The Bible is one book in sixty-six parts that from front to back tells us the true story of Jesus—Lord, Savior, and God. In the Scriptures we also find the truth about God’s people, the Church—both universal, and local—and the mission Jesus has given to her. While this mission can be correctly described and summarized in many ways, at Sound City Bible Church we say it this way—we exist to glorify God by proclaiming Jesus, receiving grace, being disciples, and making disciples.

When we talk about membership, we do so with this mission firmly in mind. This is the purpose God has given us as a church, it’s the good work God has called us to as Covenant Members of his Church, and we pursue it intentionally and joyfully in response to the love and grace God has shown us in Christ. We believe that by pursuing this end and goal in all we do, we bring God the most glory, and us our greatest joy.

What is Covenant Membership?

Over and over again in the Scriptures God makes covenants (i.e. sacred promises) to and with his people. In the process, he calls them to a pattern of life and worship that is best for them and most glorifying to him. In addition to divine covenants, you will find a variety of human covenants in the bible, where people make different kinds of commitments to one another. These biblical realities represent the heart behind Covenant Membership at Sound City Bible church, and it’s why we’ve intentionally adopted the language of “Covenant Members” and “Covenant Membership” instead of the more traditional language of “members” and “membership.”

Membership in our culture brings to mind ideas of privileges and rights that members receive if they pay certain dues. vs. Covenant Membership communicates active participation, intentionality and mutual commitment within the context of a sacred relationship between God and all those who choose it.


Covenant Membership

Covenant Membership communicates active participation, intentionality and mutual commitment within the context of a sacred relationship between God and all those who choose it.

MEMBERSHIP

Membership in our culture brings to mind ideas of optionality, of a menu of available benefits and advantages available to those who are qualified. 


COVENANT MEMBERSHIP

Covenant Membership says to a low-commitment culture that there is honor and value in publicly and intentionally prioritizing a commitment to that which is most valuable—God, his people, and his mission. 

MEMBERSHIP

Membership in our culture brings to mind ideas of optionality, of a menu of available benefits and advantages available to those who are qualified.


COVENANT MEMBERSHIP

Covenant Membership reminds us that we are more than just fans, we are followers of Jesus, bought with his precious blood. We are willingly bound together as one body, one family, one people, committed to one mission greater than ourselves.

MEMBERSHIP

Membership in our culture, even at its best, brings to mind a group of people who like the same things, and/or who are fans of the same things.


The Process

We want you to make a prayerful and informed decision about whether God is leading you, and your family if applicable, to be a part of the Sound City Bible Church family. The process has various elements, some are optional and some are not. Through each element we’re hoping to (a) provide you with information, (b) prompt you to prayerful and biblical consideration, and to (c) create opportunities for you to connect and build relationship here at Sound City Bible Church as you move closer to becoming a Covenant Member of the church. 

INFORMATION & CONSIDERATION

Step 1 (Optional): Covenant Membership Interest Gathering — These interest gatherings are a great place to start if you’re interested in becoming a Covenant Member of Sound City Bible Church. We host these gatherings several times each year, and it’s where you’ll hear all the basics about Covenant Membership and the steps included in this process. These gatherings are also a place where you’ll have time to meet members of the Elder Team and other leaders, and ask them any questions you might have about the church or about the Covenant Membership process. When these gatherings are announced (e.g. during Sunday service announcements, on the Weekly/Connect Card, the weekly At-A-Glance email, etc.) information will be provided to tell you how to register. 

Step 2: Listen to the “Welcome To Sound City” Sermon Series — In this eight-part sermon series you’ll learn about the mission, core values, and doctrinal distinctives of Sound City Bible Church. This will help inform you about who we are, what we believe, and why we do what we do. You will  be asked to affirm that you have listened to the series, or attended the series in person in early 2015, or some combination of the two. You can access the sermon audio at soundcitybiblechurch.com/sermons.

Step 3: Read and Consider the Covenant Membership Packet — This packet of materials includes—in expanded written form—much of what you heard when you listened to the “Welcome to Sound City” sermon series: 

  • Our mission statement (and its detailed descriptions)
  • Our core values and their descriptions
  • Our doctrinal statement
  • The membership covenant (including both leader and member commitments) 
  • A summary version of the church bylaws.

Reading this material carefully will help you make an informed decision about continuing forward in the Covenant Membership process. You might also decide to do this step before you listen to the sermon series if your learning style is more reading/writing focused than aural (listening/hearing).

CONNECTION & AFFIRMATION

Step 4: Complete the Online Covenant Membership Questionnaire  — In this step you’ll use the link below to complete an online questionnaire that will help the us get to know you a bit, will give you a chance to share your story of where/when/how God saved you through Jesus, and will provide you the opportunity to affirm and/or submit any questions you might have about the church, our mission, values, beliefs, leader/member commitments, etc.

*Step 4 Notes:

We recommend that you take the questionnaire from a computer rather than your mobile device to ensure that all elements of the questionnaire work properly.

Please set aside approximately 30-40 minutes to complete this questionnaire in one sitting (though most will likely finish it more quickly), as there is no way to save your progress along the way, and the questionnaire has been reported to occasionally “time out” if left partially done over long periods of time. 

The questionnaire is meant to be filled out by each person seeking Covenant Membership, so even if you’re married, husband and wife each need to complete their own questionnaire. However, when scheduling your interview, married couples are encouraged to schedule the interview together.

Step 5: Membership Interview — We wish there was a better term for this step, as “interview” sounds so formal, but until we find a better word, this will have to do. While this meeting with one of the elders is certainly intended in part to review your questionnaire answers, make sure we all believe the same essentials of the faith, and to ensure we all want to engage in the same mission together, this interview is more about building relationship than anything else. Once you have submitted the online Covenant Membership Questionnaire (Step 4) we will contact you within two business days to schedule the membership interview. There are three potential outcomes from the member interview: 

  • The member candidate(s) signs the membership covenant and is affirmed as a Covenant Member of Sound City Bible Church at the conclusion of the membership interview.
  • The member candidate(s) is encouraged to pause their pursuit of membership for a short time. This could be in order to make time for further reflection on some matter related to membership, a personal or spiritual matter that has come up during the course of the interview that needs attention first.
  • The member candidate(s) and the Elder Team representative prayerfully discern that moving forward with membership at Sound City would not be wise or recommended.

*Step 5 Note: As mentioned previously, married couples are encouraged to schedule their interview together.

Step 6: Sign the Membership Covenant — By signing the membership covenant, you are affirming that you are in agreement with the mission, values, and doctrinal statement of Sound City Bible Church. You are also affirming your understanding of the commitments of the elders to the church body and the commitments of the Covenant Members to one another. Refer to the Covenant Membership Packet (i.e. Step 4) which includes a copy of the Membership Covenant.

Celebration & Recommitment

Step 7: Celebrating the Affirmed — Several times throughout the year we’ll take time during a Sunday service to celebrate God’s calling of new Covenant Members into the Sound City Bible Church family. We have those who have been affirmed as new Covenant Members stand, we cheer them on in celebration, and we pray together for them and for our church. 

Step 8: Annual Covenant Member Recommitment — With this step we come full circle back to the beginning, acknowledging why Sound City Bible Church has a Covenant Membership process in the first place. From the outset as a local church family we set out to keep first things first and to always  be intentional about being the people of God, living as Jesus’ disciples, committed to his Word and ways.

Therefore, each year we ask each Covenant Member to prayerfully consider anew the mission, values, doctrine, and leader/member commitments of Sound City Bible Church. The annual recommitment happens each February, with further details and instructions being communicated as that time approaches. This simple but important annual step helps us stay laser focused on our mission to — glorify God by proclaiming Jesus, receiving grace, being disciples, and making disciples.