SFBC CHURCH FACILITY USE POLICY
The church’s facilities were provided and are maintained 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 always to God’s glory.
As such the church facilities are restricted to reservation and use by active church members.
Church members are reminded of their commitment to the church covenant, constitution, and bylaws. Accordingly, facility use will not be permitted to persons or groups holding, advancing, or advocating beliefs, or advancing, advocating, or engaging in practices that conflict with the church’s faith or moral teachings, which are summarized in, among other places, the church’s constitution and bylaws. Nor may facilities be used for activities that contradict, or are deemed by the pastor as inconsistent with, or contrary to the church’s faith or moral teachings. The pastor, or his official designee, is the final decision-maker on whether a person or group is allowed to use church facilities.
This 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. See 2 Corinthians 6:14; 1 Thessalonians 5:22; 1 Timothy 5:22.
- Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? (2 Corinthians 6:14)
- Abstain from every form of evil. (1 Thessalonians 5:22)
- Do not … take part in the sins of others; keep yourself pure. (1 Timothy 5:22)
Second, it is very important to the church that it presents a consistent message to the community, which the church staff and members conscientiously maintain as part of their witness to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. To allow 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 be a source of confusion and scandal to church members and the community because they may reasonably perceive that by allowing use of our facilities, the church is in agreement with the beliefs or practices of the persons or groups using church 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 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. See Colossians 3:17.
- And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. (Colossians 3:17)
Approved Users, Uses and Priority of Use
The pastor or official designee must approve all users and uses of church facilities. Priority is designated to official church functions and needs.
Policies and Instructions:
1. Alcohol & Smoking Policy: No alcohol may be served in church facilities. No smoking is allowed within the church buildings.
2. Fundraising Policy: No for-profit fundraising or activities are allowed while using the church facilities or property. 100% of any funds collected must be given to a non-profit group and previously approved by the church pastors.
3. Groups are restricted to only those areas of the facility that the group has reserved.
4. Food and beverages should remain within the fellowship hall or approved areas.
5. Church equipment, such as tables and chairs, must be returned to original placement, unless arranged otherwise prior to the event.
6. Round tables, table cloths, and curtains will not be loaned out or leave the church campus. If table cloths are used, they must be cleaned (laundered) and returned to the church within one week.
7. All lights must be turned off and doors locked upon departure.
8. Clean-up is the responsibility of the group. If the facilities are not cleaned up adequately a $100 cleaning fee may be assessed.
9. Abusive or foul language, violent behavior, and drug or alcohol abuse are strictly prohibited while using church facilities. Any person exhibiting such behavior will be required to leave the premise.
10. Any person or group must sign the “Church Facility Reservation Request and Agreement” form prior to reservation of church facilities.
11. Any use of media equipment (audio/visual) requires the hiring of a media team representative ($100 per event). Audio and visual equipment may not be used or moved by anyone outside of the church’s media team.
CHURCH FACILITY RESERVATION REQUEST AND AGREEMENT
Church facilities and equipment are made available to church members with the following qualifications:
1. Groups or persons requesting facility use must affirm that their beliefs and practices and planned uses of the facilities are in harmony with the church’s faith and practice.
2. The group or person seeking facility use must submit a signed “Church Facility Reservation Request and Agreement” form.
3. The group or person seeking facility use must be 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 Hours
Facilities are available between the hours of 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. Use outside these hours may be approved by the pastor or official designee.
Requests for facility use may be made to the pastor, by submitting the “Church Facility Reservation Request and Agreement” form. The event will be reserved and placed on the church calendar only when the pastor or official designee approves the use.
Use of church media equipment (audio/visual) is subject to a fee of $100 to pay for the media team representative. If more than one media team member is deemed needed and required, a $200 fee may be necessary.
Clean-up is the responsibility of the group. If the facilities are not cleaned up adequately a $100 cleaning fee may be assessed.
Church members shall not be required to pay a fee for facility usage because maintenance of the facilities will be derived from member tithes and offerings.
Name of church member requesting use of facilities:
Phone Number: ________________________________
Email Address: _________________________________
Please briefly state what people or groups may be using the church facilities and their purpose and mission:
Regardless of type of user, please describe which church facilities you are requesting use of and the purpose for which you intend to use the facilities:
What date(s) and time(s) are you requesting to use the facilities:
Are any items or services being sold? Are any fees being charged or monies collected? Will 100% of all monies collected be given to a non-profit cause? If so, please share the details of that cause?
WEDDING AND / OR WEDDING RECEPTIONS
If you are requesting use of the church’s facilities for a wedding and/or wedding reception, please list the names and contact information of the bride and groom.
Please list the name, contact information, and religious affiliation of the ordained clergyman or pastor officiating the wedding: ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
NOTE: South Fork Baptist Church only allows Christian wedding ceremonies (not merely civil unions or ceremonies) by a duly ordained clergyman, minister, or pastor.
South Fork Baptist Church does not recognize or affirm female or transgender pastors of wedding ceremonies per the Baptist Faith and Message (2000), VI. The Church. “While both men and women are gifted for service in the church, the office of pastor is limited to men as qualified by Scripture.”
In addition South Fork Baptist Church does not recognize or affirm officiants or pastors from churches or denominations that endorse or support homosexual unions or marriages, per the Baptist Faith and Message (2000), XVIII. The Family. “Marriage is the uniting of one man and one woman in covenant commitment for a lifetime. It is God's unique gift to reveal the union between Christ and His church and to provide for the man and the woman in marriage the framework for intimate companionship, the channel of sexual expression according to biblical standards, and the means for procreation of the human race.”
Please describe the marriage preparation counseling or training undertaken by the bride and groom: __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
I affirm that:
- I will be personally present during all usage of the church facilities (e.g. setup / decoration, event, and tear down).
- I understand that the church does not allow its facilities to be used in a way that contradicts its faith or by persons or groups holding beliefs that contradict the church’s faith (Baptist Faith and Message, 2000 http://www.sbc.net/bfm2000/bfm2000.asp ) and Constitution and Bylaws.
- To the best of my knowledge the purpose for which I am requesting use of church facilities will not contradict the church’s faith, and I commit to promptly disclose any potential conflict for which I am aware or become aware to church staff.
- I am not aware of any beliefs that are professed by me or the organization I represent and which is requesting use of the church’s facilities that contradict the beliefs of the church. I agree to promptly disclose any potential conflicts in belief to church staff.
- I understand that upon approval of my facilities use request, I will need to provide any fees required by the church.
- I understand that the church does not allow its facilities to be generally available to the public, and that my use of these facilities is subject to the pastor’s approval, which is conditioned in part on my agreement to the requirements in the “Church Facility Use Policy,” a copy of which I have read and understood.
- I understand that I will be responsible for any damages to the church facilities resulting from this proposed use of facilities.
- The church believes disputes are to be worked out between parties without recourse to the courts. See, generally, Matthew Chapter 18 and 1 Corinthians Chapter 6.
Accordingly, users of the facility agree to attempt resolution through Christian mediation, and failing that to submit to binding arbitration through the American Arbitration Association, or any other mutually acceptable arbitration service.