Convention 2017

Convention Business Foursquare Connection 2017 Reports + Updates.

Summary of 2017 Bylaw Amendments

The following summarizes the amendments to Foursquare bylaws adopted during the business session at Foursquare Connection 2017, which was held in Washington, D.C.

To watch a video of Special Counsel El Clark and General Counsel Josh Best summarizing the proposed changes in advance of convention, click here.

Visit our Foursquare Bylaws page to download and review the full, up to day Foursquare bylaws.

Substantive Changes

I.  Board Composition.  There are three changes of note in the composition of the board of directors.  One, at Article VI, Section 6.3, the restriction that no more than five persons serving on the board may be “employees of the corporate headquarters” (the terminology used in the 2016 bylaws) is better defined and now applies to all seats on the board. Two, the district process for selecting persons to serve on the board representing the district is clarified at amended Section 6.3.B. And three, a new paragraph 6.3.D was added to give procedures to follow when a board member, otherwise in good standing, becomes disqualified from further service on the board due to a change in the board member’s personal circumstances. A good example would be when a board member elected to represent a certain district relocates during their board term to another district.

II.  President’s role in Foursquare Missions.  Article VII, Section 7.1.1. D. states the president’s role in Foursquare missions. With time and the growing partnership of the U.S. Foursquare Church with sister Foursquare churches around the world, the role of the president has evolved. The bylaw description of the president’s role, as amended, is to “serve with the board, general supervisor, director of Foursquare Missions International, and the Foursquare Global Council to foster worldwide evangelism, discipleship, and church planting. The president shall serve as the chair, vice-chair or as a member of the Foursquare Global Council, as determined by the president and the Foursquare Global Council.” 

III.  President-elect Orientation and Training.  The role of Foursquare president is a substantial undertaking and responsibility. To give an incoming president plenty of advance time to prepare for the new role, new paragraph 7.1.2.K provides that the presidential selection will be done a year early. Thereafter, the board and the president-elect can decide how much compensated time will be needed to make an orderly transition from prior duties and to prepare  for their new responsibilities. Selecting the president-elect sooner will give the incoming president a longer "runway" to the role of president and its responsibilities and pace; time to become acquainted with key executives, colleagues and global leaders; opportunity to observe and work with the current president in planning cabinet, convention, yearly budget and themes.

IV.  Ministry Extension Tithe Fund.  Certain restrictive language regarding appropriate missional use of METF funds was removed. See Article IX, Section 9.2.2.B. (Ministry Extension Tithe Fund) and Article XIII, Section 11.3 (Requirements of a Local Foursquare Church). In addition, Section 9.2.B is further revised for clarity and to indicate that the local churches will report annually on the use of retained METF funds.  

V.  Church Council Responsibility Re Electronic Business Transactions.  As online and other electronic transactions become increasingly common, local churches need the ability to do business electronically. This has not been possible under prior bylaws that describe the powers and duties of the church council. Article XVI, Section 16.1.F was revised to permit local churches greater flexibility in day-to-day business activities generally and, specifically, the use of church credit cards. For safety, integrity and best practices, the National Church Office has developed guidance and instructions regarding board-approved internal controls. They can be found online at the Foursquare website in the “Administrative Toolkit.” 

“Catch-up” and Other Miscellaneous Amendments

VI.  Community Church Use of trade name “Foursquare.”  A limited consent to use the ICFG owned trade name “Foursquare” was added to the definition of a Foursquare Association “Community church.”  Actually, it was returned to the definition of Community church. This limited consent to make use of the ICFG owned trade name “Foursquare” was in the bylaws for many years but was inadvertently deleted. The mistakenly deleted language was restored at Article III (Definitions) Section 3.8. A.

VII.  Community Minister Application Process.  Language was added at Article III (Definitions) Sec. 3.8.B to outline an application process for becoming a Foursquare Association “Community Minister.”  The process parallels the process for becoming a Foursquare Association Community Church already stated in the bylaws at Section 3.8.A.  

VIII.  Cabinet Role Clarification.  Article V (Meeting of Members), Section 5.3.B. (Reports) was amended to remove an ambiguity. The amendment clarifies that the cabinet recommends special reports for presentation to the convention body, but not necessarily who the presenter of the report will be.  Also, a new paragraph E. at Article II, Section 11.1.2. (Powers and Duties of the Cabinet) adding review of the business session agenda to the duties of the cabinet. The cabinet reviews the convention business agenda routinely, but it has not been expressly stated in the bylaws previously.  

IX.  Bylaw Reorganization re Selection of President. The cabinet’s participation in the process of determining the nominees for the office of president was moved from Article XI to Article VII  so that all of the process for selecting a president, from start to finish, is located in one article of the bylaws. There was no change in the process, just a relocation of text within the bylaws.

X.  Non-Foursquare Place of Ministry.  A Foursquare minister may retain a Foursquare license when serving in a ministry position unrelated to The Foursquare Church, provided the minister has been recognized by the board as serving in that role. A minor revision of the bylaw section addressing this process, Article XII, Section 12.2.1.B, changes the word “appointment” to “recognition.” Otherwise, there is no change in the long established practice of seeking board approval to serve in a non-Foursquare place of service as a prerequisite to retaining one’s Foursquare license. 

If you have suggestions for changes in the bylaws for the betterment of the Foursquare movement and The Foursquare Church in the U.S., please direct your suggestions to El Clark or Josh Best