How We Are Structured

Taken from the Bylaws of Westside Baptist Church

             Under the authority of Jesus Christ and the Scriptures, the membership is the final authority within this local church. This authority is normally exercised through the election of officers to govern the church. However, the vote of the membership at a duly called meeting, as provided in these bylaws, shall be required to effect the actions in Article 3 Section 3.B. The membership may overturn the actions of the elders with a two-thirds majority vote taken at a duly called meeting.

 

The offices of the church shall be elders and deacons.

The leadership of the church shall be vested in the elders who are responsible for governing the church, teaching the Bible, and tending this flock of God. The elders shall be equal in authority but may be specialized in function.

Deacons shall assist the elders by performing services of advice, administration, implementation, and financial accountability.

The church, upon nomination by the elders, shall elect at the annual meeting, members to the positions of church clerk, treasurer, and financial secretary. One member shall not simultaneously perform the functions of both treasurer and financial secretary.

The elders have the authority to create and dissolve any committees and ministry positions to assist them in fulfilling their responsibilities. The elders shall have primary responsibility for the employment, supervision, and evaluation of staff members and paid helpers. This responsibility may, on a case-by-case basis, be delegated.

 

Church Government – Leadership/Officers

Chief Shepherd

Jesus Christ, God’s Son, is the sole Head of Westside Baptist Church, the Leader before whom all merely human leaders must bow (Ephesians 1:22-23; Matthew 23:8-11; 1 Peter 5:4). He communicates His will for the church through the Bible. He gives additional guidance by means of the specific leading of the Holy Spirit who indwells the heart of each true believer. He also shepherds the flock by gifting the church with under-shepherds who are commissioned, under His leadership, with the task of equipping the flock for its full functioning (Ephesians 4:7-16). In a real sense, this church belongs to Him; He has taken the responsibility for ordering the life of the church so that He may someday present it to Himself glorious, without any spot or wrinkle that would detract from heaven’s beauty (Ephesians 5:25-27).

 

Arrangement of Pastoral Ministries

The arrangement of pastoral ministries (excluding those of the preaching elder) is determined through the mutual submission of the elders to each other under the Lord. All elders are responsible for decision-making. They shall have sufficient time together in prayer and mutual exhortation to preserve their unity under the leadership of Christ.

In so far as possible, at least one elder shall serve as full-time preaching elder. The church recognizes him as particularly called, gifted, and trained for the full-time ministry of preaching and teaching. Ideally he should have prior experience in Southern Baptist ministry. He oversees the following ministries: preaching (2 Timothy 4:2); prayer (1 Timothy 2:1, 8); leadership development (1 Timothy 3:1-13; 2 Timothy 2:2); and evangelism training (2 Timothy 4:5). If possible, he should also have prior experience conducting weddings and funerals. He has no more authority than other elders. He is accountable to them as fellow pastors with equal standing before the church.