A Church Covenant
The Bible describes a covenant as an agreement with mutual commitments between parties. In the new covenant, we not only enter a commitment with God, but also with the people of God. The local church is a covenant community in the sense that members joyfully and voluntarily agree to be the body of Christ for each other during their time as members.
That the church involves covenant relationships doesn’t mean you should never leave a church, or that these commitments will be carried out perfectly, or that failure to uphold a commitment is grounds for church discipline. We all fall short of the call to love one another as we ought.
But these commitments express what God requires of us in Scripture, how we commit to live together, and what we want to be held accountable to. Our church covenant exists to remind us and encourage us toward the biblical obligations we have to God and to each other as members of his redeemed community. In an individualistic culture that is averse to commitment, our covenant love for one another serves as a powerful witness to the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Having been brought by God’s sovereign grace to repent and believe in the good news of Jesus Christ and his saving work, and having been baptized upon our profession of faith, we do now, relying on His grace, solemnly and joyfully affirm our covenant with each other.
We will pray and labor to be faithful disciples of Jesus Christ, devoted to the glory of God, resting in the gospel of his Son, and dependent upon the work of the Holy Spirit. To that end,
We will not forsake assembling together, but will faithfully attend our corporate worship, treasuring our church’s weekly opportunity to sing, pray, and receive the whole counsel of God’s Word.
We will defend and maintain a gospel-centered ministry by upholding and attending to biblical preaching, the administration of the sacraments, and the exercise of church discipline.
We will walk together in brotherly love, as becomes the members of a local church: we will pray for and serve one another, exercise an affectionate care and watchfulness over each other, and reject all opportunities to speak or hear gossip or slander. We will instead seek to encourage one another and build each other up in the faith.
We will rejoice with those who rejoice and endeavor with tenderness and sympathy to bear each other’s burdens and sorrows.
We will seek to proclaim and adorn the gospel of Christ before our family, friends, and neighbors and faithfully transfer the gospel to future generations.
We will contribute cheerfully and regularly to the support of our local church, to the care of our members, and to the spread of the gospel locally and to all nations.
We will, if we move from this place, as soon as possible, unite with some other church where we can carry out the spirit of this covenant and the teaching of God’s Word.
May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with us all. Amen.