Our Covenant Membership
Sovereign Hope Church desires to spread a passion for God in Christ for the joy of all peoples. This begins at home in our local church body. We love our church body and each of its unique parts: its people. Because of this love, the Elders desire to accomplish three specific things through Covenant Membership:
We desire to spread a passion for truth about God in Christ, which means we want to establish and clarify doctrine and teaching for Sovereign Hope Church.
We believe in a mutual covenant between the shepherds and sheep at Sovereign Hope Church. This covenant is not one-sided. It is mutual. Therefore, we want to establish and clarify the Biblical expectations and responsibilities for both the Elders and the unique members of our church body.
We anticipate years of ministry fruitfulness and believe Covenant Membership will help us all reflect on where we’ve been and where we desire to go as a church body.
What is the Church?
The Church is the sum total of all true believers who trust and follow Christ. Often described in the Bible as the Bride of Christ (Revelation 21:2), the Body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:12-31) and the House of God (Ephesians 2:19), the Church exists as the fullness of Christ and, thus, the sole entity through which God is sovereignly accomplishing His redemptive purpose in the world.
From the beginning of time, God has chosen people and called them to display His glory in a beautiful story of redemption throughout history. We eagerly await the day when Christ, our King, returns physically and personally. Because He is the Sovereign King and because His Return is our singular hope, we chose to call our church body “Sovereign Hope.” When He does return, all things will be made right, the curse of sin and death (Genesis 3) will be completely undone and the Gospel will have its ultimate victory.
In the meantime, God displays His glory and fame through the Church (2 Corinthians 5:17-20). Therefore, the privilege to covenant with a local church body is a tremendous one. It comes with serious decisions to make. This is not like signing up for a team or a class. It is a sacred and weighty commitment to partner with faithful Christian brothers and sisters in the fight against our enemy and his dark influence on this fallen world.
The plain and simple truth is that we, believers, need each other desperately. The Church is Christ’s Body, comprised of many body members working together, sacrificing for each other and appreciating the giftedness of one another (1 Corinthians 12:21; Romans 12:3-8).
Sovereign Hope Church is a picture of the larger family of God, united in love for Christ and for one another as we live out the Gospel together (Ephesians 4:1).
What is the basis for our Covenant?
A covenant is a promise between two or more parties. In Scripture, there are many covenants made. Some are made between God and man (Genesis 6, 9, 15; Ezekiel 20; Hosea 2; Jeremiah 31; Matthew 26). Others are made between two or more people. In some covenants, only one person commits, whereas most covenants involve both parties fulfilling responsibilities in a two-sided promise, or agreement.
The Gospel was an amazing and glorious one-sided covenant between God and His people, the Church. Christ alone satisfied both parties’ obligations in the agreement, suffering our violation of the covenant. Praise God for His amazing grace in establishing an unconditional covenant of love with His people!
The local church body, however, requires a two-sided promise, both between members and also between the Elders and the members. There are conditions to be met by both parties within this agreement. If either party intentionally acts unfaithfully to the conditions, the other is freed from maintaining their end of the promise.
Sovereign Hope Church enjoys a sweet Membership Covenant requiring both parties’ full submission to God’s Word: nothing more than what Christ Himself demands from each and every one of His followers.
If a covenant member feels either side of the covenant is not being met, whether by the body or the leaders, that member is called by God’s Word to express these concerns to the church leaders with humility and love. If the Elders of Sovereign Hope Church express disobedience and unwillingness to maintain covenant faithfulness, that covenant member is free to pursue membership with another local body. Likewise, the Elders possess the same right.
The primary goal of covenant membership is to establish, between all members of Sovereign Hope Church, the mutual obligation and responsibility we share as Christians to the Word of God, both for the glory of God and also the good of the Church.
To view the full Covenenat Membership agreement, click here
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