a week later.
    • Decide on approval or rejection of the rough draft on the fourth Sunday.
  6. Discuss (#5 step above) the proposed Constitution-Bylaws-Policies & Procedures rough draft with the church. Make changes to the rough draft (via amendments) as instructed by the church family. Final approval of the document is not taken by vote at this “discussion only” meeting.
  7. Present the final document with amendments to the church for approval.
  8. Distribute copies of the approved document to the church.
  9. Include in the document a process for future changes and revisions.
  10. Express appreciation to the committee members. This committee usually becomes a permanent or standing committee in the church.
  11. Educate the church to follow the document(s).
  12. Make these document(s) available to new members.

If we can assist your association or church, or if you have a question, please contact our department at 1-800-748-1651 or 601-968-3800 or by e-mail