Pine Grove Church Covenant
Having been brought by Divine Grace to repent and believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and to give up ourselves to Him, and having been baptized upon our profession of faith, in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, we do now, relying on His gracious aid, solemnly and joyfully covenant with the members of Pine Grove Mennonite Church.
- We will work and pray for the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
- We will walk together in brotherly love, as is fitting for the members of a Christian Church.
- We will exercise an affectionate care and watchfulness over each other and faithfully admonish one another as occasion may require.
- We will not forsake the assembling of ourselves together, nor neglect to pray for ourselves and others.
- We will endeavor to bring up those under our care, in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, and by a pure and loving example to seek the salvation of our family and friends.
- We will rejoice at each other’s happiness and strive with tenderness and sympathy to bear each other’s burdens and sorrows.
- We will seek, by Divine aid, to live carefully in the world, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, and remembering that, as we have been voluntarily buried by baptism and raised again from the symbolic grave, so there is on us a special obligation now to lead a new and holy life.
- We will work together for the continuance of a faithful evangelical ministry in this church, as we sustain its worship, ordinances, discipline, and doctrines. We will contribute cheerfully and regularly to the support of the ministry, the expenses of the church, the relief of the poor, and the spread of the Gospel through all nations.
- We will, when we move from this place, as soon as possible unite with some other church where we can carry out the spirit of this covenant and the principles of God’s Word.
- May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with us all. Amen.
* Much of this covenant article originated from the Southern Baptist Convention and has been revised.
What Does Our Church Covenant Say?
To help understand our church covenant I have divided it into three parts. First, the introduction; second, the promises; third, the benediction.
- First, the covenant is to be made by Christians. Borrowing Jesus’ words from the opening verses of Mark, the Pine Grove covenant is to be made by those who “repent and believe” in Jesus Christ.
- Second, the covenant is to be made by baptized Christians.The church covenant is to be made by those who have been baptized upon their “profession of faith.” In other words, those who have been baptized as believers.
- Third, the covenant can only be kept with God’s help—“relying on His gracious aid.” Any ability we have to fulfill the promises of the Pine Grove covenant is attributed to the work of the Holy Spirit, not us! This means first that we can do all things through Christ Jesus our Lord, and second, that we should have no reason to be proud of spiritual success in our lives. God gets all the credit and all the glory.
- We will work and pray for the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.We should pray that God’s peace would show itself in the body as a whole. Whether we are gathering for a Sunday morning service, or thinking through matters of church business at a members’ meeting, we are to pray that the Holy Spirit would move us together, in the same direction. Unity can be a fragile thing.
- Exercise an affectionate care and watchfulness over each other and faithfully admonish and entreat one another as occasion may require.Are we bearing each other’s burdens? Are we looking out for each other? Are we challenging each other when we sin? Are we entreating one another to a holy walk?
- Do not forsake the assembling of ourselves together.Christians don’t meet simply so they can be blessed; we meet so that the church can glorify God. As we learn about Scripture together, praise God together, pray together and serve together, Christ’s bride is being made ready for her bridegroom. So we’re not here merely to have our own needs met. Attending regularly is vital because it is the first step toward being held accountable. If you are not attending regularly (maybe you’ve moved, maybe you’ve become ill, maybe you have left for school, maybe you’ve simply chosen to attend another church) LET SOMEBODY KNOW . . . preferably the pastor. Non-attendance is almost always either a portal to sin or a reflection of sin.
- Do not neglect to pray for ourselves and others. In our personal time with our Father we are to pray that He would help us to become like Jesus. We are to pray that He would strengthen us to do His work. We are to pray for His direction. We are also to pray for others, that His Spirit would be at work in them.
- Bring up those under our care . . . Maybe it’s our children or the children we have a special commitment to; maybe it is that brother or sister you are praying with each week. We covenant together to be a part of one another’s lives. Discipleship or spiritual mentoring should be a daily goal.
- Seek the salvation of family and friends. The life we live during the week is to include sharing the Good News with family and friends. The proclamation of the Gospel is so important that we covenant together in order to encourage each of us to share our faith.
- Rejoice at each other’s happiness. In a world of envy, jealousy and greed, we are called to see other’s happiness and praise God for it.
- Bear each other’s burdens and sorrows.God did not design us to go through difficulty alone. As this promise from Galatians 6 points out, God ministers to us through others. One of the best ways we can be an example to the world is through being faithful brothers and sisters in Christ to one another.
- Live carefully in the world, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts.One of the reasons we covenant together is because we realize that we could use some help with our own Christian walk with God.
- Support the ministry of the church.Through prayer, commitment to biblical teaching, finances and other means, each individual member has an important role in supporting the church body.
- Evangelize. “The spread of the gospel to all nations.” Evangelism can take place in many ways. One of the most obvious ways is by us sharing the Gospel with unbelievers. We are called to do that by the church covenant. I think that this church covenant also calls us to evangelize in another way. God will show the world who He is through the church. We are a corporate witness, a display of God’s holiness, by His grace. Therefore, how we serve together and love together is a means God uses to communicate the Good News to a lost world. We see this in John 13:34, where Jesus shows His master plan for evangelism: “A new command I give you: love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” Get this point: we’re not just individuals assembling in the same spot. God intends us to be one body! And that alone can be an evangelistic tool.
- When we move, we will unite with some other church.Membership isn’t about a particular affection for one group of Christians. Membership is about unity with the body of Christians God has physically placed you around. You are building the local church as you willingly transfer your membership. We all look forward to being together in heaven. Until then, we divide and conquer for the Kingdom of God.
2 Corinthians 13:14: “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. “ We are a people who possess the grace of Jesus Christ, the saving love of our heavenly Father, union with His Son, and unity with all the family of God through the Holy Spirit.
*Much of this covenant article originated from the Southern Baptist Convention and has been revised.