Why does Covenant Life have “members”?
Covenant Life is a church, and the Bible uses the metaphor of a body to describe the church: ‘’For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ’’ -1 Corinthians 12:12. It’s a beautiful illustration of how we’re each created to serve different functions, we need everyone to function in order to be a healthy body, and all of us as separate parts find purpose and unity under Jesus, ‘’the head of the body, the church’’ -Colossians 1:18. Members are the church (Ephesians 2:19-22).
What’s the difference between members and someone who just shows up every week?
At Covenant Life, we make a distinction between “members” and “guests.” If you’re not a member, then you’re technically a guest that remains to a certain extent separated from our church family, and separated from the maturity, protection, accountability, and care that comes with being an active part of the church. This may not make much difference for visitors and non-Christians, but Christians who consume rather than commit to a local church do a disservice to Jesus’ body (the church) and themselves. Members, on the other hand, participate as the church: sacrificing time, talents, and treasure; committing to the care and community of their fellow members; and submitting to the authority God has established to lead our congregation. In short, the difference between a member and a non-member is that members are “on mission.”
What does it mean to be “on mission”?
To be on mission means that you’re a Christian, that you’re identity is founded in Jesus, and that you embody the Covenant Life mission statement by living a life of worship to Jesus, a life of fellowship with other Christians, and a life of mission to non-Christians (Matthew 28:18-20). These expressions are only possible with an identity established in Jesus. To learn more about what it means to be on mission, read the Covenant Life mission statement.
Why should I become a member?
The church of Covenant Life is a family, adopted by God (Galatians 4:6-1; Ephesians 1:5). We care for each other, pray for each other, and serve together. If you’re already a Christian, if you’re already in some form of Covenant Life community, if you’re already giving of your finances and your time, then you’re already fulfilling some functions of a member. Without making an official commitment, however, we cannot provide the same level of pastoral care and community support, in part because we may not know who you are, and in part because the Bible requires that we take care of our family first (Ephesians 2:19; Galatians 6:10).
If you’re not a Christian, don’t worry about membership until you’ve been reconciled to God through Jesus. If you are a Christian who has spent a lot of time at Covenant Life, search your heart and identify your hesitation. There may be valid reasons to abstain from Covenant Life membership, but ask yourself why– and don’t hesitate to speak with a leader.
What are the benefits of being a member?
Scripture calls us a body, a family, a household– being a Christian is not a solo effort. Jesus works through the church (Ephesians 2:10), the church is Jesus’ body (1 Corinthians 12:27), and apart from Jesus, you can do nothing (John 15).
Covenant Life membership isn’t a country club, and it isn’t 24-Hour Fitness. Members are the church. “In love [God] predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ…So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God’’ (Ephesians 1:4-5; 2:19).
The benefit is that we get to worship Jesus together, serve in His kingdom, and be children of God! We enjoy the guidance that His Word provides, and, when sin comes between us, we enjoy the reconciliation Jesus’ blood provides.
How do I become a member?
It’s a three-step process; Connect, Class, Covenant.
What is a “Membership Covenant”? Can I read it before I become a member?
A covenant is a promise by which we tie ourselves to one another in such a way that the giving of one party is not dependent on the faithfulness of the other (Ezekiel 20:44, 36:22; Psalm 76:11; Hosea 2:19-20, 3:1; 2 Timothy 2:13). A covenant is what we would use to describe the vows between a husband and his wife, and between God and His people. We ask our members to sign a covenant so that we know that future members understand what it means to be a part of the church. The member covenant is not a legal document or some sort of cultic rite. It is an affirmation, an agreement, and a source of accountability for both the church and its individual members. Read the Covenant Life Ministries Membership Covenant.
Do members have to be baptized?
Since Jesus commands that all of his disciples be baptized, baptism is a requirement for all Covenant Life members (Matthew 28:19; Acts 2:38, 10:48; 1 Peter 3:21). If you’ve already been baptized since you became a Christian, you don’t need to get re-baptized. Covenant Life Ministries performs believer baptisms only, which means we do not baptize infants. If you have more questions about baptism specifically, please speak with a pastor or other leaders at the church.