An Example of a Brief Church Covenant

I recently posted an article that gave an example of a covenant pastors can make with their churches. It is what the pastors use at my church.  

Several commenters pointed out it was a one-way covenant, which is true. What was not included in that article was how all church members, pastors included, covenant with each other. My church has two covenants. The first is between all members, pastors included. The second is a commitment pastors make to the church. 

The example below is our first covenant, one between all members. It is intentionally brief. The purpose of the covenant is to make clear our seven expectations of membership. The “I will” statements are important because they make explicit the actions and behavior expected of members.

Since it is specific to our church, many of you may not agree with every part of every point. But if you are looking for an example covenant as a starting point for your church, you may use this one. 

As a member of West Bradenton Baptist Church, I will fulfill the following expectations:

  1. I will worship the one true God with other West Bradenton Baptist church members for as long as I am physically able. The goal of my regular weekly worship is to give God glory.
  1. I will grow spiritually through regular involvement in groups and classes at West Bradenton Baptist Church in addition to regular personal devotional times. I understand the purpose of these groups and classes is building community with other believers and holding each other accountable.
  1. I will serve Christ through the mission work of West Bradenton Baptist Church. I am created to serve others through good works. I am commanded by God to make disciples of every nation, tribe, people, and language through the local church. I will support the church’s mission to share the gospel from the local neighborhood to the ends of the earth.
  1. I will give to God abundantly and joyfully, recognizing God as the owner of all things. Giving my tithe and time to God brings me closer to Him.
  1. I will seek unity with other church members. I recognize God’s design for the church is unity in diversity, and I will put the interests of others above my personal preferences. I will guard the reputation of the church and submit to discipline for any sin problems in my life.
  1. I will pray for and submit to the leadership of West Bradenton Baptist Church. I will pray privately and with the church corporately. I will pray for people to accept Christ, and I will pray for more disciples to grow in their faith.
  1. I will share the good news of Jesus with others. I will make my attitude that of Christ and, through humility, make the gospel my priority through selfless, good works and evangelism.

With Christ as my Lord and Savior, being baptized by immersion after my salvation, being led by the Holy Spirit, and being in agreement with West Bradenton Baptist Church’s covenant, doctrine, and leadership, I joyfully unite with the church and commit myself to God and the other members.

Posted on January 19, 2021

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4 Comments

  • Hello,

    I’ll try to express myself although English is not my mother tongue.

    4. I will give to God abundantly and joyfully, recognizing God as the owner of all things. Giving my tithe and time to God brings me closer to Him.

    How can you tell people that giving their tiths brings them closer to God!?
    I am so sorry that you transform what the bible says! Why not say that it would be appreciable to support financially for the costs you have but not say that it brings closer to God.

    Fred from Switzerland.
    May God bless you.

  • Brad Kelley says on

    As a long time ordained servant and a holder of graduate seminary degree, I fail to find biblical support for these covenants, even after extensive research.

  • Thanks for the example Sam! I like the simplicity yet depth of the covenant. Out of curiosity, do you have members sign the covenant? If so, have you experienced any pushback on that? At our church, we have introduced a partnership covenant (using the term partnership as opposed to membership), and the signature was actually a sticking point for a lot of folks. I didn’t see that coming, and was wondering if that’s typical or not? Thanks!

    • Sam Rainer says on

      Andrew, you bring up an excellent point. Personally, I don’t have a problem with churches that require one. But we do not require a signature. The feedback we have received is it makes the covenant feel forced. Enough people have given us the feedback that we decided a signature was not helpful.