Covenant relationships are meaningful relationships; an affiliation where expectations are spelled out and agreed upon. Periodically, I have the opportunity to share on the value of a Pastor/Church Convent Agreement. I think they’re essential in a relational foundation. For a pastor and church to fully understand their relationship, it begins with a covenant statement.
Why are covenant relationships essential? For starters, ministers possess a noticeable “stupid” streak. Now, I can say that because I am one. I’ve never met a perfect minister or one who didn’t live in the consequence of regrettable decisions or actions. Neither do I think of myself as possessing any sort of special superiority in ministry; I am an average pastor. Within ever minister you’ll find less than perfect tendencies demonstrated with regularity. By the same token, I’ve never seen a perfect church. In fact, I’m not sure there’s a church of any location that doesn’t operate on some level of dysfunction. Churches are families, each with its own system. Some are more dysfunctional than others, but each is dysfunctional both by definition and behavior.
Pastor/Church Covenants are best established in grace. The idea is to both recognize and admit the dysfunction and less than perfect tendencies in each other by agreeing ahead of time not to hold either against the other. By establishing a relationship in grace, we give God the room to demonstrate an extraordinary work in both the individual and the corporate entity. When I expect less than perfection in others, my relationships are founded in grace with a potential to flourish.
I live under a covenant agreement with the church where I serve. If you’d like a copy, let me know and I’ll forward it to you. I’m thankful for a church, which operates by grace. We agree to love despite our imperfections. Sounds like the making of a great relationship. Churches and ministers both should take note of a relationship established in grace – a covenant between a minister and a church.