1. CBE Membership
a. Approval for Membership
The presiding elder of the congregation making application should present a brief written statement referencing a congregation’s vote and desire to be accepted into CBE membership. The statement should include the congregation’s commitment to uphold the polity, mission, and doctrinal statements of CBE. A two-thirds majority vote of acceptance from the CBE Elders Council is required for membership; however, the Elders Council should be cautious of acceptance without full consensus. Membership acceptance should be announced in local congregations that are a part of CBE.
Entering into corporate membership with CBE can occur on three different levels:
- Entering as a voting member congregation into the inter-congregational structure of a fellowship and polity relationship for the purpose of supporting the mission, work, and doctrinal statement of CBE.
- Entering as voting member congregation (possibly) from another denomination into a fellowship relationship for the purpose of supporting the mission, work, and doctrinal statement of CBE.
- Entering as a non-voting member fellowship that is seeking support or guidance from CBE to develop into an organized congregation for the purpose of supporting the mission, work, and doctrinal statement of CBE.
Individual elders who support the mission and work of CBE may also enter as non-voting members upon signing a support statement and by approval at an Elders Meeting. They may participate in all aspects of supporting the mission and work of CBE.
b. Removal from Membership
If a congregation’s elders, official board, or congregational council decisions indicate departure from CBE’s polity, mission, or doctrinal statements, the Elders Council shall discuss this concern with that congregation’s elders. The elders of that congregation shall present the concern of the Elders Council to their congregation and provide a congregational response to the issues raised. If the Elders Council is satisfied with the congregational response, the congregation shall retain membership status with no further action needed. If the Elders Council believes that further deliberation is necessary, the CBE elders shall meet and determine the course of action to be taken. A two-thirds majority vote by the Elders Council is required to remove a congregation from CBE membership; however, full consensus is encouraged before taking action. Any CBE congregation may withdraw its membership from CBE with a recommendation that it be done by a congregational council vote.
2. CBE Teachers and Advisors
CBE may utilize any members from congregations within or without CBE membership for teaching and advisory roles, on the condition that those individuals are supportive of CBE’s polity, mission, and doctrinal statements.
3. CBE Funding
Each member congregation is encouraged to take two congregational offerings each year for CBE expenses associated with administration, operations, teaching, travel, and minister training. All other CBE efforts shall be funded by each congregation as they decide. CBE shall give an accounting of its finances each year to the Elders Council and the elders shall report it to their congregations. Each minister in training shall be responsible for the costs of their training, seek financial support from their congregation, or request that CBE provide financial support for their training.
4. Elders Council
a. Council Members and Meetings
Elders serving on the Elders Council shall consist of ministers who have been called to the ministry by their congregations, have been trained and proven, and have been ordained or commissioned by their congregation to the scriptural office of elder. Regular Elders Council meetings shall be held semi-annually (January and July) and shall be considered the normal venue for conducting items of business. The CBE chairman and vice-chairman, acting together, may call a special council if necessary, giving a minimum two-week notice to all elders, with the condition that it suits at least two-thirds of the elders to attend in person or via conference call. A special Elders Council may be called with less than a two-week notice only if all the elders agree.
b. Officers of the Elders Council
The officers of the Elders Council shall consist of a chairman, vice-chairman, secretary, and treasurer to be elected for three-year terms of service. They shall be elected by ballot after nominations have been taken during the scheduled July meeting. An election could occur at any other properly scheduled meeting to fill the remaining term of an officer who resigns or is unable to perform his duties. The chairman and vice-chairman shall be elected in different years to allow for an overlapping term of service.
Permanent committee members shall be elected by ballot after nominations have been taken at the scheduled July meeting. A committee with three members shall have overlapping three-year terms of service with an election each year for one member of the committee. A committee with more members shall follow the preceding pattern for terms of service and election of members. Temporary committees shall be appointed or chosen as decided by the Elders Council.
d. Agendas and Minutes
The chairman and vice-chairman shall formulate and distribute an agenda two weeks prior to the Elders Council meeting, based upon the items that need to be addressed including the items submitted by other elders from their congregations. Each Elders Council meeting shall conclude with a report of items for the next meeting’s agenda and the reading and approval of a draft version of the minutes that conveys the actions that were decided. The final minutes shall be distributed in the next two weeks, with opportunity given to the elders to request a correction of wording within the following week. Any suggested correction that is not supported by the chairman and vice-chairman shall be discussed and finalized at the next Elders Council meeting.
e. Items of Business
All items of business requiring congregational action shall be considered by the Elders Council and then presented to the member congregations by their presiding elder for their individual response. Each congregational response shall be considered as one vote for or against an item of business and no item of business shall be implemented by CBE without a two-thirds vote of approval. However, CBE shall be cautious of moving ahead with any item of business which does not have full congregational consensus.
f. Ministry Training Oversight
The Elders Council shall oversee the ministry training program and ordination process, and also work in conjunction with each congregation and the denomination’s local district as defined in the CBE ministry training and ordination section.
g. Resolution Assistance
The Official Board of any member congregation may request the Elders Council to assist them in the resolution of an internal item of business under the Official Board’s direction for duration and level of involvement.
5. CBE Yearly Conference
CBE Yearly Conferences are open to attendance by all members of CBE congregations and all individuals who have interest in the mission and work of CBE.
b. Function and Purpose
The CBE Yearly Conference shall be scheduled for the third Saturday in August. The Conference Agenda shall consist primarily of reports, and scriptural teaching, and exhortation on subjects that are pertinent to CBE’s mission and doctrinal statements. The CBE chairman shall moderate the Conference or assign this responsibility to the vice-chairman as appropriate.
The CBE Elders Council shall approve the CBE Yearly Conference agenda at their January meeting. The agenda shall be consistent with the CBE polity, mission, and doctrinal statements. The agenda shall be announced by the member congregations two weeks prior to the event.
Note: Any item of polity may be changed by the due process of the Elders Council providing it is consistent with CBE’s mission and doctrinal statements.