Lighthouse Christian Fellowship Covenant
We, the family of Lighthouse Christian Fellowship, enter into covenant with God and one another to live lives worthy of our calling. For as long as we are called to Lighthouse, we hereby promise that by the grace of God, we will…
live in deep relationship with God;
- To seek to know God deeply (John 17:3)
- To strive to life a life of holiness (Hebrews 12:14)
- To seek forgiveness and restoration when I fall (1 John 1:9)
love well the family of Lighthouse;
- To maintain right relationships with my fellow believers (Matthew 5:23 – 24)
- To maintain a spirit of love, acceptance, and forgiveness (Ephesians 4:32)
- To be attentive to the needs and concerns of my brothers and sisters (Acts 2:44 – 45)
and serve and support the ministries of Lighthouse
- To use my gifts, abilities, and resources to support the ministries of Lighthouse Christian Fellowship (1 Peter 4:10)
Frequently Asked Questions
What is covenant membership?
First, a covenant is a binding agreement between at least two parties. In the Bible, we learn that covenant is God’s way of establishing deep relationship with His people. For instance, God made the covenant of the rainbow with Noah, the covenant of circumcision with Abraham, and the Sinaitic covenant with Moses and the people of Israel. In these covenants, there were several ingredients:
- stipulations or conditions
- signs of the covenant
God’s people also used the concept of covenant to establish agreements and commitments with one another. In Joshua 24, Joshua called the people of Israel to make a fresh covenant with God, calling them to faithfulness in their service to the Lord. In 1 Samuel 20, David and Jonathan made a covenant together in which Jonathan pledged his love for David and David committed to show kindness to Jonathan and his family. In Nehemiah 9 and 10, the newly returned exiles covenant with God and with one another to maintain the spiritual and physical integrity of their new community by loving and serving one another well. The point? Throughout the Bible, covenant is the way in which God made agreements with His people, and through which God’s people made agreements with one another.
At Lighthouse, Covenant Membership is a vehicle whereby we commit to walk deeply with God and with one another. Covenant Membership is an agreement in which we voice our commitment and love to God and to one another.
Why should we have covenant membership?
First, it is a good thing for God’s people to voice their commitment to Him and to one another.
Second, covenant membership is a corrective to a modern tendency among Western Christians to “do what is right in their own eyes.” In establishing covenant with one another, we are committing to some basic Christian concepts which are clearly Biblical and significant for our relationships with God and one another.
Third, covenant membership provides a starting point for those who are not yet a part of Lighthouse to begin walking deeply with us. It clearly communicates their desire to be a part of Lighthouse.
Fourth, for newcomers, the covenant membership process will begin with a Discovery Class which will enable them to understand what being a part of a local fellowship means.
Fifth, covenant membership provides a foundation that is helpful for the elders of a church to lead effectively. When matters such as commitment, sin, relational matters, or areas of service and stewardship need to be addressed, the elders have greater freedom to address these matters in the lives of those who have entered into covenant together. With the responsibility and accountability of covenant membership also come the pastoral and community care that is given to those who have placed themselves firmly and concretely within the local church through membership. Your participation in covenant membership makes clear your intention to place yourself under both the leadership and loving care of the elders and community at large at Lighthouse.
How long does covenant membership last?
The covenant of membership at Lighthouse is a covenant of grace, and lasts as long as the Spirit leads you to be a part of the Lighthouse community. We recognize that the Spirit may lead you to fellowship elsewhere, and we graciously endorse obedience to such leading. However, we also recognize that God does not lead the believer to abandon fellowship completely, nor to leave a church in order to avoid repentance; and we do not believe that the covenant should be forsaken in these circumstances.
Who can participate in covenant membership?
Any baptized believer can participate in covenant membership. Children who are living under the authority of their parents can be included in the covenant with their parents. Adult children should make their own decision to participate or refrain.
How do I become a covenant member?
Beginning in January 2011, those who would like to join can do so by completing the Discovery Class, which will be offered on a regular basis to newcomers and those seeking more information about the church.
Some clarification on “membership” and other terms:
We agree with many of the concepts of “Church membership”, but are choosing to use different terminology to describe both the commitment and the process.
The Bible uses the term “member” to describe the unique relationship that believers have with Christ and with one another. Christ is the head, and believers are the “members”, or essential parts of the body. Each member of the body is important. Each member must stay connected to the source and to the other members.
We are not using the traditional term “church member” because we believe that we become a member of the Church when we receive Christ as our Lord and Savior. At that point, we are united to Christ and each other.
Joining the church
We are not using the phrase “join the church”. All believers are already members of the church. Therefore, it seems inappropriate to ask them to join the church.
We are using the term “covenant member” because we are entering into a verbal covenant with one another to worship together, to walk together, and to serve together. We are members of one another, united by our common faith, common experience, and common inheritance.
Note: This is not a “forever covenant”. This is a covenant of the Spirit, who may lead individuals/families differently at some point.
Why “Covenant Membership” Matters:
Covenant membership is an important step in which we express openly what the Spirit is doing in our heart.
When we are lead by the Spirit to practice our life with a local fellowship, it is important that we declare openly what God has put in our hearts. Since we are unable to read one another’s mind, publicly entering into a covenant relationship expresses to others in the body of Christ our willingness to love and serve within a local congregation.
Covenant membership provides a starting point for newcomers.
We believe that it is important for people to have an entry point into life at Lighthouse. We have heard many newcomers ask the question, “How do we get involved at Lighthouse? How do we get started?”. Having the covenant membership process points people to the starting line.
Covenant membership teaches us to be committed to a local body of believers.
In recent years, it has become customary for believers to drift from congregation to congregation. Sometimes, this was a product of having no commitment to a local gathering. Sometimes, this resulted from poor relationships or a response to disagreements. We believe that through the process of covenant membership, we will help believers to deepen their commitment to one another.
Covenant membership encourages us to be devoted to one another.
Throughout the New Testament, there are numerous “one another” commandments. We believe that these statements are inspired by God and should be taken seriously.
Covenant membership enhances the discipleship process for those who choose to unite with Lighthouse.
The first step in the covenant membership process is the Discovery Class. The Discover Class will teach the basics of life at Lighthouse. In the class, we will discuss the importance of life groups and the significance of being involved in ministry in life groups and possibly as part of a ministry team. We will highlight the core values of Lighthouse, so that covenant members will understand the essentials of life at Lighthouse.
Covenant membership helps enable the elders to lead Lighthouse effectively.
When people have chosen to unite with a local fellowship, they are openly choosing to submit to the leadership of that fellowship. This gives the elders a “green light” to lovingly speak into the lives of those believers. When matters such as commitment, sin, relational matters, or areas of service need to be addressed, the elders have greater freedom to address these matters in the lives of those who have united with Lighthouse.