Who Creates Church Bylaws?


Quick Answer

Depending on who starts or started a church, the bylaws are created and written by a synod or other leadership in the denomination, by a pastor or by a group of laypeople who decide to form a church. Church bylaws usually include a doctrinal statement as well as a constitution.

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When a synod or other organized group of church leaders decides to start a new church, they usually have bylaws already prepared. These can sometimes be modified during consultation with members of the communities where the new church is to be located. Independent pastors or pastors who change denominations can establish their own churches using their own bylaws. These bylaws may be created by the pastor alone or in consultation with leadership in the denomination and/or his future congregation.

When a group of laypeople decides to found a church, a set of bylaws is usually one of the first documents they produce. A well-crafted set of bylaws includes but is not limited to the name and purpose of the church, the roles and responsibilities of church leadership, a definition of membership, when and why the congregation plans to meet and the determination of the annual budgets. Other items covered in bylaws may include the church’s fiscal year and any provisions for amendments and revisions.

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