Our Statement of Beliefs and Relational Commitments
With the understanding that God has called each of us to Himself on the basis of His grace apart from any merit on our part and that His grace and the ministry of the Holy Spirit are the means through which we are enabled to follow Christ and fulfill these desires, we set forth the following commitments as statements of our intentions, trusting God to encourage us in these pursuits and to be merciful to us when we fall short. These beliefs and commitments do not represent a full statement of doctrinal beliefs (see our Statement of Faith), but are intended to draw our attention to the function and purpose of the church in God’s plan. Furthermore, it is understood that this church covenant will be signed by a variety of believers (young, old, newly saved, mature in Christianity, leaders and pastors), who will walk out their commitment with varying levels of success.
Commitment to the Authority of Scripture
I agree that the Scripture is the only infallible revelation from God, that it is sufficient for a life of godliness and is the final authority in matters of opinion or dispute. I, therefore, commit to pursue growth in my knowledge of Scripture and to form my beliefs, decisions, and life practice out of biblical doctrines and teachings and, to the best of my ability, to support my opinions and life choices from Scripture. (2Tim 3:16-17; Jn 17:17; 2Pet 1:19-21)
Commitment to the Doctrine of Salvation
I agree that the Scripture teaches that all of humanity is in sin and needing to be reconciled to God and that the only means of reconciliation is through the person and work of Jesus Christ in His life, death, burial, and resurrection. I agree that an individual is saved by the grace of God apart from any personal good or meritorious work, that grace is received through faith, and that each individual must at some point repent and make a personal faith decision about the person and work of Christ. I agree that in conversion we are born-again, forgiven, reconciled to God, and receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. Since the Scripture teaches that only those who are in Christ are part of His body, I, therefore, commit to only seek covenant membership after I have been born-again and can testify of my conversion to Christ. (Rom 3:10-12, 21-26; Jn 3:3-8, 16-21; Eph 2:1-10; Jn 14:6; Acts 4:12)
Commitment to Functional Membership
I agree that being a member of the Body of Christ means that God has ordained me to function in the body and to serve the body. I, therefore, commit to seek to discover how God has called me to serve and to grow in faithfulness and effectiveness in fulfilling that call. (Rom 12:2-8; 1Co 12-14, Eph 4:1-16, 1Pet 3:10) I agree that God calls me to further His work of making disciples. I, therefore, commit to embrace the responsibility to share the gospel and to do what I can to help others grow in their relationship with Christ. (Matt 28:18-19)
Commitment to Value and Protect Biblical Fellowship
Believing that God identifies His people as special in his affections and purpose (1Pet 2:9, Ex 19:5-6, Rev 1:4-6; Eph 2:11-21), I, therefore, agree with and commit to the following biblical principles: I agree that the Bible calls me to regularly gather together with other Christians for the purpose of fellowship, teaching, serving, prayer, mutual encouragement, and accountability. I, therefore, commit to cultivate a lifestyle that maintains this priority and to reasonably avoid life patterns that would cause fellowship to become neglected. (Heb 10:24-25; Acts 2:42) I agree that God calls those in the church to love one another, to forgive one another, and to maintain the unity of the Spirit so that His love is visible and His mission is unhindered. I, therefore, commit to avoid opportunities to gossip or slander others and to seek to resolve any conflicts I have with others according to the Scriptures and to encourage others to do likewise. I commit to living toward others in a manner characterized by humility, love, and serving. (Jn 17:20-23; Eph 4:25-32; Col 3:12-17, Php 2:1-4) I agree that God calls me to live a life of holiness which includes avoiding the practice of sin, as well as life choices that contain the appearance of evil. I agree that sin is to be resisted and overcome and not pursued or tolerated in my life. I, therefore, commit to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord both privately and publicly and to seek the use of spiritual disciplines to guard my heart from temptation. (1Pet 1:13-17; Rom 8:13; Eph 5:1-21)
Commitment to Church Discipline
I agree that the Scripture teaches that a Christian who continues in the practice of sin without pursuing repentance and change is to be corrected and disciplined according to the passages listed below. I, therefore, commit to supporting this process in the life of others and, if necessary, receiving this process in my own life, as prescribed by Scripture and directed by the pastors of the church. (Matt 18:15-20; 1Co 5; 2Co 2:5-11; Gal 6:1-2; 2Thes 3:6, 14-15)
Commitment of and to Biblical Leadership in the Church
I agree that God calls men to shepherd the local church, giving them the responsibility and authority to exercise spiritual oversight of the functions and fellowship of the local church as they lead in humility and are themselves under authority. In so doing, they are to care for and protect the people whom God has called His own children. As one given to follow, I. therefore, commit to submit to their leadership (as they follow Christ), to serve and offer support to the biblical direction they give for this local body, and to pray for them. I commit to avoid divisiveness and the tearing down of those in authority and to seek biblical remedy if I have a disagreement or conflict with someone in a position of leadership in the church. (Heb 13:7, 17; 1Tim 5:17-20; 1Pet 5:1-5) If I am one called to lead, I commit to a life of integrity and the pursuit of godly character as described in 1Tim 3:1-13, Titus 1:7-9, and 1Pet 5:1-5.
Commitment to God’s Economy of Prayer
I agree that God desires His church to be a house of prayer and that the prayers of the saints play a significant role in God’s will coming to pass on earth as it is in heaven. I, therefore, commit to make personal and corporate prayer a priority in my life and to avoid its neglect or decline. (Mk 11:17; Matt 6:9-13; Lk 18:1-8)
Commitment to God’s Economy of Giving
I agree that God calls me to support the mission of the church from the finances He has provided in my life. I, therefore, commit to follow the biblical pattern of giving which includes: (1) Giving on a regular basis as the Lord provides for me and (2) to be open to the Holy Spirit’s leading for me to consider additional sacrificial giving. (Gen 14:19-20, 28:20-22; Pr 3:9-10; Mal 3:6-12; Ex 35:4-5, 20-21; 1Cor 16:1-2)
Commitment to Practice Baptism and Communion
I agree that the Scripture calls all believers to initially identify with Christ through water baptism and to continue to identify with Christ and His Body through the celebration of communion. (Matt 28:18-19; Acts 2:41; Acts 8:36-38; 1Cor 11:17-34) I, therefore, commit to practice these ordinances as they are described in Scripture.