The local church is where believers can be nourished and strengthened; where they can use their gifts to encourage spiritual growth in others and provide accountability for that growth; and where they can serve side by side with one another to communicate the Gospel to a lost world through word and deed.
The best way to describe our relationship together is in the language of a covenant. Just as God framed His relationship with His people according to a covenant, so it is helpful for God’s people to use similar language in our life together. At CF we have developed a special vehicle for this covenant relationship called “ministry partnership.” We hope that the following information will help you to see the importance of becoming a ministry partner with us.
Why Ministry Partnership?
We do not believe that church membership is necessary for salvation. However, we do believe that when a person is joined to Christ and to His universal Body (THE CHURCH) by the Holy Spirit through repentance and faith, he/she should also seek to be joined to a local expression of that same Body here on earth (the church).
By becoming a ministry partner of CF you are saying five things:
1. I acknowledge the saving work of Jesus Christ in my life and that His desire is to change me from the inside out using relationships within the church as well as those whom He has placed in the leadership of this local fellowship (2 Peter 1:3-4; Hebrews 3:12-14; 13:17).
2. I commit myself to the process of growing more like Jesus and acknowledge that I cannot do this alone; I must rely upon the Holy Spirit to use God’s Word and the relationship with God’s people as vehicles for that growth (2 Peter 3:18; Hebrews 10:24-25).
3. I covenant myself to this local body through its teaching, worship, ministry of prayer, and fellowship with other imperfect saints, who are in the process of being transformed by God’s grace (Acts 2:42-46; Ephesians 2:8-10).
4. I wholeheartedly support this church’s commitment to the Great Commission and I desire to share the story of Jesus within my sphere of influence as well as relationally engaging my neighbor for God’s glory (Matthew 28:18; Acts 1:8).
5. I commit myself to serving in this church according to my spiritual gifts and passions, as well as supporting its ministry through a stewardship of my material resources (Romans 12:6-8; Philippians 4:11-19).
We believe that these statements and the following Covenant capture the essential marks of someone devoted to the fellowship of this local church.
I confess my faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord and it is my sincere desire to serve Him faithfully in the fellowship of this church. By the power of the Holy Spirit I will order my life according to the Scriptures and will endeavor to follow Christ and witness to others so that they may believe. I purpose to promote the Lord’s work through this church through the giving of myself and my resources, to preserve the unity of this church and to encourage others to love and good works so that in all things our Lord Jesus may have the preeminence.
The question we asked at the beginning was why ministry partnership? Candidly, the real question that you must ask yourself is why would you not want to become a ministry partner?
Steps to Ministry Partnership:
1. Attend our Together for the Gospel class taught by the Pastoral Staff, (this class is offered in the spring and fall) and learn the basics of what CF believes and holds dear. This class is also open to those who are new to CF and want to learn more about the church.
2. Have an interview with a small group of Elders and give a testimony to your faith in Christ.
3. Be received into membership at a morning worship service and receive a servant’s towel as a symbol of your partnership in ministry.
Together for the Gospel
The Christian Life is a journey. You are somewhere on this journey whether you are new to CF or have been here since the beginning, whether you are an adult or teenager, whether your desire is to find out more about what CF believes or to become a ministry partner (member). This class is open to all and will be taught and facilitated by the pastoral staff and the elders. The class will include a time of teaching as well as a time of discussion in small groups. For everyone who takes the course, your next steps in CF will be clarified. And to those interested in becoming ministry partners, elder interviews will follow when the course is completed.
Together for the Gospel is a course that introduces participants to doctrine, philosophy, and culture at CF.