It is clear from Scripture that God intends His People to be united together into visible church fellowships. The following two points illustrate this concept.
The church is the body and Jesus Christ is the head of the body (Eph. 1:22-23). A true commitment to Christ as the Head is inseparable from a commitment to the other members of the body as well. The relationship of the body to the Head and to other body members is like the covenant relationship of a man and his wife (Eph. 5:28-30).
The apostles implemented the Great Commission (Matt. 28:18-20) by gathering baptized believers into local churches. It was in these local churches that baptized disciples were taught all that Christ commanded (Acts 2:38-42; 1 Cor. 4:17). In the New Testament, the believing men and women were members of local churches.
Believing that we belong to one another as members of one body, as brothers and sisters in one household, as the sheep in one flock, we desire to establish a vital local church and do now covenant with one another to become members of this one body. As members of this united local body, we pledge ourselves to the following:
A. To provide the opportunity for the teaching of God’s Word, fellowship, and communion by reverently worshipping with the body at its stated times unless providentially hindered.
B. To pray for the body and all of its members in a manner concerning thanksgiving, adoration, confession, and intercession and to provide a ministry of support and encouragement to one another.
C. To be responsible for faithful support to the body of Christ by loving one another and preferring one another over oneself, and by encouraging the growth of each individual believer toward maturity in the faith and Christ-likeness.
D. To seek the good of the body as a whole and to ensure that all have the opportunity to serve Christ.
E. To share the gospel both in the local community and abroad through a concerted evangelism effort.
This covenant is only a basic framework, but is intended to formally bind ourselves together from this time until a scheduled time when the necessity of a covenant shall be evaluated. The scheduled time is the first Sunday in October, 1996. (The intent is that as the body grows and matures, the offices of elder(s) and deacon(s) will be established according to the requirements of Titus and 1 Timothy, and a statement of faith adopted).
RESOLVED, our signatures below indicate that we adopt the above covenant in its entirety and without qualification and dedicate ourselves to support this local church body.