HCF Covenant

Here is our covenant for Highland Christian Fellowship:

Highland Christian Fellowship Covenant

As baptized believers in the atoning work of Jesus Christ, indwelled with the Holy Spirit of God, and saved through the grace of the Father, we do now, in the presence of God, and this assembly, enter into covenant with one another as one body in Christ. As we are transformed and empowered by the Holy Spirit, we commit to pursuing a life of obedience to the following biblical principles:

  • Live for Jesus Christ and take His commandments and His commission seriously; to offer our time, energy, money, and prayers to participate in and support local and global efforts to make disciples of all nations (Mk 12:30-1; 16:15; Lk 24:47; Mt 28:19; Acts 1:8).
    • Be family; to be committed to each other; to love, accept, and forgive each other. Help one another grow toward Christian maturity by bearing one another's burdens (Gal 6:2), encouraging one another (1 Th 4:18; Heb 10:25), exhorting one another (Heb 3:13), praying for one another, confessing our sins to one another (Jm 5:16), speaking the truth in love to one another (Eph 4:15), admonishing one another (Col 3:16), building up one another (1 Th 5:11), teaching one another (Col 3:16), comforting one another (1 Cor 13:11), submitting to one another (Eph 5:21), serving one another (Mt 20:27-8), patiently bearing one another (Eph 4:2), regarding one another as more important than ourselves (Rom 12:10), caring for one another (1 Pt 4:10), exercising our spiritual gifts to serve one another (1 Pt 4:10), being kind and tenderhearted to one another (Eph 4:32), forgiving one another (Eph 4:32), and loving one another (Jn 13:34-5). Inviting one another to pray for us, teach us, correct us, or rebuke us, if necessary, in a spirit of gentleness and humility, should we stray from our Lord's commands, because the thing we desire most in life is to glorify God and serve Christ. We voluntarily submit ourselves to one another and to the discipline of the Church.
    • Love, honor, and esteem the pastors/elders and to pray for them. (Gal 6:6; 1 Tim 5:17; Heb 13:17)
    • Support the Church in prayer, talents, offerings, and with other financial support and time as the Lord enables. (Acts 2:44-5; 4:34-5; 1 Cor 16:2; 2 Cor 9:6-7; Gal 6:6;  Jm 5:16; 1 Pt 4:10)
    • Maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace (Eph 4:3) while respecting and sharpening one another in areas of disagreement; preserving purity of biblical doctrine in primary matters of importance (1 Cor 15:3-5; Rom 16:17; 1 Tim 6:3-5) and exercising generous patience, love, and mutual edification in matters of secondary importance and personal conviction (Rom 14; 1 Cor 8, 10:23-33).
    • Unite with some other church, where we can carry out the spirit of this covenant and the principles of God's Word, as soon as possible if we depart from this place.

Church Covenant

Our fellowship spent a good bit of time studying, praying, and discussing the idea of church membership. In the end, we settled on maintaining an annual church covenant instead of the tradition idea of membership. Here is how I recently described it to our body:

It is not a traditional membership list. One does not "join the church" and remain on the list until they join another church. The covenant is simply an expression of what we believe we already are as a local church. We believe that being a part of the body of Christ provides encouragement and accountability through on-going relationships. Being part of such a body is important for our fellowship with God and the completion of our task to make disciples. We consider ourselves part of the larger body of Christ in our communities and in the world. The covenant is an opportunity to affirm our purpose as God's people and our commitment to this local fellowship of the Church. God may lead us to different locations, ministries, and local churches over time, so we renew our covenant each year as God continues to lead us to remain in this fellowship together. It may be that there are some who are unable to affirm this covenant at this time. They are welcome to continue in fellowship and ministry with us, understanding that the purposes, goals, and core doctrines have been clearly articulated.

The Purpose and Vision for Highland Christian Fellowship

On Sunday our church (Highland Christian Fellowship) affirmed our Constitution and Covenant for the first time! They describe who we are and who we hope to be. Included is our purpose and vision:

Our purpose as a local body is to

  1. Love God.
  2. Love people.
  3. Make disciples.

Our vision is to make disciples of all nations by leading people to faith in Jesus Christ and teaching them to walk with him by living in loving obedience to his commandments; to accomplish this

  • by strengthening families in godly marriages and discipleship of children,
  • by building a healthy body active  in individual and corporate prayer and ministry,
  • by serving the poor, sick, imprisoned, and unprotected,
  • by establishing new, reproducing church fellowships, and
  • by participating in and supporting the worldwide effort to make disciples of all nations.