This Sunday my church, West Bradenton Baptist, adopted a new constitution, covenant, and bylaws. Throughout the process of writing the document, our leadership teams researched several different examples of covenants. There were some good ones, but many covenants do not directly address expectations of church members and expectations of pastors. If your church is looking for an example of a church covenant, then feel free to use ours as a starting point.
Throughout the Old Testament and New Testament, there is a clearly defined community of God. God creates a covenant relationship with His people. This covenant was first established with the people of Israel through Abraham, and then God established a new covenant with His people, the church, through Christ. As members of God’s covenant family at West Bradenton Baptist Church, we commit to Christ and to each other. We commit to the truthfulness of Scripture. We commit to the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
Expectations of Church Members
As a member, I commit to the body of Christ, the church (1 Corinthians 12:27; Romans 12:4-5). As a member at West Bradenton Baptist Church, I will fulfill the following expectations:
- I will worship the one true God with other West Bradenton Baptist church members for as long as I am physically able (Hebrews 10:24-25; Romans 12:1). The goal of my regular weekly worship is to give God glory (Romans 11:36; Hebrews 13:15).
- 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 (Acts 2:44-47; 2 Timothy 3:16-17).
- I will serve Christ through the mission work of West Bradenton Baptist Church. I am created to serve others through good works (Ephesians 2:10; 1 Peter 4:10). I am commanded by God to make disciples of every nation, tribe, people, and language through the local church (Matthew 28:16-20; Revelation 7:9). I will support the church’s mission to go to the ends of the earth to share the gospel (Acts 1:8).
- I will give to God abundantly and joyfully, recognizing God as the owner of all things (Proverbs 3:9; Psalm 24:1). Giving my tithe and time to God brings me closer to Him (Malachi 3:10; Matthew 6:19-24).
- 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 (Ephesians 4:1-6; 1 Peter 3:8-9). I will guard the reputation of the church and submit to discipline for any sin problems in my life (Matthew 18:15-20).
- I will pray for and follow the leadership of West Bradenton Baptist Church (Hebrews 13:17-18). 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.
- I will sacrifice by serving first, following the servant model of Jesus Christ (Mark 10:45). I will make my attitude that of Christ and through humility make the gospel my priority (Philippians 2:5-11).
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.
Expectations of Pastors
I commit as a pastor within the body of Christ to join West Bradenton Baptist Church in fulfilling the expectations of church members in the above section. Additionally, I commit to the following expectations:
- I will seek God’s guidance for West Bradenton Baptist Church in order to steward resources entrusted to the church in a way that gives God glory (Acts 20:28; 1 Peter 5:1-4).
- I will care for the church and lead with grace, truth, and love (Matthew 28:16-20; Ephesians 4:15-16; James 5:14; Colossians 1:28).
- I will teach all of God’s Word at all costs (1 Timothy 4:1-5; 2 Timothy 3:16-17).
- I will equip members of the church for the work of ministry (Ephesians 4:11-16).
- I will protect the doctrine of West Bradenton Baptist, and I will guard the church against false teachers and false teaching (Acts 20:28; Matthew 7:15; 1 Timothy 1:3-7).
- I will act in a way that is above reproach, making my family the priority of my ministry (1 Timothy 3:1-7). I understand the way I live will affect the church I lead, and I will live in a way that elevates the reputation of West Bradenton Baptist Church.
- I will lead the church in exercising discipline in a way that is gracious and loving, protecting the health of the church as a whole (James 5:19-20; Matthew 18:15-20; 1 Corinthians 5; Galatians 6:1).