Privilege or Responsibility: What is covenant membership?
Membership in a local church is not about privilege, being an insider or attending church meetings. Rather, membership in the local church is about covenanting with others in the church as a community of faith on a unique and common mission, together. We covenant as family to mutually care for one another, and to declare and demonstrate the gospel together in Austin and beyond. We covenant with one another to edify one another in the gospel, to grow in knowing one another more deeply, to speak hard things graciously, to identify and grow in our respective roles and giftings, to extend grace and understanding to one another when in tension and to seek reconciliation when we find ourselves in conflict. In short, when we become covenant members, each covenant member says to the other, "We are with you, and we are for you."
What you'll notice about all of the above is that it is the general call of all believers. We ask nothing that is outside of the biblical norms for Christians as they relate to one another. But the truth is that in our American church context, this is very countercultural. And we have found that we need to state openly who we are and covenant together in pursuing biblical maturity.
By becoming a covenant member at New City Church you are committing to be part of our spiritual family that will provide support and encouragement in your walk with Christ. Our elders and leadership pledge to assist our Covenant Members first and foremost, by providing care and counsel as well as pray, teach and guide as necessary.
We hope that as the Lord leads, you will take the following steps by covenanting with us to be part of the New City Church family.
Path to Covenant Membership
There are three parts to Covenant Membership at New City:
- Participate in the Gospel Class
The Gospel Class covers 1) the historical redeeming story of God in Christ, reconciling the world and seeing it's renewal complete and 2) how those truths are understood and practiced in the local church, specifically at New City. We believe that providing an overview of the story of God and what that means for the local church and New City will greatly aid anyone and everyone seeking to know more about Christ and His Church. This class is not an apologetics class to teach you how to share the gospel primarily, but rather it is to help you understand and live out the gospel while giving you a gospel centered framework to understand life around you. The Gospel Class will be held quarterly.
We believe and practice credo-baptism at New City, which means we believe that after professing faith and trust in Jesus Christ for salvation, we are called to be baptized as a profession of our faith and our allegiance to Christ who himself was baptized. If you are a professing Christian and you have not been baptized after your confession, we are happy to discuss being baptized with us. If you have been baptized already following a confession of faith, then you do not need to be baptized again. If you have questions about baptism or would like to be baptized, please email Pastor Jacob Vanhorn.
- Covenant Signing
After the Gospel Class, each attendee that desires Covenant Membership at New City will be given the opportunity to talk with their Community Group leader about any questions they have about the story of God, the local church and/or New City. New City leadership will explain the covenant and we will have a covenant signing lunch and communion within a few weeks of the class.
If you desire further information about Covenant Membership, you can email Pastor Jacob Vanhorn.