Covenant is a biblical concept.* In the Ancient Near East, it was a binding agreement in which covenant members had certain obligations and could expect certain benefits in return. What made a covenant different from a simple binding agreement is that covenant implied meaningful relationship; God made a covenant with Noah, with Abram, with the people of Israel at Mt. Sinai, and eventually brought about a new covenant, available to all through Christ. We hope this relational spirit guides our commitment to one another as we promise to uphold this local body of Christ and submit to being accountable to it for our life in Christ.
* see Genesis 6:18; Genesis 15; Exodus 34:10-28; 2 Samuel 7; 1 Chronicles 17
Both models are expressions of belonging and commitment, and both are biblical. [The Old Testament refers to covenant often, and Paul develops the term "member" in his letters.] Covenant is our form of membership.
Both. As a Jesus people, we in covenant with God. As a local expression of God’s church, we covenant together with each other. This means we covenant with each other and with God.
The ultimate question here is, “Why should someone be part of a church?”. Committing your life to Christ, to others in community, and to bringing the healing of Jesus to the world is what it means to be the church. Formally participating in covenant is a way of declaring that this commitment to Christ and His church is a serious reality in your life.
The first step we suggest is to attend our Covenant Class, which is offered 3 times a year. This will provide a glimpse of the beliefs and priorities of Mars Hill, led by a number of our pastors and leaders.
Because we understand Covenant as a relational reality, we highly recommend meeting with a pastor. This is not intended to be an entrance interview. Rather this is an opportunity to ask questions and discern whether entering this commitment is right for you. Our pastoral staff would be honored to journey along with you.
A completed Covenant Card provides us with your personal information and gets you into our “system.” More than that, this card provides one way to physically mark your commitment.
Every year, we take time during a Gathering to acknowledge those who are in Covenant. This is an opportunity to both reaffirm your personal commitment and celebrate those who have joined us over the past year.
At this time, any follower of Christ [13 years of age or older*] is invited into covenant with us.
*Persons 13 and older are eligible to enter into Covenant; however, you must be 18 or older to vote at meetings.