But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are God's people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.
(1 Peter 2:9-10 ESV)
Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood.
(Acts 20:28 ESV)
I appeal to you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment.
(1 Corinthians 1:10 ESV)
When a person enters into covenant relationship with God, by grace through faith in the person and work of Jesus Christ, they are not merely embarking upon an individual endeavor. It is tempting for believers to think that the journey of the Christian life is one that they can do on their own. However, Scripture clearly reveals God’s desire to draw a people unto Himself, and the necessity for believers to seek covenant relationship with His people (1 Corinthians 12:12-27). God established the local church as the context through which believers journey together. Partnership with a local church is an official recognition of this communal journey.
The purposes of the Vintage Church Covenant are:
- To form unity through authentic community that reflects the relationship between the Father, Son and Spirit.
- To clarify the responsibilities and blessings of being a church partner.
- To encourage consistency, accountability, and unity within the church body.
- To accomplish God’s call for the Vintage Church family.
The Vintage Church Covenant is established to build accountability within the body of believers. The covenant is not intended to make new rules for the church, but to help reinforce existing Biblical principles. This agreement does not imply that partners will never fall short of the goals, but that the desire of their heart is to fulfill each of the responsibilities stated to the best of their ability. We trust that each partner's commitment will be a personal blessing to their own journey with Christ, as well as a blessing to those around each partner.
Each partner of Vintage Church agrees to the following covenant:
Vintage Church Covenant
With the empowering of the Holy Spirit, I covenant the following:
I am a Christian who has been saved from my sins by the grace of Jesus Christ.
I have been baptized to give testimony of my identification with the body of Christ and obedience to the Scriptures. ____ yes ____ no
(If yes, as an infant or professed believer?)____________________________________
(If no, why not?)__________________________________________________________
(Note: The Baptist Faith and Message 2000 includes the following statement about baptism: "Christian baptism is the immersion of a believer in water in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit...Being a church ordinance, it is prerequisite to the privileges of church membership.")
I have read and understand the The Baptist Faith and Message 2000 (http://www.sbc.net/bfm2000/bfm2000.asp) and agree not to be divisive to its teaching. I also understand the importance of submission to church leadership and will be diligent to preserve unity and peace (Heb. 13:7, 17; Eph. 4:1-3).
I covenant to maintain a close relationship with the Lord through regular personal Bible reading, prayer, fellowship, and practice of other spiritual disciplines. My journey with Christ will be evident through my regular participation in a Missional Community, corporate worship services, and consistent involvement in other church-related endeavors. (Ps. 119:97, 105; Acts 2:42-47; Heb. 10:23-25).
I covenant to properly manage the resources God has given me, including my time, body, gifts, talents, attitudes, finances, and possessions (Eph. 5:15-18; Rom. 12:1-2; Eph. 4:1-16; Gal. 5:23-26; Prov. 3:9-10). This includes regular giving to Vintage Church that is sacrificial and cheerful (2 Cor. 8 & 9).
I covenant myself to the Vintage Church family and agree to aid in fulfilling its missional purpose to both demonstrate and proclaim the gospel to DeSoto county and beyond.
I covenant to use the spiritual gift(s) God has given to me for the building up of the church (1 Pet. 4:10-11; Rom. 12:1-8; 1 Cor. 12:7-31).
I covenant to practice the humility and sacrificial attitude of Christ by considering the needs of others (Phil. 2:1-11), not gossiping (Prov. 16:28; Matt. 18:15-17), and seeking spiritual friendship (Prov. 17:17).
I covenant to have friendly Christian relationships with brothers and sisters in Christ from other churches, but I will not function in leadership or as a member in another church family (Heb. 13:17).
I covenant to follow the biblical procedures of church discipline and submit myself to discipline if the need should ever arise (Matt. 18:15-17; Gal. 6:1-5).
I covenant to submit to the authority of the Scriptures as the final arbiter on all issues (Ps. 119; 2 Tim. 3:16-17).
God enabling me, I will strive to consider my commitment to this Vintage Church Covenant on a yearly basis. 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 elders if at any time I can no longer commit to this covenant, or if I have questions, comments, or concerns regarding Vintage Church.