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Q&A: Combining a Church's Constitution & Bylaws

Having both documents often leads to inconsistencies.

Our church has both a constitution and bylaws. We have appointed a committee to review our documents, and propose changes that will be presented at a specially called business meeting for our members to consider. Some members of the committee have recommended that we combine our constitution and bylaws into a single document. Would this be a good idea?

In the past, it was common for churches to have both a constitution and bylaws. Routine rules of administration were placed in the bylaws, which could be amended without notice at any duly called membership meeting by a simple majority vote. But more fundamental matters, such as church doctrine and the disposition of property, were placed in a constitution that was more difficult to amend. To illustrate, a church's constitution might be amendable only with advance, written notice and by a supermajority vote (i.e., twothirds).

Having both ...

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Posted:
  • September 1, 2010

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