Facility Use Policy and Agreement
The church’s buildings and grounds were provided through God’s benevolence and by the sacrificial generosity of church members. The church desires that its facilities be used for the fellowship of the Body of Christ and to bring God glory. Although the facilities are generally open to the public during worship services, their usage is limited to members in good standing.
Facility use is only granted to members for the purpose of advancing, or advocating beliefs or practices which are consistent with the church’s faith or moral teachings, which are summarized in, among other places, the church’s constitution and bylaws. No church facilities may be used for activities that contradict, or are deemed inconsistent with, the church’s faith or moral teachings. The pastors, elders, or official designee, is the final decision-maker concerning use of church facilities.
The restricted facility use policy is necessary for two important reasons. First, the church may not, in good conscience, materially cooperate in activities or beliefs that are contrary to its faith. Allowing its facilities to be used for purposes that contradict the church’s beliefs would be material cooperation with that activity, and would be a grave violation of the church’s faith and religious practice (2 Cor 6:14; 1 Thess 5:22).
Second, it is very important that the church present a consistent message to the community, and that the church staff and members conscientiously maintain that message as part of their witness to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Allowing facilities to be used by groups or persons who express beliefs or engage in practices contrary to the church’s faith would have a severe, negative impact on the message that the church strives to promote. It could also cause confusion and scandal to church members and the community because they may reasonably perceive that by allowing use of our facilities, the church agrees with the beliefs or practices of the persons or groups using its facilities.
Therefore, in no event shall persons or groups who hold, advance, or advocate beliefs, or advance, advocate, or engage in practices that contradict the church’s faith use any church facility. Nor may church facilities be used in any way that contradicts the church’s faith. This policy applies to all church facilities, regardless of whether the facilities are connected to the church’s sanctuary, because the church sees all of its property as holy and set apart to worship God (Col 3:17).
Approved Users and Priority of Use
A pastor or official designee must approve all uses of church facilities. The elders will determine use based upon our ministry priorities of worship, instruction, fellowship, and evangelism. Generally, priority shall be given to church members in good standing, their immediate families, and organized groups that are part of the ministry, organization, or sponsored activities of the church. Ministry events and activities of Newtown Bible Church have priority over all requests.
All members in good standing who seek to use the church facilities must make sure their planned uses of facilities are consistent with the church’s faith and practice. They must also be present and willing to take responsibility for the facilities and equipment used and must agree to abide by the church’s rules of conduct for facility use, as stated below and as described in any additional instructions by church staff.
Facility Use Guidelines
1. No alcoholic beverages are allowed at any time on church property. No smoking is allowed in any indoor facility.
2. Please be sure to exercise caution with food and beverage, especially in carpeted areas. Clean up any messes made to ensure the maximum life and usage of what the Lord has so graciously provided.
3. Church equipment, such as tables and chairs, must be returned to original placement in good condition, unless arranged otherwise prior to the event.
4. Use and moving of the church’s musical instruments or equipment is permitted only under the supervision of the Music Team Leader or such persons authorized.
5. All lights must be turned off and doors locked upon departure.
6. Clean-up the facilities to leave it in as good or better condition than you found it.
7. Abusive or foul language, violent behavior, and the use of drug or alcohol are strictly prohibited on church premises. Any person exhibiting such behavior will be required to leave the premises.
8. Again, the member takes responsibility for opening, locking-up, lights out, closing of windows, etc., and ensuring that proper clean-up and facility stewardship takes place.
9. The Board of Elders may, at its own discretion, cancel previously approved reservations for the use of church facilities.
10. In the event of a natural disaster or other such catastrophic event, the facility may be made available to federal, state, and local authorities as deemed appropriate by the Board of Elders.
11. It is highly encouraged that members seriously consider providing donation to the church to ensure associated costs do not impact the general budget.
All who are ordained, licensed, commissioned or otherwise authorized by this church to solemnize marriages may do so, in the exercise of religious freedom, only where the participants are biologically one man and one woman, as delineated in the Statement of Faith (Gen 2:21-24; Matt 19:4-6; Mk 10:6-9). Church facilities may be used for weddings only where both prospective spouses are church members in good standing; church facilities are not available to the general public for that.
Updated and approved by board of elders August 6, 2015