A Sample Ministry Covenant

A Ministry Covenant to Protect Your Church

Some type of “contract” between Christian organizations and their volunteers is becoming a necessity in our times of legal vulnerability. The following is a sample of the type of thing you may want to do to set the boundaries for volunteers within your church or ministry. It protects your volunteers in that it clearly explains their relationship to the organization. It also provides a degree of protection for the ministry or church from misbehavior on the part of of those working within its ministries. This sample covenant can be used by churches which practice formal membership or by those which have none.

Ministry Covenant

Your Church

City, State

Having received the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, and desiring to serve Him through specific ministry, I most solemnly and joyfully enter into covenant with the body of Christ at ________________Church of ________________, _________________.

I therefore promise, through the guidance and power of the Holy Spirit, to walk together with my fellow believers in Christian love; to strive for their advancement in knowledge and holiness; to make a place in my prayers for this church and its ministries; to uphold its doctrines; to serve faithfully in discharging my commitments; and to do my part in maintaining harmony and discipline.

In the case of a difference of opinion among believers ministering together in this place, I promise to avoid a contentious spirit, and if complete agreement cannot be achieved, I will recognize the calling of the leaders to govern this ministry as God may lead them and will submit to their decisions. I recognize that if I cannot in good conscience affirm the doctrinal statement or governing policies of the church, it is my duty to remove myself from any ministry, which may be affected by my views to the contrary.

I further promise to guard the reputation of my fellow believers and co-laborers and not to needlessly expose the details of their lives through my conversation with others. I promise to cultivate Christian courtesy in all my relationships; to be slow to give or take offense, and to always be ready for reconciliation, remembering the words of the Lord Jesus in Matthew 18:15-17. Moreover I purpose, through whatever life may bring, to strive to live for God’s glory.

I understand that this covenant is not a substitute for membership at ___________________________ Church and does not carry with it any member privileges for voting or service outlined in the church constitution.

Signature __________________________________________ Date _____________

Composed by Michael Bogart, with acknowledgments to the Baptist Covenant. For more articles like this one, check out my website: mbogart.com

Comments 5 comments

Hello, hello, profile image

Hello, hello, 6 years ago from London, UK

I hate to say this but what is the world coming to? Thank you for your hub and sharing.

mike bogart 6 years ago

Yes, I agree. We struggle with this kind of thing as a staff at my church, wanting to believe that all our volunteers are trustworthy, but knowing that we may be a lawsuit away from huge problems if someone becomes disgruntled and vindictive. We felt the covenant at least provided some clarity as to what we expect of our volunteers and in case of lawsuit, that we have some signed evidence that we had made our expectations known to those who wish to work under our ministry without going through the process of formal membership. Thanks for your comment. Mike Bogart

Captain Jimmy profile image

Captain Jimmy 6 years ago from WV

You may want to use "The London Baptist Confession of Faith 1677/89. Hebrews 13:8 Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.

The modern church has forgotten the old paths!

G Coleman 6 years ago

The interesting thing about this document is that it is unscriptural. The person making this covenant is not in a postion to do so. They already are not their own if they know Jesus as their savour. He is their Lord and Master, a covenant cannot be made with a slave but the master.If it is made then it negates the power excercised by the Lord or Master.

This is headship, the Lord has already covenanted all believers to the Church through the breaking of bread. Let your yes be yes and your no be no anymore than this is of the evil one. Be careful what you sign in the name of Jesus, your giftings are no your own and cannot be bargained with by you, the Lord Jesus is the owner.

mbogartministries profile image

mbogartministries 6 years ago Author

Hi G Coleman.

You bring up a relevant point: How does a follower of Jesus live by the simple mandates of Jesus, while at the same time living in a world in which groups of believers must find ways to function effectively together? A Ministry Covenant is one answer to that question.

You also raise another vital issue: What does it look like practically to be under the lordship of Jesus Christ? Does a believer simply turn off his or her brain and strive to be a "clean vessel" for the Holy Spirit to fill and move as He chooses? Or do we have some choice and initiative in the important matters of life using the mandates of scripture as our guide?

The very words of Jesus, "Let your "yes" be yes and your "no", no.." seems to imply that as believers we can make decisions which go beyond the normal scope of slavery. There is also the example of the marriage covenant, which believers enter into regularly with the understanding that this is a "contract" God honors.

One final matter. As a pastor and international trainer of Christian leaders I have heard the terms "unscriptural" and "unbiblical" many times, used by people from a variety of doctrinal perspectives, levels of biblical training and Christian maturity.

These terms can indeed mean that a statement or idea is truly contrary to the teaching of the Bible, or they can simply mean that the person using the term cannot personally see how the statement or idea can reconcile with what they know of the Bible.

I could cite examples of times in which ideas or practices are valid ways of applying various biblical teachings to cultural situations to which the Bible does not speak. I believe the Ministry Covenant is such an application.

Thank you for your response to my article. It is nice to know that someone reads them with that kind of careful and thoughtful attention. May the Lord bless you.

M. Bogart

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