Legal opinions differ as to the necessity of a church policy for the utilization of facilities. However, a proactive way to protect your church against future changes in the law is to adopt a facilities usage policy. If one is to be adopted, the following statement could be considered:
“The use of church facilities shall be limited to individuals or groups who are compatible with the mission and purpose of ________________________ Baptist Church.”
Another proactive step is for the church to adopt a wedding policy which affirms biblical marriage as between one man and one woman. The following statements could be adopted:
Due to our belief in the biblical teachings about marriage, same sex couples will not be married in any facilities or on any properties owned by the church.
Ministers of ________________________ Baptist Church will not perform any same sex marriages or civil unions whether on or off church owned properties. Doing so would be grounds for termination. This information is designed to help autonomous Baptist churches think through vital issues and formulate their own internal policies.
“A Potential Marriage Statement For Churches,” which includes wording for a possible amendment to your local church’s bylaws, may be found below:
A Potential Marriage Statement for Churches (.pdf)
This resource, like virtually all past and present resources from the State Board of Missions, is not binding on local congregations, which are entirely self-governing. Permission to use this is not required.