Jump directly to the Content Jump directly to the content

Governing Well

What every church leader should know about bylaws.

Most churches, whether incorporated or unincorporated, have a governing document that addresses several issues of governance and administration. While the name for this document varies from church to church, it often is called bylaws, and it is this name that will be used in this article as a matter of convenience. There are several legal issues that are associated with church bylaws. This article will address 15 of them.

What are bylaws?

What are church bylaws? The Model Nonprofit Corporations Act (3rd ed. 2008), which has been adopted by several states, defines bylaws as "the code or codes of rules (other than the articles of incorporation) adopted for the regulation and governance of the internal affairs of the nonprofit corporation, regardless of the name or names used to refer to those rules."

One court defined bylaws as follows:

Join now to access this member-only content

Become a Member

Already a member? for full access.

Related Topics:
Posted:
  • July 1, 2009

Related ResourcesVisit Store

50-State Religious Freedom Laws Report
50-State Religious Freedom Laws Report
A review of state laws and court decisions affecting church leaders.
Best Practices for Technology Usage
Best Practices for Technology Usage
Establish policies and best practices to govern the use of technology for church staff.
Avoiding Church Lawsuits
Avoiding Church Lawsuits
Create proactive procedures to avoid common reasons why churches most often go to court.
Understanding Wage and Hour Laws
Understanding Wage and Hour Laws
Learn about the Fair Labor Standards Act and how it applies to churches.