We believe the church has responsibilities to its members and each member has responsibilities to the church. We ask each candidate for membership in Blackman Baptist Church to read, understand and agree with this covenant when they request membership.The indented sections provide our thoughts and explanations on each particular part.
Having been brought by the grace of God to repent and believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, having been baptized in the Name of the Father and of the Son and the Holy Spirit, and believing that Christ has led us to become a part of this fellowship, we now choose to renew our covenant with one another.
Membership in Blackman Baptist Church does assume prior baptism in a church of like order. We would ask that if you have not yet been baptized, then please speak with an elder about baptism before requesting formal membership. We are glad you are here and encourage you to take this next step!
As members of Blackman Baptist Church:
1. We will be unifying church members. We will work and pray for unity among the members of this body, choosing to love one another even as we love ourselves. We will not let the Church be about our preferences and desires.
The command to love others as we love ourselves was given to the Israelites by God through Moses. Jesus not only reaffirmed it, he lived it in his giving himself completely for us. While we must hold firm on core doctrine, matters of opinion or preference call for extreme patience, grace and generosity in allowing others to have their way. Paul told the Phillipians to regard others as more important than themselves. Let us do likewise.
2. We will be functioning church members. We will give. We will serve. We will minister. We will study. We will evangelize. We will walk together in brotherly love, exercise affectionate care for one another, and faithfully encourage and exhort one another as occasion may require.
God calls us to action. James said that we should be doers and not hearers only. It is in the doing that we demonstrate the reality of our saving faith.
3. We will seek to fellowship with our brothers and sisters, to build real relationships based on our shared grace in Christ.
Acts 2 describes the lives of the early Christians as being constantly together. They did this not to obey commandments, but because of their love. Let us be intentional in fostering that love by spending time. Let them know we are Christ’s disciples by our love.
4. We will strive to bring up our children and any under our care in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, and by a pure and loving example, to seek the salvation of our family and friends.
The Bible often refers to children as a blessing from God. They are sometimes little brothers and sisters in Christ. Let us view each other in light of the reality of our adoption by the Father. Let us love each other’s children with a pure and Godly love. Let us care for the children of visitors in such a way that they feel our love for them as well.
5. We will not neglect to pray for our church as a body, its leaders, and our brothers and sisters. We will pray individually, as a family, and corporately.
Jesus set the example of prayer in all circumstances. He taught his disciples to pray with a simple model of worship, thanksgiving and petition. Paul instructs us to “not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let [our] requests be known to God” Phil 4:6. We are to intercede for the well-being, strength and wisdom of our church.
6. We will seek, by His grace, to live in a manner striving for holiness in the world, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts. We will constantly renew our minds to the truth that by being born again by His grace and brought into His Kingdom and being voluntarily baptized and identified with His Church, we are to lead a new and holy life glorifying our Father in heaven.
We know that while Christ has set us free from the power of the law, he has freed us TO pure and holy service to Him! We must strive for perfect purity even while we humbly acknowledge that only Jesus has the power to perfect us.
7. We will submit ourselves to the discipline of this Church as a testimony of our desire to always walk in a manner worthy of the Lord. And for our brothers and sisters, we will seek their spiritual advancement as dearly as our own.
For the health of individuals and the body, there are times when correction must be brought. It is always to be done in love and in the hope of repentance and return to fruitful service.
8. We will uphold and defend the doctrines of the faith against all who would come against them and, consequently, against the Word of God.
We must stand ready to submit our opinions and preferences, but the doctrines of the faith are not negotiable. We must prepare ourselves intellectually and practically to defend these truths to those who would attack them openly or in more subtle ways.
9. We will contribute cheerfully and regularly to the support of the ministry, the relief of the poor and those in need, and the spread of the Gospel throughout all the nations.
Let us be like the Shrewd Manager of the parable, whom Jesus praised for understanding that the money he had control over would soon not be his and so he used to to buy permanent favor. Let us view the money God has given as temporary resources that can be used for eternal work!
10. We will serve one another, using the gifts God has granted us in His sovereignty and grace. And in doing so, we will strive always to rely on the power of His Holy Spirit that all glory may be given to Him.
God gave us gifts to use. Just as a parent enjoys watching their children use their abilities to help others, so God loves to see us serving one another! He demonstrated humble service to us when he washed the feet of the disciples. He was teaching them that if their master was a servant, there is no service too humble for any of us.
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.