CONSTITUTION OF THE
NEBRASKA DISTRICT COUNCIL
Revised to April 2017
That God’s purpose concerning man finds fulfillment in a priority reason-for-being: 1) to be an agency of God for evangelizing the world, 2) to be a corporate body in which many worship God, and 3) to be a channel of God’s purpose to build a body of saints being perfected in the image of His Son, and 4) to demonstrate His love and compassion for all the world.
That the Nebraska District Council of the Assemblies of God, hereinafter called “Nebraska District Council”, exists expressly to give continuing emphasis to this reason-for-being in the New Testament apostolic pattern by teaching and encouraging believers to be baptized in the Holy Spirit, which enables them to evangelize in the power of the Spirit with accompanying supernatural signs, adding a necessary dimension to worshipful relationship with God, and enabling them to respond to the full working of the Holy Spirit in expression of fruits and gifts and ministries as in New Testament times for the edifying of the body of Christ.
Therefore we recognize ourselves to be a cooperative fellowship of Pentecostal, Spirit-baptized saints from local Pentecostal Assemblies of like precious faith in the Nebraska District Council of the General Council of the Assemblies of God, whose purpose is neither to usurp authority over the various local assemblies, nor to deprive them of their scriptural and local rights and privileges; but to recognize and promote scriptural methods and order for worship, unity, fellowship, work, and business for God so that results of our efforts may be considered and assemblies established and developed along the line of our distinctive testimony; and to disapprove unscriptural methods, doctrines, and conduct, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace, till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ (Ephesians 4:13).
ARTICLE I. NAME
The name of this body shall be the Nebraska District Council of the Assemblies of God.
ARTICLE II. TERRITORY
The Nebraska District Council includes the entire state of Nebraska. For efficiency and to expedite the work, the District shall be divided into fellowship sections.
ARTICLE III. NATURE
The Nebraska District Council is a cooperative fellowship based on mutual agreements voluntarily entered into by its members.
ARTICLE IV. PREROGATIVES
- To encourage and promote the evangelization of our district and the world.
- To encourage and promote the worship of God.
- To encourage and promote the edification of believers.
- To provide a basis of fellowship among Christians of like precious faith.
- To supervise all the activities of the Assemblies of God in its
prescribed field in accordance with the rights conferred by Article X of the General Council Constitution.
- To establish and maintain such sub-divisions, departments and
institutions as may be necessary for the propagation of the Gospel and the work of the Pentecostal fellowship.
- To establish churches and provide for their development.
- To examine candidates for the ministry and to license and ordain as ministers those who shall meet the standards of the Scriptures (1 Timothy 3:1-7; Titus 1:5-9) and the requirements of the district and the General Council as set forth in their constitutions and bylaws. It shall be amenable to the General Council of the Assemblies of God in matters of doctrine, and the personal conduct of all ministers who are permitted to have district endorsement.
- To approve all scriptural teachings, methods, and conduct, and to disapprove all unscriptural teachings, methods, and conduct. As the creature of the General Council of the Assemblies of God it is subordinate thereto, and cannot be authorized in any way, to violate the principles of the General Council of the Assemblies of God constitutional agreements or bylaws. In the prosecution of the work in its prescribed field, the Nebraska District Council shall be expected to keep vigilant watch against any violation of the principles of spiritual unity and cooperative fellowship to which the Assemblies of God Fellowship is especially and unalterably dedicated.
- To elect its own officers and committees, to arrange for its own meetings, and to govern itself.
- Incidental to, or in connection therewith, it shall have the right to own, hold in trust, use, sell, convey, mortgage, lease, or otherwise dispose of such property, real or chattel, as may be needed for the prosecution of its work.
ARTICLE V. PRINCIPLES FOR FELLOWSHIP
The Nebraska District Council shall represent, as nearly as possible, the body of Christ as described in the New Testament Scriptures, recognizing the principles inherent in that body as also inherent in this fellowship, particularly the principles of unity, fellowship, cooperation, and equality. It recognizes that adherence to these principles will enable it to achieve its priority reason-for-being, and to maintain conditions under which it can, as a Fellowship, demonstrate those principles and their consequent development.
ARTICLE VI. TENETS OF FAITH
This Nebraska District Council adopts the Statement of Fundamental Truths adopted by the General Council (in Article V of its Constitution) as follows:
The Bible is our all-sufficient rule for faith and practice. This Statement of Fundamental Truth is intended simply as a basis of fellowship among us (i.e., that we all speak the same thing, 1 Corinthians 1:10, Acts 2:42). The phraseology employed in this statement not inspired or contended for, but the truth set forth is held to be essential to a full-gospel ministry. No claim is made that it contains all biblical truth, only that it covers our need as to these fundamental doctrines.
- The Scripture Inspired
The Scriptures, both the Old and New Testaments, are verbally inspired of God and are the revelation of God to man, the infallible, authoritative rule of faith and conduct (2 Timothy 3:15-17, 1 Thessalonians 2:13, 2 Peter 1:21).
- The One True God
The one true God has revealed Himself as the eternally self-existent “I AM”, the Creator of heaven and earth and the Redeemer of mankind. He has further revealed Himself as embodying the principles of relationship and association as Father, Son, and Holy Ghost (Deut. 6:4, Isaiah 43:10, 11, Matthew 28:19, Luke 3:22).
THE ADORABLE GODHEAD
(a) Terms Defined
The terms trinity and persons, as related to the Godhead, while not found in the Scriptures, are words in harmony with Scripture, whereby we may convey to others our immediate understanding of the doctrine of Christ respecting the Being of God, as distinguished from “gods many and lords many.” We therefore may speak with propriety of the Lord our God, who is One Lord, as a Trinity or as one Being of three persons, and still be absolutely scriptural (examples, Matthew 28:19, 2 Corinthians 13:14, John 14:16,17).
(b) Distinction and Relationship in the Godhead
Christ taught a distinction of persons in the Godhead which He expressed in specific terms of relationship, as Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, but that this distinction and relationship, as to its mode is inscrutable and incomprehensible, because unexplained (Luke 1:35, 1 Corinthians 1:24, Matthew 11:25-27, 28:19, 2 Corinthians 13:14, 1 John 1:3, 4).
(c) Unity of the One Being of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost
Accordingly, therefore, there is that in the Father which constitutes Him the Father and not the Son; there is that in the Son which constitutes Him the Son and not the Father; and there is that in the Holy Ghost which constitutes Him the Holy Ghost and not either the Father or the Son. Wherefore the Father is the Begetter; the Son is the Begotten; and the Holy Ghost is the One proceeding from the Father and the Son. Therefore, because these three persons in the Godhead are in a state of unity, there is but one Lord God Almighty and His name one (John 1:18, 15:26, 17:11, 21, Zechariah 14:9).
(d) Identity and Cooperation in the Godhead
The Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost are never identical as to person, nor confused as to relation; nor divided in respect to the Godhead; nor opposed as to cooperation. The Son is in the Father and the Father is in the Son as to relationship. The Son is with the Father and the Father is with the Son, as to fellowship. The Father is not from the Son, but the Son is from the Father, as to authority. The Holy Ghost is from the Father and the Son proceeding, as to nature, relationship, cooperation and authority. Hence no person in the Godhead either exists or works separately or independently of the others (John 5:17-30, 32, 37, 8:17, 18).
(e) The Title, Lord Jesus Christ
The appellation Lord Jesus Christ, is a proper name. It is never applied in the New Testament either to the Father or to the Holy Ghost. It therefore belongs exclusively to the Son of God. (Romans 1:1-3, 7, 2 John 3).
(f) The Lord Jesus Christ, God with us
The Lord Jesus Christ, as to His divine and eternal nature, is the proper and only Begotten of the Father, but as to His human nature, He is the proper Son of Man. He is, therefore, acknowledged to be both God and man; who because He is God and man, is Immanuel, God with us. (Matthew 1:23, 1 John 4:2, 10, 14; Revelation 1:13, 17).
(g) The Title, Son of God
Since the name Immanuel embraces both God and man, in the one person, our Lord Jesus Christ, it follows that the title Son of God describes His proper deity, and the title Son of Man, His proper humanity. Therefore, the title Son of God belongs to the order of eternity, and the title Son of Man to the order of time (Matthew 1:21-23, 2 John 3, 1 John 3:8, Hebrews 7:3, 1:1-13).
(h) Transgression of the Doctrine of Christ
Wherefore, it is a transgression of the doctrine of Christ to say that Jesus Christ derived the title Son of God solely from the fact of the Incarnation, or because of His relation to the economy of redemption. Therefore, to deny that the Father is a real and eternal Father, and that the Son is a real and eternal Son, is a denial of the distinction and relationship in the Being of God; a denial of the Father and the Son; and a displacement of the truth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh (2 John 9, John 1:1, 2, 14, 18, 29, 49, 1 John 2:22, 23, 4:1-5, Hebrews 12:2).
(i) Exaltation of Jesus Christ as Lord
The Son of God, our Lord Jesus Christ, having by Himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on High, angels and principalities and powers having been made subject unto Him. And having been made both Lord and Christ, He sent the Holy Ghost that we, in the name of Jesus, might bow our knees and confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father until the end, when the Son shall become subject to the Father that God may be all in all (Hebrews 1:3, 1 Peter 3:22, Acts 2:32-36, Romans 14:11, 1 Corinthians 15:24-28).
(j) Equal Honor to the Father and to the Son
Wherefore, since the Father has delivered all judgment unto the Son, it is not only the express duty of all in heaven and on earth to bow the knee, but it is an unspeakable joy in the Holy Ghost to ascribe unto the Son all the attributes of deity, and to give Him all the honor and the glory contained in all the names and titles of the Godhead except those which express relationship (see paragraphs b, c, and d) and thus honor the Son even as we honor the Father (John 5:22,23, 1 Peter 1:8, Revelation 5:6-14, Philippians 2:8, 9, Revelation 7:9, 10, 4:8-11).
- The Deity of the Lord Jesus Christ.
The Lord Jesus Christ is the eternal Son of God, the Scriptures declare:
(a) His virgin birth. (Matthew 1:23, Luke 1:31, 35)
(b) His sinless life. (Hebrews 7:26, 1 Peter 2:22)
(c) His miracles. (Acts 2:22, 10:38)
(d) His substitutionary work on the cross. (1 Corinthians 15:3, 2 Corinthians 5:21)
(e) His bodily resurrection from the dead. (Matthew 28:6, Luke 24:39, 2 Corinthians 15:4)
(f) His exaltation to the right hand of God (Acts 1:9, 11, 2:33, Philippians 2:9-11, Hebrews 1:3).
- The Fall of Man
Man was created good and upright; for God said “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.” However, man by voluntary transgression fell and thereby incurred not only physical death, but also spiritual death, which is separation from God (Genesis 1:26, 27, 2:17, 3:6, Romans 5:12-19).
- The Salvation of Man
Man’s only hope of redemption is through the shed blood of Jesus Christ the Son of God.
(a) Conditions to Salvation
Salvation is received through repentance toward God and faith toward the Lord Jesus Christ. By the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Ghost, being justified by grace through faith, man becomes an heir of God according to the hope of eternal life (Luke 24:47, John 3:3, Romans 10:13-15, Ephesians 2:8, Titus 2:11, 3:5-7).
(b) The Evidences of Salvation
The inward evidence of salvation is the direct witness of the Spirit (Romans 8:16). The outward evidence to all men is a life of righteousness and true holiness (Ephesians 4:24, Titus 2:12).
- The Ordinances of the Church
(a) Baptism in Water
The ordinance of baptism by immersion is commanded in the Scriptures. All who repent and believe on Christ as Savior and Lord are to be baptized. Thus they declare to the world that they have died with Christ and that they also have been raised with Him to walk in newness of life (Matthew 28:19, Mark 16:16, Acts 10:47, 48, Romans 6:4).
(b) Holy Communion
The Lord’s Supper, consisting of the elements-bread and the fruit of the vine-is the symbol expressing our sharing the divine nature of our Lord Jesus Christ (2 Peter 1:4); a memorial of His suffering and death (1 Corinthians 11:26); and a prophecy of His second coming (1 Corinthians 11:26); and is enjoined on all believers “till He come!
- The Baptism in the Holy Ghost
All believers are entitled to and should ardently expect and earnestly seek the promise of the Father, the baptism in the Holy Ghost and fire, according to the command of our Lord Jesus Christ. This was the normal experience of all in the early Christian church. With it comes the enduement of power for life and service, the bestowment of the gifts and their uses in the work of the ministry (Luke 24:49, Acts 1:4, 8, 1 Corinthians 12:1-31). This experience is distinct from and subsequent to the experience of the new birth (Acts 8:12-17, 10:44-6, 11:14-16, 15:7-9). With the baptism in the Holy Ghost come such experiences as an overflowing fullness of the Spirit (John 7:37-39, Acts 4:8), a deepened reverence for God (Acts 2:43; Hebrews 12:28), an intensified consecration to God and dedication to His work (Acts 2:42), and a more active love for Christ, for His Word, and for the lost (Mark 16:20).
- The Initial Physical Evidence of the Baptism in the Holy Ghost
The baptism of believers in the Holy Ghost is witnessed by the initial physical sign of speaking with other tongues as the Spirit of God gives them utterance (Acts 2:4). The speaking in tongues in this instance is the same in essence as the gift of tongues (1 Corinthians 12:4-10, 28), but different in purpose and use.
Sanctification is an act of separation from that which is evil, and of dedication unto God (Romans 12:1, 2, 1 Thessalonians 5:23, Hebrews 13:12). Scriptures teach a life of holiness without which no man shall see the Lord (Hebrews 12:14). By the power of the Holy Ghost we are able to obey the command: “Be ye holy, for I am holy” (1 Peter 1:15, 16). Sanctification is realized in the believer by recognizing his identification with Christ in His death and resurrection, and by faith reckoning daily upon the fact of that union, and by offering every faculty continually to the dominion of the Holy Spirit (Romans 6: 1-11, 13, 8:1, 2, 13, Galatians 2:20, Philippians 2:12, 13, 1 Peter 1:5).
- The Church and Its Mission
The Church is the Body of Christ, the habitation of God through the Spirit, with divine appointments for the fulfillment of her great commission. Each believer, born of the Spirit, is an integral part of the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven (Ephesians 1:22, 23, 2:22, Hebrews 12:23). Since God’s purpose concerning man is to seek and to save that which is lost, to be worshiped by man, and to build a body of believers in the image of His Son, the priority reason-for-being of the Assemblies of God as part of the Church is:
- To be an agency of God for evangelizing the world (Acts 1:8, Matthew 28:19, 20, Mark 16:15, 16).
- To be a corporate body in which man may worship God (1 Corinthians 12:13).
- To be a channel of God’s purpose to build a body of saints being perfected in the image of His Son (Ephesians 4:11-16, 1 Corinthians 12:28, 14:12).
- To be a people who demonstrate God‘s love and compassion for all the world (Psalm 112:9; Galatians 2:10; 6:10; James 1:27).
The Assemblies of God exists expressly to give continuing emphasis to this reason-for-being in the New Testament apostolic pattern by teaching and encouraging believers to be baptized in the Holy Spirit. This experience:
- Enables them to evangelize in the power of the Spirit with accompanying supernatural signs (Mark 16:15-20, Acts 4:29-31, Hebrews 2:3, 4).
- Adds a necessary dimension to a worshipful relationship with God (1 Corinthians 2:10-16, 1 Corinthians 12-14).
- Enables them to respond to the full working of the Holy Spirit in expression of fruit and gifts and ministries as in New Testament times for the edifying of the body of Christ (Galatians 5:22-26, 1 Corinthians 14:12, Ephesians 4:11, 12, 1 Corinthians 12:28, Colossians 1:29).
- The Ministry
A divinely called and scripturally ordained ministry has been provided by our Lord for the fourfold purpose of leading the Church in: (1) evangelization of the world (Mark 16:15-20), (2) worship of God (John 4:23, 24), (3) building a body of saints being perfected in the image of His Son (Ephesians 4:11, 16) and (4) meeting human need with ministries of love and compassion (Psalm 112:9; Galatians 2:10; 6:10; James 1:27).
- Divine Healing
Divine healing is an integral part of the gospel. Deliverance from sickness is provided for in the Atonement, and is the privilege of all believers (Isaiah 53:4, 5, Matthew 8:16, 17, James 5:14-16).
- The Blessed Hope
The resurrection of those who have fallen asleep in Christ and their translation together with those who are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord is the imminent and blessed hope of the Church (1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17, Romans 8:23, Titus 2:13, 1 Corinthians 15:51, 52).
- The Millennial Reign of Christ
The second coming of Christ includes the rapture of the saints, which is our blessed hope, followed by the visible return of Christ with His saints to reign on the earth for one thousand years (Zechariah 14:5, Matthew 24:27, 30, Revelation 1:7, 19:11-14, 20:1-6). This millennial reign will bring the salvation of national Israel (Ezekiel 37:21, 22, Zephaniah 3:19, 20, Romans 11:26, 27) and the establishment of universal peace. (Isaiah 11:6-9, Psalm 72:3-8, Micah 4:3, 4).
- The Final Judgment
There will be a final judgment in which the wicked dead will be raised and judged according to their works. Whosoever is not found written in the Book of Life, together with the devil and his angels, the beast and the false prophet, will be consigned to everlasting punishment in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone, which is the second death (Matthew 25:46, Mark 9:43-48, Revelation 19:20, 20:11-15, 21:8).
- The New Heavens and the New Earth
We, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness (2 Peter 3:13, Revelation 21, 22).
ARTICLE VII. RELATIONSHIPS
Section 1. To the General Council and other District Councils
The Nebraska District Council is an integral part of The General Council of the Assemblies of God, a non-profit religious corporation with headquarters at Springfield, Missouri, is subordinate and amenable to the said General Council as prescribed in its constitution and bylaws, and has a cooperative working relationship with other District Councils in matters of mutual concern.
Section 2. To the Fellowship Sections
The Nebraska District Council shall execute its activities through its District offices and Fellowship sections.
Section 3. To Local Assemblies
The local churches of the Nebraska District, which are in full fellowship with the District, shall recognize and be subject to the District Council as set forth in Article XI.
ARTICLE VIII. MEMBERSHIP
Section 1. Ministers
All ministers holding accredited credentials from the General Council of the Assemblies of God and having their permanent residence within the boundaries of the Nebraska District are considered members of the Nebraska District Council. Residency exemptions shall be made as prescribed in the bylaws.
Section 2. Assemblies
All General Council and District affiliated churches are considered to be member churches of the District. Individual members of these assemblies are considered members of the Assemblies of God. Each assembly has the right of representation at the District Council according to the provision in the bylaws.
ARTICLE IX. MEETINGS
Section 1. District Council
- Regular sessions of the District Council shall be held annually pursuant to a call by the District Presbytery.
- Special Sessions
- Special sessions of the Nebraska District Council may be arranged, if agreed to by a two-thirds majority of the District Presbytery.
- Right to Initiative
- The right to initiative in the matter of calling a special session shall be granted to any ordained minister of the District Council when occasion demands. A statement, setting forth the reason for the special session of the Council, and signed by not less than twenty per cent of all ordained ministers of the District, may be considered sufficient reason for the call of a special session. Such statement to be filed with the District Presbytery, who shall then respond to the summons and issue the call for a special session.
Section 2. Sectional Councils
Sectional Councils shall be held prior to the Annual District Council for the purpose of conducting appropriate business.
ARTICLE X. OFFICERS
Section 1. Executive Officers
The Executive Officers shall consist of the District Superintendent, Assistant Superintendent, and District Secretary-Treasurer.
Section 2. Executive Presbytery
The Executive Presbytery shall consist of the District Executive Officers, the Regional Presbyters of this District, and the Non-Resident Executive Presbyter of the General Council from the North Central Region when that person is a resident member of this District.
Section 3. District Presbytery
The District Presbytery shall consist of the District Executive Officers, the Regional Presbyters, the Sectional Presbyters, the General Presbyters, and the Non-Resident Executive Presbyter of the General Council from the North Central Region when that person is a resident member of this District.
Section 4. General Presbyters
The Nebraska District Council shall be represented on the General Council General Presbytery by three members; the District Superintendent together with two others, one of whom shall be an ordained lead pastor of a church located in the District. The General Presbytery is the official policy making body of the General Council when the General Council is not in session.
Section 5. Nominee for General Council Executive Presbyter
The Nebraska District Council shall nominate two ministers from its District to be presented to the General Council as nominees from its area to serve on the Executive Presbytery of the General Council.
ARTICLE XI. LOCAL ASSEMBLIES
Section 1. Membership
All true Pentecostal believers accepting the Assemblies of God tenets of faith and associating themselves in local bodies as assemblies, and accepting their full, personal share of responsibility for the maintenance of scriptural order in the local body, shall have a standard for membership which may be determined either by the local assembly itself, or by agreement with the District Council.
Section 2. Amenability to the District Council
Local assemblies shall be set in order by, and cooperate with, the District. They shall support the District organization and may send delegates to the District Council. The Bylaws further state the rights and privileges of District Council and General Council affiliated churches.
Section 3. Self-government
The District recognizes that each local assembly has the right to self-government under Jesus Christ, its living Head, and shall have the power to choose its pastor, elect its official board, and transact all other business pertaining to its life as a local church.
Section 4. Discipline and Property Rights
It shall have the right to administer discipline to its members according to the Scriptures and its Bylaws. It shall have the right to acquire and hold title to its own right either through trustees or in its corporate name as a self-governed church.
Section 5. Sovereignty
The fact that a local assembly is affiliated in the association of the District and General Council shall in no wise destroy its right as stated, or interfere with its sovereignty. The local assembly shall recognize that the District Council has the right to approve Scriptural doctrine and conduct. When in need of counsel or advice, the local assemblies may appeal to the District Council for help. It may appeal the decision of the District Council to the General Council where it may be questioned whether or not there has been proper help from the District.
Section 6. World Missions
Local assemblies are expected to have an active interest in world missions.
ARTICLE XII. DISSOLUTION CLAUSE
In the event this District Council shall cease to function for the purposes herein set forth, then all property, real or chattel, and all assets remaining after satisfying debts and obligations, shall revert to the parent body, THE GENERAL COUNCIL OF THE ASSEMBLIES OF GOD, a Missouri, not-for-profit, corporation, with headquarters at Springfield, Missouri. The General Council of the Assemblies of God shall have full authority to sell such property and to use the proceeds derived there from for the extension of the work of the Assemblies of God.
In the event of cessation of this District Council, its Board of Trustees (or directors) shall transfer all properties and any remaining assets, in accordance with the foregoing provisions, within one year after the date of such cessation.
If such transfer is not made within the time prescribed above or if the aforesaid General Council shall be unable or unwilling to accept the aforesaid transfer, then disposition thereof shall be made by the court of the county in which the District Council headquarters is located, distributed to organizations having purposes nearest the purposes of the Assemblies of God.
ARTICLE XIII. AMENDMENTS
Section 1. Amendments to the Constitution
Amendments to the Constitution may be made at any regular or special meeting of the District Council provided the proposed amendment has been submitted to the District Presbytery first for consideration, and then mailed to each member of the District Council at least two months prior to the time of the meeting at which the amendment shall be considered. A two-thirds majority vote of all members present shall be necessary for adoption.
Section 2. Conformity with General Council Bylaws
The Executive Committee is empowered to make necessary editorial changes to our constitution so as to keep it consistent with the General Council Constitution, with regard to rights and responsibilities, changed terminology, and references to the General Council Constitution that change due to revision.