Our Bylaws

Foursquare Bylaws. What Guides Us As A Church.


2018 Proposed Bylaw Amendments

This year’s proposed bylaw amendments from the Bylaw Committee contain many substantive changes. In addition, like every year, some bylaw proposals are needed to keep the bylaws in step with current administration practices.

Please take the time to invest in the future of The Foursquare Church. Download the full proposed bylaw amendments, read the summary below, then email us your feedback.

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Substantive Changes

Notice of Conventions. Article V (Meetings of Members) Section 5.2.   As proposed, this section will be amended to authorize the board to give notice to local Foursquare churches and members of our annual convention by posting the location, time and other relevant information on the website of The Foursquare Church. Local churches may rely on the posting on the Foursquare website to provide adequate notice of our convention to local members. Local churches will no longer be required to post the information on a bulletin board, but may give additional notice to their members electronically, if desired.

Electronic Voting at Districts. The proposed amendments of Sections 6.3.B (Selected Directors) and 11.1.1.B ([Cabinet] Members by Selection) will authorize the corporate secretary to utilize electronic voting when districts are selecting a board member and a cabinet member to represent the district.

Selecting our President. There are several changes to our selection process proposed by this year’s bylaw amendments.

Early in the process, the cabinet makes a list of 25 nominees and commissions a smaller committee, the “nominee review committee,” to do an initial vetting interview of each nominee. The bylaw committee reviewed the five questions that the cabinet nominee review committee asks this initial group of 25 nominees. See Article VII (Executive Officers) Section 7.1.2.F.4. Two of the questions have qualifiers about conditions that may impede the services of the nominee. The amendment, if adopted, will remove the qualifier language so that the issue of what may “impede” is not solely within the discretion of the nominee. Rather, the nominee review committee will learn the facts from the individual and make its own determination. Another question asks if there is anything in the nominee’s personal life that could be considered “scandalous.”  The amendment, if adopted, will completely rewrite this question to better state it, still seeking the same information. The proposed amendment will also add a new question to learn if the potential nominee has been faithful to Foursquare polity, particularly regarding commitment to the extension tithe and financial support of Foursquare missions.

After the cabinet has selected two or three individuals as candidates for president, a few months later there is an election at our convention business session. Article VII, Section 7.1.2.J.3, states that those individuals selected by the cabinet shall be presented to the voters at convention or those who are “registered as absentee voters for written or electronic balloting.” The proposed amendment will make two changes. One, the reference to absentee voters will be deleted. A presentation to absentee voters is not possible because they are absent, and they will have already voted. Two, to make the section more readable, the reference to “written or electronic” balloting will be deleted. The next sentence indicates written balloting, and electronic voting for president is expressly authorized elsewhere in the bylaws.

Finally, after the votes have been cast and tallied, we have a president-elect.  Article VII, Section 7.1.2.J. 4 says the president-elect will then take the oath of office the last evening of convention, referring to the same convention at which the voting occurred. However, last year we amended the bylaws to provide that the vote for president will occur a year earlier. The bylaw committee recommends amending this section to state that the president-elect will take the oath of office at the convention immediately prior to when the president-elect will assume the new role of president.

Foursquare Endowment Fund.  This is an important proposed amendment, reflecting a direct response by our board and the board of the Foursquare Foundation to the mandate of Stake Four of ”Reimagine Foursquare,” adopted at our 2014 convention in Dallas, Texas. Stake Four mandated that the Foursquare Foundation aligned to resourcing and supporting the mission of The Foursquare Church. In response, our board and the Foundation board have proposed that the corpus of the Foundation be used as the starting point of a new endowment Foursquare Endowment Fund. The specific purpose, administration and reporting requirements of the fund are stated in the proposed new Section 9.2.3, A., B. and C. of Article IX (Assets and Finances) of the bylaws.

Proposed Section 9.2.3.A states the purpose of the new Endowment Fund. It is to provide an income stream to resource the mission of The Foursquare Church, while also securing and growing the corpus of the Endowment Fund for future generations.

Proposed Section 9.2.3.B. describes the management of the Endowment Fund. It is ultimately under the authority of the Foursquare board of directors. But the board will establish two standing committees to provide expertise, advice, and assistance.

The “management committee,” precise name yet to be determined, will manage the Endowment Fund and recommend the “Investment Policy” and the “Spend Policy.” The Investment Policy refers to how the funds of the corpus are invested over time, with the dual goals of growing the corpus while also generating returns available for strategic use. The Spend Policy is the determination of what percentage of the earnings may be prudently spent each year. The people chosen to serve on the management committee will have expertise in finance and investment portfolio management. As proposed, in any given year, the board may reduce the amount that is spent from earnings, but may not spend more than the amount authorized by the Spend Policy without prior approval of the convention body.

The other standing committee that will assist the board, precise name yet to be determined, will be composed of strategic-thinking, mission-focused Foursquare leaders. This committee will recommend to the board annually a Spend Plan: strategic ways to advance the mission of The Foursquare Church using some of the income generated by the wise investment of the Fund per the Investment Policy and  the dictates of the Spend Policy.

Proposed Section 9.2.3.C provides for reporting of the Endowment Fund to the convention body. Each year at our convention business session, a report will be given detailing five key areas concerning the Endowment Fund:  (1) the current Spend Policy; (2) any recommended change to the Spend Policy; (3) the current value of the Fund and any changes in the value since the last report; (4) how much was spent in the prior year and how those funds were used; and (5) the forecasted expenditure of the current year, based on the Spend Policy and the Spend Plan.

Foursquare Foundation Timeline
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President’s Foundation Presentation
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Foursquare Foundation Prophecies
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Church Council Meetings.  Article XVI (Operating Foursquare Churches) Sec. 16.1.E. This amendment, if adopted, will permit church councils to miss/skip one or two monthly meetings per year (i.e., have at least 10 monthly meetings per year). The expectation remains that church councils will meet monthly to conduct church business. There may be occasional months, however, e.g., December or summer vacation months, when either by plan or by lack of a quorum a council meeting does not occur.

“Catch-up” and Other Miscellaneous Amendments

Every year some bylaw amendments are needed to bring the bylaws current with changing administrative practices. This year there is one such proposed amendment.

Ethics Committees.  Article XII, Sections 12.2.5.A.6.and 12.5.B. refer to ethics committees “appointed by the board.” At one time, the board directly appointed the personnel of every ethics committee. Now, the empaneling of an ethics committee is routinely delegated by the board to district level.  Accordingly, the bylaw committee recommends deletion of the words “appointed by the board” at Sections 12.2.5.A.6. and 12.5.B.

The Bylaw Committee and the board desire and need your careful reading and comments. Please download the full proposed bylaw amendments (PDF) and forward your comments by email.

El Clark, Chairperson
Bylaw Committee

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