“Changing World, Unchanging Word”
A lot about our cultural landscape has been changing. But at Covenant we recognize that the unchanging gospel is still what this world truly needs. We realize that we need to preach the good news of Jesus, teach it, explain it, and do our utmost to help people understand and believe and apply it. We don’t assume that everyone already “gets” Christianity, or even the biblical framework in which Christianity makes sense. (Was there ever a time when people naturally “got” Christianity?) If you are new to us, we wish to respect where you are at. While we unashamedly use biblical and theological words, we will endeavor to translate and teach the language to you, making it plain. We worship God in historically rooted ways, but we will help you “learn the ropes” when it comes to this as well. In short, we know it’s a changing world and wish to be sensitive to it, but fundamentally one thing always remains the same. As fallen human beings, we all still desperately need the unchanging word of God, as it centers upon his grace as revealed in the Lord Jesus Christ.
Our aspiration and prayer is to increasingly become, by the power of the Holy Spirit, a biblical, gospel-oriented congregation (Acts 2:42-47) of loving, reproducing Christian disciples who know and make known to the Cedar Valley and the nations the triune God who calls us to glorify and enjoy him forever.
To do our part to fulfill the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20), the work of “gathering and perfecting the saints” (Westminster Confession of Faith, 25.3), the mission of Covenant is to:
- Exalt the God of grace;
- Engage others with the gospel of grace;
- Enfold them into a community of grace;
- Equip them to live by the power of grace; so that together we might
- Exalt the God of grace.
One prominent idea permeating our mission is grace. Jesus said that he came “to seek and to save the lost” (Luke 19:10). This is grace. Favor to the undeserving. Love for the unlovely. Rescue to the helpless. Forgiveness for sinners. Redemption for those in bondage. God’s love, a gift, free and full for the empty and longing. This is the life-transforming message of grace, which we are passionate about knowing and seeing others come to know. How do we sense God calling us to help bring this about? We outline our mission in five components.
We exist for God. We are made to worship him. And so we are to exalt the God of grace. Everything we are and do begins with worshipping our God—the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Through each Sunday, or Lord’s Day, as we gather and meet with God we are filled with his joy as we take in his word, the message of his grace. We set aside business as usual to focus upon this. We find rest in Christ. We enjoy precious communion with him, and with one another. We are active in works of mercy. And it sets the tone for the rest of the week.
We are thus compelled to move out, to scatter and spread the wondrous knowledge of this God among the nations, starting with the Cedar Valley. It is not only within the church, but also out in the world, that we find God active and at work to redeem. He uses people like us! So we are to engage others with the gospel of grace. We seek to reach out to fellow sinners to proclaim and reflect the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Savior we all need. We seek to meet people where they are, with all of their questions and struggles. But we refuse to just leave them there. We extend God’s call to be his pilgrim people, to journey with us toward the heavenly city.
We are to enfold people into a community of grace. By “a community of grace,” we mean a people and place where the broken can join their fellow broken sinners in finding the healing, mending power of the gospel. In this context, we can each take off our masks and foster an appropriate transparency that leads to transformation. Furthermore, God’s word calls people to his Son Jesus. But coming to Christ means joining and submitting to his church, to whom our Lord unites himself, calling the church his body, of which he is the Head. Christian faith is not some individualized, privatized enterprise. It is to be lived out in community, publicly, with the local church, with the guidance of ordained leaders and the help of all fellow believers.
We are to equip people to live by the power of grace. We believe God works through what he has appointed, “the ordinary means” (his word, the sacraments of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper, prayer, etc.). Through such means, people are brought to repentance and faith in Christ. By applying themselves to such means, they are built up in Christ. Through Christian education for all ages and various means of discipleship and practical training, we seek to enable and mobilize every family and individual to consciously embrace a Christian lifeview and lifestyle. This means seeking first God’s kingdom. This means trusting and obeying our Maker and Redeemer in all things. This means being able and willing to give an answer when we are asked why we have such hope.
We don’t only begin with worship, but we end there as well, coming full circle. It is the goal. As John Piper has aptly written, “Missions exists because worship doesn’t.” So by the power of God’s Spirit we give ourselves to all of the above, that others might join us and that together we might exalt the God of grace. Christ came for this purpose, to reclaim people like us and those around us as true worshippers of his God and Father. And it overflows to all things, at all times. At home, in the neighborhood, at work, at school, at play, we are to pursue the glory of God.
Our Core Values
THE GOSPEL OF GRACE: At Covenant, the gospel of grace comes first—the good news of Jesus in saving sinners, everything from pardoning their sins to giving them eternal life to transforming them. Everything else flows from this. It is the main thing. And, as someone has said, “The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.”
Christian Liberty: We emphasize our freedom in Christ, seeking to resist all forms of legalism. There is no one absolute way to educate our children; to dress modestly; to keep the Sabbath Day; etc. We seek to serve one another in love, extending grace in matters in which we are free to disagree or approach things differently.
Worship: We give ourselves to the joyful, reverent, God-centered worship of God, empowered by his Spirit and regulated through his word.
Preaching: We cherish clear, biblical, expository, Christ-centered, practical preaching, leading to the application of the gospel.
Prayer: We must pray our way through life and ministry, for apart from the Lord we can do nothing.
Teaching: We grow and thrive upon solid teaching, aiming to help provide a biblical, theologically robust worldview.
Fellowship: We aim to be a caring, intimate community, in which we seek to develop real friendships. Our Sunday afternoon fellowship meals help facilitate this.
People over Programs: We do not offer lots of flashy programs. We keep it pretty simple. But one thing we emphasize is that each and every person matters. So, led by our minister, elders, and deacons, we strive to provide competent and proactive shepherding for all.
Love for Neighbor: We seek to love one another, but also to actively love and serve our neighbors. We identify and seek to help meet many needs, but we especially do this through the sharing of the gospel.
Hospitality: We seek to embody the hospitality of Christ, to be inviting and welcoming towards anyone and everyone the Lord brings our way.
The Kingdom: We prioritize zeal in building strong Christian churches, helping to plant new OPC congregations; in sending and supporting cross-cultural missionaries and their work; and also in partnering with other like-minded churches to advance God’s kingdom on earth.