Mountain View Bible Church Tripoli, PA

   
     
Statement of Operations
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Six Biblical Pinciples

Six biblical principles guide the operation and church life at Mountain View Bible Church:

 

First Operational Principle

Mountain View Bible Church is governed solely by the Bible, God’s Word (I Timothy 3:15; II Timothy 3:16-17; Mark 7:13).


Therefore, we seek to conduct ministry by the teaching, principles, prescriptions, and patterns of the Bible, and are not bound by traditions, methods, individual preferences, or humanistic values, that undermine the Bible and effective church ministry.

 

Second Operational Principle

Our crucified, risen, and ascended Lord Jesus is the leader of Mountain View Bible Church (Ephesians 1:22; 5:23-24; Colossians 1:18; I Peter 5:4; Revelation 2-3).

 

Therefore, all of our planning and ministry operations are to focus on submission to Jesus’ Lordship, His honor, glory, and direction for the Church. We seek to discern where Jesus is specifically working in our ministry, and then join Him in that work by His power, for His aim and glory (John 5:19-20).

 

Third Operational Principle

Mountain View Bible Church is committed to fulfilling Jesus' mission for the church of making disciples (Matthew 28:16-20; Mark 16:15; Acts 1:8).

 

Therefore, disciple-making is not an appendage to ministry at Mountain View Bible, but rather is to be integrated into every service, gathering, and function of our church. Every ministry and every decision must be evaluated in light of Jesus' mission for the church!

 

Fourth Operational Principle

The church offices of elder and deacon, functioning biblically are essential for the health of the church

(1Timothy 3:1-3; Titus 1:5-5-9; Acts 6:1-6; Hebrews 17:7&17).

 

Therefore, the following biblical specifics about elders guide our church:


Their title and number

The terms elder, overseer, and pastor are used interchangeably to speak of one office (Acts 20:17, 28; Titus 1:5-7; I Peter 5: 1-2), and that each local church was pastored by a team of elders (Acts 14:23, 15:4). The title elder and the corresponding verbs are always plural when speaking of church leadership.

 

Their qualifications – Elders must be qualified in four areas:

    1. Personal Character – Elders must be males (I Timothy2:11-14) who meet the spiritual qualifications as outlined in I Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:5-9. They are to be committed disciples of Jesus who are continually seeking to grow in His likeness and who model the humble servant-hood of Jesus in their homes and the church.
    2. Church Involvement - Elders must be church members and hold to the statement of faith and philosophy of ministry of Mountain View Bible Church. They must have, in the past, demonstrated both a deep desire, and competence for ministry. The elder candidate must express a deep desire to serve in this office (I Timothy 3:1). An elder is placed in the ministry by the Holy Spirit and the risen Christ (Acts 20:28; Ephesians 4:7-12). The current elders and the church body will recognize this call. A staff elder who is called to serve from outside our church will become a member upon approval of his call.
    3. Ministry Skills - According to I Thessalonians 5:12, elders function in personal ministry, leadership, and in the communication of the Word, so the elders of Mountain View Bible Church must be gifted, and/or equipped to serve in each of these ministry areas.
    4. Bible Knowledge - Elders must have a good understanding of the content of the Bible and a working knowledge of Bible doctrine (Titus 1:9).

Their Team Ministry

The elders will function as a shepherding team, providing shared leadership to the congregation, pastoral care, and instruction (1 Thessalonians 5:12; Acts 20:28; Hebrews 13:17; I Peter 5:2).

We further maintain that I Timothy 5:17-18 makes a clear distinction between vocational elders, whom we refer to as staff elders, and are financially remunerated for their ministry, and non-vocational elders who earn their living through means other than the eldership. It is our operational principle that both vocational staff elders and non-vocational elders are necessary for an effective and stable eldership to exist.

 

As ministry develops beyond the capacity of the non-vocational elders, staff elders may be sought from within, or outside the church. Both a ministry description and compensation package shall be set by the non-vocational elders for the staff elders. The compensation for staff elders shall be reviewed annually by the non-vocational elders. Consideration should be given to salary, allowances, vacation, sick leave, and education/enrichment leave.

Because we recognize that the public preaching and teaching of the Word of God is central to our worship (I Timothy 4:13; II Timothy 4:2), that adequate time is necessary for sermon preparation, and that formal theological and biblical training is an asset for such public speaking, the elder who fills the primary pulpit ministry should be a staff elder.

 

Although the elders act jointly and equally in authority, we maintain that one elder will emerge as “first among equals.” He will be first in the sense that his gifts, dedication, training, and abilities will bring influence and direction to the body of elders, but equal in that he has no more authority than the other elders. This principle is seen in Acts 21:18 and Galatians 2:12. It is recognized that most often the lead elder will be a staff elder who by training, calling, and availability will be best prepared to give the needed direction to the body of elders. However, there is no reason why God cannot provide such leadership in a non-vocational elder. It is expected that the body of elders will affirm God’s choice in this matter.  

 

Their Selection and Dismissal  

Potential elders, both staff and non-vocational, will be selected and interviewed by the existing body of elders to determine their spiritual qualifications for the eldership. Those candidates approved by the elders will be presented to the church membership for their affirmation. An elder candidate needs to be approved by a 75% affirmation of the congregation.

 

Non-vocational elders will be called to a three-year term and may serve consecutive subsequent terms, providing the elder remains willing and qualified.

 

Staff elders, called from outside our local church, are called to an indefinite term, provided they remain willing and qualified to serve.

 

 Should it become necessary to dismiss an elder, the guidelines of I Timothy 5:19-20 and Matthew 18:15-17 will be followed. An elder whose ministry competence is not deemed adequate according to the elders, may be released from his ministry by the elders.   When a staff elder is dismissed from his ministry, the elders will give appropriate consideration of severance in line with the church budget.

 

The Specifics about Deacons

The New Testament lists no specified duties for deacons. However, their title implies that they are servants. Deacons are to work in close association with the elders, receiving from them delegated tasks and authority in areas of need. Deacons are to relieve the elders in tasks that are essential to the church's welfare thus enabling the elders to shepherd the church (Acts 6:1-6). Care will be taken by the elders to match individual deacons with tasks that best suit the deacon's abilities, gifts, and interests, to allow each deacon to serve to his fullest capacity with joy.

 

The selection of deacons will follow the biblical pattern of Acts 6:1 6. The membership will select as deacon candidates those male church members they perceive to have a servant's attitude and who meet the spiritual qualifications of Acts 6:3 and I Timothy 3:8-13. The elders will interview the deacon candidates. Those men who are qualified will be presented to the congregation for their approval by a 75% affirmation. A deacon will serve a two year term, and may serve an unlimited number of terms provided he remains willing and qualified.

 

Fifth Operational Principle

Church membership is synonymous with commitment.


Understanding Church Membership - Two key verses clarify the nature and beauty of Church membership:

  • Romans 15:7, “Therefore receive one another, just as Christ also received us, to the glory of God.” When a person begins to attend our services they are received with love, care, and encouragement from our church body. As Jesus loves and leads the seeker, so do we. As Jesus shepherds and nurtures believers, so do we.

  • Acts 2:41 41 “Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them.”   Those who believed the gospel message, and who were baptized were “added” to the life and ministry of the church at Jerusalem.   The word “added “speaks of being placed into or beside.   Therefore, in membership, the believer is saying, “I want to be counted with this specific group of New Testament believers.”

 

The Procedure for Membership

Any believer desiring to unite with this church should contact one of the elders for a membership interview. The prospective member will be interviewed by a minimum of two church officers (elder or deacon), to determine the validity of their salvation, baptism, and commitment to this body. They should be in accord with the tenor of doctrine and philosophy of Mountain View Bible Church, and show a willingness to be involved in the ministry of the church.   We understand that involvement in the body comes in varying degrees depending upon the person's maturity and life situation. We want each believer to be motivated by the grace and love of Jesus to be as fully and active as they can in the life of the church as possible.

Following the membership interview the prospective member will be presented for membership before the congregation. At that time the perspective member will be encouraged to share briefly:

  • How they came to faith in Christ and when they were baptized.
  • How Mountain View Bible Church has blessed and impacted their lives.
  • Where they would like to be involved in ministry.


Upon completing their testimony, the congregation will be asked to affirm their love and acceptance of the new member. Thus, the membership procedure is to be a powerful expression of love, acceptance, and commitment from both the new member and the Mountain View church family!

 

The Privilege of Church Membership

Active members of Mountain View Bible Church have the privileges of speaking in family meetings, holding ministry positions of teaching and leadership, and voting when affirmation of the membership is called for per our church’s constitution.  

 

Discipline of Members

Members of Mountain View Bible Church understand that when a believer continues in serious and unrepentant sin that is devastating to them, the Church, and their families, they will fall under the four step process of discipline as revealed in Matthew 18:15-17. The purposes of this process is to restore the sinning believer (Galatians 6:1), and to keep the church pure (I Corinthians 5:1-8).

 

Removal of Members

Membership may be terminated by request of the member seeking dismissal, providing they are not in any stage of the church discipline process. Membership may also be terminated by church discipline as outlined in Matthew 18:15-17, joining another church, moving from our area, or inactivity. Any member who does not attend services at least 50% of the time, in a six month period, without reasonable excuse, will be removed from membership. Prior to removal, the elders and the church will encourage the absent member to renewed participation.

 

Sixth Operational Principle

The Church conducts ministry, planning and major decisions as a family and biblical community, not as a business organization (I John 4:7; Philippians 2:1-4; Romans 12:9-10, 15:7; Ephesians 4:1-3).

 

To ensure the family unity and operation of the church we teach:

 

  • That the five major Biblical guidelines of communication must govern our speech at all times and be the rule of conduct in our church family meetings.
  • Be a Listener – James 1:19 “So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath;”
  • Be Truthful - Ephesians 4:15 “but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ.”
  • Be Current - Ephesians 4:26-27 "Be angry, and do not sin": do not let the sun go down on your wrath, nor give place to the devil.
  • Be Constructive - Ephesians 4:29 “Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.”
  • Be Controlled - Ephesians 4:31-32 “Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ forgave you.”
  • Submission to God’s ordained authority
    In the same way that God has ordained the husband and father to be the loving head of the home, the elders are to lovingly lead and serve the congregation (I Peter 5:2-3). In the same way a wife and children are to look to their husband and father with respect for leadership (Ephesians 5:22-23, 6:1-4), so is the congregation to look to the elders with respect (Hebrews 13:7,17; 1 Thessalonians 5:12; 1 Timothy 5:17).

  • Congregational involvement and participation

A study of Acts 6:1-6; Acts 15; I Corinthians 16:3; II Corinthians 8:19 and many other verses in the epistles indicate that the congregation’s participation is central in decision making. Therefore, the elders are to look for input from the congregation, and to keep them informed. As a godly father considers family decisions in light of the needs of each family member, so must the elders. In all major church decisions, the elders must inform the congregation and cultivate an environment of open communication. The elders and the congregation must seek to act as a unified body. When assembled, the elders will seek to lead the congregation in discerning the Lord's will. If the elders and congregation sense a division among godly members, a decision may need to be postponed for further discussion and prayer.  

Though the congregation is involved before and during major church decisions, they will also be asked to affirm by a 75% approval:

  • The calling of staff pastors
  • The confirming of elders and deacons
  • The commissioning of a missionary from our membership
  • The regular ongoing support of a long term missionary
  • The annual budget
  • The changing of our constitution
  • The buying and selling of church property
  • Any church decision, deemed of major consequence to the life of the church by the elders

In summary we believe that the operation of the New Testament church should follow a family model that is elder-led, deacon-served, and congregation-involved!

 

Additional Operational Details

Additional Operational Details

 

Ministry Leaders and other staff positions

The elders may appoint individuals/committees to serve as leaders of the various ministries in the church. Appointments are made on an annual basis, with a job description and periodic meeting for accountability. Ministry leaders must be active members, godly in character, and in agreement with the doctrine and philosophy of our church. They need to be team players who are humble servants and submit to the biblical oversight of the elders. The elders may appoint paid staff positions in line with the approved budget as the need arises. Salary packages are at the discretion of the elders, in keeping with the proposed budget. Paid staff shall be accountable to the elders of the church. Positions may open or close at the discretion of the elders.

 

Selection and support of missionaries

The following six criteria will guide our selection for long-term regular support of missionaries:

  • Be in agreement with the doctrine and philosophy of Mountain View Bible Church.
  • Be qualified in character.
  • Demonstrate a passion and vision for ministry in general, and their field of service specifically.
  • Demonstrate competency in ministry skills.
  • Be called to the most strategic ministries and fields.
  • Any missionary candidate who is called out of Mountain View Bible Church will be given the highest consideration for support.

Church Family Meetings

The church's fiscal year shall be January 1st to December 31st. An annual meeting will be held at the beginning of the fiscal year and include a review of the previous year's financial report, and a presentation of the new year's goals and budget, the affirming of new officers, and any other new items for the congregation's consideration.   The elders may call special church family meetings as specific issues arise throughout the year.

 

Church Finances

The elders are responsible for drafting the annual budget to be presented to the congregation for their approval.

 

The deacons and other godly members of the church, under the authority of the elders, are responsible for recording and depositing the church offerings. The elders are responsible for authorizing the disbursement of funds in accordance with the church budget.

 

The elders will appoint a godly member as church treasurer. The treasurer keeps an accurate record of all receipts and disbursements. The treasurer prepares monthly financial reports for the elders and the congregation.

 

Special Status

In the event that there are not enough qualified elders to oversee the church, the elders will seek advice and assistance from the deacons and/or godly men of the congregation.

 

Legal Items

The elders are the trustees of our non-profit religious corporation and may make the necessary appointment of offices to accommodate our legal bylaws.  

 

In the event of the dissolution of Mountain View Bible Church, the trustees shall satisfy all debts and distribute the remaining assets to other non-profit organizations of like faith.


IMPORTANT TIMES
Service Time
Sunday Worship - 11 AM

Mid Week Care Groups
Various groups meet in-home Tuesday
through Thursday at 7 PM
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CONTACT INFO
Meeting:  6493 PA Route 309
                   New Tripoli, PA 18066
Legal:       7642 Hawk View Road
                   Germansville, PA 18053
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