Church Covenant?

16 02 2010

In most Southern Baptist Churches in some corner of the building or posted on the fellowship hall is the Church Covenant. 

In order to keep this blog fairly short and readable I don’t have time or space to go into all the details of a church covenant other than to say this: I do think it’s biblical for people to write out what they believe and hold one another accountable for their actions.  Obviously a covenant should be based solely on the Bible. To read more about covenants in detail please CLICK HERE.

The main thing I wanted to write about today was this: Did you even realize that your church has a covenant? Do you even know what it says? You see a covenant helps us to keep one another accountable by expressing what it is that a church believes and how a church expects it’s members to live.  It’s not a “legalistic” tool, but rather it is to be used for the type of discipline Jesus spoke of in Matthew 18. CLICK HERE for what a typical SBC Church Covenant says.

When we join a local body of believers shouldn’t we know what it believes? Don’t get a Covenant and a Constitution confused (see one of the links above).  Pastors and other ministers: Are you helping your congregation know what the church expects from them? Of course we should say: “Read the Bible”. But a Covenant helps us write out what the Bible says about our conduct in a shorter, “easier to remember” statement.  There are many SBC churches in the Reformed movement that have covenants that the church recites together before the Lord’s Supper.  In this way, each member can be reminded of what the church expects from them.

Another important reason for a church covenant, as alluded to above, is for use in church discipline.  If you want to bring discipline (for the purpose of reconciliation) against a member who is always gossiping, it is much easier if he or she has already signed a church covenant agreeing to keep certain standards in their walk.

Anyway, please email or comment below for more discussion.  I am interested in other people’s take on this issue… Also, please visit the 9Marks site (the first link above) because they write much better than I do and it will give you some more insight to the history and biblical basis for church covenants…