This appendix is excerpted from Article III of the church’s Code of Regulations
Removal from Membership of Vineyard Columbus
Causes for removal from membership shall be: 1) Significant disagreement with or deviation from the Statement of Faith and Commitments as set forth in this Code of Regulations, either in letter or spirit. 2) Continued lack of cooperation with the Pastors of the Church or disruption of the Church or a subgroup within the church so as to cause fellow members to stumble in their walk with God or so as to promote schism. 3) Significant departure from Scriptural behavioral norms without demonstrated repentance
Process for CHURCH DISCIPLINE UP TO AND INCLUDING Removal from Membership of Vineyard Columbus
If a Church Leader, Assistant Pastor, or Pastor, upon reasonable inquiry and in the exercise of his or her pastoral discretion, reasonably believes that cause for discipline, up to and including removal from membership, is found in any member, then such Church Leader, Assistant Pastor, or Pastor shall go to the member privately and engage the member in an effort to gain understanding of the relevant circumstances and, if necessary, call that person to repentance and restore that person to a proper place with God and the Church. Disciplinary action available to such Church Leader, Assistant Pastor, or Pastor at this point shall be limited to pastoral admonition (counsel), pastoral rebuke, and/or call to repentance.
If this first attempt fails to correct the problem within a sufficiently short time in consideration of the nature and severity of the circumstances, then two to three persons (one of whom shall be a Pastor and the other(s) of whom may be another Pastor, an Assistant Pastor, or a Church Leader) shall go to the member and again engage the member with the problem in a second effort to call the member to repentance and restore the member to a proper place with God and the Church. Disciplinary action available to the confronting Pastor and the Pastor, Assistant Pastor, or Church Leader at this point shall be limited to pastoral admonition (counsel), pastoral rebuke, call to repentance, and/or (but only if mutually agreed by two Pastors) suspension of the member from Church leadership responsibilities, and, whether or not any such action is taken, the Pastor(s) directly involved shall report an update of the matter to the Coordinating Team or its designee according to such procedure for the reporting, monitoring, and resolution of such matters as may be adopted by the Coordinating Team, as the same may be modified from time to time (such procedure, the “Church Discipline Procedure”).
If this second attempt also fails to correct the problem within a sufficiently short time in consideration of the nature and severity of the circumstances, the Pastor(s) directly involved shall bring the matter to the Coordinating Team or its designee for recommendation as to additional disciplinary action(s), which shall include but are not limited to any one or more of the following, whether implemented at one time or in progressive stages of discipline: (1) barring a person from participation in any ministry activity of the Church, from attendance at any weekend or other “all-church” service, and/or from any small group meeting sponsored by the Church; (2) barring a person from participating in any communion sponsored by the Church (i.e., the Lord’s Supper); (3) removal from leadership in the Church; (4) removal from Church membership (i.e., excommunication); or (5) any other discipline that in the sole discretion of the Coordinating Team or its designee may be deemed appropriate in the circumstances. Any such recommendations and/or plans for disciplinary action made by the Coordinating Team or its designee shall be documented and reported upon according to the Church Discipline Procedure. Without limiting the generality of the foregoing, removal of the person as a member of the Church must be approved by the affirmative vote of two-thirds (2/3) of the Coordinating Team members. The removal of the person from Church membership and causes for removal may, in the discretion of the Coordinating Team or its designee, be announced before the entire Church, or some smaller group, in proportion to the person’s level of influence in the Church congregation, and the members of the Church may be instructed to cease fellowship with such person until he or she is reinstated to Church membership, which shall require the unanimous vote of the Coordinating Team members.
CHANGE of STATUS OF Membership of Vineyard Columbus
General Members who, without resigning from Church membership (as described below), demonstrate intentional withdrawal from regular participation in the membership of the Church, as evidenced by non4engagement for a period of at least 24 consecutive months in activities in which Church members normally and customarily engage, including but not limited to attendance at regular meetings of the Church and contributing financially to the Church, shall be subject to a re-designation of their membership in the Church to “inactive” status. The Coordinating Team or its designee shall be authorized to (1) determine and decree any such re-designation of membership status to “inactive “if, in the sole discretion of the Coordinating Team or its designee, the foregoing conditions are applicable, and (2) re-designate the person’s membership in the Church to “active” status if, in the sole discretion of the Coordinating Team or its designee, the person demonstrates consistent, sustained re-engagement in activities in which Church members normally and customarily engage. For record-keeping and administrative convenience, a Church membership that has been designated “inactive” and remains so for an additional period of at least 24 consecutive months following such designation (i.e., a total of four years of uninterrupted non-engagement from the Church) may be deemed forfeited in the sole discretion of the Coordinating Team or its designee. In all cases of designations of membership status from active to inactive or from inactive to active, and in all cases of forfeiture of membership or reinstatement of forfeited membership, the Coordinating Team or its designee shall consider all relevant facts and circumstances known to it (without any duty of further investigation), with or without a hearing, and reach its own independent determination. In any such case, the determination of the Coordinating Team or its designee shall be final and binding on the person whose membership is at issue.
Resignation of Membership of Vineyard Columbus
Any member may resign at any time by giving written notice to the Coordinating Team or its designee. The resignation shall be effective only when accepted by the Coordinating Team or its designee.
The provision immediately preceding notwithstanding, no member may resign his or her membership in an attempt to circumvent the exercise of disciplinary proceedings instituted against such member by the Church. No member shall, and each member agrees not to, resign his or her membership in an attempt to remove himself or herself from the jurisdiction of the Church in any matter involving Church discipline, and no such attempted resignation shall be deemed effective until the final resolution of any such disciplinary matter conducted in accordance with the provisions of this Code of Regulations.
Each member consents to the exclusive jurisdiction of the Coordinating Team or its designee to resolve any matter involving Church discipline, and such consent shall include but not be limited to a consent to the announcement of such discipline (including a summary of the reasons thereof), if deemed appropriate by the Coordinating Team or its designee, to the General Members or any portion thereof (including without limitation any small groups or ministries sponsored by the Church). Each General Member’s execution of an application for membership shall constitute an irrevocable agreement to the foregoing provisions.