In order to conduct the business of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina (BSCNC) certain rules have been established within the BSCNC governing documents. The introduction and deliberation of business follows Robert’s Rules of Order. To facilitate the consideration of business items, messengers are asked to abide by the guidelines outlined below. It is the desire of the convention’s officers to ensure that messengers have the opportunity to bring items for consideration, raise questions, and enter into discussion related to business brought before the convention. Any messenger having questions regarding the guidelines for conducting convention business may wish to speak to a parliamentarian or a convention officer.
To assist messengers wishing to bring items to the floor of the convention for consideration, as well as the debate of all appropriately presented business, a microphone system is employed during the convention’s business sessions. When messengers approach the microphones they will be asked by the microphone monitor to declare their intent: introducing a motion, speaking for or against a motion already under consideration, or other parliamentary procedures.
A computerized sequencing system is employed to register messengers and provide the presiding officer information regarding the nature of a comment. Messengers will not be recognized by the chair unless they are properly registered at a microphone. The presiding officer uses the information from the computerized system for guidance when moderating debate, striving to alternate between messengers wishing to speak for and those wishing to speak against an issue brought before the convention for consideration.
In the event that deliberation of a motion must be interrupted to address a fixed order of business, the computerized sequencing system will retain the order in which messengers have registered to speak to that motion so that debate may resume once the fixed order of business has been completed.
Making a Motion
A motion calls for a specific action by the BSCNC. A motion normally begins with, “I move that.” Any messenger wishing to clarify the appropriateness of a motion, the appropriate time for the presentation of a motion, or the wording of a motion is encouraged to speak to a parliamentarian or a convention officer.
Write the motion legibly. If the motion is spontaneous and you do not have time to write it before presenting it to the convention at a designated microphone, write the motion, as you stated it, before leaving the microphone area.
Avoid any language in your motion that could be construed as mandating an action by a BSCNC entity. These are typically ruled out of order for legal reasons. Instead, word such motions as requests to the entity. Go to a floor microphone at a time when motions are being considered. Notify the microphone monitor of your desire to make a motion. When recognized by the presiding officer, state your name, the name and location of your church, and read your motion. Do not argue the merits of your motion at that time.
If your motion receives a second, you will be given the first opportunity to speak on behalf of your motion, after which discussion by others will follow, alternating between opponents and supporters so as to provide a balance of differing perspectives. When you finish speaking, please bring your written motion to the platform.
A resolution has traditionally been defined as an expression of opinion or concern, as compared to a motion, which calls for action. A resolution is not used to direct any entity of the BSCNC to specific action.
Resolutions may only be presented for consideration at a meeting of the Convention by the Board of Directors. Individuals desiring for the Board to consider a resolution must submit it in writing to the Secretary of the Board no later than August 31st each year for consideration at the next annual meeting of the Convention. The officers of the Board may appoint a Resolutions Committee from Board members to consider submissions from individuals or may present a proposed resolution directly to the Board of Directors. The officers of the Board or the Resolutions Committee, if appointed, shall present to the Board at its September meeting the proposed resolution from the individual and any proposed amendments to such resolution together with a recommendation to approve, amend, or reject the resolution. A majority vote of Board members present at the September Board meeting must approve presenting a resolution to the messengers at the annual meeting.
Under BSCNC’s bylaws, no messenger may move for the consideration of a resolution from the floor during the annual meeting.
The full report of the Committee on Nominations shall appear on the Convention’s website beginning at least thirty-five (35) days in advance of the meeting of the Convention and remain on such website through the commencement of such meeting of the Convention. The report may also appear on the Biblical Recorder website. The report shall also be published in the Convention’s full Book of Reports which shall be posted on the Convention’s Annual Meeting website at least 14 days prior to the commencement of the meeting. If necessary, the committee, after prior consultation with and approval from the respective board of trustees or directors of any applicable Related Entity, shall be allowed to amend its report to the Convention from the floor of the annual meeting to replace any previously reported nominee who has been determined to be unable to serve following the publication of the report of the committee to the Convention.
A properly registered messenger may move to amend the committee report from the floor of the annual meeting only if the name of the person to be nominated from the floor of the Convention and the name of the nominee intended to be displaced has been furnished the Secretary of the Board of Directors at least 21 days prior to the commencement of the annual meeting. In addition, biographical material relating to any person proposed to be nominated from the floor of the Convention shall be given to the Related Entity involved and to the Committee on Nominations at least one (1) week prior to such meeting.
Point of Order
The purpose of a point of order is to call the attention of the chair to a violation of the convention’s rules. A point of order should be raised only when a member has good reason to believe that the chair has failed to notice and correct a breach of the rules that prevents the proper transaction of business.
Because a point of order interrupts pending business, it should not be raised merely to point out minor irregularities or as a guise for debating an issue or as a method of obstructing business or harassing the chair. Improper points of order will be ruled out of order.