New Hope's Relational Covenant
As more and more of the churches in our classis develop relational covenants we will post them on this site. Here is one hot off the press from New Hope Community Church:
We believe that each of us belongs to this church by God's design. We embrace the knowledge that we are reconciled to God by the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ and that the Holy Spirit is transforming us to be like Christ. We believe conflict is a normal, natural and a healthy part of Christian life. We believe we are to treat one another with love, dignity and respect and to humbly allow the Holy Spirit and Biblical principles to guide us in thought, word and deed.
Therefore, we pledge to honor God and commit to this Relational Covenant, to a life together where:
We recognize Jesus Christ as both the cornerstone and the head of the Church and we willingly sacrifice our own desires to those of our risen Lord in order to become the body He desires us to be.
For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and in Christ you have been brought to fullness. He is the head over every power and authority. Colossians 2:9-10 (NIV)
We accept disagreement, conflict and evaluation as normal and natural. In this regard, we will seek to deal constructively with disagreements and conflicts by practicing Matthew 18:15-17.
Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift. Matthew 5:23-24 (NIV)
We believe conflict provides us with opportunities to glorify God, serve other people and grow to be more Christ-like. When dealing with conflict we will practice peacemaking skills and utilize our Peacemaking Ministry when assistance is needed.
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. James 1:2-4 (NIV)
We value each other as gifts from God, make our thoughts obedient to Christ, take negative feelings to God in prayer and practice grace.
Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Colossians 3:12-14 (NIV)
We support and encourage one another, listening with an open mind to the opinions, ideas, and concerns of others. When we have a disagreement or criticism, we will communicate directly with that person, speaking for ourselves only and responding with thoughtfulness and sensitivity.
Finally, brothers and sisters, rejoice! Strive for full restoration, encourage one another, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you. 2 Corinthians 13:11 (NIV)
We seek to practice these spiritual disciplines, on a daily basis, to guide us in ways that are remarkably different from the ways of the world, in an effort to cultivate a culture of peace and harmony in our church and in our everyday lives.