ARTICLE 1. NAME
1.1. This Church shall be known as the Da Nang International Fellowship (DIF).
1.2. Da Nang International Fellowship’s shortened name will be ‘DIF’.
1.3. Any changes to the membership and/or office bearers of this Church will in no manner change the identity of existence of this Church.
ARTICLE 2. PURPOSE STATEMENT
DIF exists to:
2.1. To fulfill the Great Commission by actively sharing of the Word of God.
2.2. Glorify God among the nations through unified worship, genuine relationships, and transformational outreach.
2.3. Encourage and spiritually strengthen individuals as well as minister to their emotional and physical needs to fulfill their God-given purpose and calling whether it is here in Vietnam or throughout the nations of the earth.
2.4. To uphold the family as the basic social unit of society.
2.5. To encourage an attitude of Christian fellowship towards all believers in Christ irrespective of doctrinal or denominational differences.
ARTICLE 3. STATEMENT OF FAITH
We believe the Bible to be the inspired, trustworthy Word of God. It is our only standard of faith and practice. It is accurate, authoritative and applicable to our everyday lives.
We believe in one eternal God who is the Creator of all things. He exists in three Persons: God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. He is an infinite, unchangeable Spirit, perfect in holiness, wisdom, goodness, justice, power, and love.
We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ as both God and man is the only One who can reconcile us to God. He lived a sinless and exemplary life, died on the cross in our place, and rose again to prove His victory and empower us for life.
We believe that the Holy Spirit indwells every believer in Jesus Christ and that He is our abiding Helper, Teacher, and Guide. We believe Jesus is the one who baptises us in the Holy Spirit, as a conscious experience and that all the gifts of the Spirit spoken of in the New Testament are vital in ministry today.
We believe that People were originally created innocent and pure, but that the first of these fell through the sin of disobedience. All people are therefore sinful by nature, eternally separated from God, unable to fulfill His purpose for their lives, and are in need of reconciliation.
We believe that in order to receive forgiveness and the ‘New Birth’ we must repent of our sins, believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and submit to His will for our lives. All who place their faith in Jesus Christ are saved from their fallen condition into eternal life with God by His grace alone, apart from works or merit.
We believe that the one, holy, universal Church is the Body of Christ and is composed of the communities of Christ’s people. We believe that God has corporately and individually equipped us so that we can successfully achieve His purpose for our lives, which is to worship God, fulfill our role in the Church and serve the community in which we live.
We believe that Marriage is a sacred institution established by God, which is the uniting of one man and one woman to the exclusion of all others, in covenant commitment for a lifetime, and the only relationship within which sexual intimacy is to be enjoyed.
We believe in the reality of Satan, and of the kingdom of darkness over which he reigns, and of the absolute triumph of Christ over the devil and all his works.
We believe that our eternal destination of either Heaven or hell is determined by our response to the Lord Jesus Christ.
We believe that the Kingdom of God has come to us in the person of Jesus Christ on earth and that He will return to earth to complete the establishment of God’s eternal reign over all creation.
ARTICLE 4. MEMBERSHIP
4.1. Members at DIF are those who call Da Nang International Fellowship their spiritual home for whatever period of time they are in Vietnam and are referred to as Partners from here on. Membership and Partnership are used interchangeably in this document.
4.2. DIF Partnership does not require relinquishing membership in a church of the member’s home country, nor does it involve any legal responsibility, nor does it indicate any affiliation with any other group other than DIF.
4.3. Partners of DIF are those who:
4.3.1. Express personal faith in the Lord Jesus Christ;
4.3.2. Affirm the Statement of Faith;
4.3.3. Regularly attend fellowship meetings;
4.3.4. Support and regularly engage in the activities and ministries of DIF by volunteering or serving the Body in some capacity;
- Voluntarily submits to the authority and leadership of the Eldership Team, who constitute the spiritual leaders of DIF;
- Partners must be eighteen (18) years of age and above.
ARTICLE 5. CHURCH OVERSIGHT COUNCIL
5.1. DIF shall be governed by a Church Oversight Council also known as an Eldership Council consisting of no less than five (5) elders of actively serving members.
5.2. The DIF Church Oversight Council (Eldership Council) should be comprised of:
- The Lead Pastor;
- The Associate Pastor (if any);
- The Secretary/Treasurer (if any);
- Additional Elders minimum of two (2).
5.3. The Church Oversight Council’s (Eldership Council) primary responsibilities are the complete oversight of spiritual affairs, vision and goals, and the pastoral and equipping ministries of DIF. The elders may delegate the general implementation and administration of the various church ministries to staff and volunteers as needed.
5.4. The Church Oversight Council (Eldership Council) shall be led by the Lead Pastor. In the absence of a Lead Pastor, the Associate Pastor may lead the team.
5.5. Council members (Elders) shall be those who:
- Satisfy the scriptural and spiritual qualifications enumerated in 1 Timothy 3:1-13, Titus 1:6-9 and 1 Peter 5:1-9.
- Reflect a stable and mature Christian walk;
- May be single or married;
- May be a man or a woman;
- Are partners of DIF for at least one (1) year;
- Agree to abide by the DIF Constitution and Statement of Faith;
- Have the ability to give counsel and take care of the members of DIF.
5.6. Council members (Elders) shall be required to assist and co-operate with the Lead Pastor, exercise leadership and discipline, preserve sound doctrine, minister to the body and assist to initiate the spiritual program and vision of DIF.
5.7. Council members (Elders) shall serve until death, inability to carry out the legal and religious duties of an elder, resignation, or removal based on a failure to fulfill the responsibilities of an Elder as articulated above.
5.8. Nominations for vacant positions on the Church Oversight Council (Eldership Council) will be received from within the serving Church Oversight Council (Eldership Council). The Church Oversight Council (Eldership Council) shall prayerfully consider all nominations and determine who it would like to appoint.
5.9. Decisions made by the Church Oversight Council (Eldership Council) will not be made by majority vote but by consensus. If consensus cannot be reached after prayer and further discussion, the matter will stand over to the following meeting.
5.10. The Church Oversight Council (Eldership Council) may appoint and dismiss one or more committees consisting of members, as may be deemed necessary.
5.11. No member of the Church Oversight Council (Eldership Council) shall act independently which commits DIF funds or commits DIF to contractual obligations. In matters pastoral, the Chairperson in his/her role as pastor, shall exercise discretion.
5.12. The Church Oversight Council (Eldership Council)shall oversee the financial matters of DIF with the Secretary/Treasurer reporting directly to the Church Oversight Council (Eldership Council). They may appoint other persons with the relevant expertise to assist them in this. The final responsibility regarding the finances of DIF rests with the Church Oversight Council (Eldership Council).
5.13. The Church Oversight Council (Eldership Council) may participate in council meetings via any electronic or web-based means available.
ARTICLE 6. CONFLICT OF INTEREST
6.1. No more than two (2) members of the DIF Church Oversight Council (Eldership Council) shall be from the same organisation.
6.2. It is the policy of Da Nang International Fellowship that every Eldership Team Member, Officer, or Employee shall abstain from involvement, whether by voting or otherwise participating in the decision-making process by advocacy, in those situations where they have or may have a conflict of interest. A conflict of interest is deemed to exist where:
6.2.1. The person has a substantive financial, familial, organisational or other interest, whether direct or indirect, in the matter at hand, and;
6.2.2. The person is a director, officer, or employee of the other party(ies) involved; or
6.2.3. The person’s spouse, children, parent, or siblings are in substantive relationships with the other party(ies) involved.
In those situations where a conflict of interest does exist or has the potential to exist, any Church Oversight Council (Eldership Council), Officer, or Employee aware of such shall notify the Chairperson or a member of the Eldership Team. If there is not agreement that such matter is a conflict, the entire Eldership Team shall vote to determine whether it is a conflict.
- Ex Parte Communications: An exparte communication is any material oral or written communication pertaining to substantive issue of Da Nang International Fellowship’s governance that takes place between individual Eldership Team members and is not a part of the record that all Church Oversight Council (Eldership Council)members share and participate in. Ex parte communications are forbidden.
ARTICLE 7. PASTORAL STAFF
7.1 The Lead Pastor is appointed by the Church Oversight Council (Eldership Council) in recognition of their ministerial gifts and evidence of leadership skills including:
7.1.1 Have a “Ministry Gift” in accordance with Ephesians 4: 11 and 12;
7.1.2 Reflect a stable and mature Christian walk; and
7.1.3 Have the necessary spiritual and scriptural qualifications of an Elder.
7.2 The Lead Pastor (in conjunction with the Church Oversight Council (Eldership Council) shall exercise leadership and discipline, preserve sound doctrine, teach, minister to the sick, and initiate the spiritual program and vision of DIF.
7.3 The Lead Pastor shall be required to:
7.3.1 Be the overall spiritual leader;
7.3.2 Be Chairperson of the Eldership Team and all committees within DIF unless they determine otherwise.
7.4 In the event of the Lead Pastor leaving DIF, they shall, in conjunction with the Church Oversight Council (Eldership Council), recommend to said Church Oversight Council (Eldership Council), a suitable replacement and make every effort to ensure that the replacement Lead Pastor is installed with as little delay as possible.
7.5 The Church Oversight Council (Eldership Council) may appoint one or more pastoral staff who must satisfy the scriptural qualifications for an elder.
7.6 The Lead Pastor shall have authority to terminate the position of office of an employee of DIF only after consultation and agreement with the Church Oversight Council (Eldership Council).
ARTICLE 8. PARTNERSHIP UPDATES
8.1 A Partnership Update of DIF shall be held every quarter of any calendar year, during which the Eldership Team shall report on DIF’s financial status, ministries, vision, and goals.
8.2 Partnership meetings may be called when the need arises.
ARTICLE 9. SACRAMENTS
9.1 Baptism and Communion are recognised as two of the sacraments of DIF, with the third being Marriage. Communion will be scheduled at least once a month.
9.2 By definition, we believe that Marriage is a sacred institution established by God, which is the uniting of one man and one woman to the exclusion of all others, in covenant commitment for a lifetime, and the only relationship within which sexual intimacy is to be enjoyed.
ARTICLE 10. PROPERTY AND RECORDS
10.1 Title to any lands and buildings shall be held in accordance with the laws of Vietnam.
10.2 Equipment and furnishings purchased by or donated to DIF remain the property of DIF.
10.3 Records shall be kept of the administration conducted by the Church Oversight Council (Eldership Council) and remain the property of DIF. All financial records shall be open to annual financial review.
- Contracts or other legal agreements made in the name of Da Nang International Fellowship or for primary use or interest of DIF shall be made only after an Eldership Team vote. Any member of the Church Oversight Council (Eldership Council)may request a full copy of the lease, contract or other documents.
ARTICLE 11. AMENDMENTS
11.1 Amendments to this Constitution of DIF may be proposed by the Church Oversight Council (Eldership Council) and confirmed by unanimous vote of the Church Oversight Council (Eldership Council) at a duly called meeting.
ARTICLE 12. FELLOWSHIP LOGO
12.1 All official paperwork for the Da Nang International Fellowship shall have the DIF logo and stationery.
ARTICLE 13. CHILD SAFETY
13.1 Da Nang International Fellowship (DIF) is committed to providing a child-safe environment and desires to provide a nurturing environment to teach and to demonstrate the love of God.
13.2 DIF recognises the responsibility to protect the welfare of children and young people entrusted to our care.
13.3 DIF defines a child or young person as someone under 18 years of age.
13.4 All DIF Church Oversight Council, Pastoral Team, Team Leaders and Volunteers must strictly adhere to the DIF Child Protection Policy and complete regular scheduled training throughout each calendar year.