Membership Covenant

howtobecomeMEMBERSHIP COVENANT 

INTRODUCTION
“…Present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” -Romans 12:1-2

As Christians, we are members of God’s household (Ephesians 2:19) called to function, participate, and minister in a particular place within the body of Christ. A healthy body requires that each member do its part well. A healthy church requires the same: members who are sacrificially committed and well-equipped to do the works of service that God has prepared in advance for us to do (Ephesians 2:10, 4:12). Covenant Life Ministries holds its members in high regard; we expect them to lead as missionaries of the gospel to the culture. God, in his sovereignty, placed us in this city, among these people, in this century, for a reason (Acts 17:26-27).

“For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them…”
Romans 12:3-8

Being a member of Covenant Life Ministries is really about being part of a family. All members are disciples of Jesus, unified by their identity in Christ. This unity is expressed in the way they collaborate in loving God, loving fellow Christians, and loving non-Christians. Members who enter into a covenant with their local church are called to a higher degree of responsibility and service. At the same time, the pastors and leaders are covenanted to assist members first and foremost, to love and lead, provide counsel and aid, and pray for, teach, and guide them.

“Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace…” -1 Peter 4:8-10

What is a covenant?
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). The Covenant Life Ministries Membership Covenant includes a statement of faith, a statement of Biblical  doctrine, the responsibility of Covenant Life to its members, and the responsibility of members to Covenant Life. Though the covenant does define the relationship between members and the church, it is first and foremost a promise made to God as a commitment to His glory and His bride, the church (Ephesians 5:25).

MEMBERSHIP COVENANT:

Statement of Faith

  • I am a Christian saved from the eternal wrath of God by faith in Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior, through his death and resurrection, by which I am assured of eternal life (John 3:16-18; Romans 3:23-26).
  • I believe Jesus Christ is exactly who He claimed to be (Isaiah 53:6; Matthew 26:64; Mark 14:62; Luke 22:70; John 4:25-26, 6:29, 8:58, 11:25-27, 14:6-7; 15:5).
  • I have and continue to repent of my sins and have been made a new creation in Christ (1 John 1:9; 2 Corinthians 5:17).
  • In obedience to Scripture, I have been baptized to personally identify with the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus, and to publicly demonstrate my commitment as a disciple of Jesus (Colossians 2:12; 1 Peter 3:21).

Statement of Biblical Doctrine

  • I agree with the core beliefs of Covenant Life Ministries, which are founded upon historic creeds (e.g. Apostles’ Creed and Nicene Creed) and expressed in the doctrinal statement [i.e. What We Believe].
  • I understand the importance of submission to church leadership and will be diligent to preserve unity and peace; I will adhere to Covenant Life Ministries’ position on primary theological issues, and I will not be divisive over secondary issues (Ephesians 4:1-3; Hebrews 13:7, 17).
  • I agree that the sixty-six books of the Bible are the ultimate doctrinal authority on all matters (Isaiah 55:11; 1 Corinthians 15:3-4; 2 Timothy 3:15-16; Hebrews 4:12).

Responsibility of Covenant Life Ministries to its Members

  • We covenant that your pastors and leaders will meet the criteria assigned to them in the Scriptures (1 Timothy 3:1-13, 5:17-22; Titus 1:5-9; 1 Peter 5:1-4).
  • We covenant to seek God’s will for our church community to the best of our ability as we study the Scriptures and follow the Spirit (Acts 20:28; 1 Peter 5:1-5).
  • We covenant to care for you and seek your growth as a disciple of Christ, in part by equipping you for service (Ephesians 4:11-13) and praying for you regularly, particularly when you are not well (James 5:14).
  • We covenant to provide teaching and counsel from the whole of Scripture (Acts 20:27-28; Galatians 6:6; 1 Timothy 5:17-18).
  • We covenant to be on guard against false teachers (Acts 20:28-31).
  • We covenant to exercise church discipline when necessary (Matthew 18:15-20; 1 Corinthians 5; Galatians 6:1).
  • We covenant to set an example and join you in fulfilling the duties of church members (1 Corinthians 11:1; Philippians 3:17; 1 Timothy 4:12).

My Responsibility to Covenant Life Ministries as a Member

  • I have read and understood the Covenant Life doctrinal statement and will not be divisive to its teaching. I also understand the importance of submission to church leadership and will be diligent to preserve unity and peace (Ephesians 4:1-3; Hebrews 13:7, 17).
  • I covenant to submit to the authority of Scripture as the final arbiter on all issues (Psalm 119; 2 Timothy 3:16-17).
  • I will maintain a close relationship with the Lord Jesus through regular Bible reading, prayer, fellowship, and practice of spiritual disciplines. My relationship will be evident through my participation in weekly worship services, communion, Covenant Life community, service, and a life that glorifies Jesus (Psalm 105:1-2; Psalm 119:97; Acts 2:42-47; Hebrews 10:23-25; 2 Peter 1:3).
  • I will steward the resources God has given me, including my time, talents, and treasure (Proverbs 3:9-10; Romans 12:1-2; Galatians 5:22-26; Ephesians 4:1-16, 5:15-18). This includes regular financial giving, service, and participation in community that is sacrificial, cheerful, and voluntary (Romans 12:1-8; 2 Corinthians 8-9, 12:7-31; 1 Peter 4:10-11).
  • I will not function in leadership or as a member in another church family (Hebrews 13:17).
  • I covenant to submit to discipline by God through His Holy Spirit, to follow biblical procedures for church discipline in my relationships with brothers and sisters in Christ, to submit to righteous discipline when approached biblically by brothers and sisters in Christ, and to submit to discipline by church leadership if the need should ever arise (Psalm 141:5; Matthew 18:15-17; 1 Corinthians 5:1-5; 2 Corinthians 2:5-8; Galatians 6:1-5, 8; 1 Timothy 5:20; 2 Timothy 2:25; Titus 1:9, 3:10-11; Hebrews 12:5-11; Revelation 2:5-7, 14-25).
  • I agree, by God’s grace, to walk in holiness as an act of worship to Jesus Christ, who has saved me from my sin that I could live a new life (2 Corinthians 5:17); I will practice abstinence before marriage and complete fidelity in heterosexual marriage by abstaining from practices such as cohabitation, pornography, and fornication (Job 31:1; Proverbs 5; Romans 13:12-14; 1 Corinthians 6:9-7, 16; Hebrews 13:4); I will refrain from illegal drug use, drunkenness, and other sinful behavior as the Bible, my pastors, and my conscience dictate (1 Corinthians 8:7; Galatians 5:19-21). Should I sin in such a manner, I agree to confess my sins to Christian brothers or sisters and seek help to put my sin to death (Romans 8:13; Colossians 3:5; 1 John 1:6-10).

My Commitment to the Mission of Covenant Life Ministries
The mission of Covenant Life Ministries is to promote the Glory of God in the redemption of men through the preaching of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

I have read the mission statement of Covenant Life Ministries and commit to participate in this mission as a diligent, faithful disciple of Jesus, that my identity would be in Him, my worship would be for Him, my fellowship would be through Him, and my interaction with the culture would be for His glory.

I understand that this covenant obligates me to the members of Covenant Life and is an acknowledgment of my submission to the pastors of the church. I accept the responsibility to notify Covenant Life leadership if at any time I can no longer commit to this covenant, or if I have any questions, comments, or concerns regarding Covenant Life Ministries.