The bylaws of Disciple were and have been written recognizing the fact that we are a new organization. We are in the unique formational process of founding this club and starting up charters around the country and the world. We are establishing best practices for getting new Charters in place. We are adding new regional and national leadership positions as we start up state after state, country after country. We are in the beginning stages of forming national relationships with the major clubs. Our bylaws undergo annual changes based on comments from the membership and the leadership, that reflect the new realities we encounter as we go from a small operation in one state to a nationwide and indeed global motorcycle club, an explosion that happened in just one year.
We know that there are many Christian organizations that have gone before us and paved the way. Some are widely respected and some have gone about things the wrong way in our estimation. Some other them had their patches pulled by National MC's because they soured things so badly. Some of these clubs relied on democracy, allowing competing viewpoints about how to do things from different members to dissolve into internal quarrels that spilled out in confusion to the public. Some fought open wars for leadership with competing 'National Presidents' suing each other and brought shame and disgrace to the name of Jesus and made Christians look petty and silly. We resolve that this will not happen to Disciple, and have laid a clear path to ensure success, clearly laid out in the beginning of our bylaws. It's a time honored and respected MC establishment known as the Mother Charter.
Democracy works well for running a county, but the scriptural basis for leadership is the Set Man. God sets a man in place, gives him a vision, expects him to live holy and to carry it forward (and is pretty harsh with him if he doesnt) , and gradually brings men around him to fulfill it. A few at first, then more and more. Reference Abraham, Joseph, the Judges, King David, Jesus, the Apostle Paul, but nothing anywhere laid out for choosing a leader through voting. King David in 2Sam23 had the Three, then the Thirty, then the mighty men, and then was ruler over an entire country. Or Jesus who started out with a few, then a dozen, then seventy and by the end was thronged by crowds. Voting and democracy aren't laid out in the Bible, and it is the position of the leadership of Disciple Christian Motorcycle Club that they have their place, but we choose to follow the Biblical model of a Set Man. As Paul writes in 1Cor11: follow me as I follow Christ. And if the Set Man doesn't follow Christ, the Mother Charter will replace him.
As we have grown into a global entity, it has become a logistical impossibility for each full patch member to intimately know the founder, his vision, heart and character. In 2013 our first charter outside the mother charter became a reality. In just one short year with hundreds of men joining, even a short phone call with the founder takes some level of scheduling. Urgent issues get a quick call back, but a call just to chat may take a few days to return. This is why the Mother Charter is such an important concept.
We trust the men of the Mother Charter to spiritually discern and know the heart of the founder, and to ensure adherence to our founding principles. As the men closest to him, we entrust the sacred responsibility of ensuring the club is globally launched on the right course to these men. Anyone can do it, but only the members of the mother charter have the geographical proximity to have daily contact, hear the vision, the thought process and scriptural backing, work out misunderstandings, have a regular daily/weekly chance to pray with and challenge and ask questions brought to them by the international membership as they share the vision. The Mother Charter is the sounding board for Disciple members to take concerns, questions, points of clarification or gripes. It's likely that they will have the answers, and if not they can access them. More importantly if Disciple members question the character or actions of the National President, the Mother Charter cares about the reputation and regulation of the club, and will correct the National President or the perception of the membership as needed.
Course corrections come from the membership. The club stance on alcohol and marijuana were set, framed and voted on by the membership. Some members quit over these important issues, and less serious ones too. The National President, Mother Charter and other National Leadership have been responsive to concerns. However there are some core values which are seen as critical to keeping us true to the founding principles of the club as we facilitate a global implementation of Disciple Christian Motorcycle Club.
1. The guiding principles of the club are set by the founder. There are many great biblical missions, feeding the homeless, caring for battered women, helping out habitat for humanity etc. But the founder set the mission statement through prayer. Those not aligned with the founder and his God ordained mission are invited to find an organization that meets their requirements. Those who see themselves in the mission statement are invited to come along for the ride in a spirit of unity. There will not be competing priorities.
2. The Mother Charter appoints the leadership. The Mother Charter understands the founding principles based on time spent with the founder. While others may come along with great vision and charismatic leadership potential, if they do not align with the founding principles, they are not right for Disciple. Voting allows for divisive politics, personalities, flesh, competing agendas and personal loyalties. We expect the mother charter to come together for fasting and prayer, and to select national leadership that is consistent with and submitted to the founding principles based on the guiding of the Holy Spirit of God. God is not the author of confusion (1Cor14:33), competing agendas and missions for Disciple, He has given a clear vision for Disciple, and a rock solid group of men to carry it out..
3. All the charters will abide by the bylaws and founding principles. We won't have different rules for each charter as they see fit, and let them sort of govern themselves. Disciple Christian MC follows a strict military like structure. A national boss with a series of national leaders, regional bosses, charter bosses, all working together in unity. Unity is our core principle, there is no brotherhood without it. Respect for the positions of leadership will be upheld. Disrespect for leadership will be dealt with firmly. If you have a complaint, you have the right to stand up and say so by following Matt18. But it better be valid, not just criticism for the sake of nitpicking over doctrine of divisive arguments. Titus 3:9 But avoid foolish controversies, arguments about genealogies, quarrels, and fights about the Law. These things are useless and worthless. 2Tim2:Do not have anything to do with foolish and stupid discussions, because you know they breed arguments. 24 A servant of the Lord must not argue. Instead, he must be kind to everyone, teachable, willing to suffer wrong, 25 and gentle when refuting opponents. After all, maybe God will allow them to repent and to come to a full knowledge of the truth.
This is a Christian club. We are going to expect you to act like the Bible says a man of God acts.
4. The Mother Charter patched members must be viewed with the same level of deference and respect afforded a patch member in a National leadership position. By simple fact of their proximity to and depth of relationship with the founder, they will have a working knowledge of the founding principles. They have stood by the founder through attacks on his character, stood by him when he was right, and when he was wrong they corrected him with love. They've had to suffer through the politics that inevitably happen between brothers in other charters, or even whole charters or states that went rogue. They have had to deal with the conflicts that the rest of the club who were focused on the mission rather than the mischeif was shrouded from. Many never knew of turmoil, many caused it, but the Mother Charter prayerfully resolved it. And their work deserves credit and honor. Double honor.
1Tim5:17 Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine.
God Bless You All
James Disciple Johnson
Natl President and Founder
Disciple Christian Motorcycle Club
The Mother Charter http://disciplecmcblog.blogspot.com/2014/09/the-mother-charter.html