A church covenant encapsulates many things. It’s a promise, a summary of expectations, an ethical statement, and a biblical standard.
We hold that the way we live flows from what we believe. Whereas a doctrinal statement marks out the beliefs of our community, a church covenant marks out the ethics of our community. Our acceptance of this multifaceted document follows the practice of Christians throughout the centuries who have pledged to God and one another to live out the gospel in community.
We use our covenant in two key ways. We require all new members to sign it before joining the church. This “defines the relationship” for all and gives us a “game plan” for how we follow Jesus together. We also reaffirm our commitment to the covenant at all members meetings, when we stand as a body and recommit ourselves to it, and before taking the Lord’s Supper together. By keeping our covenant at the center of our life together, we strive to maintain unity and purity both individually and corporately. Of equal importance, we spur one another on to live in light of a greater covenant – one initiated by love, sealed by sacrifice, and kept for eternity by our Savior, Jesus Christ.
Mount Hope Church Covenant
Having, as we trust, been brought by Divine Grace to repent and believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and to give up ourselves to Him, and having been baptized upon our profession of faith, in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, we do now, relying on His gracious aid, solemnly and joyfully renew our covenant with each other.
We will work and pray for the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
We will walk together in brotherly love, as becomes the members of a Christian Church, exercise an affectionate care and watchfulness over each other and faithfully admonish and entreat one another as occasion may require.
We will not forsake the assembling of ourselves together, nor neglect to pray for ourselves and others.
We will endeavor to bring up such as may at any time be under our care, in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, and by a pure and loving example to seek the salvation of our family and friends.
We will rejoice at each other’s happiness and endeavor with tenderness and sympathy to bear each other’s burdens and sorrows.
We will seek, by Divine aid, to live carefully in the world, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, and remembering that, as we have been voluntarily buried by baptism and raised again from the symbolic grave, so there is on us a special obligation now to lead a new and holy life.
We will work together for the continuance of a faithful evangelical ministry in this church, as we sustain its worship, ordinances, discipline, and doctrines. We will contribute cheerfully and regularly to the support of the ministry, the expenses of the church, the relief of the poor, and the spread of the Gospel through all nations.
We will, when 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 principles 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.