In order to preserve, make secure and assure that this body of believers will be governed in an orderly manner consistent with the accepted tenets of Biblical revelation we, the members of Nairobi Baptist Church, set forth and adopt this Constitution, together with its accompanying Bylaws and Code of Conduct.
Article c1 Name
This body of believers shall be known as Nairobi Baptist Church (hereinafter called “the Church”).
Article c2 Purpose
This Church is organized for the purpose of being a worshipping community of the Lord Jesus Christ that is advancing the kingdom of God through the power of the Holy Spirit.
Article c3 Beliefs
c3.1. We believe the Scriptures, both Old and New Testaments, to be the inspired Word of God, divinely inspired, infallible, entirely trustworthy; the complete revelation of His will for the salvation of men; and the supreme authority in all matters of faith and conduct.
c3.2. We believe in the truths of Biblical revelation including:
c3.2.1. One God, Creator of all things, infinitely perfect and eternally existent in three persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
c3.2.2. The Lord Jesus Christ, God manifest in the flesh, His virgin birth, His sinless human life, His divine miracles, His vicarious and atoning death, His bodily resurrection, His ascension, His mediatory work and His Personal return in power and glory. He is now our High Priest and Advocate.
c3.2.3. The Holy Spirit, whose ministry is to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ and, during this age, to convict men, regenerate the believing sinner and indwell, guide, instruct and empower the believer for godly living and service.
c3.2.4. That man was created in the image of God but fell into sin and, continuing to sin of his free will, is lost, and that salvation is only by grace through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and renewal by the Holy Spirit.
c3.2.5. The Bible, as originally given by God, divinely inspired, infallible, entirely trustworthy; and the supreme authority in all matters of faith and conduct.
c3.2.6. The priesthood of all believers.
c3.2.7. Unity in the Holy Spirit of all true believers.
c3.2.8. Love as the indispensable mark of the Church.
c3.2.9. That there exists a personal spirit of evil, Satan, the believers’ adversary, who, with great power, carries on an organised opposition to the Kingdom of God and seeks the destruction of man but over whom believers have authority and dominion through the blood of Christ; and that he will suffer ultimate and total defeat at the hands of Jesus Christ.
c3.2.10. The resurrection of the saved and the lost. For them that are saved, the resurrection to life. For them that are lost, the resurrection to damnation.
c3.3. We accept these doctrinal statements on which, historically, there has been general agreement among all true Christians. We desire to allow for freedom of conviction on other doctrinal matters, provided that any interpretation is based upon the Bible alone, and that no such interpretation shall become an issue which hinders our unity in the Holy Spirit or the ministry to which God has called us.
- The Message We Preach
- Code of Conduct
- Church Bylaws
- General & Dissolution of Church
- Property, Finances & Trustees
The Message We Preach
1. Where It All Begins
1.1 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. …. He came to that which was His own, but His own did not receive Him. Yet to all who received Him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God. Children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or husband’s will, but born of God” John 1:1, 11-13.
2. The Task
2.1 “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind” and “Love your neighbour as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments”. Matthew 22:37-40.
2.2 “He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly, and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God”. Micah 6:8.
2.3 “My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth”. John 17:15-17.
3. The Enablement
3.1 “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33b.
3.2 “But the Counsellor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.” “When He comes, He will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment; in regard to sin, because men do not believe in me; in regard to righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see Me no longer; and in regard to judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned.” John 14:26; 16:8-11.
4. The Destination
4.1 “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying: ‘Now the dwelling of God is with men, and He will live with them. They will be His people, and God Himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away’ ”. Revelation 21:1-4.
THE IMPORTANCE OF MEMBERSHIP IN A LOCAL CHURCH
Membership in the Church is a covenantal relationship in which the Church provides a place of worship, fellowship and ministry while the members provide faithful service.
Although ours is a Baptist Church, from the beginning many people have worshipped and served with us who have a very evident personal faith in Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord of their lives, who did not come from the Baptist background.
Some have reasons for wishing not to withdraw their membership from their ‘home’ Church in another place. We respect these reasons, and we do not require that any such connection be severed. What we are concerned to see is that there is maximum participation in our Church while people are here in Nairobi.
There is a great need to demonstrate in Kenya that the local Church is a fellowship in which you are continually involved, and not a building where you attend Services. Those who remain among the ‘attenders’ perpetuate a trend that can only impoverish the Churches of this land.
The opportunity is the possibility of fellowship with people from so many different backgrounds. For this challenge to be met and opportunity to be grasped, we believe there must be maximum involvement in the local Church at the earliest possible time after arrival in Nairobi from other parts of the country, or in Kenya from other parts of the world.
Code of Conduct
1. Relating to the Body
Recognising that the way in which Christians relate to one another in the Church and the way in which Christian work is done is itself a confirmation or denial of the Gospel, we commit ourselves to the following Code of Conduct:
1.1 In undertaking any assignment, we will take care to understand precisely what is asked of us, to whom and for whom we are responsible and how we do relate to what others do within the total Church programme. Romans 12:3-5.
1.2 If any matter merits criticism, we will address this directly to the person responsible in that area who will then deal with the matter as part of his assignment. Criticism should not be expressed to the persons concerned if they are responsible to someone else, unless this is specifically requested by that person. Criticism should not be expressed to others that has not been made in the right place first, and even then in the interest of combating gossip is better not mentioned. Matthew 18:15-17.
1.3 Matters that concern individuals and their areas of responsibility should always be discussed with them before being raised publicly in a Committee, Board, Court or in a Church meeting. Matthew 18:15-17.
1.4 Where commendation is merited, we will take care to express this to the person responsible and the person concerned. Hebrews 10:24.
1.5 We will abide by majority decisions and seek to implement them with loyalty and enthusiasm, recognising that the Holy Spirit is in all the members and that almost any methods will work if people are prepared to work with them. Philippians 1:27.
1.6 In matters of personal conduct as distinct from the discharge of a Church function, if any criticism seems merited, it should be expressed in a positive and humble way to the person concerned and not to others before this, and preferably not afterwards. Galatians 6:1.
1.7 If criticism is voiced to us about others, we will ask if it has been said to the person(s) concerned. If it has not, we will encourage the person to speak to the person concerned and terminate all discussion until this has been done. 1 Timothy 5:19.
1.8 Valuing truth and love more than others’ opinion of us, we will be ready to name gossip when it begins and terminate it.
1.9 We will not repeat anything we know or have heard without asking: Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary? Ephesians 4:29.
1.10 We will interpret loyalty within the fellowship to mean that we will always, in thought and speech, interpret any action in its most favourable light and be quicker to defend than to attack. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7.
2. Personal Conduct
The Bible does not mark out in detail for every matter of conduct which might arise, but it gives clear principles which, if correctly applied, cover every case which might arise. By asking some questions you will find some guiding principles of Christian conduct which will help you to dispose of many problems concerning doubtful matters:
2.1 Will it bring glory to God? 1 Corinthians 10:31.
2.2 Is it profitable in Christian life, witness or service? 1 Corinthians 10:23.
2.3 Does it build me up in my Christian character and will it help me to build up the Church? 1 Corinthians 10:8.
2.4 Does it tend to enslave? 1 Corinthians 6:12. Some things tend to demand a lot of our attention at the expense of paying attention to God.
2.5 Will it strengthen me against temptation? It is of little avail to pray “lead us not into temptation” if we voluntarily go where we shall be exposed to temptation.
2.6 Is it a characteristic of the world or of our heavenly Father? 1 John 2:15-17.
These Bylaws build on the provisions of the Constitution by giving further details of how the different parts of the Church are to function.
b1.1. The true Church is composed of persons who are regenerated by the Holy Spirit through saving faith in Jesus Christ, are united together in the Body of Christ of which He is Lord and Head and are commissioned for the God-given task of proclaiming the Gospel to every person. Only those who are thus members of the true Church shall be eligible for membership of the Nairobi Baptist Church.
b1.2. A member of the Nairobi Baptist Church shall confess personal faith in Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord and commit himself to this body of believers by accepting the responsibilities of membership and entrusting himself to its spiritual care and counsel.
b1.3. A Junior Member, who attains the age of eighteen, will become an Ordinary Member upon notifying the Honorary Secretary, in writing, of their attainment of the age of eighteen, provided that such member demonstrates evidence of the regenerating work of the Holy Spirit and participates in the life of the Church.
b1.4. In joining the membership of the Church, a member joyfully and solemnly enters into a covenant with other members to:
b1.4.1. Walk together in Christian love and watch over one another by the power of the Holy Spirit; remember one another in prayer and aid one another in sickness and distress.
b1.4.2. Strive for the advancement of this Church, in knowledge, holiness, witness and service; promote its prosperity and spirituality; grow its worship and uphold its discipline and doctrines; contribute cheerfully and regularly to the support of the work and expenses of the Church.
b1.4.3. Maintain family and personal devotions; seek the salvation of family members, neighbours, colleagues and acquaintances; be just in their dealings, faithful to their commitments, and exemplary in their conduct; be zealous in their efforts to advance the Kingdom of our Saviour and Lord.
b1.5. Members shall:
b1.5.1. Receive and approve the Strategic Plan, annual plans, policies, audited accounts and budget of the Church.
b1.5.2. Appoint the auditor, Church Trustees, Call Committee and be responsible for the calling of the Senior Pastor at an appropriately convened Church General Meeting.
b1.5.3. Be responsible for the appointment of Elders, the Honorary Secretary, the Honorary Treasurer, Board Chairpersons and members and Committee Chairpersons, and ratification of the appointment of Associate Pastors.
b1.5.4. Receive new members at the Sunday worship services soon after approval by the Elders on the recommendation of the Membership Committee.
b1.5.5. Approve the acquisition and disposal of all immovable assets.
b1.5.6. Approve all unbudgeted expenditure in excess of 10% of the annual budget per annum.
b1.5.7. Be responsible for providing feedback to the Elders and the Pastorate.
b1.6. Membership may be terminated by:
b1.6.1. Transfer: any member who wishes to affiliate with another church may, at the discretion of the Elders on the recommendation of the Membership Committee, be granted a Letter of Recommendation upon request by the church with which he desires to associate. The letter will be forwarded by the Honorary Secretary.
b1.6.2. Request: any member who requests termination of membership for whatever reason will be granted that request. If there are unresolved issues between the requesting member and the Church and/or (an)other Church member(s), efforts will be made by the Elders to reconcile and resolve any points at issue prior to the granting of the request.
b1.6.3. Disciplinary Action: should any member of this Church be found to be flagrantly negligent in living the Christian life, the Church reserves the right to administer biblical forms of church discipline, as outlined in its Discipline Policy. Should faithful efforts by and through the Elders render no promise of reform or manifest no spirit of repentance on the part of the member in question, membership may be terminated by the Elders, whose decision in this respect shall be final. The Elders shall then inform the membership accordingly. A member removed from fellowship by disciplinary action may be reinstated only by means of the procedure of admission to membership in Article c5 on Membership.
b1.6.4. Inactivity: a member known to be absent from Church life for twelve consecutive months, without having notified the Honorary Secretary in writing, shall be deemed to have resigned from membership.
b2.1. Shall be of spiritual maturity, with proven Christian character and wise judgment, exemplary in their conduct, effective leaders and teachers, and shall be qualified in accordance with the guidelines of 1 Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:5-9 and willing, together with their spouses, to be servants of the Church. Additionally, they shall have proven themselves before the Membership in other capacities of service within the Church and/or the Body of Christ.
b2.2. Together with the Pastorate, shall be responsible for the exercise of the authority of Scripture in all matters of Church life including the interpretation of the same (should a doctrinal controversy arise in the Church) and the administration of Church discipline of members.
b2.3. Shall initiate and review long-term plans and strategies, which are consistent with the fulfilment of the vision of the Church and present them for approval by the members.
b2.4. Together with the Pastorate shall nurture the unity and maturity of the Church including the approval of preaching assignments and their texts/themes.
b2.5. Shall review progress and implementation of all Court, Board and/or Committee plans and assess opportunities for growth or contraction. This shall include the establishment of additional or dissolution of standing Boards and/or Committees:
b2.6. Shall cause to be written, regularly reviewed, updated and their content communicated as necessary to the members, a Church Philosophy of Ministry document and a Policy/Procedure Manual, covering all aspects of Church life.
b2.7. Shall identify, investigate, interview and recommend to the members a candidate to be appointed to serve as an Associate Pastor.
b2.8. Shall be responsible for the calling, appointment and deployment of all other members of the Pastorate.
b2.9. Shall be responsible for the Pastorate, their terms and conditions of service, including job descriptions, salaries, supervision, motivation, appraisal and development, ensuring that teamwork is enhanced.
b2.9.1. The Elders shall assign one of the Associate Pastors to act in the absence of the Senior Pastor.
b2.10. Shall develop and maintain fellowship, linkage and partnerships with sister churches and other evangelical churches, organisations and ministries in Kenya and abroad.
b2.11. Shall receive and approve candidates and financial allocations as submitted by the Missionary Allocations Committee.
b2.12. May approve unbudgeted expenditure totalling up to 10% of the recurrent budget per year.
b2.13. Shall elect from amongst their number a Chairman and a Vice Chairman every three years and shall meet at least four times a year.
b2.14. The quorum for meetings of the Elders shall be a majority of its members. Elders missing three consecutive regular meetings without good reasons shall be encouraged to reconsider their position.
b3.1. Shall undertake the ministry of the Word, prayer and action so that the Church lives and thrives ultimately by God’s truths and God’s resources; growing quantitatively in terms of numbers and qualitatively in terms of Christian depth and impact.
b3.2. Shall ensure that, in implementing its vision, the Church will be guided and shaped by the Word and Spirit of God and not by concepts and considerations alien to it.
b3.3. Shall, as Servant Leaders, train, equip and mobilise members for the work of ministry.
b3.4. An Associate Pastor/Administrator shall be responsible for ministries under the Board of Administration.
b4. Senior Ministry Team
b4.1. The Senior Ministry Team shall:
b4.1.1. Give leadership in the realisation of the vision and objectives of the Church by ensuring sound stewardship of the Church on a day-to-day basis so that the Church is effective in both the short and the long term.
b4.1.2. Ensure that there is cohesion, communication and co-ordination in the work and ministries of the Church across all its Boards and Committees.
b4.1.3. Deliberate, prepare, compile and present to the Elders’ Court proposals and/or reports on strategic thinking and/or significant operational concerns with respect to the Church.
b4.1.4. As the principal Pastoral team, shall seek to know the physical needs, moral and spiritual struggles of all members and endeavour to relieve and encourage those who are in need.
b5.1. The overall responsibility of the Boards is to guide, encourage, co-ordinate and harmonize the planning (short and long term), budgeting, implementation and evaluation of the work of the various committees under them and that this is done in a climate of trust, truth and grace.
b5.2. The number of Boards shall be determined by the membership on the recommendation of the Elders’ Court. Initially, there shall be six Boards, namely the Boards of Children, Youth, Adults, Worship, Outreach and Administration.
b5.3. The Boards shall report to the Elders’ Court.
b5.4. The Boards shall formulate and recommend to the Elders such Church policies as would help, guide and enhance growth in their particular ministry area.
b5.5. The Boards shall ensure that leadership in the committees is thoroughly equipped and effectively deployed so that there is service with joy and fruitfulness.
b5.6. The Boards shall appoint the members of Committees for which they are responsible after receiving nominations from the Committees and shall approve any ad hoc Committee.
b5.7. The Boards may co-opt additional members to aid in their work. Such members must be approved by the Elders’ Court.
b5.8. The Boards shall elect a Vice-Chairman from amongst the Board members.
b5.9. The Associate Pastor shall be the Secretary of the Board.
b5.10. Board Chairpersons and members shall serve for a period of three years and then be eligible for re-election for a further period of three years. A Board member who has served continuously for six years shall step down for at least one year before being eligible for re-election.
b6.1. Shall be responsible for grassroots ministry and accountable to their respective Boards.
b6.2. The establishment or dissolution of any Committee may be initiated by the respective Board and must be approved by the Elders’ Court.
b6.3. The Church shall appoint the Chairpersons of Committees:
b6.3.1. Names of consenting nominees for appointments, which have been proposed and seconded, shall be circulated to members with the agenda for the Annual General Meeting. Those appointed shall serve for three years, unless they resign or their appointments are revoked by the Church. They shall be eligible for re-appointment for a second and final term of three years.
b6.3.2. Committee Chairpersons shall automatically serve as members on their respective Boards.
b6.3.3. A Committee Chairperson who has served continuously for six years shall step down for at least one year before being eligible for re-election.
b6.4. Members serving on Committees:
b6.4.1. Committees shall nominate their members and forward nominees’ names to their respective Boards for appointment.
b6.4.2. Committee members shall serve for a three-year term, unless they resign or become disqualified by Scripture. Those not disqualified by Scripture shall be eligible for re-election for another three-year term.
b6.4.3. A Committee member who has served continuously for six years shall step down for at least one year before being eligible for re-election.
b7. Meetings of Boards and Committees
b7.1. All meetings of Boards and Committees shall be run in an orderly manner and shall be guided by the following:
b7.1.1. Shall, when the regular Chairman and Vice Chairman are absent, appoint from amongst their number a person to chair a duly convened meeting.
b7.1.2. The quorum for any meeting shall be a majority of its members.
b7.1.3. A record of the proceedings of a meeting shall be kept and duly confirmed.
b7.1.4. Board or Committee members missing three consecutive meetings without good reason shall be encouraged to reconsider their position.
b7.1.5. Boards shall meet at least four times a year.
b7.1.6. All Board reports shall be circulated to the Elders’ Court and the Senior Ministry Team.
b7.1.7. Committees shall meet at least four times a year.
b8. Call Committee
b8.1. Shall identify, investigate, interview and recommend a candidate to be appointed to serve as Senior Pastor.
b8.2. Shall be an ad hoc committee, appointed by and responsible to the membership.
b8.3. Shall have twelve members of whom at least four shall be Elders.
b8.4. Shall appoint a Chairman from among the Committee members.
These Bylaws were approved by the members of the Nairobi Baptist Church at a Special General Meeting/Members’ Day duly convened pursuant to the provisions of Clause 10.1 and 10.3 of the existing Church Constitution on 2nd December 2006.
General & Dissolution of Church
c11.1. Amendments to any provision of this Constitution may be made in accordance with clause c7.1.2 on Special General Meetings. Proposed amendments, having been considered by the Elders, shall be circulated with the notice which calls the meeting at which they are to be deliberated. Amendments approved by the membership shall be consented to by the Registrar of Societies before coming into effect.
c11.2. Where circumstances arise which are not specifically provided for in this Constitution, the Elders’ interpretation of the spirit of the Constitution shall be considered valid and final.
c11.3. The Bylaws, which shall be consistent with the Constitution, shall be binding on all members. Amendments to the Bylaws may be made in accordance with the provisions governing the Annual General Meeting and/or the Members’ Day. Proposed amendments, having been considered by the Elders, shall be circulated with the notice which calls the meeting at which they are to be deliberated upon.
c11.4.1. In the event of a dispute or difference arising out of, or in connection with, the interpretation or implementation of any provision of this Constitution or the Bylaws, the parties to such disputes shall use all reasonable efforts, acting in good faith, to resolve such dispute or difference amicably through negotiation which, failing, through mediation by the Elders.
c11.4.2. Should resolution of a dispute in the manner set out in the Clause above fail, no party may commence any court proceedings, and such dispute shall be referred to, and finally determined by, arbitration by an uneven panel of members or arbiters comprising former Elders and Pastors.
c11.4.3. The Elders’ Court may establish the policy and rules for the resolution of disputes.
Article c12 Dissolution of the Church
c12.1. The Church shall not be dissolved except by resolution passed at a Church meeting in accordance with the provisions governing the Special General Meeting. However, no dissolution shall be effected without prior consent in writing by the Registrar of Societies, obtained upon application to him made in writing and signed by a simple majority of the Elders and the Honorary Secretary. Such an application shall be accompanied by the Minutes of the Special General Meeting authorising the dissolution.
c12.2. When the dissolution of the Church has been approved by the Registrar, no further action shall be taken by the Church or any Elder in accordance with the aims of the Church other than to realise for cash all the assets of the Church. Subject to the payment of all the debts of the Church, the balance thereof shall be distributed in such a manner as may be resolved by the meeting at which the resolution for dissolution is passed.
This Constitution and Bylaws were approved by the members of the Nairobi Baptist Church at a Special General Meeting/Members’ Day duly convened pursuant to the provisions of Clause 10.1 of the existing Church Constitution on 2nd December 2006.
Property, Finances & Trustees
Article c8 Property
c8.1. The Church may purchase, take on lease or in exchange, hire of or otherwise acquire any property both movable and immovable of whatsoever nature and tenure wheresoever situated and together with or subject to any rights and privileges and construct, maintain, alter, extend, demolish or otherwise deal with all or any buildings for the time being forming any part of such immovable property and sell, lease, create tenancies over, assign or grant licences in respect of mortgage or charge or otherwise dispose of or turn to account or deal with all and any such property or any part or the parts thereof.
Article c9 Finances
c9.1. The Elders shall exercise oversight of the financial matters of the Church through the Honorary Treasurer.
c9.2. The Treasurer shall oversee the keeping of all books of account of the Church and the management of Church funds including their safe keeping, disbursements or investments as directed by the Church and as reported to the Elders.
c9.3. The Church may borrow or raise money on such terms and on such security as may be agreed.
c9.4. The Church financial year shall be from 1st January to 31st December.
c9.5. A qualified auditor shall be appointed for each financial year at the Annual General Meeting. The auditor shall prepare a report covering all Church accounts for presentation at the Annual General Meeting.
c9.6. A copy of the audited accounts with the audit report shall be circulated with the agenda of the Annual General Meeting to all members.
Article c10 Trustees
c10.1. There shall be a Board of Trustees comprising a minimum of five (5) persons appointed from among the members at an Annual General Meeting. The members may remove any Trustee for the time being and appoint any new or an additional Trustee or Trustees.
c10.2. The qualifications for a candidate for appointment as a Trustee shall be the same as those stipulated for Elders under clause c6.2.5.
c10.3. The Board of Trustees shall have representation from the professions, persons who have demonstrated good stewardship and sound judgment, with experience in Christian ministry and/or other professions or undertakings.
c10.4. Any member appointed to be a Trustee shall continue in office for two terms of six years each unless he is disqualified or resigns from such office in a manner herein before mentioned.
c10.5. All and any of the immovable property and investments whatever and wheresoever of the Church shall be vested in the Trustees for the time being, who upon such vesting shall be responsible for all title deeds and documents relative thereto and shall deal with and dispose of all and any of the same only in accordance with the direction of the Church in manner herein before provided.
c10.6. The Trustees may meet for the purpose of transacting the business entrusted to them and approval of any transaction shall be expressed in a resolution passed at such meetings or bearing the signatures of every trustee to signify his approval. In order to transact business, at least three Trustees should be present.