November 7, 2021
As we begin the next hundred years at Bethany, this is a good time to remember how to treat each other as Jesus would have us do. The document below was formed by leaders at Bethany to provide tools for healthy communication.
Bethany Covenant Relational Covenant
As followers of Jesus Christ, we believe that God has a plan for Bethany (Jer. 29:11) that will grow us and deeply engage us in God’s radical mission of love and redemption (Matt. 28:19, Rev. 21:5). As we seek to live out God’s plans for us as a congregation, we recognize that we will most effectively hear God’s voice, discern, prepare, and act in community. While we count on one another to more fully discover God’s revelation to us (1 Cor. 14:26-30), we recognize that people of conviction can disagree while engaging in important conversations. We value unity and we desire to build trusting relationships. Therefore we are committed as individuals, ministry teams, and as a church to the following:
- We will love God with all of our hearts, souls, minds, and strength and we will love one another to the best of our ability (Mark 12:29-31).
- We will celebrate with one another in good times and support each other in difficulty.
- We will submit to one another in love.
- We will quickly admit our mistakes and quickly forgive one another.
- We will accept conflict as normal in engaged community and we choose to embrace healthy conflict as a means of growing trust among our members.
- We will stay engaged in challenging conversations, listening for understanding and seeking to resolve disagreements (James 1:18-20).
- We will communicate directly and honestly with others who may have offended us (Matt. 18:15-18).
- We will speak truth to and of one another, but only in love.
- We will assume that others are speaking and acting in good faith according to their conviction (Romans 12:3-5).
- We will refrain from gossip and keep confidences when asked.
- We will respect the offices of pastors and lay leaders, committing to pray for, encourage, and help them.
- We will treat one another with respect, love, kindness, and gentleness no matter how passionately we feel (Col. 3:12-14).
Jeremiah 29:11 – For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.
Matthew 28:19 – Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
Revelation 21:5 – He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”
1 Corinthians 14:26-30 – What then shall we say, brothers and sisters? When you come together, each of you has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation. Everything must be done so that the church may be built up. 27 If anyone speaks in a tongue, two—or at the most three—should speak, one at a time, and someone must interpret. 28 If there is no interpreter, the speaker should keep quiet in the church and speak to himself and to God.
29 Two or three prophets should speak, and the others should weigh carefully what is said. 30 And if a revelation comes to someone who is sitting down, the first speaker should stop.
Mark 12:29-31 – “The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ 31 The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”
Romans 12:3-5 – For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. 4 For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, 5 so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.
Colossians 3:12-14 – Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
James 1:18-20 – He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of first fruits of all he created.
19 My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, 20 because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.
Matthew 18:15-18 – “If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over. 16 But if they will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’17 If they still refuse to listen, tell it to the church; and if they refuse to listen even to the church, treat them as you would a pagan or a tax collector.
18 “Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.