We are a community of faith that seeks to worship and follow Jesus as the head of our church. We seek to have the gospel at the center of our church life and the Bible as our authority and guide. We believe the teaching of Jesus and the Apostles in the Bible points us toward church membership for our encouragement, protection, and instruction. Below you'll find a more detailed reasoning as to why we practice church membership, the covenant that we make with one another, and the pledge to be a community of peace.
We believe church membership is the normal pattern established by the apostles and presented in the New Testament. The term church in the New Testament usually refers to a specific local church like that at Corinth, Jerusalem, or Rome.
Four indications that Christians identified themselves with a local church:
- The biblical metaphors used to describe local churches: flock, temple, body, and household are used specifically of local churches (Acts 20; Eph. 2; 1 Cor. 12; 1 Tim. 3). Each metaphor draws a distinction of who is part of the church, and who isn’t.
- The meaning of “the whole church.” In 1 Corinthians 14:23, Paul says, “if the whole church comes together in one place…” How would the leaders know if the whole church was present if no identifiable relationship was established?
- The instructions for pastoral oversight and spiritual leadership. Pastors/overseers/shepherds/elders were to care “for all the flock” (Acts 20:28; 1 Tim. 3; Acts 20; Phil. 1:1, Titus 1). Leaders of the churches must have had some listing of believers. Since leaders were accountable for the souls of the flock under their care (Heb. 13:17), they must have had some commitment for their care.
- The meaning of the word join. After the end of Ananias and Sapphire in Acts 5:13, no non-Christians “dared join them (the church), but the people esteemed them high.” The Greek word for join has strong connotations of commitment.
- Church membership recognizes that eternal life is a shared life and that Jesus Christ is a shared savior; He died not just to redeem a person but a people.
- Church membership is not a loose affiliation with a group of Christians; rather, it involves entering into a community of other believers in which you can know others and be known by others.
- Church membership emphasizes the truth that community is the context for change. It provides a tangible context for spiritual growth and accountability.
- Church membership protects against individualistic and consumeristic approaches to the Christian life.
- Church membership values unity and perseverance in working through interpersonal conflicts and struggles.
- Church membership shows the power of the gospel that enables us to get over ourselves so that we can give of ourselves in love to one another.
- Church membership unifies our time, talents, money, gifts, and abilities towards the goal of proclaiming the gospel, making disciples, and planting churches.
- Church membership shows the agreement of belief and ownership to the other members of the church and leaders.
A Covenant Commitment
The term covenant refers to a bond voluntarily entered into by two parties. Throughout Scripture and the history of redemption, the covenant serves a theological model for the relationship shared between God and His people. Covenantal language was used to describe the relationships shared by those who comprised the first church in Jerusalem. “And they devoted themselves to the apostles; teaching and the fellowship, to the breading of bread and prayer.” The Greek term for “fellowship” is koinania. The term speaks to the life shared together by members of the church. A covenant is more personal than a contract and more accountable than a friendship.
A covenant commitment is our way of saying, “In Christ, we stand with one another and we are for one another.”
As members of The Mountain Church we confess that by the grace of God, we have been brought to repent
and believe in the gospel of Jesus Christ. Upon our profession of faith, we have been baptized in the name of
the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit to walk in newness of life. By the gracious help of God, we joyfully commit to
one another and seek to uphold this covenant with each other.
We will strive to have our manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Jesus Christ, with humility, gentleness, and
patience bearing with one another in love, making every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit through the
bond of peace.
We will be kind and compassionate to each other, forgiving one another, just as God has forgiven us in Christ.
We will confess our sins to each other and pray for one another.
We will not forsake gathering together, but will encourage one another. Speaking the truth in love, we will
grow in every way into Christ and seek to build each other up.
We will, by the mercies of God, present our bodies as living sacrifices, holy and acceptable to God, not being
conformed to this world, but being transformed by the renewal of our minds so that we may discern what is the
good, pleasing, and perfect will of God.
We will love one another deeply as brothers and sisters and take the lead in honoring one another. We will
rejoice in hope, be patient in affliction, and constant in prayer. We will rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep
with those who weep.
We will use our freedom in Christ, not as an opportunity for the flesh, but will serve one another through love.
We will walk by the Spirit and seek to bear the fruit of the Spirit. If our brother or sister is caught in any
transgression, we will restore them with a gentle spirit.
We will spur one another toward love and good deeds, and use our spiritual gifts to edify the church.
We will work together for the continuance of a faithful evangelical ministry in this church, as we sustain its
worship, ordinances, discipline, and doctrines. We will contribute cheerfully and regularly to the support of the
ministry, the expenses of the church, the relief of the poor, and the spread of the Gospel through all nations.
We will, if we move from this church, as soon as possible, unite with another local church where we can carry
out the spirit of this covenant and the principles of God’s Word.
May the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be
with us all. Amen.
As people reconciled to God by the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, we believe that we are called to respond to conflict in a way that is remarkably different from the way the world deals with conflict (Matt. 5:9; Luke 6:27–36; Gal. 5:19–26). We also believe that conflict provides opportunities to glorify God, serve other people, and grow to be like Christ (Rom. 8:28–29; 1 Cor. 10:31–11:1; James 1:2–4). Therefore, in response to God’s love and in reliance on his grace, we commit ourselves to responding to conflict according to the following principles.
Instead of focusing on our own desires or dwelling on what others may do, we will rejoice in the Lord and bring him praise by depending on his forgiveness, wisdom, power, and love as we seek to faithfully obey his commands and maintain a loving, merciful, and forgiving attitude (Ps. 37:1-6; Mark 11:25; John 14:15; Rom. 12:17–21; 1 Cor. 10:31; Phil. 4:2–9; Col. 3:1–4; James 3:17–18; 4:1–3; 1 Peter 2:12).
Get the Log Out of Your Own Eye
Instead of blaming others for a conflict or resisting correction, we will trust in God’s mercy and take responsibility for our own contribution to conflicts—confessing our sins to those we have wronged, asking God to help us change any attitudes and habits that lead to conflict, and seeking to repair any harm we have caused (Prov. 28:13; Matt. 7:3–5; Luke 19:8; Col. 3:5–14; 1 John 1:8–9).
Instead of pretending that conflict doesn’t exist or talking about others behind their backs, we will overlook minor offenses or we will talk personally and graciously with those whose offenses seem too serious to overlook, seeking to restore them rather than condemn them. When a conflict with a Christian brother or sister cannot be resolved in private, we will ask others in the body of Christ to help us settle the matter in a biblical manner (Prov. 19:11; Matt. 18:15–20; 1 Cor. 6:1–8; Gal. 6:1–2; Eph. 4:29; 2 Tim. 2:24–26; James 5:9).
Go and Be Reconciled
Instead of accepting premature compromise or allowing relationships to wither, we will actively pursue genuine peace and reconciliation— forgiving others as God, for Christ’s sake, has forgiven us, and seeking just and mutually beneficial solutions to our differences (Matt. 5:23–24; 6:12; 7:12; Eph. 4:1–3, 32; Phil. 2:3–4). By God’s grace, we will apply these principles as a matter of stewardship, realizing that conflict is an opportunity, not an accident. We will remember that success in God’s eyes is not a matter of specific results, but of faithful, dependent obedience. And we will pray that our service as peacemakers will bring praise to our Lord and lead others to know his infinite love (Matt. 25:14–21; John 13:34–35; Rom. 12:18; 1 Peter 2:19; 4:19).
The Peacemaker’s Pledge is found in the conclusion the book Peacemaker by Ken Sande
As a resource to our members, to cultivate community we have an online directory. You can find the directory below: