FCA Canada

Handbook Requirements for Ministry Membership

Handbook 6.3 Obtaining Membership as a Ministry

 

 

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    • Obtaining Membership as a Ministry

 

The Articles of the Corporation refer to these classes of members as​​ Class B: Churches​​ and​​ Class C: Parachurch Organizations.

 

      • Requirements for Membership

In order to be considered for membership, churches and parachurches must meet the following requirements. They must:

  • Meet the definition of a church or parachurch as outlined in​​ 5.1​​ or​​ 5.2, respectively

  • Be familiar with and agree with the​​ Statement of Common Beliefs​​ (see the Constitution)

  • Be familiar with and agree with the​​ Statement of Ethics​​ (see the Constitution)

  • Support the mission of the FCA

  • Adhere to the policies and procedures outlined in the constitution, bylaws, and handbook

 

      • Registration

The process for membership registration for a ministry is as follows:

  • The prospective member must seek out a qualified endorsing church.

  • The endorsing church’s elders or leadership team shall meet with the prospective ministry’s leadership team for the purpose of:

    • Acquaintance and fellowship

    • A detailed presentation of the policies and procedures of the FCA

    • A discussion and answer period

    • A time of prayer, petitioning for God’s will

  • Following this initial meeting, a period of time shall be allowed for the prospective new ministry to consider the implications of joining the FCA.

  • During this time, the endorsing church shall study the constitution and bylaws of the prospective ministry, along with its doctrinal and financial statements. It is very important that the endorsing church has confidence in the practice, teaching, and mission of the prospective ministry to ensure compatibility with the FCA. Where questions remain or issues arise in this process, the endorsing church should seek clarity from the ministry and, if concerns remain, consult with the FCA Elders.

  • Upon mutual agreement to proceed with membership in the FCA, the endorsing church and the prospective ministry will either:

    • Conduct a joint service of the congregations (in the case of a church), at which time membership in the FCA would be officially endorsed; or, where a joint service is impractical,

    • Representatives of the leadership of the endorsing church and the new ministry shall meet together,​​ wherein official endorsement of the new ministry can be granted.

  • Subject to the meeting of endorsement, the appropriate registration documentation shall be completed and submitted to the FCA office along with the membership fee in order to be registered as an FCA member. Incomplete registrations will not be processed until all required​​ information is received. All registration documents can be found on the website. The required forms include:

    • Church/Ministry Application Form – to be filled out by the new church

    • Church/Ministry Affirmation Form – to be filled out by the endorsing church

 

      • Ministry Membership Privileges

In addition to membership voting rights (see​​ 6.8), church and parachurch membership provides the following benefits:

  • Ministry employees may participate in the FCA Plus Benefits program

  • Ministry employees may participate in the GRSP program

  • Churches (not parachurches) have the potential to qualify to endorse ministers and ministries (see section​​ 6.1)

  • Ministries are listed in the FCA directory

  • Ministries have access to FCA counsel in times of organizational struggles

  • Potential access to FCA church planting funds or other designated program funds

  • Access to a growing number of resources on ministry administration, programming, etc.

  • Members/participants​​ of FCA ministries may potentially participate on Committees

  • Members/participants​​ of FCA ministries may have access to the Crane Memorial Scholarship

  • Members/participants​​ of FCA ministries have greater access to other Bible training scholarships through the FCA Leadership Training Scholarship Fund

Members/participants of FCA ministries receive the same convention rates as FCA minister members

Steps to Register a New Church or Ministry

Registering a New Church or Ministry

Three things must be received in order to complete a new Church or Ministry registration:

  1. Ministry Application Form to be filled out by the Minister online
  2. Ministry Affirmation Form to be filled out by the Endorsing Church
  3. Payment (via cheque or e-transfer). E-transfer sent to finance@fcaministers.com
    Mail cheques to FCA Office: 11449 – 92nd St. Grande Prairie, Alberta T8X 1P4Please note registration is not finalized until all steps are completed. Forms and payment are required. Failure to provide required documents and payment in a timely manner will result in the cancellations of the registration process.

Required Endorsement

 

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    • Endorsement

 

      • Definition of Endorsement

Endorsement is a specific intentional relationship that lies at the heart of FCA membership and is, at its core, rooted in a desire to ensure that healthy relationships and accountability exist among FCA members. All members must be endorsed by a qualified FCA church.

 

Endorsement is the responsibility that an FCA church takes on with another FCA church, ministry, or minister and includes the aspects below. Endorsement:

  • Involves ensuring that ongoing relationship exists between the endorsing church and the endorsed minister/ministry where mutual encouragement, guidance, support and accountability are present

  • Means​​ vouching for the theological orthodoxy, spiritual maturity, personal integrity and discipleship, and ministry abilities of any minister/ministry endorsed

  • Includes being the primary agent beyond the endorsed minister/ministry themselves for any disciplinary issues, grievances, and/or FCA constitution/bylaws or policy/procedure violation issues

  • Includes taking responsibility for any investigation into relational breakdowns, allegations regarding ministry or personal misconduct, and creating and implementing a strategy for redemptive, disciplinary, or restorative action

  • Involves participating in facilitating an appropriate course of action for endorsed ministers and/or ministries who are requesting help when experiencing difficulty

  • Does​​ not​​ in itself imply financial support

 

      • Qualifications of an Endorsing Church

An endorsing church must meet the following qualifications:

  • Be registered with the FCA as a church (not parachurch)

  • Be a member in good standing

  • Understand and commit to what is involved in endorsement (see​​ 6.1.1)

  • Demonstrate an understanding and commitment to the polices and procedures outlined in the constitution, bylaws, and handbook

  • Commit to sending delegates (at least one or two) to the annual convention whenever possible

  • Actively participate in the regional meetings in their area

  • The pastor or church must be a member of the FCA for at least the previous five years uninterrupted

  • Have a policy regarding endorsements that meets or exceeds the minimum requirements for FCA ministers and/or ministries​​ (see section​​ 6.2)

 

      • Responsibilities of the Endorsing Church

The endorsing church is responsible to:

  • Fulfill the definition of endorsement as outlined in​​ 6.1.1​​ on an ongoing basis

  • Ensure endorsed ministers and ministries meet the qualifications to be endorsed as ministers or ministries both at the time of endorsement, and (as a minimum) annually at each renewal

  • Fulfill the appropriate registration process for endorsing

  • Complete the endorsement process according to the handbook, whether licensing or ordaining a minister (section​​ 6.2), or endorsing a ministry​​ (section​​ 6.3)

  • Maintain fellowship with each of their endorsed ministers/ministries on a regular basis (i.e. a personal connection at a minimum of once/year)

  • Establish an endorsement policy within their church that meets the minimum requirements of the FCA (see section​​ 6.2​​ for FCA requirements)

  • Assist and communicate with endorsed ministers and ministries to ensure their annual renewal is completed correctly and on time

  • Take care to shepherd any applicable transition for those impacted in the event of discontinuing endorsement

  • It is also recommended that the endorsing church receive an annual (or more frequent) report describing the ministry activities their endorsed ministers or ministries are involved in

 

      • Responsibilities of the Endorsed Minister/Ministry

The endorsed member (minister or ministry) is responsible to:

  • Fulfill the membership requirements (sections​​ 6.2.1​​ and​​ 6.3.1)

  • Complete the endorsement process according to the handbook in conjunction with the endorsing church

  • Maintain fellowship with their endorsing church on a regular basis (i.e. a personal connection at a minimum of once/year)

  • Ensure their annual renewal is completed correctly and on time

  • Report on ministry activities to their endorsing church, especially if requested

  • Be accountable through relationship with their endorsing church (see section​​ 2.2) for their ministry, conduct, integrity, theology, and other areas pertaining to Biblical discipleship

 

      • Loss of Endorsement Privileges

An endorsing church may lose their endorsing privileges in the following situations:

  • They no longer meet the definition of a church outlined in​​ 5.1.

  • They no longer meet the requirements of membership outlined in​​ 6.3.1.

  • They no longer meet the qualifications of an endorsing church outlined in​​ 6.1.2.

  • They fail to meet their responsibilities as an endorsing church outlined in​​ 6.1.3.

 

If any of these situations arise, the endorsing church of the church in question will work with the church to try to move toward an appropriate resolution. If no endorsing church exists, the Elders or their designate(s) will fill that role. If the situation cannot be resolved adequately, the church will lose their endorsing privileges and any endorsed members will need to obtain endorsement through another endorsing church (see section​​ 6.7​​ for finding a new endorsing church).

 

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