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CONSTITUTION OF
THE BIVOCATIONAL AND SMALL CHURCH LEADERSHIP NETWORK, INC.
(Formerly the Southern Baptist Bivocational Ministers Association, Inc.
Revised – April 17, 2010)
ARTICLE I – NAME and MEMBERSHIP
Section 1. Name: The name of this organization is the BIVOCATIONAL AND SMALL CHURCH LEADERSHIP NETWORK, INC. (herein called, the Network) The Network (successor in name to the Southern Baptist Bivocational Ministers Association Inc.) is chartered as a not-for-profit corporation operating exclusively for ministry and religious purposes limited to those activities which qualify under Section 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code (Mississippi).
Section 2. Membership: The voting membership of the Network is composed of those who serve bivocational and small membership congregations, who are in support of the mission and objectives of this organization, and who pay its required annual dues. Examples: pastors, spouses, other ministers of congregations, and students; designated leadership of associations, state conventions, and SBC entities; and educational institutions in direct service to the Network. Others are invited to participate.
ARTICLE II—PRIMARY CONSTITUENCY
The Network seeks to provide supporting services to ministry leadership serving smaller membership churches, the approximately 75% of Southern Baptist churches averaging 125 or less in worship attendance, and/or which are led by bivocational ministers.
ARTICLE III– MISSION and OBJECTIVES
Section 1. Mission statement: The mission of the Network is to encourage, promote and serve bivocational and smaller membership ministers and their families as they do whatever it takes in Christ’s kingdom service within local congregations, communities, and to the ends of the world.
Section 2. Network Objectives: The Network commits itself to strategic objectives in order to fulfill its mission, including the following seven, and those that may be determined:
  1. National Network: To sustain and work with a national network including its own distinctive Website and organization, as well as the vast resources within the Southern Baptist family.
  2. Ministry Encouragement: To provide encouragement and affirmation for pastors, other ministers, and their families as they make outstanding contributions to Kingdom work.
  3. Informed Advocacy: To develop, publish, and promote the biblical basis, contemporary reality, and strategic value of bivocational and smaller membership churches.
  4. Vocational Identity: To identify and call into supportive fellowship pastors and other ministers who want to become part of, this vital segment of the Southern Baptist family.
  5. Ministry Teams: To establish and maintain ministry teams and groups to address the ministry challenges and opportunities of bivocational and smaller membership churches.
  6. Leadership Development: To provide for ministers and teams a network of ministry and leadership training resources which are biblical, practical, accessible, and affordable.
  7. Expanded Ministry: To expand this ministry to and through bivocational and smaller membership ministers and their congregations:
    • - by enlarging their participation in this Network and within the Southern Baptist family;
    • - by securing and investing greater mission resources from the Southern Baptist family;
    • - by encouraging young men and women and second-career persons to prepare themselves for intentional service within these congregations;
    • - by linking these ministers to efforts in planting new missions and churches;
    • - by connecting ministers to second vocational opportunities for financial support.
ARTICLE IV – NETWORK OFFICERS AND DUTIES
The Network shall elect general officers from among its active membership to serve in specific roles and as members of the National Coordinating Council (herein, Council).
Network officers and their duties include:
  1. President shall preside at regular and called meetings of the Network, performing other duties as required by the office, and serve as vice-chair of the Council.
  2. First Vice-President shall assist the President in presiding at the meetings of the Network and may serve as chair of the Program Committee.
  3. Vice-President for Membership serves as chair of the Membership Committee.
  4. Vice-President for Financial Support serves as chair of the Financial Support Committee, including budget administration.
  5. Vice-President for Communications serves as chair of the Communications Committee, including the Network Website.
  6. Vice-President for Church Planting serves as chair of the Church Planting Team to advance the biblical mandate of church planting among bivocational and small church leaders.
  7. Secretary shall maintain and report all records of the Network and its National Coordinating Council, and assist in sending information and notices to the membership.
  8. Treasurer shall receive and deposit all income, approve and pay budgeted items, and maintain all financial records of the Network, presenting them to the Audit Committee at each annual meeting.
  9. Directors: Three directors shall function in all legal matters of the Corporation required by law and serve as at-large members of the Council.
  10. National Coordinator, whether volunteer or staff, shall serve as an officer of the Network, chair the Coordinating Council, coordinate its on-going work, and report its progress to the Network.
  11. Persons serving the Network in other roles may be selected by the Council and reported to the Network.
ARTICLE V—NATIONAL COORDINATING COUNCIL
Section 1. The National Coordinating Council (herein, the Council): serves as the governing board of the Network. It shall organize itself to address the Network’s mission and strategic objectives and to function in behalf of the Network throughout the year, making annual reports of its actions. It shall also serve in the Network’s personnel and budgeting functions. Standing and special committees, ministry groups and teams, and regional resource centers are included in the structure and assignment of the Council.
Section 2. Council Membership:
The membership of the Council, whether elected by the Network or appointed through the Council, includes the following:
  • - elected general officers of the Network;
  • - elected officers of ministry groups and teams;
  • - regional consultants and directors of Regional Resource Centers;
  • - presidents of state bivocational/small church associations or fellowships;
  • - staff ministry consultants of associational, state and national entities; and,
  • - other at-large members from bivocational/small churches, as determined by the Council.
ARTICLE VI – COMMITTEES AND MINISTRY GROUPS
Committees and ministry groups are organized within the Council in order to serve the mission and objectives of the Network throughout the year.
Section 1. Committees
  1. Membership Committee: shall actively recruit members for the Network in keeping with the constitutional provisions regarding membership.
  2. Program Committee: shall plan and promote programs for the annual and special meetings of the Network.
  3. Financial Support Committee: shall work with the Coordinator to guide in development, fund-raising, and budget administration.
  4. Communications Committee: shall work with the Coordinator to guide the Network’s Website and other communication strategies.
  5. Nominating Committee: three members appointed by the Network President, shall nominate the general officers of the Network as listed in ARTICLE IV; nominations from the floor shall also be in order.
  6. Audit Committee: three members appointed by the Network President, shall receive the financial records from the Treasurer, review them, and make its report to the Network during the same annual meeting.
  7. Special Committees: Special committees may be appointed by the President and/or the National Coordinator and approved by the Network or the Council.
Section 2. Ministry Groups
  • The Network or its Council may choose to do much of its work through ministry groups or teams, which shall function as part of the Council in service to the Network.
  • The following groups are now actively serving, and others may be added:
    1. Pastors Network Fellowship, led by state elected officers
    2. Partners Assisting the Lord’s Servants, the PALS group
    3. State convention staff consultants, relating to bivocational and small church ministry
    4. Regional Bivocational Consultants
    5. Educators for Bivocational and Small Church Ministry
    6. Directors of the Regional Resource Centers
    7. Church Planting Team, linking to resources in the Southern Baptist family
    8. Other ministry groups that are approved by the Network and its Council. Ministry groups may be structured by approving the team and its leader; other members of the team may be appointed by the team leader or the National Coordinator.
ARTICLE VII – NETWORK PERSONNEL
Persons employed or contracted by the Network may be secured and funded by the Network only within its financial resources.
Selection is upon recommendation by the National Coordinating Council and approved by the Network.
  1. National Coordinator of the Bivocational and Small Church Leadership Network. The Coordinator, whether volunteer or staff, shall be recommended by the Council for a stated term not to exceed five-years and elected by the Network; and, may be eligible for reelection for subsequent terms. The Coordinator shall give leadership to and promote the general welfare of the Network and its membership; providing counsel to its officers, committees, and ministry groups. The Coordinator shall serve as Chairman of the Council, as well as ex- officio member of all committees and ministry groups.
  2. Regional Bivocational/Small Church Consultants: They shall promote bivocational and small church ministries within their regions; they may be nominated by the Coordinator and approved by Council.
  3. Other personnel positions may be established and funded by action of the Network or its Council.
ARTICLE VIII – MEETINGS
  1. Annual Meeting. The Network shall hold an annual meeting for business and inspiration; the specific location and time shall be approved by the Council at least two years in advance of the meeting date. These may be scheduled as business sessions in conjunction with state or regional meeting programs.
  2. Special Network Meeting. The Council may request a special meeting of the membership by giving notification to the Network’s membership not less than thirty days beforehand.
  3. Council Meetings. The Council shall meet at least once between the annual meetings of the Network; “virtual meetings” as needed are encouraged. Committees or ministry groups may meet as needed; “virtual meetings” are encouraged.
ARTICLE IX – FINANCES
Section 1—Annual Budget: A budget shall be developed by the Financial Support Committee, endorsed by the Council and recommended for approval by the Network.
Section 2 – Membership Dues: Annual membership dues shall be established by the Council and are payable to the Network and remitted to the Treasurer. The dues help to meet budget expenses of the Network.
Section 3—Gifts and Bequests: The Network may expand its ministries by seeking to secure gifts, grants, and bequests from its members, interested persons, supporting partners, and participating organizations.
Section 4 – Endowment Trust Fund: The Bivocational and Small Church Leadership Network, Inc. Trust (the Trust) has been established to provide financial support for the work and purposes of the Network. Endowment gifts shall be sought to enlarge this Trust, and up to five percent (5%) of the corpus may be expended annually for the Network’s expense.
ARTICLE X – AMENDMENTS
This Constitution may be amended at any annual meeting of the Network by a vote of two-thirds of the members present. Notification of proposed amendments shall be made to the membership on the Website and other communication organs, prior to the annual meeting in which they are to be considered.
ARTICLE XI – DISSOLUTION
The Network may dissolve itself by a two-thirds majority vote of the attending membership in two successive meetings, following this procedure:
- Dissolution is initiated by a resolution passed by a two-thirds majority of the Coordinating Council, or by a petition of 20% of the present voting members.
- Notification shall be made to the Network membership prior to an annual meeting in which dissolution is to be considered.
- In the event that the Network ceases to exist, any remaining funds, including those in the Trust, shall be designated by the Network and be disbursed by the Treasurer to another organization qualifying under Section 501 (c) (3) of the Tax Code. The funds shall be used by the designated organization totally and completely to support the work and ministries of bivocational and small churches.
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Note: Charter and Constitution—Adoptions and Amendments:
2010: April 17: By unanimous vote, the Constitution was amended with significant changes, including the name change
from: “Southern Baptist Bivocational Ministers Association”
to: “Bivocational and Small Church Leadership Network.”
Also, this name change was authorized as an amendment to the Charter with the Mississippi Secretary of State.
Committee:
  • Lloyd Elder
  • Darrell Fletcher
  • Ron Ward
  • Larry Lehr
  • Ray Gilder
2007: Amendments to the 2005 Constitution approved by unanimous vote of the membership present at the Association's annual meeting in Lone Tree, Colorado, April 28, 2007.
Amendments were unanimously recommended by:
the Ministry Coordinating Council and the Executive Committee.
2005: Amendments to the 1996 Constitution of the Southern Baptist Bivocational Ministers Association, Inc. approved by unanimous vote of the membership present at the Association’s annual meeting at the North American Mission Board, Atlanta, Georgia, April 30, 2005.
Revisions and amendments to the 1996 Constitution were recommended by members of the Study Task Force, Executive Committee, and Ministry Council serving as a Constitution Committee.
Writing Committee—
  • Larry Orange
  • Vernon Beachum
  • Lloyd Elder
  • Ann Hall, Secretary
1996, Dec. 7: Addition to the Charter and revisions of the Constitution:
approved by unanimous vote of the membership present at the annual meeting on December 7, 1996, held at Florida Baptist Theological College.
Recommended by a Constitution Committee:
  • Jean Beachum
  • Vernon Beachum
  • Norman Ponder
  • Ronald W. Ward, president
  • Ann Hall, secretary
1996, Mar. 8: The Charter of Incorporation of Southern Baptist Bivocational Ministers Association, Inc.
was approved by Mississippi Secretary of State, March 8, 1996.
Registered Agent, Dale Holloway;
Incorporators:
Ron Ward, Raymond O’Quinn, Ann Hall, and Jimmy McCaleb

Constitution (2007 revision)