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Church Bylaws

Adopted by the Elders Board on June 24, 2014

Accepted by Church Members Meeting

"For God is not {a God} of confusion but of peace" (1 Cor. 14:33)

Table Of Contents:

1. The name and doctrines of the Church
2. The goals of Word of Grace Bible Church
3. Membership in the Church
    3.1. What follows is the order of entering into membership with the Church
    3.2. The rights and responsibilities of the members of the church
    3.3. Church discipline
4. Church Administration
    4.1. Member meetings of the Church
    4.2. Elders Board
    4.3. The Shepherds Council
    4.4. The Councils of ministries
        4.4.9. The Deacon’s Council
        4.4.10. Worship Ministry Council
        4.4.11. Youth Ministry Council
        4.4.12. "Next Generation" Ministry Council
    4.5. Pastors
    4.6. Small group leaders
5. The finances and administration of the church
6. Conflict resolution
7. Church property


The Position of WGBC Regarding Marriage, Divorce, Re-marriage, and Sexuality

  • 1. The name and doctrines of the Church 

    • 1.1. This church of evangelical Christian Baptists bears the name "Word of Grace Bible Church. The church is officially registered as a religious non-profit organization in the state of Washington, which has the appropriate records filed with the governing body of the state of Washington, 12.08.97. [1]
    • 1.2. Word of Grace Bible Church is a conservative Baptist church and holds to the classical Baptist doctrinal views. The primary doctrinal standard of WGBC is the Bible in its natural, histo-grammatically interpretation, as well as the beliefs of the pre-WWII Union of the Baptists of Russia edited by F. P. Pavlov (y.1906) and I. V. Odintsov (y.1928), and the Baptist confession of 1698, also known as the Second London Baptist Confession of Faith.
    • 1.3. Besides this, WGBC shares the common Baptist principles, which express the foundational elements of the Baptist faith and which are laid out in the brochure of Y. Y. Vincent "Our Baptist Principles," published in Harbin in the year of 1924.
    • 1.4. In matters of marriage and sexuality, WGBC adheres to a traditional biblical view as expressed in the document titled "The position of WGBC in matters of marriage, divorce, re-marriage, and sexuality."
    • 1.5. The text of the document titled "The position of WGBC in matters of marriage, divorce, re-marriage, and sexuality," applies to the given bylaws. Doctrine Statement and other documents previously mentioned can be found on our website; www. slovo. org.
  • 2. The goals of Word of Grace Bible Church 

  • Word of Grace Bible Church is founded for the following purposes:
    • 2.1. The confession and glorification of the triune God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, the creator of heaven and earth, the Creator and Lord of all humanity, who saved man from eternal death through the death of Jesus Christ on the cross.
    • 2.2. To carry out the great commission of Christ is to proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ and to spread the influence of biblical truth with the help of the Holy Spirit to people close and afar. We believe that the gospel of Jesus Christ is necessary to every person. Everyone is need of salvation from eternal death, and only the saving grace of God, which acts through His word with the help of the Holy Spirit, can save man from sin and eternal death. To fulfill this commission WGBC actively participates in the ministry of bringing sinners to Christ and in the creation of new churches first among the Slavic people as well as other national cultures.
    • 2.3. The fulfillment of the commandments of Christ, which include making disciples and in their discipline in the spirit of biblical truth, using church services and other forms of ministry for this purpose, which benefit the spiritual growth of believers, as well as equipping (preparing) them for the work of God and people. Special attention is given to the discipline of younger generation of believing Slavic people. For this purpose certain conditions are created which allow for a firm position in holding fast to truth of the biblical teachings in the midst of the changing culture;
    • 2.4. The spreading of the influence of God’s word which is able to make the life of every believer fulfilled and blessed. With this goal in mind the church organizes the study, the spreading of, and popularization of the Bible in forms understandable to modern people. This may include groups in studying the Bible, Sunday schools for children and adults, Christian camps, theological education, the organization of various specialized clubs and other events which accommodate for a better understanding of the Bible and the application of its truth in practical life.
    • 2.5. Providing the members of the church with the opportunities for fellowship, mutual support, mutual edification and service toward each other.
  • 3. Membership in the Church 

    • 3.1. What follows is the order of entering into membership with the Church 

      • 3.1.1. A person may be a member of WGBC in the city of Battle Ground who:
        • Is a child of God, meaning, he is born again by the means of a personal faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and by testifying about it through water baptism and the proof of the fruit of a Christian life;
        • Without question, willingly, and consciously accepts the full authority of the Holy Scriptures, which is the Bible, ready to submit to it and in agreement with the doctrinal beliefs of WGBC.
        • Accepts the given bylaws which express the structure and philosophy of ministry of the given church, and agrees to submit to all of its positions.
      • 3.1.2. Membership with WGBC is considered a privilege and not a right. The candidates for membership with the Church must be ready to sincerely strive towards a life according to the teaching of the Holy Scriptures in its congruence with the doctrinal teachings of WGBC, to actively participate in the life of the church, to support its ministry, investing into it personal time, strength, abilities and finances.
      • 3.1.3 To enter into membership with WGBC, the desiring person must:
        • Begin attending one of the groups of pastoral shepherding to have the opportunity to become more acquainted with the practice of ministry and life of the church, personal interaction with brothers and sisters, as well as mutual support and service toward one another.
        • Have a recommendation from the leader of the group that the desiring person attends;
        • Become acquainted with the general structure of the church, its doctrines and bylaws. For this purpose according to the measure of necessity, special classes are conducted;
        • Confirm his/her agreement with the doctrines, bylaws, and structure of the ministry in written format;
        • Fill out an application and give it to the minister of the church responsible for new members;
        • Go through a personal meeting with the representatives of the church’s Elders Board.
      • 3.1.4. The decision to accept or deny someone the membership is made by the Elders Board.
      • 3.1.5. After the confirmation from the Pastoral Council, all new members are presented to the whole church for acquaintance.
      • 3.1.6. Members of other churches may be accepted into membership with WGBC on the basis of a recommendation of the ministers of that church from which they came taking into account the rules stated in points 3.1.1, 3.1.2, and 3.1.3 of the given bylaws.
      • 3.1.7. The final decision to accept someone as a member is made by the Elders Board, which, in the case that there is doubt regarding the criteria listed above, reserves the right to deny membership or postpone it until the issues preventing membership are resolved.
    • 3.2. The rights and responsibilities of the members of the church 

      • 3.2.1. In answering the great love of God toward people, expressed in the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, each member of the church must acknowledge the necessity of continually remaining in prayer and the study of the Holy Scriptures by means of which achieving an understanding of God’s will and receiving strength for the fulfillment of this will in the practice of personal life.
      • 3.2.2. For effective spiritual development, each member of the church must be in one of the church’s groups of shepherding care, being accountable to the leader of that group, serving the members of that group in love, benefiting their growth in faith, as well as bringing other unbelievers to Christ.
      • 3.2.3. Each member of the church, to the measure of his/her gifting, participates in church-wide ministry which is expressed in various forms of service toward each other and promotes the common edification of the church and the proclamation of the Gospel to unbelievers.
      • 3.2.4. One of the most important ministries in the church belonging to members of the church who have children, includes disciplining them according to biblical teachings (Deut. 6:6-9; Eph. 6:1-4; Prov. 13:24; 23:13-14), facilitating their life towards becoming born again and forming in them a Christian character.
      • 3.2.5. The members of the church participate in the forming of the general strategy of the development of the church, presenting their recommendations and notices to the small group leaders, to the members of the Pastoral Council, as well as participating in the discussion of and the making of decisions regarding the competency of the members of the church.
      • 3.2.6. Members of the church who are 16 years of age and older can participate in the election of a pastor and members of the Elders Board.
      • 3.2.7. Each member of the church participates in the offering ministry of the church proportionally to their income and the greatness of necessary expenses tied with the ministry of the church.
      • 3.2.8. Although the tithe is not a necessary requirement, we acknowledge that each member of the church must strive towards sacrificing for the ministry of the church a minimum of a tenth part of their income.
      • 3.2.9. The ministry of tithe offering is not a burden but an opportunity to serve God by the means of financial support of the ministry of His Church. Eagerly and willingly participating in the material ministry of tithing, the members of the church invest their part into the common work of the work of the church.
      • 3.2.10. The members can leave the church as they chose having informed the Pastoral Council of their decision in written form having filled out the appropriate form. Members of the church who are under church discipline cannot resign from membership prior to the resolution of their matter.
    • 3.3. Church discipline 

      • 3.3.1. The Elders Board is responsible for carrying out the church discipline process.
      • 3.3.2. The members of WGBC who are doctrinally confused or whose behavior violates the Holy Scripture or the positions outlined in sections 1.2, 1.3, & 1.4, may be subject to church discipline, even up to excommunication in accordance with Matt. 18:15-18.
      • 3.3.3. Church notice may be expressed in the form of a warning or excommunication from the church (Matt. 18:15-17). The purpose of church discipline is correction and restoration of the guilty party.
      • 3.3.4. Church discipline can apply to people who are not formally members of WGBC, but who consider themselves Christians and regularly attend services, and other WGBC events. If such people are living an clearly sinful lifestyle or are spreading teaching contrary to Scripture or the statues listed in Section 1 of the document, then the Elders Board may deny such people the privilege to attend WGBC services and activities, and prohibit fellowship with members WGBC.
      • 3.3.5. For the purposes of this document "Notice" implies a temporary disciplinary measure (2 Thessalonians 3:14), used in cases where there is hope of repentance and reform for the sinner. Church members who are on warning have no right to minister in the church, cannot participate in the Lord’s Supper, and also lose the right to vote and participate in the decision at church member services.
      • 3.3.6. For the purposes of this document "excommunication" means definitive exclusion from church membership, forfeiting of all rights associated with membership in the church. Excommunicated persons cannot participate in the Lord’s Supper, cannot participate in the decisions of church matters and cannot have spiritual fellowship with God’s people.
      • 3.3.7. If the one who sinned repents of his/her sin and desires correction, the Elders Board selects disciplers who offer practical help in correction. In this case Church Notice is postponed until further and final results of the counseling process.
      • 3.3.8. In the case that the one who sinned repents of his/her sin, but there are no observed fruits of change in his/her life, according to the decision of the Elders Board he/she may be placed on Church Notice with the loss of the privilege of participating in communion and in other ministries of the church.
      • 3.3.9. If the one who sinned does not repent nor desires change after numerous attempts at personal work and council with him, the Elder’s Board makes a decision that this person should be excommunicated from the church.
      • 3.3.10. The decision of excommunication is disclosed at a church gathering with an explanation of the essence of the sin which became the cause of excommunication. Members of the church, who directly disobey the given bylaws, or in the extent of three months do not attend church services or members meetings without legitimate reasons can be excluded from the list of members of WGBC. This decision is made by the Elders Board after thorough investigation of all factors and presented during the next members meeting.
      • 3.3.11. In certain cases the Elders Board may, by exception, put on notice or excommunicate without procedures provided in sections 3.3.7 and 3.3.8, if sin or failure to repent had been public and blasphemes Christ and His Church (1 Cor 5:1-5 ).
  • 4. Church Administration 

    • 4.1. Member meetings of the Church 

      • 4.1.1. Every member of the Church from 16 years of age and older has the right of say in the undertaking of certain decision regarding the church that pertain to the competency of the members meeting. This right is actualized through the means of participation in the decision making of church matters in small groups and through voting during members meetings.
      • 4.1.2. The competency of members meetings includes questions of great importance such as:
        • The adoption of church bylaws and the changes made to it;
        • The election of a pastor;
        • The election of members on the Elder’s Board;
        • The confirmation of the church budget;
        • Decisions made about the property of the church; the acquiring of, construction of, sale of, trade, etc., of this property.
        • Other questions that demand a substantial financial expense or that carry global impact in the life and ministry of the church.
      • 4.1.3. Current issues regarding the functionality of the church are undertaken by the Elder’s Board with a following meeting where the members of the church are informed of it.
      • 4.1.4. The decisions during members meetings are considered legitimate in the case that more than 50% of the members of the church were present to make the decision.
      • 4.1.5. The majority of decisions during members meetings carry authority if the simple majority voted for them, meaning 50% + one vote of those participating in the vote. Exceptions include:
        • The election of a new pastor. This decision demands no less than a ¾ majority or 75% of those participating in the voting process.
        • Decisions regarding the modification of the given bylaws. This decision demands the agreement of no less than 2/3 or 67% of those participating in the voting process.
        • The voting count is enumerated by a count committee elected by the Elder’s Board.
      • 4.1.6. The members meetings are prepared and conducted by the pastor or members of the Elder’s Board as necessary.
      • 4.1.7. Every member of the church may initiate the discussion of any question during the meetings of the Elder’s Board of members meetings at church. For this it is necessary that the question or matter be given to any of the members of the Elder’s Board in written form. The questions or matters presented to the Elder’s Board must reflect the following points:
        • What is the essence of the suggestion or matter;
        • Biblical, logical, or practical basis for the adoption of the suggestion (why does it need to be applied in the church);
        • In what way will the suggestion promote the edification of the local church;
        • What kind of resources (finances, time, people) will be necessary for the suggestion to take effect;
        • If this suggestion or notice pertains to other people, it is necessary to not weather or not this matter has been discussed with them;
        • The person who presents the suggestion or notice must inform the Elder’s Board of his/her name and contact information.
      • 4.1.8. Every suggestion or notice is registered by the secretary of the Elder’s Board and is considered by the Elder’s Board at the earliest opportune time.
      • 4.1.9. The author of the suggestion or notice may be invited to the meeting of the Elder’s Board where this matter will be discussed.
      • 4.1.10. Every presented suggestion or matter is brought to a final decision. It’s conclusion is foremost presented to the author and furthermore if the Elder’s Board sees it necessary, the conclusion is presented to the members of the church during the members meeting.
    • 4.2. Elders Board 

      • 4.2.1. The Elder’s Board is the central administrative link in the church that carries the responsibility for the strategic questions of the life of the church and its ministry. These include:
        • The doctrinal foundations of the church;
        • The philosophy of church ministry;
        • The determination of the general strategy of church development;
        • The general organizational structure of church ministry;
        • The organization of the ministry of church councils, the addition of new blocks or the liquidation of present ones as the need arises;
        • The selection, preparation, and establishment of ministers in the church and leaders of various degrees;
        • The provision of shepherding and accountability for all ministers that are in any one of the blocks of ministry;
        • Carrying out the shepherding process of the various blocks of ministry;
        • Preparing the address for members meetings and conducting such meetings as necessary;
        • The final decision regarding excommunication or restoration;
        • The confirmation of the budged that is developed by the Deacon’s Council and the presentation of it to the members of the church during a members meeting.
        • Overseeing the accuracy of budgeted decisions and financial discipline including the appointment of the revision committee and the conduction of regular revisions of account and expenses of material means;
        • The confirmation of the amount of financial compensation and benefits to state approved workers of the church;
        • Questions regarding the addition of new compensated position in the church or downsizing in current positions;
        • The mutual agreement on a schedule of events conducted by various blocks of ministry. A composition of a yearly plan of ministry in the church as well as modifications to it as necessary;
        • The resolution of conflicting situations that arise between various blocks of ministry or their respective leaders;
        • The representation of the church in governing and administrative bodies;
        • Matters regarding mutual work between different churches.
      • 4.2.2. Brothers who are spiritually strong can be on the Elder’s Board. They must be tried and proven fit for the position of presbyter/shepherd/bishop according to 1 Tim. 3:1-7; Titus 1:6-9; 1 Peter 5:1-3. These may include those who were ordained and those who were not.
      • 4.2.3. Candidates for membership on the Elder’s board are selected from the number of brothers who have proven their qualification and faithfulness in their work in one of the blocks of ministry in the church. Every candidate is examined by the present Elder’s Board according to the standards in 1 Tim. 3:1-7; Titus 1:6-9; 1 Peter 5:1-3. The final list of candidates is presented for affirmation to the members of the church during a members meeting.
      • 4.2.4. The date and order of election of the members of the Elder’s Board as well as the confirmation of the list of candidates is announced in the small groups of the church for prayer and opportunity to remark on the members a minimum of two weeks before voting on it during a members meeting.
      • 4.2.5. The election of additional members to the Elder’s Board can be conducted as necessary according to the Board’s need.
      • 4.2.6. A member of the Elder’s Board may be restricted from ministry on the Board due to physical ailments that impair him to work on the Board, loss of spiritual qualification, as well as for other reasons rendering his ministry impossible. In this case the decision to remove this individual must be agreed upon by all the members of the Elder’s Board.
      • 4.2.7. The executive officer of the Elder’s Board is the head pastor of the church. His fist helper is the assistant pastor.
      • 4.2.8. The elder’s board shall elect a secretary from its members. Among the responsibilities of the secretary are maintaining protocols of all meetings conducted by the Board. These protocols must contain the following information: the location of the meeting, the time it was conducted, a list of persons present, the meeting’s agenda, all proposals made, as well as the resolutions made concerning every issue presented. All protocols must be kept permanently.
      • 4.2.9. The Elder’s Board is the final arbitrary branch in all controversial decisions that occur in the process of church’s ministry, its blocks, as well as individual members.
    • 4.3. The Shepherds Council 

      • 4.3.1. The Council of Pastoral care consists of all the members of the Elder’s Board and of all the leaders of home groups.
      • 4.3.2. The Council of Pastoral Care conducts leadership, organizational, and coordinating functions that direct and regulate pastoral work conducted by the pastors of home groups and the members of the Elder’s Board.
      • 4.3.3. Its responsibilities include all issues concerning the spiritual growth and pastoral counseling of church members. The most important of them are:
        • Regulation, coordination, and the development of home group ministry.
        • Implementation of current pastoral counsel of church members through home group ministry and specifically through the pastors of home groups and their assistants.
        • Crisis counseling, including rendering spiritual counsel to the ill, to the dying, and those who have found themselves in other critical circumstances;
        • Premarital counseling;
        • Family counseling, including various programs that would promote healthy relationships between spouses, as well as programs for raising children.
        • Issues concerning church discipline: rendering of pastoral aid to those who have fallen in sin, conducting necessary spiritual counseling, placing person on Church Notice, along with removal from participation in the Lord’s Supper.
        • Pastoral care for aspiring church members.
        • Evangelistic work with unbelievers.
        • Preparation for baptism.
      • 4.3.4. The chairman of the Council of Pastoral Care is the senior pastor, and the assistant pastor performs the function of the chairman’s substitute.
      • 4.3.5. The Elder’s Board conducts election of members of the Council.
      • 4.3.6. The Elder’s Board chooses brothers from the Council to be responsible for distinct forms of pastoral work.
    • 4.4. The Councils of ministries 

      • 4.4.1. The Councils of ministries are responsible for all administrative matters regarding the various blocks of ministry;
      • 4.4.2. Spiritually mature brothers who, according to their development meet the minimum qualifications of a deacon’s character presented in 1 Tim. 3:8-13, can be on the Council of Ministries. They must adequately understand the doctrine and philosophy of the church, have experience in ministry and able to work in a team with other ministers.
      • 4.4.3. Members of each of the Council of Ministries are elected by the Elder’s Board according to the requirements listed above from the number of brothers who successfully participate in a given sphere of ministry in the church. The Elder’s Board must reach a unanimous agreement in electing each new member for the Council of Ministries.
      • 4.4.4. Additions of new members of any one of the Councils is done according to the initiative of the head of the given Council or of any member of the Elder’s Board.
      • 4.4.5. Members of the Council of Ministry can be removed from the council due to a violation of spiritual qualifications, physical inability to participate, or for other reasons. This decision demands a unanimous agreement by the Elder’s Board.
      • 4.4.6. Every Council of Ministry is directly accountable to the Elder’s Board of the church.
      • 4.4.7. The chairmen of a Council of Ministry, as necessary, has the right to recruit brothers who are not yet permanent members, but are actively involved in the relevant area of ministry, in order to participate in that Council;
      • 4.4.8. Pastors and other members of the Elder’s Board have the right to participate in the work of any of the councils of ministry when such a need arises.
      • 4.4.9. The Deacon’s Council 
        • The Deacon’s Council is composed of both ordained and not ordained brothers that meet the qualifications presented in 1 Tim. 3:8-13, and those chosen by the Elder’s Board.
        • The Deacon’s Council is responsible for matters regarding administrative, financial, and technical provision of the church. These include:
        • Matters of finance:
          • The preparation of the budget and presentation of it to the Elder’s Board, and eventually to the members of the church;
          • Continuous observation of budget execution and regularly informing the Elder’s Board of it’s status;
          • Making arrangements for offering collection, it’s documentation, and depositing it to the church’s bank accounts.
          • Issuing paychecks to state recognized employees of the church;
          • Making timely tax payments;
          • Making timely and accurate bill payments;
          • Assigning responsibilities to the revision committee that is appointed by the Elder’s Board;
        • Administrative Issues:
          • Making sure church employees are receiving fair financial compensation and benefits;
          • Creating a vacation and holiday schedule for full time church employees and seeing that it is properly observed.
          • Keeping track of and preservation of necessary church documents.
          • Obtaining necessary access and documents in relevant governing agencies;
          • Proper and timely submission of applications for necessary insurance;
          • Timely extension of the church’s registration;
          • Timely renewal of the church’s tax exempt status.
        • Issues regarding construction and property:
          • Establishing rules regarding the use of the church building and the supervision of their proper execution;
          • Maintaining a list of persons who have the right to use various parts of the church’s property;
          • Maintaining a list of persons who open and close the building;
          • Preparing the building and the equipment necessary for various church events;
          • Maintaining an esthetic appearance and decoration of the building, both outside and inside;
          • The cleaning of the building;
          • Reconstruction, continual upkeep and maintenance of the building;
          • Maintaining order and cleanliness of the church’s property;
        • Maintaining order in the parking lot;
        • Maintaining order during services;
        • The greeting team;
        • Preparing everything necessary for the Lord’s Supper and baptism;
        • Appointing and coordinating brothers to assist pastors with the Lord’s Supper and baptism;
        • Obtaining, keeping track of, and properly storing the church’s physical property;
        • Issues regarding kitchen service such as:
          • Acquiring inventory and equipment;
          • Maintaining cleanliness and proper work conditions in the kitchen;
          • Making meal arrangements for festivities, tea, etc.;
          • Establishing rules of kitchen use and supervising their observation.
        • Technical provision for special events.
      • 4.4.10. Worship Ministry Council 
        • Responsibilities of Worship Ministry include various matters related to worship services. Among them are:
        • Determining the general strategy and form of the ministry of worship in the church and its congruence with the Elder’s Board of the church;
        • Providing shepherding for every member of the worship services;
        • The preparation and organization of the service plan;
        • Matters of the music ministry;
          • The development of the general concepts of the music ministry;
          • The structural organization and spiritual development of the ministry of musicians, choir, vocal groups, and soloists;
          • The creation of a schedule of practices and participation in the choir ministry and all other musical groups;
          • Vocal work with the choir and other singers;
          • Selecting repertoire;
          • Resolving matters concerning the licensed use of songs;
        • The organization and development of musical groups;
          • The appointment and removal of choir conductors, leaders of groups, orchestras, and other musical assemblies;
          • The development of children’s music ministry;
          • Training new musicians;
        • Preparation of holiday services;
        • Providing worship during special events;
        • The ministry of sound technicians, including the acquiring of, proper use, recordkeeping and proper storage of equipment;
        • Live streaming the service on the internet;
        • The translation ministry;
        • The power point ministry;
        • The video ministry;
        • The photo ministry;
        • The preparation and print of Sunday morning bulletins and for other celebratory events;
      • 4.4.11. Youth Ministry Council 
        • The Council of the Youth Ministry is responsible for the spiritual growth and development of young people in the church. These include:
        • Determining the general strategy of the development of the Youth Ministry;
        • Shepherding provided for the youth;
        • The organization and coordination of the ministry of shepherding;
        • The training of present and new leaders;
        • Continual discipling of the youth;
        • The preparation and conduction of summer camps;
        • The organization and conduction of youth conferences;
        • The coordination of the ministry of musical groups;
      • 4.4.12. "Next Generation" Ministry Council 
        • Responsible for assisting parents in raising their children and teens.
        • Determines the general development strategy of "Next Generation" ministry and organizes various forms of ministry such as:
          • Children’s Sunday School
          • Ministering to young people
          • Class for parents
          • Summer camps
          • Seminars about public and private education
          • Russian School
        • Other provisions:
          • Selection of instructors and other ministry servants
          • Development of educational programs
          • Work with parents
          • The preparation and the conduction of the Christmas celebration;
          • The organization of the ministry of the children’s rooms during services and other events;
          • The coordination of the church’s prayer of blessing over the children;
          • Shepherding and coordination of the work of the school of the Russian language and literature.
    • 4.5. Pastors 

      • 4.5.1. The pastors of the church must be consistent to biblical requirements presented to the members of the Elder’s Board; besides this they must posses the gift of ministry with the Word, experience in spiritual leadership, personal prayer life and shepherding of the members of the church.
      • 4.5.2. The primary responsibility of pastors is to provide biblical direction by means of preaching, discipling, spiritual work in preparing leaders, etc. In all forms of their ministry, pastors must be faithful to the Holy Word, the Bible in its entire natural historical-grammatical interpretation.
      • 4.5.3. The sphere of responsibility of the head pastor includes:
        • To devote the greater portion of his ministry to studying the Word of God and its preaching, as well as prayer. This included regular preaching and a personal prayerful intersession for the members of the church;
        • To perform the pastoral care over the members of the church through personal service or the recruitment of other leaders from the ranks of the Elder’s Board or other Councils of Ministry;
        • The provision of general spiritual guidance of the church;
        • The provision of guidance for the Elder’s Board and the Church Council, which includes all of the Councils of Ministry;
        • Spiritual care and preparation of ministers of various degrees;
        • The coordination of ministry of various divisions of the church;
        • Leading the services of the church;
        • The pastor has the permanent right to participate in the work of all Councils, committees and groups active in the church;
      • 4.5.4. In the case of church growth, the church, represented by the Elder’s Board, elects the Pastor’s assistant, responsible personnel, who provide general help in the ministry of the head pastor and in the functionality of specific divisions of ministry in the church;
      • 4.5.5. The head pastor and his assistant are accountable to the Elder’s Board in their ministry;
      • 4.5.6. For wholesome pastoral ministry in the church to take effect in the various divisions of its spheres, the pastor and his assistant can recruit and engage other ministers in other ministries, who are ordained by the local church. People ordained in other churches may be recruited to engage in ministry in the local church given that the Elder’s Board completely agrees (100% votes) and that the members of the church agree (no less than 75% votes).
      • 4.5.7. The pastor and his assistant can be released from the responsibility of ministry for the following reasons and given the following conditions:
        • The personal desire of the pastor or assistant. In this case the pastor or assistant must give prior notice of three months to the Elder’s Board before his actual termination of work.
        • In the case of a loss of qualification of the minister prescribed in 1 Tim. 3:1-7; Titus 1:6-9; 1 Pet. 5:1-3. In this case the fact of sin or the loss of qualification must be confirmed by no less than 75% of the voting congregation on the Elder’s Board. The given decision is confirmed by a special members meeting under the conditions that no less than 50% members on the church roster uphold the decision.
      • 4.5.8. The pastor and his assistant are permitted to be under the full or partial financial support of the church. Along with this specific conditions and measures of financial support is discussed by a special agreement prepared and confirmed by the Deacon’s Council along with the members of the Elder’s Board who are not state-recognized and employed workers in the church. The measure of financial support may be discussed by the Councils listed above depending on the various economical factors;
      • 4.5.9. The selection of a new pastor is undertaken by the Elder’s Board. The chosen candidate is presented to the church for confirmation during a special members meeting. For the election of a new pastor, no less than 75% of votes of the members are necessary under the condition that this number will be no less than 50% of members on the roster;
      • 4.5.10. In the case of sickness or temporary absence of the pastor, his ministry, as decided by the pastor or the Elder’s Board, is fulfilled by his primary substitute or one of the ordained members of the Elder’s Board.
    • 4.6. Small group leaders 

      • 4.6.1. Small groups in WGBC are created with the goal of providing shepherding in a greater capacity of effectiveness; they present the opportunity for a closer fellowship in the Word of God, prayer, and social fellowship of the members among the members of the church, which promotes the edification of the local church and mutual building up of one another.
      • 4.6.2. The Small Group ministry is coordinated by the Elder’s Board.
      • 4.6.3. The leaders of Small Groups and their helpers are selected from the number of mature brothers according to the decision of the Pastoral Council which is then confirmed by the Elder’s Board.
      • 4.6.4. The Small Group leaders together with their helpers carry the responsibility for shepherding the group of members of the local church entrusted to them.
      • 4.6.5. The Small Group leaders organize the ministry of their groups in accordance with the goals that the Pastoral Council has set in developing this ministry, which coincide with the specific needs and conditions existing in the group which is still in the framework of the purposes and goals set for this pastoral ministry described above.
      • 4.6.6. The leaders of Small Groups are directly accountable to the Elders Board of the church in their ministry.
  • 5. The finances and administration of the church 

    • 5.1. The budget of WGBC is composed of voluntary offerings by the members of the church, visitors of the church, private parties and other various organizations desiring to support the ministry of WGBC. For members of WGBC the offering is an honorable requirement which is accepted by every person in the church upon becoming members of the church.
    • 5.2. The general plan of expenses for the fiscal year (church budget) is developed by the Deacon’s Council, accepted by the Elder’s Board, and followed by a confirmation at the next members meeting.
    • 5.3. Revision of financial activity of the church subject to proper use of financial means and correct documentation of financial records, must be produced at least once a year. For its revision, different professionals and auditors may be enlisted. The results of the revision are presented to the members of the church.
    • 5.4. The revising committee is appointed by the Elder’s Board. It must be composed of no less than three people who are educated and have experience in the financial aspects which give them the qualification for examining the financial condition of the church.
    • 5.5. Every member of the Elder’s Board has the right to examine any of the financial documents of the church when legitimate doubt concerning their accuracy, application, or ethical use arises.
    • 5.6. The cashier of the church is appointed by the Deacon’s Council and is confirmed by the Elder’s Board. His responsibility is to perform strictly accurate record keeping of all income and expenses of the church.
    • 5.7. The church accountant is appointed by the Deacon’s Council and is confirmed by the Elder’s Board. His responsibility is to fill and file all the necessary paperwork in connection to the financial activity of the church. The accountant is responsible for a timely payment of all required taxes and other payments required by government law.
    • 5.8. As necessity arises, the church may conduct special gatherings (outside the budget) for certain needs, such as: supporting the missionary ministry, critical situations in the life of the members of WGBC, etc. Such gatherings may be conducted only if approved by the Elder’s Board of the church.
    • 5.9. The church possesses the official status as a non-profit religious organization and utilizes the tax benefits allotted to non-profit organizations by the government.
    • 5.10. All contributions given to the church by private parities or organizations are registered by name except in cases of anonymous donations.
    • 5.11. The Church Council has the right to deny any gift or sacrifice to the church if it sees that the acceptance of this gift or sacrifice will contradict the wellbeing of the church or the goals of the churches existence expressed in the given bylaws.
    • 5.12. Every entity sacrificing has the right to receive a document which confirms the sum of the offering with the exception of those offerings that were given anonymously.
    • 5.13. Only certain personnel, appointed by the Elder’s Board, have the right to represent the church in governing, administrative, or financial organizations as well as sign legal or financial documents as from the church. This decision must absolutely undergo protocol and be confirmed by the dispensing of a special document that testifies to this decision. This right may be general or pertaining only to certain single cases. Without the special decision of the Council of Ministries no leader of the church, its members, or its representatives has the right to represent the church in any government, administrative, or financial responsibilities of the church. The church assumes no responsibility for the decisions made by its representative which have no empowerment confirmed in written form.
  • 6. Conflict resolution 

    • 6.1. All matters of dispute arising among the members of the church, the ministers of the church, or other workers of the church regarding spiritual teachings of the church, practice, tradition, church finances or it’s property, must be resolved only by the Elder’s Board of the church. The decisions must be made after prayerful examination of the matter in the spirit of meekness and gentleness, when every member of the Council shows respect to the position of the other and considers one another to be more important than self.
    • 6.2. The decisions made by the Elder’s Board, in regards to competency, are final and are not subject to further dispute.
  • 7. Church property 

    • 7.1. The use of the church building and other property may be available for family celebrations or other corporate gatherings only to members of WGBC, who are not currently undergoing the process of church discipline. The church building and other property is not available for public use.
    • 7.2. In the event of dismissal or closure of WGBC, the Elder’s Board will order for all corporate property to be transferred to another church or organization, whose goals are consistent with objectives set by WGBC as mentioned in the second section of this bylaw.

[1] The first name of the Church was Slavic Bible Church. On 12.11.02 the church was renamed to Slavic Bible Church. On 09.01.07 the church registered the present name Word of Grace Bible Church.

Worship Service Schedule

Worship Service (in Russian):
Sunday: 9:00am - 11:00am

Worship Service (in English):
Sunday: 11:30am - 1:30pm

Youth Service (in English):
Sunday: 6:00pm - 8:00pm
Bible Hour (in Russian):
Wednesday: 7:00pm - 8:30pm

Family Service (in Russian):
See the Event Calendar

Home Groups:
Friday: 7:00pm - 9:00pm


Word of Grace Bible Church
1317 NW 12th Ave
Battle Ground, WA 98604

(see on google maps)

Phone: (360) 687-3962
E-mail: church@slovo.org