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The Great Commission Association of Southern Baptist Churches (GCA) consists of churches which partner to further the Kingdom of God within its associational boundary and beyond. Our main office is located at 17705 Hale Ave #H, Morgan Hill, CA 95037. We believe that GCA facilities were provided through God’s benevolence and by the sacrificial and trusting generosity of member churches. GCA desires that its facilities be used for great commission ministries and to bring God glory. Although the facilities are not generally open to the public, we make our facilities available to approved non-members as a witness to our faith, in a spirit of Christian charity, and as a means of demonstrating the Gospel of Jesus Christ in practice.
In this policy, GCA notes that facility use will not be permitted to persons or groups holding, advancing, or advocating beliefs or practices that conflict with GCA’s faith or moral teachings, which are summarized in, among other places, the Baptist Faith and Message 2000. Nor may GCA facilities be used for activities that contradict, or are deemed inconsistent with, GCA’s faith or moral teachings. The Business Services Director, or in their absence, the Executive Director, is the final decision-maker concerning approved use of GCA facilities.
This restricted facility use policy is necessary for two important reasons. First, GCA 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 GCA’s beliefs would be material cooperation with that activity, and would be a grave violation of GCA’s faith and religious practice. (2 Cor. 6:14; 1 Thess. 5:22.)
Second, it is very important that GCA present a consistent message to the community and conscientiously maintain that message as part of their witness to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Allowing facilities to be used by groups or persons who express beliefs or engage in practices contrary to GCA’s faith would have a severe, negative impact on the message that GCA strives to promote. It could also cause confusion and scandal to member churches and the community because they may reasonably perceive that by allowing use of our facilities, GCA agrees with the beliefs or practices of the persons or groups using its facilities.
Therefore, in no event shall persons or groups who hold, advance, or advocate beliefs, or advance, advocate, or engage in practices that contradict GCA’s faith or moral teachings use any GCA facility. This policy applies to all GCA facilities, regardless of whether the facilities are connected to the sanctuary, because GCA sees all of its property as holy and set apart to worship God. (Col. 3:17.)
Approved Users and Priority of Use
The Business Services Director, or in their absence, the Executive Director, must approve all uses of GCA facilities. Generally, priority shall be given to member churches and organized groups that are part of the ministry, organization, or sponsored activities of GCA. GCA facilities and equipment will be made available to non-members or outside groups meeting the following qualifications:
- Groups or persons requesting facility use must affirm that their beliefs and practices and planned uses of the facilities are consistent with the GCA’s faith and practice.
- The group or person seeking facility use must submit a signed “GCA Facility Reservation Request and Agreement” form.
- 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 GCA’s rules of conduct for facility use, as stated below and as described in any additional instructions by GCA staff.
Facility lease requests shall be made to GCA by submitting the “GCA Facility Lease Request and Agreement” form (Appendix A). When the Business Services Director, or in their absence, the Executive Director, approves the requesting group or person, a formal lease will be formulated to include all relevant terms. All lease terms are to be determined by the final lease agreement fully executed by both GCA and the leasing party.
Lease of GCA facilities is subject to a lease rate to pay for the upkeep of GCA facilities and to contribute to GCA ministries. The lease rate is determined by the GCA Property Lease Rate Methodology as approved by the GCA Administrative Council.
Facility Use Guidelines
- Alcohol Policy: No alcohol may be served in GCA facilities or property.
- Smoking Policy: Smoking on GCA facility campuses is prohibited.
- Groups are restricted to only those areas of the facility that the group has specified to lease in the lease agreement.
- Food and beverages are not allowed in the sanctuary, except water with lid.
- Should a tenant be sharing space with another tenant at a GCA facility, after one tenant’s use of the space, all equipment, such as tables and chairs, must be returned to original placement, unless arranged otherwise.
- All lights must be turned off and doors locked upon departure.
- Janitorial maintenance is the responsibility of the tenant and should be arranged regularly to ensure the proper upkeep of the GCA facilities.
- Abusive or foul language, violent behavior, and drug or alcohol abuse are strictly prohibited on GCA premises. Any person exhibiting such behavior will be required to leave the premises.
For all tenants and non-GCA-sponsored events, the group or person using the facilities must obtain liability insurance coverage in the amount of at least $1,000,000. GCA must be included as additionally insured on the tenant’s policy. The user must also sign a “Facility Use and an Indemnity and Hold Harmless Agreement” (Appendix B).
This Great Commission Association Facility Use Policy (including the attached Appendix A and Appendix B) was adopted by the Administrative Council on October 1, 2015.