Church Covenant
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Our church covenant consists of a preamble and seven promises. The preamble sets forth the essential preconditions for membership, and the promises define what it means to be a member.

The preamble declares that to be a member of Moyock Baptist, you must first be a Christian, and you must have been baptized. The technical term for this is "regenerate church membership". That means that no one can be a church member who doesn't, first, have a saving relationship with Jesus Christ.

And, the preamble declares that one must "desire to join together" to become a member of Moyock Baptist. Membership is based on freely given consent, not on a geographic address. We're a congregation, not a parish.

The first promise is to "pursue spiritual maturity". No one masters Christianity. No matter how long nor how well we've been following Jesus, there always remain more to learn, and more to obey. We pledge to continue growing toward a goal of spiritual maturity, and we pledge to do it together, through worship, Bible study, and discipleship activities.

The second promise is to "order our lives in accordance with biblical principles of moral and personal integrity." Having integrity means that a person's character is the same, whether he or she is in church, at home, on the job, at school, or in social settings in the community at large. We agree that we won't compartmentalize our lives, with one set of standards for church, and another for everywhere else. And, we agree that we'll define those standards by the teachings of the Bible.

The third promise is to "encourage one another". As Christians, we share a common life. We agree to support one another in times of crisis, and to rejoice with one another in times of celebration. We agree that we will not allow apathy or envy to infect our fellowship.

The fourth promise is to "work together that our church might be an agent of evangelism and ministry in our own community and around the world". The church is not a happy club in a sea of misery. We have been given a job to do by our Lord, and that job is to spread the news and the impact of Christ's kingdom as broadly as we can.

The fifth promise builds on the fourth. We promise to "share in that work with our prayers, our time, our talents, our money, and our reputations." Simply put, there are no spectators in the church. Everyone, form the youngst to the oldest, can contribute something, and we all agree to do so.

The sixth promise has to do with our fellowship. We agree to "work together in an atmosphere of fairness, cooperation, and mutual respect." Our church isn't huge, but it is too big for everyone to be everyone else's best friend. We'll all have people in the church whom we know and like better than others. We agree, however, not to act as if our interests, and those of the people most like us, are the only interests which matter. So, the senior adults have to think about what's best for teenagers, and the teenagers have to remember there are preschoolers in our fellowship, and so on. We agree to work together, to build up the whole church.

Finally, we agree to "seek forgiveness quickly and grant it readily" when our covenant is violated. Christians are fallen people. We are "in treatment", so to speak. We will hurt one another. The church is not based on perfection, but on grace. That's the model of Christ, and it is His example of love that we are trying to imitate.

So, our church covenant is somewhat like a set of wedding vows: promises that bind people into a common life. The only difference is that we don't promise "till death do us part". Naturally, people move, and when they do, we expect them to join another congregation, and enter into a covenant with another family of believers.

But while we're here, and while we're members, the promises of the covenant bind us together as a family of faith, a group of disciples trying our best to follow Jesus, together.