Providence Church worships together under a covenant, or statement on how we agree to live as a church. The church covenant is equal parts promise, summary of expectations, ethical statement, and biblical standard. We summarize how we promise to live together in the covenant. It forms the ethics, or the moral principles, of our worldview and holds out a biblical standard by which we live. Our acceptance of this multifaceted document follows the practice of believers throughout the centuries who have pledged to God and one another to live out the gospel in community.
We use our covenant in two key ways today. We require all new members to sign it before joining the church. We also reaffirm our commitment to the covenant at all members meetings. By featuring the covenant in our life together, we strive to protect ourselves from individual and corporate sin. Of equal importance, we spur one another on to live in light of a greater covenant, one initiated by love, sealed by sacrifice, and kept for eternity by our Savior, Jesus Christ.
Having been led, as I believe, by the Spirit of God to receive Jesus Christ as the Lord and Savior of my life, and on the profession of my faith, having been baptized, I now in the presence of God, solemnly and joyfully covenant the following:
- I will endeavor to maintain family and personal devotion with the Lord through regular Bible reading, prayer, fellowship and practice of the other spiritual disciplines. I commit to educate my children in the Christian faith. My walk with Christ will be evident through my regular participation in the corporate worship services, accountability to other members of the body, and involvement in a life group (Psalm 119:97, 105; Acts 2:42-47; Hebrews 10:23-25).
- I have read and understand the Providence confession and agree to not be divisive to its teaching and content. I also understand the importance of submission to church leadership and will be diligent to preserve unity and peace (Hebrews 13:7, 17; Ephesians 4:1-3)
- I will strive to properly manage the resources God has given me, including my time, body, gifts and talents, attitudes, finances and possessions (Ephesians 5:15-18; Romans 12:1- 2; Ephesians 4:1-16; Galatians 5:22-26; Proverbs 3:9-10). This includes regular giving to Providence that is sacrificial and cheerful (2 Corinthians 8-9).
- I commit to using the spiritual gift(s) God has given me for the building up of the church, both as part of Providence and universally (Ephesians 4:11-16; 1 Peter 4:10-11; Romans 12:1-8; 1Corinthians 12:7-31).
- I covenant to practice the humility and sacrificial attitude of Christ by considering the needs of others (Philippians 2:1-11; 1 Corinthians 13:4-5), not gossiping (Proverbs 16:28, Matthew 18: 15-17), and seeking spiritual friendships (Proverbs 17:17).
- I covenant to follow the biblical procedures of church discipline and submit myself to informal discipline as I strive to live out the gospel in community and formal discipline if the need should ever arise (Matthew 18:15-17; Galatians 6:1-5). If I withdraw from membership while the subject of pending disciplinary action according to Matthew 18:15- 17, I expressly consent and submit to the elders’ continuing authority to complete the disciplinary process.
- I covenant to submit to the authority of the Scriptures as the final arbiter on all issues (Psalm 119; 2 Timothy 3:16-17). God enabling me, I will strive to live according to this Membership Covenant. I understand that it is an evaluative tool, as well as an affirmation of my continuing conviction and purpose. My responsibility will be to notify the Providence leadership if at any time I can no longer commit to this covenant, or if I have any questions, comments, or concerns regarding Providence.
- I will, if or when, upon leaving this church body, unite with a likeminded church where I can carry out the spirit of this covenant.