Proposed Bylaw Changes

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Explanation of Proposed Changes

See attached PDF for full Proposed Bylaws

Section One: Conference Details

Suggestion: Add conference date flexibility

Reasoning: Many years it snows on the conference dates.  We have many pastors and lay leaders that have to drive a significant distance.  We want to make sure we care well for their safety and not put them in a position of driving in wintery weather.  A new conference date would most likely be sometime in the fall.


The annual meeting of this Corporation shall be held in the month of March for the purpose of electing officers and conducting any and all business that may come before said meeting.

Replace with:

The District shall hold an Annual Meeting at the time and place to be decided by the District Board for the purpose of electing officers and conducting any and all business that may come before said meeting.

Suggestion: Add flexibility to the conference business meeting


At the Central District Conference, we would like our annual updates to be glorifying to God, encouraging, and uplifting. The “business” portion of the conference has an opportunity to celebrate the wins of what God has accomplished over the last year.  Adjusting the mandate to follow Robert’s Rules to only when needed will allow for flexibility in the presentation of how God has worked over the last year.


“All Conference meetings shall be conducted pursuant to the latest edition of Roberts Rules of Order.”

Replace with:

“All district meetings shall be conducted with decency and order as is fitting for the body of Christ. Business may be conducted in an informal manner but all appeals to parliamentary procedure will be decided by Robert’s Rules of Order unless otherwise provided for in these Bylaws.” 

Suggestion: Add flexibility to overall conference

Add: Suspension of Conferences

“If in the case of unique and rare circumstances such as natural disasters, war or pandemic, the Board of Directors may decide to postpone conferences for a period of time not to exceed two years. During such time the Board shall have the authority to exercise its regular duties and such authority normally reserved to voting delegates at the Annual Conference or any duly constituted District Conference.”

Add: Digital Voting Flexibility    

“If so decided by the Board of Directors, the above voting requirements may be modified to provide for digital voting or simplified if the numbers of candidates does not exceed the number of positions to be filled.”

Add: Virtual Conferences

“If special or unique circumstances arise, the Board of Directors may decide to hold virtual conferences done by the most efficient digital means available; such shall be considered as a duly constituted District Conference.”

Section Two: Committees

Suggestion: Remove committees from the bylaws and replace with policies & ministry teams


We want to make sure that we are modeling fruitful ministry and that we steward our time well.  The current process of having pastors serve on a nominating committee, collected nominees for several committees, and then having these nominees voted on at the district conference is cumbersome and time consuming for the pastors who graciously serve in these roles. 

We are suggesting that instead of codifying committees into the bylaws, we will write a separate policy for committees or form teams in areas like student ministry or church planting.  This allows the District Board to have the authority to appoint people to these positions without the cumbersome process of a nominating committee and district conference voting.  District Board members, however, will still be nominated and voted on.

In the area of church planting, our district staff team is working towards forming geographical church planting coalitions.  Lord willing, these churches will be able to work together for the unified mission of multiplying life-giving churches.  Our hope and desire is that every new plant in the EFCA Central will have a mother church to walk alongside it.  These geographical planting teams will be able to serve new church plants by offering guidance, care, and direction.      


  • Church planting board
  • Student Ministries Committee
  • Nominating Committee

Replace with:

  1. “The District Board has the authority to appoint whatever standing or temporary committees it deems necessary for the effective and efficient operation of the District. Examples of such committees include but are not limited to audit and search committees. Any such committee may or may not include as members one or more District Board Members, District staff and pastors and/or lay people at member churches.”
  2. Under district board duties: “Nominate qualified candidates for all elected positions of the Corporation.”

Suggestion: Rename Pastor Church Relations Committee by aligning with the national DBOMS standards

Reasoning: We are the only district with a PCRC.  Everyone else uses the language of the District Board of Ministerial Standing.  Renaming this will create clarity between us, other districts, and the national office.

Section Three: Staffing

Suggestion: Remove staff job descriptions other than the Superintendent


The job descriptions for the associate superintendent and church planting missionaries are no longer used.  Not adding the current ones is advisable for ease and flexibility in the future.  The final authority for any future adjustments still lies with the district board on approval.

Replace with:

“Staff Positions: Each position and its job description is the responsibility of the District Superintendent with the appropriate review by the Board of Directors. The title and job description of each new position shall be communicated to the District at the next Annual Conference by the District Superintendent or the Board of Directors. The District Superintendent shall be able to create as many positions as deemed necessary to carry out the extended work of the Central District subject to the appropriate prior review of the Board of Directors.”

Section Four: District Board

Suggestion: Remove the mandate that the secretary of the board must be the one to announce district conferences.

Reasoning: It is sufficient that the EFCA Central office staff can send out these notices.

Suggestion: Remove “Administer the Operation Outreach funds under the guidelines established by the Board of Directors and maintained on file in the District Office.”

Reasoning: It is not need it the bylaws.

Suggestions: Allow the District Board to appoint Westhaven & Hidden Acres board members


This change will empower the District Board to make informed decisions when needed.  Also, it will be a wiser stewardship of their time and the time at the annual business meeting.  If the District Board has approval to appoint Westhaven and Hidden Acres board members, then the only positions voted on at conference would be District Board members. 

A district that has another comparable home (North Central District which owns Elim Care) has the following statement under the responsibility of the District Board: “Electing, and when necessary removing, the Board of Directors of Elim Car, Inc. in accordance with the Bylaws of Elim Care, Inc.”


The Conference shall be responsible for electing nine members of the Board of Directors of Westhaven Community: “A Ministry of the Evangelical Free Church” for three-year terms. Only three terms of such members shall expire annually and no member may be eligible to serve more than two consecutive terms.

Replace with:

The District Board shall be responsible for electing, and when necessary removing, nine members of the Board of Directors of Westhaven Community: “A Ministry of the Evangelical Free Church” for three-year terms. Only three terms of such members shall expire annually and no member may be eligible to serve more than two consecutive terms.

Hidden Acres Board


Six members elected by the Conference for a term of three years with the terms of two expiring each year.

Replace with:

Six members appointed by the District Board for a term of three years with the terms of two expiring each year.

Suggestion: If the above recommendations are made to the committees such as PCRC, student ministries, and church panting board then make the following changes to the District Board membership:


  • Two chairpersons of the standing committees (1) Student Ministries (2) PCRP
  • Chairperson of Church Planting Board

Replace with:

Change the board composition description from three directors to six directors

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