What Does Your Church Covenant Sound Like?


Sometimes on our anniversary, my wife and I re-read our covenant vows to each other. It’s always special. When churches stand and read their church covenant together, there’s no reason it shouldn’t be just as special.

That’s the spirit behind the church covenant below. In 2015, the elders of Osterville Baptist Church adopted a church covenant that combined the biblical thoroughness of many historic covenants, but with the added warmth and eloquence of a wedding vow.

* * * * *

Church Covenant

Being made by God into a holy nation, a royal priesthood, and a people for God’s own choosing,1

we joyfully affirm our covenant together:

Loved dearly by God in Christ Jesus,2

we will love Him who first loved us,
and we will walk in brotherly love,3
by working and praying toward unity,4
by regarding one another as more important than ourselves,5
by bearing with one another’s difficulties,6
by exercising spiritual gifts for one another’s good,7
by admonishing one another with the truth,8
and by putting away all forms of destructive talk.9

Brought together by God,10

we will come together regularly to worship God
and to build one another up11
by participating in song,12
in prayer,
in the Lord’s Supper
and in the reading and preaching of the Holy Scriptures.13

Encouraged by the intercession of the Holy Spirit,14

we will intercede for one another in prayer.15

Called as children of God,

we will treasure our Heavenly Father’s discipline of us,16
by seeking full maturity in Christ,17
by confessing our sins to one another,18
by submitting to the discipline of the church,19
by exercising affectionate care and watchfulness over one another,20
by pleading for the repentance of those who sin against us,21
and by continually forgiving one another.22

Blessed richly in Christ Jesus,

we will contribute our riches and effort cheerfully, regularly, and richly to the support of church ministry,
to the relief of the poor,
and to the spread of the Gospel through all nations.23

Made free from sin by Christ Jesus,

we will live in the world as holy and set apart from it
by denying ungodliness and the passions of the flesh.24

May all Heaven and Earth see God’s manifold wisdom revealed through His church.25 Amen.

1 1 Peter 2:9-10
2 Romans 5:5; Ephesians 2:4, 1 John 4:10
3 Mark 12:29-31; John 13:34-35; Romans 12:10; 1 John 4:11
4 Ephesians 4:3-6
5 Philippians 2:3-11
6 Colossians 3:12-14
7 Romans 12:4-8; 1 Cor 12:12-14:19; Ephesians 4:11-16; 1 Peter 4:10-11
8 Ephesians 4:15, 25; 2 Timothy 3:16-4:2; Hebrews 3:12-13
9 Ephesians 4:25, 31; Colossians 3:8; 1 Peter 2:1
10 1 Peter 2:10
11 Hebrews 10:24-25
12 Ephesians 5:19-20; Colossians 3:16
13 Acts 2:42, 12:12; 1 Timothy 2:1; 2 Timothy 3:16-4:2
14 Romans 8:26
15 2 Corinthians 1:11, 1 essalonians 5:25, James 5:14-15
16 Proverbs 3:11-12; Job 5:17; Hebrews 12:5-11
17 Romans 8:29; 1 Corinthians 14:20; Ephesians 2:10, 4:13; Colossians 1:28 18 James 5:16
19 Matthew 18:15-20
20 Matthew 18:10-14; Luke 17:3
21 Matthew 18:15; Luke 17:3
22 Matthew 18:21-35; Luke 17:3-4; Colossians 3:13
23 Acts 2:44-45, 11:27-30; 2 Corinthians 9:5-7; 1 John 3:17
24 Ephesians 4:22-24; 1 Peter 1:14-16, 2:11-12, 2:16
25 Ephesians 3:10-11

Dave Cook

Dave Cook is the senior pastor of Calvary Baptist Church in Greenwood, Indiana.

9Marks articles are made possible by readers like you. Donate Today.