"For the body does not consist of one member but of many. If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. If all were a single member, where would the body be? 20 As it is, there are many parts, yet one body." - 1 Cor. 12:14-20
what is a covenant?
A covenant is generally defined as “a written agreement or promise usually under seal between two or more parties especially for the performance of some action.” We can trace a number of scriptures that speaks of a covenant, some between God and man (Genesis 6; Genesis 9; Genesis 15; Ezekiel 20; Hosea 2; Jeremiah 31; Matthew 26), and some between men (1 Samuel 18; 2 Samuel 5). The community covenant at Mercy Street Church is an agreement between members and the corporate body.
What is the process for covenant membership?
This process exists to foster the culture of our church in new covenant family members and to filter those who are not yet ready to become members of MSC, whether they are not yet believers or are unwilling to commit to the vision of our church. The steps to covenant membership are detailed below.
STEP ONE: Discover msc
Discover MSC is a two week introduction to Mercy Street Church during which potential family members hear about the mission, vision, values, doctrine, and more. This is mandatory for membership but does not require potential family members to commit or covenant if they are not prepared to do so.
In addition potential members are expected to have joined to life group at the completion of DMSC.
STEP TWO: membership classes
GFM is a three week (Sundays) course introducing potential family members to the culture of MSC. Each
session includes an in-depth presentation and discussion covering an element of the content, engaging the head, heart, and hands of those involved and charging them to respond to the call of Jesus. Each Life Group will have a set of "table leaders" walking with potential members through this process.
STEP THREE: SHAPE
SHAPE is a three week cohort designed to help potential family members discover their unique, God-
given “SHAPE” for ministry. The first session is a Sunday meeting—like GFM—to introduce the content, followed by two midweek meetings (preceding Life Group gatherings) led by "table leaders" to complete each SHAPE exercise and the Ministry Profile. This enables MSC leaders to understand each individual and to empower members in their most suitable arenas of service and our church’s most urgent areas of need. A background check must also be completed at this time.
STEP FOUR:elder meeting
Able Men (Exodus 18:21) are chosen by our Lead Pastor to conduct functional “Elder Meetings” until MSC has established Elders. This meeting fosters belonging, affirms believers, and allows our church to be careful in shepherding our current and potential members.
Note: If you would like to have a trusted female leader present during your meeting, please let your able man know when scheduling the meeting.
STEP SIX: Right Hand of Fellowship
Mercy Street Church extends the Right Hand of Fellowship (Galatians 2:9) to new covenant family members and throws a party to welcome them. New members continue in Life Group, begin serving, giving, and are encouraged to start year one of Acceleration.
STEP FIVE: Membership Approval
MSC leaders will prayerfully examine each potential family member to decide those who are ready for membership and those who need more time before joining. Concerns include unrepentant habitual sin, not completing the membership process, disagreeing with or not committing to the vision of MSC, and refusing to receive the input or correction of MSC leadership.