2015 Member Covenant
“Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” (Ephesians 3:20-21)
Imagine a community…
A community of people that lived as family, that served each other and their neighbors as they lived holistic lives together. Imagine that this community learned together, ate together, enjoyed their city together and pursued their passions together. However, the one thing that held this community together was not their personal interest, but their common faith in a man. This family of people actually believed that Jesus Christ was a real man who died a real death and through His death they have been reconciled to God. This community only exists because Jesus Christ is alive. He rose from the dead and ascended to the Father and now rules and reigns at the right hand of God as King of the world. Imagine a community that was held together by such a deep bond, such a beautiful story that it changed the way they saw themselves and others. This story caused them to reoriented their lives around Jesus and they no longer lived for themselves but for Him, His mission, His purpose, and His story in their world. Imagine a community that shared their belongings, money, resources and talents as they joined together to fight for Jesus’ Kingdom on earth. Imagine a community that served others as Jesus had served them and they devoted themselves to the ways of Jesus as they cleaned the dirty, fixed the broken and loved the unloved. Imagine a community that learned to love each other as they embraced each other’s mess and didn’t hide behind status and symbols. Imagine a community that you wouldn’t hesitate inviting any of your friends into because these people loved, prayed and cared for you like God does. Imagine a community that looked and felt like heaven on earth.
You have been invited to join the elders and members of Trademark as we ask God to do far more than we can imagine in 2015 in us and through us for His Glory in the Church. This Trademark Church membership covenant is birthed out of our love for the church body and its individual members. The primary purpose of this covenant is to serve as a teaching document with three functions:
To clarify the biblical obligations and expectations for both the elders of Trademark Church and the individual members of the Trademark Church body.
To establish teaching and doctrinal parameters for the Trademark Church body. To serve as a tool for reflection and growth toward holiness.
Each of these functions is in accordance with the document’s overall vision to provide an accessible explanation of the Scriptures in hopes that Trademark Church would grow in the grace and truth of Jesus Christ
WHAT IS THE CHURCH
The church exists for the display of the glory of God because all things exist for His glory. Those of us who trust in and follow Jesus are caught up in something much bigger than ourselves. We have graciously been invited into God’s redemptive purposes in the world. Since the beginning, God has been creating and calling forth His people for the display of His glory in a grand narrative of redemption and reconciliation. Though creation now suffers the curse of Genesis 3, the Gospel is the means by which the world is being made right. The Gospel also carries with it the promise of ultimate renewal, a restoration even more glorious than Eden, and thus believers eagerly anticipate the return of Christ. The Church universal (i.e., all believers, everywhere) is the means by which God is fulfilling His purposes in the world (2 Corinthians 5:17-20). The Church universal is being used to write God’s beautiful and dramatic story of redemption and reconciliation. In light of this reality, the opportunity to join a local church body (i.e., a particular group of believers in a particular local expression) is much more than a commitment to consistent attendance or active involvement in community. It is also a sacred call to be involved in the redemptive work of our sovereign God to push back the darkness of a fallen world through the power of the Holy Spirit with the light of His Son, Jesus Christ. The church is the gathering of the redeemed, the household of God (Ephesians 2:19), the bride of Christ (Revelation 21:2, 9) and the body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:12-31). 1 Corinthians 12 speaks of many members within the same body. Just as a human body relies upon mutual dependence of individual members for proper functioning, so the body of Christ requires sacrificial and responsible service by its individual members. As the Scriptures say, “The eye cannot say to the hand, ‘I have no need of you,’ nor again the head to the feet, ‘I have no need of you’”(1 Corinthians 12:21). Likewise, a member of the church cannot say to another member that he or she is unnecessary. We all have gifts that differ according to the gracious provision of the Holy Spirit (Romans 12:3-8).
Contrary to the beliefs of our culture, we need each other.
Membership at Trademark is participation in a family, a microcosm of the universal household of God. All members are united to Christ and thus to each other. Unity within the church is expressed in love for God and a love for others, both those within the family and those who are not. Because of the identification of Christ with His church, Christians are expected to display His gospel in a manner, which is worthy of Him (Ephesians 4:1)
WHAT IS A COVENANT
A covenant is defined by Webster as “a written agreement or promise usually under seal between two or more parties especially for the performance of some action.” Within the Scriptures, we find a number of examples of covenants, some between God and man (Genesis 6, 9, 15; Ezekiel 20; Hosea 2; Jeremiah 31; Matthew 26), while others are solely between men (1 Samuel 18, 2 Samuel 5). In some covenants, one party binds his or herself to fulfill the obligations of both sides of the agreement. In others, the parties are reciprocally bound to adhere to the obligations. While God’s covenant with the Church universal is an example of the former, the local church covenant represents the latter. If at any time one of the parties of this church covenant continues in a state of unfaithfulness to its provisions, the other is released from certain obligations. The covenant of Trademark Church contains many conditions that are merely general Christian obligations. For example, all Christians, whether members of Trademark Church or elsewhere, are required to submit to the Scriptures, pursue holiness, steward resources, etc. Such requirements are universal obligations for the Christ-follower regardless of any failure on the part of local church to live up to her covenant obligations. If at any time an individual member feels as though the corporate church body is not remaining faithful to the requirements of the covenant, it is the responsibility of the individual member to lovingly and humbly express concerns to the leadership of the church. If the church elders are unwilling to change and pursue covenant faithfulness, then the member is freed from his or her membership obligations and encouraged to seek membership elsewhere given the church’s disobedience. In addition, certain circumstances may provide sufficient and righteous grounds to transfer membership elsewhere. While focusing primarily in language on the responsibilities between the individual parties, the corporate church body, her elders and her individual members, the covenant is first and foremost an acknowledgement of general Christian obligations and an agreement to enter into those duties for God’s glory and the good of the Body and Bride of His Son.
WHAT WE BELIEVE
Statement of Basic Belief
The following beliefs represent the core of central orthodox beliefs from a biblical and historical perspective. While a full understanding and the ability to adequately articulate these beliefs is not required, the explicit rejection of any one of these particular beliefs disqualifies one from membership at Trademark Church.
• The Scriptures are true, authoritative and sufficient (Psalm 19:7-11; 2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:20-21).
• There is only one God (Deuteronomy 6:4; Isaiah 45:5-6; Isaiah 46:9-10; John 17:3; 1 Corinthians 8:4-6; 1 Timothy 2:5). The Father is God. The Son is God. The Holy Spirit is God. The Father is neither the Son nor the Holy Spirit. The Son is neither the Father nor the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is neither the Father nor the Son (Genesis 1:26; Psalm 45:6-7; Psalm 110:1; Matthew 3:13-17; Matthew 28:17-20; 1 Corinthians 12:4-6).
• I am, along with all humanity (Christ excluded), by birth and action a sinner (2) (Genesis 6:5; Psalm 51:5; Jeremiah 17:9; Romans 3:23; 5:8, 12-21; 7:18; Ephesians 2:1- 3).
• The deserved penalty for sin is death, both physical and spiritual (Genesis 2:15-17; Genesis 3:19; Romans 5:12; 6:23; James 1:14- 15). • Jesus Christ is the eternal Son of God, was born of a virgin and is both fully God and fully human (Matthew 1:20; Luke 2:52; John 1:1-4, 14; Colossians 1:15-20; Hebrews 1:1-3).
• Jesus Christ died as my substitute to pay the penalty for my sin (John 1:29; 10:1-18; Romans 5:8; 1 Corinthians 15:1-4; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Galatians 1:4; 1 Peter 3:18).
• Jesus Christ physically rose from the dead (Matthew 28:1-20; Mark 16:1-8; Luke 24:1-53; John 1:20-21:25; 1 Corinthians 15:12-34).
• Jesus Christ physically ascended into heaven and will one day physically return (John 14:3; Acts 1:11; 1 Thessalonians 4:16; Hebrews 9:28; 1 John 3:2; Revelation 1:7).
• There will be a future physical resurrection of the dead. Those who trust in Jesus Christ alone will be raised to eternal reward.(3) Those who have not trusted in Jesus Christ will be raised to eternal punishment (Matthew 25:31-46; John 5:28-29; Acts 24:15).
• Only by trusting in the person and work of Jesus Christ alone can I be reconciled to God and experience true life and joy (John 3:18, 14:6; Acts 4:12; Romans 3:21- 26; 1 Timothy 2:5-6).
Statement of Biblical Doctrine
• I agree with the core beliefs of Trademark Church (http:// www.trademarkchurch.com/about/basicbeliefs), which are founded upon historic creeds (e.g. Apostles’ Creed and Nicene Creed)
• I agree that the sixty-six books of the Bible are the ultimate doctrinal authority on all matters (Isa. 55:11; 1 Cor. 15:3–4; 2 Tim. 3:15–16; Heb. 4:12).
• I understand that we teach and practice the doctrinal distinctives of A29 and Soma Communities and agree to submit to leaders who uphold these principles and to refrain from division, being diligent to preserve unity and peace (Eph. 4:1– 3; Heb. 13:7, 17). These doctrinal distinctives include: Divine sovereignty, Gospel communities on mission, believers baptism, the role of men and women in the church and home and the role of the Spirit in the Church.
Mission Statement of Trademark Church
Trademark Church is a Family of Missionary Servants that exists to glorify God by making disciples through gospel communities and church planting
TRADEMARK MEMBERSHIP COVENANT
Biblical Obligations of the Trademark Church Elders to the members of Trademark Church As shepherds and overseers of a local church, elders are entrusted with protecting, leading, equipping and caring for the corporate church body and her individual members. The following is a rather extensive overview of the requirements for elders as spelled out within the Scriptures. As elders of Trademark…
• We covenant that your elders will meet the criteria assigned to them in the Scriptures (1 Tim. 3:1–13;5:17–22; Titus 1:5–9; 1 Peter 5:1–4).
• We covenant to appoint elders and deacons (including staff members who serve in these offices) according to the criteria assigned to them in the Scriptures (1 Timothy 3:1-13; Titus 1:5-9; 1 Peter 5:1-4).
• We covenant to seek God’s will for our church community to the best of our ability as we study the Scriptures and follow the Spirit (Acts 20:28; 1 Peter 5:1– 5).
• We covenant to care for you and seek your growth as a disciple of Christ, in part by equipping you for the ministry (Eph. 4:11–13) and praying for you regularly, particularly when you are sick (James 5:14).
• We covenant to provide teaching and counsel from the whole of Scripture (Acts 20:27–28; Gal. 6:6; 1 Tim. 5:17–18). • We covenant to be on guard against false teachers (Acts 20:28–31).
• We covenant to lovingly exercise church discipline when necessary (Matt. 18:15–20; 1 Cor. 5; Gal. 6:1).
• We covenant to set an example and join you in fulfilling the duties of church members (1 Cor. 11:1; Phil. 3:17; 1 Tim. 4:12).
Biblical Obligations of the Members
Biblical Obligations of the Members to Trademark Church Body
By the Father’s love I have been adopted and given a new identity as a member of the FAMILY of God. As a member of Trademark Church…
• I covenant to live as family with the Trademark members and elders as we prayerfully pursue the 59 one another’s of the New Testament Church together: “Love one another. Serve one another. Accept one another. Strengthen one another. Help one another. Encourage one another. Care for one another. Forgive one another. Submit to one another. Commit to one another. Build trust with one another. Be devoted to one another. Be patient with one another. Be interested in one another. Be accountable to one another. Confess to one another. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be conceited to one another. Do not pass judgment to one another. Do not slander one another. Instruct one another. Greet one another. Admonish one another. Spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Meet with one another. Agree with one another. Be concerned for one another. Be humble to love one another. Be compassionate to one another. Do not be consumed by one another.” (New Testament letters) • I convent to love God with all my heart, soul, mind and strength through regular Bible reading, prayer, fellowship, and practice of spiritual disciplines. My relationship with God will be evident through my participation in weekly worship gathering, communion, gospel community, service, and a life that glorifies Jesus (Ps. 105:1–2; Ps. 119:97; Acts 2:42–47; Heb. 10:23–25; 2 Peter 1:3).
• I covenant to submit to the authority of Scripture as the final authority on all issues (Ps. 119; 2 Tim. 3:16–17). Because the Spirit of God lives in me I have been given a new identity as a MISSIONARY of God and sent into the world as a minister of reconciliation. As a member of Trademark Church …
• I covenant to pursue intentional, transparent relationships with nonChristians in my sphere of influence. Be involved with the living out and sharing of the gospel and making disciples, both locally and globally with Trademark. (2 Cor 5:140-21, 1 Pet 3:9-11, Jn 17:14-19, Mat 28:18-20)
• I covenant to steward the resources God has given me, including my time, talents, and treasure (Prov. 3:9–10; Rom. 12:1–2;Gal. 5:22–26; Eph. 4:1– 16; 5:15–18). This includes regular financial giving, service, and participation in community that is sacrificial, cheerful, and voluntary (Rom. 12:1–8; 2 Cor. 8– 9; 12:7–31; 1 Peter 4:10–11). 8
• I covenant, by God’s grace, to walk in holiness as an act of worship to Jesus Christ, who has saved me from my sin that I could live a new life (2 Cor. 5:17); I will practice complete chastity before marriage and complete fidelity in heterosexual marriage by abstaining from practices such as cohabitation, homosexuality, pornography, and fornication (Job 31:1; Prov. 5; Rom. 13:12– 14; 1 Cor. 6:9–7:16; Heb. 13:4); I will refrain from illegal drug use, drunkenness, and other sinful behavior as the Bible and my conscience dictate (1 Cor. 8:7; Gal. 5:19–21). Should I sin in such a manner, I agree to confess my sins to Christian brothers or sisters and seek help to put my sin to death (Rom. 8:13; Col. 3:5; 1 John 1:6–10). Because Jesus has served me, I serve Jesus as my king and have been given a new identity as a SERVANT of God. As a member of Trademark Church …
• I covenant to serve the body and mission of Trademark in tangible ways in our weekly gatherings either in the areas of, TM Kids, hospitality, music, RAFT, etc. (Eph 4:11, Rom 12:1-2)
• I covenant to serve the mission of Trademark by praying for and serving in our partnership with Big Brothers and Big Sisters. (Philippians 2:5-11, Rom 15:1-7)
• I covenant to serve the mission of Trademark in our target neighborhoods (23rd – 27th + Main St. – State St.) as we prayerfully pursue the mission of God together. (John 13:1-17, Rom 14:8-10)
• I covenant to serve the members of my gospel community as I use my time, energy, resources and talents to glorify God in my community. (Rom 9:9-21, Col 3:15-17)
• I covenant to serve Jesus as my king and give my whole life for His glory. (Rom 14:7-8, Phil 1:21)