Our Covenant for Life Together

Through the centuries, Christian communities have used a “Rule of Life” as a way to express how they desire to live together. You may be familiar with Benedict’s Rule, one of the most famous. These “Rules of Life” were designed as unique expressions of a particular community’s desire to live out their life together as faithful followers of Jesus Christ. The “Rules” varied in size and scope and dealt with issues ranging from prayer times to meals together to personal interactions.

Recognizing that we are called as a Christian community to be a witness to the world by the way we live, we have created what we call our “Covenant for Life Together” (CFLT), referred to by some churches as a “behavioral covenant”.  Like the “Rule of Life”, these are our unique expression and understanding of how God has called us to live together. The focus in our CFLT is on our interactions with one another. These might be thought of as what one writer refers to as “holy manners”.    Below you will find our CFLT, both a long version and the short version.  Additionally, there are links to download PDF versions of the document.

If you have questions, please contact one of our pastors about these.

Our Covenant For Life Together (Full Version) – Download Here – Our Covenant For Life TogetherCovenant For Life Together

Our
As people reconciled to God and one another by the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, we believe that, empowered by the Holy Spirit, we are called to live together and treat one another in ways that are remarkably different from the ways of the world.

While we recognize the Bible as our only perfect rule for faith, doctrine and conduct, it is at times helpful to collect the Bible’s teachings on a particular topic. Therefore, we enter into this covenant in a spirit of trust and love, promising to God, our brothers and sisters in Christ, and ourselves to commit to a life of love, seeking to be ever in prayer and submission to the Holy Spirit.

By God’s grace we will live a life of love (John 13:34-35) in which we mutually agree that our posture toward one another will be:

Loving
I will treat others as I would like to be treated, giving them respect and courtesy that our King expects of His children. (Matthew 7:12; John 13:34; Romans 12:10)
I will affirm all people, embracing them in love, offering grace without barriers, and building no partitions among the children of God. (Luke 14:12-14; Romans 15:7; Matthew 5:43-48; 2 Corinthians 5:16-17; Galatians 3:26-28)
I will value and affirm each person and their gifts, calling, and contribution as important and as a blessing from God to me and this community. (1 Thessalonians 1:3; 1 Corinthians 12)
I will honor the presence and time of others with my full attention and respect.

Forgiving
I will forgive others as Jesus has forgiven me (Colossians 3:12-13; Ephesians 4:32)

Sacrificial
Recognizing that I am a part of a community and that my choices affect others, I will strive to consider others in my choices and actions. (1 Corinthians 8:9; Romans 14:7; Ephesians 5:21)
I will put the needs of others before my own, living with the heart of a servant. (1 Timothy 3:1- 16 ; Ephesians 5:21; John 13:12-17)
I will commit to not only being inconvenienced, but to be willing to sacrifice my own wants, needs and agendas for the sake of the gospel. (Philippians 2:3-11; 1 Corinthians 10:23-24; 1 Corinthians 8; 1 Corinthians 10:31-11:1; Ephesians 6:7; 1 John 3:16; Romans 14:19-22;)

Peace Loving
I will make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit in the church so that there might not be divisions (Matthew 5:9; Ephesians 4:3; 1 Corinthians 1:10)
I will discipline myself to actively listen to others, and to choose listening over anger. (James 1:19)

Encouraging
In word and deed, I will make positive investments in others’ lives, with the goal of intentionally blessing them. (Hebrews 10:24-25; Ephesians 4:29)
I will encourage others in faithful living, admonishing in love with humility as necessary. Colossians 3:16; Hebrews 10:24-25)
I will care for my brothers and sisters in Christ, remember them in prayer and aiding them in sickness and distress. (1 Peter 4:8-10; Galatians 6:10)

Humble and Approachable
Recognizing that all are sinners and are of diverse opinions, I will be willing to confess my faults and forgive others and will be patient and self-controlled with others, overlooking their faults when there are differences. (Romans 3:23; James 5:16; Romans 14:1-4)
I will not ask questions or make statements in a way that will intimidate or judge. (James 4:11- 12; Matthew 7:12)

Honest
I will speak truthfully to others, seeking to let the Spirit guide me. (Ephesians 4:15; 4:25)

Accepting of disagreement, conflict and evaluation as normal and natural.
When conflicts arise, I will recognize that my relationship with God and my relationship with others cannot be separated. (Matthew 5:23-24; 1 John 2:10-11; 4:19-21)
I will seek to deal constructively with disagreements or conflicts. When I have been offended, I will not strike back. When I have done wrong, I will acknowledge my responsibility. I will pursue the ways of forgiveness and reconciliation, and, as Jesus taught, to do it as quickly as possible. (Matthew 18:15-17; Matthew 5:23-24)
I will strive to make my thoughts captive to the obedience of Christ, expressing criticism and negative feelings directly to the person with whom I disagree, refraining from gossip,and to seek reconciliation as far as possible. (Romans 12:18; 2 Corinthians 10:5)
When there are disagreements, I will not allow others to shift their responsibility to my shoulders, nor will I place my responsibility on others, but be responsible for my part in the conflict. I will involve others appropriately for the purposes of reconciliation. (Titus 3:2; Ephesians 4:31)
I will commit to believe the best about my brothers and sisters, to address and resolve past hurts, and to bear with one another’s limitations. (Matthew 18:15-16; 1 Thessalonians 3:12; Ephesians 4:15)
I will go the extra mile to get through conflict to find understanding on the other side. (Ephesians 4:2; 1 Corinthians 13:5-7)
I will walk hand in hand with my brothers and sisters though we do not see eye to eye. (Colossians 3:14-15)

It is our prayer that as we live this way, we bring glory to God and witness to the world of the incredible love and grace of God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

 

Our Covenant for Life Together (Short Version) – Download Here: Covenant for Life Together (short)

Our Covenant For Life Together

(short version)

 

As people reconciled to God and one another by the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, we believe that, empowered by the Holy Spirit, we are called to live together and treat one another in ways that are remarkably different from the ways of the world.

By God’s grace we will live a life of love (John 13:34-35) in which we mutually agree that our posture toward one another will be:

Loving – I will treat others as I would like to be treated, giving them the respect and courtesy that our King expects of His children. (Matthew 7:12; John 13:34; Romans 12:10)

Forgiving – I will forgive others as Jesus has forgiven me (Colossians 3:12-13; Ephesians 4:32)

Sacrificial – I will live with the heart of a servant, considering others in my choices and actions, putting their needs before my own. (John 13:12-17)

Peace Loving I will make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit in the church so that there might not be divisions (Matthew 5:9; Ephesians 4:3; 1 Corinthians 1:10)

Encouraging In word and deed, I will invest in others’ lives to bless them. (Hebrews 10:24-25; Ephesians 4:29)

Humble and Approachable I will be willing to confess my faults and forgive others and will be patient and self-controlled with others, overlooking their faults when there are differences. (Romans 3:23; James 5:16; Romans 14:1-4)

Honest I will speak truthfully to others, seeking to let the Spirit guide me. (Ephesians 4:15; 4:25)

Accepting of disagreement, conflict and evaluation as normal and natural. I will recognize that my relationship with God and my relationship with others cannot be separated (Matthew 5:23-24; 1 John 2:10-11; 4:19-21) and will go the extra mile to to find understanding on the other side of conflict. (Ephesians 4:2; 1 Corinthians 13:5-7)

It is our prayer that as we live this way, we bring glory to God and witness to the world of the incredible love and grace of God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

 

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