- A Church covenant is a promise – a promise to God, to a local Church, and to one’s self.
- A Church covenant is a summary of how we agree to live. While our statement of faith is a good summary of what we believe, our Church covenant is a summary of how we agree to live – more importantly, it is a summary of how God would have us live. It does not include every explicit command regarding obedience, but it does give a general summary of what it means to live as a disciple of Christ.
- A Church covenant is a sign of commitment – a commitment to God, to His Church, and to personal holiness.
- A Church covenant is an ethical statement. A Church covenant can be an important part of applying a Christian worldview to every aspect of our lives. Inherent in the purpose of a Church covenant is the understanding that Church membership involves being held accountable to live in a manner consistent with a common understanding of Scripture.
- A Church covenant is a biblical standard. A Church covenant is helpful in a Church that is practicing Biblical Church discipline. As members of a Church, we exhort one another to live holy lives, and we challenge brothers and sisters persisting in sin.
A Church covenant defines relationships.
As a new congregation we should take the following steps toward adopting a covenant:
Step 1: Develop sensitivity to the Lord’s leadership. There comes a time when the Lord “births” His church.
Step 2: Study Scripture. Concentrate on the “one another” passages. Examine the New Testament for characteristics of Christians’ relationships to each other in a local Church.
Step 3: Identify the relational elements that are indispensable in the Church. Structure these elements into a document that includes statements of introduction and conclusion.
Step 4: Secure unanimous and personal agreement by every Church member. The covenant is astatement that defines the relationships into which new members are received.
A covenanting service should be a significant event in the life of a new Church. It is not a goal to achieve. It is an outward expression of a Church’s internal awareness of its status before God and its spiritual birth as a local expression of the body of Christ. As a Church we will celebrate our covenant annually.
“One Another” passages in the New Testament are:
Mark 9:50, John 13:34, John 13:35, John 15:12, John 15:17, Romans 13:8, I Thessalonians 3:12, I Thessalonians 4:9, I Peter 1:22, I John 3:11, I John 3:23, I John 4:7, I John 4:11, I John 4:12,II John 1:5, Romans 12:10, Romans 12:16, Romans 15:5, Romans 14:19, I Thessalonians 5:11, Romans 15:7, Romans 15:14, Colossians 3:16, Romans 16:16, I Corinthians 16:20, II Corinthians 13:12,I Peter 5:14, I Corinthians 12:25, Galatians 5:13, Ephesians 4:2, Ephesians 4:32, Colossians 3:13, Ephesians 5:21, I Peter 5:5, I Thessalonians 4:18, Hebrews 3:13, Hebrews 10:25, Hebrews 10:24, James 5:16, I Peter 3:8, I Peter 4:9, I Peter 4:10, Romans 14:13, Galatians 5:15, Galatians 5:26, Colossians 3:9, James 4:11, James 5:9