Why Covenant Membership?

Why does South Lakes make such a big deal of membership? Why does South Lakes make me take a class to even become a member? Why are they making me sign a covenant? People often ask these questions about our membership process, skeptical as to why there seems to be such an emphasis on membership.

It’s true. We take membership seriously. Committing yourself to a body of believers should always be a carefully made decision. But it’s also wonderful. When Covenant Members join, they commit to a spiritual family that provides encouragement and support. They are called to a biblical degree of responsibility, service and sacrifice to their brothers and sisters. Our elders and leaders also pledge to assist our Covenant Members with care, counsel, prayer and teaching.

As members of SOUTH LAKES, we affirm this covenant with one another by God's grace, for our good, and ultimately, for God's glory.

Having been bought by divine grace to repent and believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, we surrender our lives to Him. We are baptized as the body of Christ in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. We, as Christians, covenant together to glorify God and make disciples of all nations.

As His church, we will draw near to God through corporate worship, delighting in the glory of God and depending on His presence. Through community, teaching, study, and worship, we will grow in the knowledge of God. We submit to the Word of God as the all-sufficient authority in our lives and His church.

We will regularly participate in communion, as we intently and joyfully remember the work of Christ on the cross. Celebrating His present work at the Father's right hand, while joyfully anticipating His return.

Together, we will continually motivate one another toward love and good deeds. We commit to consistently meeting together as a community, regularly praying for each other, and serving one another selflessly. We will share each other's joys and bear each other's burdens. We will encourage one another through our speech and with our example. In accordance with the New Testament understanding of discipline and restoration, we will humbly and gently confront one another and receive correction. We will cheerfully and generously give to the support of the church, provide relief to the poor, and spread the Gospel throughout all nations.

We will submit to the leadership of elders, who have been entrusted by God to serve and care for this body. Elders do this by preaching and teaching the Word of God and modeling the character of Christ. We will affirm deacons as leading servants of the church. If we move from this local body, we will, as soon as possible, unite with another local church where we can continue to 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.