2016 Wesleyan Discipline: 518

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518. Authorization for Organization. The organization of a developing church as a fully established church, or of a group of believers who have applied to a district superintendent for organization as a Wesleyan church, empowering it to assemble for business as a local church conference and to elect a local board of administration, and investing it with all the rights, powers, and duties of a local church as given in the Constitution (2016 Wesleyan Discipline:315) and as set forth elsewhere in The Discipline, may be authorized by the district board of administration and effected by the district superintendent when it meets these requirements:

(1) Twenty-five or more persons who are members or are approved and ready to be received as members when the organization shall be effected.
(2) Effective evangelism and a record of new converts and/or believers’ baptisms incorporated into the church.
(3) An intentional investment of financial and human resources into community and global needs.
(4) A reasonable degree of financial stability, including the meeting of such obligations as it may have to the General Church and the district.
(5) A reasonable degree of leadership and organizational maturity, with sufficient qualified persons to staff the minimum organization provided for in 2016 Wesleyan Discipline:810.
(6) The holding of all property in trust for The Wesleyan Church as required in 2016 Wesleyan Discipline:4610 (2016 Wesleyan Discipline:4680) or steps taken to accomplish the same.
(7) An established church may be reclassified by the district conference or the district board of administration as a developing church if such is recommended by the district superintendent and:
(a) If its membership drops to twenty or fewer (cf. 2016 Wesleyan Discipline:1180:24; 2016 Wesleyan Discipline:1233:30; 2016 Wesleyan Discipline:5320); or
(b) If no new converts and/or believers’ baptisms have been reported by the church within the previous two years; or
(c) If no intentional investment of financial and human resources into the needs of those outside the church has been demonstrated within the two previous years; or
(d) If it ceases to meet one or more of the other conditions set forth in 2016 Wesleyan Discipline:518:2–5 (cf. 2016 Wesleyan Discipline:4670).