Membership & Ordinances

  1. Whoever has accepted Jesus Christ as Savior, is regular in attendance and offering at the worship services of this church, is willing to abide by the Constitution of this church, and pursue the goals of “living out Christ before the world and living in Christ as a member of His body,” shall be accepted as a member of this church.
  2. All the ministries and finances of this church shall be openly reported to the members on a regular basis. Members have the right to express their opinions in writing to the Pastoral Staff and the Planning Committee at any time.
  3. This church baptizes its members by immersion and accepts believers from other churches who have been baptized by immersion or sprinkling.
  4. This church celebrates the Lord’s Supper once a month and also at Easter and other special days.
  5. This church practices the dedication but not baptism of the infants and children of members.

Committees & Branch Churches

  1. This church shall not belong to any denomination, but shall be a permanent member of the National Association of Evangelicals.
  2. The committees of this church shall be: Worship Committee, Caring Committee, Missions Committee, Evangelism Committee, Fellowship Committee, Christian Education Committee, Service Committee, and Finance Committee. More Committees may be added as necessary.
  3. All those who serve on the committees shall be members who are motivated by the Holy Spirit and do the service voluntarily. The leader of each committee shall be either a staff member or shall be appointed in the Pastoral Staff meeting.
  4. Each committee shall hold meetings as necessary. The rules and regulations of the committees shall be in accordance with this Constitution.
  5. Churches established in various locations by this church shall be either coordinated, organized, and subsidized by the Missions Committee, or the important decisions shall be made by the Missions Committee. When such a church becomes completely independent it shall then have a sister relationship with this church and we shall care for and help each other. We shall also strive together, having the same desire to spread the gospel.

Co-workers

  1. A member who serves in a particular ministry shall be eligible to be elected to represent that ministry at the meeting of the co-workers of the entire church, and vote.
  2. The meeting of the co-workers of the entire church shall be held quarterly, and shall be called by the Senior Pastor. Reports from each ministry shall be presented and the co-workers shall vote to make decisions regarding the work of each ministry. Minutes of each meeting shall be kept, as well as the signatures of those who attend.

Planning Committee

  1. A member who serves in a particular ministry shall be eligible to be elected to represent that ministry at the meeting of the co-workers of the entire church, and vote.
  2. The meeting of the co-workers of the entire church shall be held quarterly, and shall be called by the Senior Pastor. Reports from each ministry shall be presented and the co-workers shall vote to make decisions regarding the work of each ministry. Minutes of each meeting shall be kept, as well as the signatures of those who attend.

Pastoral Staff

  1. This church shall hire one senior pastor and other Pastoral Staff members as needed.
  2. The Senior Pastor shall have had formal theological training, shall have been ordained and shall have had a minimum of seven years’ experience as a pastor, or equivalent qualifications. The Planning Committee must approve his hiring.
  3. The Senior Pastor is responsible for preaching, supervising and promoting the various ministries, calling of the meetings of the Pastoral Staff, the Planning Committee, and the co-workers, according to the pre-determined agreement.
  4. The Pastoral Staff meeting shall be called by the Senior Pastor and shall be held monthly to discuss the various ministries and recommend people to serve on each committee. Minutes of each meeting shall be recorded.
  5. There shall be no term limit for any member of the Pastoral Staff. Six months’ notice shall be given before employment is terminated by either side.
  6. All Pastoral Staff members shall retire when they reach the age of sixty-five. In special situations, a Pastoral Staff member may continue after the age of sixty-five. In this case, the term of service shall be subject to review each year until the staff member reaches the age of seventy, but the person shall not serve as the Senior Pastor.
  7. If a retired Pastoral Staff member does not get any salaried employment elsewhere, he shall automatically become a missionary of this church, serving the church with his spiritual and pastoral experience. According to the federal government’s IRA requirements, the church shall give each member of the Pastoral Staff, each year from the time he is employed, 50% of the maximum retirement benefit allowed by the IRA regulations, and put this entire 50% in the bank for the staff member. For a member who has been employed by the church for less than ten years before retirement, the Planning Committee shall determine the amount of the retirement benefit according to the individual situation.
  8. A retired Pastoral Staff member may be employed as a consultant-advisor of this church, but without salary. There shall not be more than two consultant-advisors at any time.

Bishop

  1. Because of the needs of the church and as a result of conviction by the Holy Spirit, the founder of this church established the position of Bishop.  Before a Bishop relinquishes his responsibilities, he shall notify the Pastoral Staff and the Planning Committee. Then a joint meeting of the Pastoral Staff and the Planning Committee shall be held to elect a new bishop. The retiring Bishop shall preside at the installation of the new Bishop on the date agreed upon. After the installation of the new Bishop, the retiring Bishop shall become the Bishop Emeritus. If the retiring Bishop is not able to preside at the installation service of the new Bishop for any reason, the Pastoral Staff and the Planning Committee shall invite a Bishop or a supervisor of another denomination which has similar doctrine to preside at the installation.
  2. When as associated church in another country has developed to the point where it has five branch churches in the same country, a total of more than 1,000 persons attend worship every Sunday, more than seven persons are in full-time Christian service, and the church has become completely independent financially, another Bishop shall be elected.
  3. Eligible candidates for Bishop shall be at least forty-five years old, shall have received formal theological education, shall have been ordained, shall have served as a pastor for more than ten years and shall have served at OCM for more than five years with recognized good results and
  4. The Bishop shall be responsible for ensuring that the doctrinal statement is followed, resolving major conflicts and disharmony, supervising all branch churches, and attending the co-workers meetings, Planning Committee meetings and Pastoral Staff meetings.
  5. If the Bishop is unable to attend the above meetings for any reason, he shall delegate his responsibilities to the Senior Pastor of the church.
  6. The Bishop shall not receive extra pay, but may be compensated for business expenses.
  7. When a Bishop reaches the age of 70 he shall automatically become a consultant-advisor. If there is no person qualified to replace the retiring Bishop, the position of Bishop may be vacant.

By-laws

  1. This Constitution shall be the highest authority for the operation of this church. The Constitution shall be put into practice by the Planning Committee after it is established.
  2. The official version of this Constitution is in Chinese.
  3. Articles 2 and 3 (Goal and Doctrinal Statement & Membership and Ordinances)of this Constitution shall never be altered. If other articles of the Constitution need to be changed, and changes shall be approved by the Pastoral Staff and the Planning Committee and then reported to the co-workers and the congregation. If there is no objection during the following four weeks, the changes shall become effective.

Elders

Candidates for elders shall have the following qualification (1Timothy 3:1-7; Titus 1:6-9; 1 Peter 5:1-4):

  • Shall have a good reputation in the family, inside and outside the church. Shall be blameless in word and deed.
  • Shall be hospitable, understand the truth of the Bible, and be capable of teaching and pasturing.
  • Shall be a model for other Christians in his faith, love, offering and participation in church activities.
  • Shall treat the church as he would his home. Shall have served in the church for at least seven years.

Responsibilities of elders:

  • Shall assist the Senior Pastor in promoting and supervising various ministries.
  • Shall share the pastoral and teaching responsibilities of the Pastoral Staff.
  • Shall care about the spiritual and material life of the church members and encourage them to love each other.
  • Shall not be a member of the Planning Committee, but shall be a member of the Pastoral Staff.
  • Shall attend the Pastoral Staff meeting, Planning Committee meeting and co-workers meeting.  Shall facilitate cooperation among the church co-workers. Shall pray and plan with them for the ministries of the church.
  • May be a committee leader or may recommend suitable persons to be committee leaders.
  • Shall train and guide the committee leaders.
  • When an elder is called by the Lord to be hired as a full-time or part-time pastor, he shall bear the same responsibilities as the other members of the Pastoral Staff, and he may receive pay.

Selection process and term of office:

  • Shall be nominated by the Pastoral Staff. Nominees shall have the qualifications of an elder and shall “desire a noble task.” (1Timothy 3:1)
  • Shall be elected by a 75% vote of the combined Pastoral Staff, Board of Elders and Planning Committee.
  • Shall attend the elder training course of this church and shall be publicly ordained by the Pastoral Staff and leaders, with the Senior Pastor officiating at the ceremony.
  • The number of elders shall be determined by need, but each branch church shall not have more than three elders.
  • The term of office shall be unlimited as long as the elder fulfills his responsibilities. If he relinquishes his responsibilities he shall still retain the title of elder.
  • If an elder is alleged to have incorrect belief or improper conduct, which causes damage to his responsibility and testimony, and supporting evidence is found by the Pastoral Staff, remaining elders and Planning Committee, a negative vote by 75% of the combined Pastoral Staff, remaining elders and Planning Committee shall disqualify the person from serving as an elder.