david cook


Major problems churches make when drafting Bylaws


Recently, we have had the opportunity to review several churches' Bylaws and Governing Documents for legal sufficiency. This is an important, but often overlooked area in many churches. So let's look at a few of the problem areas that I see for churches when dealing with their Bylaws and Governing Documents:

  • First, in many situations the original Articles of Incorporation/Certificate of Formation may have been filed many decades ago and may not conform to the present realities of the church's situation. One that I just looked at had been filed in the 1950s, and stated that the church would have a term of 50 years. Fortunately,
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Why does my church need bylaws?


Few pastors want to spend their time on such seemingly mundane things as bylaws and church governance. Most pastors would, instead, rather being doing the ministry activities to which they feel most called: visiting with families, praying with hurting people, preparing sermons, and mobilizing volunteers.

But when trouble strikes, the first thing many pastors think is: "I wish I had spent time drafting some better bylaws for our church!" Why? Because bylaws help lay the framework for what happens in the church--both during good times and bad.

A good way to think about this is that bylaws are somewhat like the rules...

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