Adopting Bylaws For Both ESC/KSC

Seoul Baptist Church of Houston is comprised of two congregations: the English Speaking Congregation (ESC) and the Korean Speaking Congregation (KSC). The pastor of the congregation with a greater Sunday worship attendance and larger budget becomes senior pastor of Seoul Baptist. This means that if the ESC has a larger attendance and bigger budget two years in a row, Pastor Eric will become the Senior Pastor of Seoul Baptist Church of Houston, and I will be pastor of the KSC.

This understanding and agreement between the ESC and KSC have been formulated by leaders of both congregations and will now be incorporated into the bylaws of both. KSC members will find details of the proposals written in both English and Korean in their church mailbox. In today’s Pastor’s Corner I will briefly explain some salient points.

The two congregations are to coexist in the same lot; neither congregation can move out or ask the other to move out without consent from the other. If both congregations agree to sell the current facilities and relocate, the proceeds of the sale will be divided in proportion to the amount given to support the current buildings, and will be used for the construction of new facilities.

The bylaws allow for the procurement of a second worship or education building at a different location with simultaneous worship services instead of the whole church relocating when the capacity of the current location is maxed out.

When the pastor of either congregation resigns, 2/3 of the pastoral search committee will come from the congregation seeking a new pastor and 1/3 from the other congregation. If the pastor is being sought for the smaller congregation, he must be able to preach in the language of the other congregation. So if the senior pastor is from the KSC, the new pastor should be able to preach in Korean, and if the senior pastor is from the ESC, he should be able to preach in English. The senior pastor has the right to veto a pastoral candidate if he feels that it would be difficult to work with him, because the unity of both congregations is critical. However, the congregation hiring a new pastor can overrule the senior pastor by a vote of 3/4 of their voting members if they feel strongly that their congregation needs him, even if they expect difficulty in the pastors working together. Neither pastor has veto power in the hiring of a senior pastor.

We attempted to make these bylaws as simple as possible. We did not deal with all possible circumstances; the purpose of the bylaws is not to regulate but to eliminate misunderstanding. No matter how thorough bylaws are, people will find loopholes if they really want to. If conflicts arise in the future they must be dealt with on the basis of trust and cooperation.

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