WestCoast Challenge: Details, Details, Details

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Hamish Buntain
WestCoast Baptist Association Church Strengthening Catalyst

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Yes, the Details Are Important.

Our family of churches has the wonderful privilege of partnering together with God to help people come to know Jesus and the life that is only found in Him. We do this by engaging others with the story of Jesus, through loving ministry and service, in prayer, and various other ways. All these activities require us to be spiritually focused and aware of what God is doing around us. But we also need to pay attention to the details of our context and that means abiding by the laws of our land. If we don’t pay attention to these details of law, we risk losing the privilege of being a church altogether. For example, if a church is so focused on the spiritual that its annual report to the Canada Revenue Agency is neglected, then it may discover one day that its charity status has been revoked. It is not just a matter of self – preservation but also of representing Christ well. Jesus had the reputation of doing all things well and it is our desire to further that standing. 

Changes to the BC Societies Act and to the WBA Constitution

So to that end it is important for you to know that the BC Societies Act is requiring that all churches submit a new Constitution and Bylaws that reflect changes that are to take effect November 28, 2016. I don’t know of many who are eager to embrace this task but if we are to abide by the laws of our land we must do so. In order to help make this work as painless as possible the WBA has enlisted help from Luke Johnson, a lawyer whose firm is helping others navigate these changes. He has agreed to lead a workshop for church leaders on the issues and changes that arise under the new Act. We plan to have this workshop on a Saturday morning near the end of October. We are still in the process of establishing a date but will let you know soon. Please take advantage of this opportunity. We will present our own WBA updated Constitution and Bylaws are our Annual General Meeting on October 14th.

Registering your messengers to the WBA gatherings

One other issue that requires some change is in the manner that we conduct business. When our churches come together to vote on various items (as we will do at our annual meeting) we ask people to vote according to how they believe God is leading them. In the past, those present voted.  In order to become compliant with our own Constitution and Bylaws we are asking our churches to enlist people (we call these people messengers) who will vote on the issues presented. Each church can designate their members as messengers in any way they see fit but they will need to let us know which of their members are messengers.

Our Bylaws state that each affiliated church or mission shall be entitled to messengers as follows:

  1. Four messengers from each church with up to 50 resident members.
  2. One messenger for additional 25 resident members or portion thereof.
  3. No church shall have more than 15 messengers.

At our next AGM on October 14th we will be recording the messengers sent by each church and ask them to vote on the issues placed before them. The meeting is for all our people but we will ask those who have been designated as messengers by their churches to do the voting.

Details are important. As we grow and mature we want to be careful to attend to these worldly details in order that we might not be hindered in fulfilling our spiritual mandate.  I appreciate your participation in this detail work.  I look forward to seeing you all at our AGM on October 14th at Richmond Chinese / Towers Baptist Church at 7:30 pm.  

With the affection of Jesus, Hamish

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