A mini-sermon to help understand the importance of a covenant. We need community. God created us for community (Genesis 1:26-31; 2:18-25). What held the community together? God did by setting in place a set of common values and expectations that everybody understood and agreed to. However, sin destroyed this community (Genesis 3). God redeemed it again with another value â€“ Jesus Christ. So what does that all have to do with a LIFE Group Covenant?
We will have broken, destroyed vessels in our Life Groups which if left alone will create broken, destroyed community. If our Life Groups are going to be places of true heartfelt, loving community, then we must have a set of common values to agree upon. These common values make up a Life Group Covenant.
The Value of a Covenant
First, it explicitly states our LIFE Groupâ€™s purpose and direction. To have life-changing experience with Jesus.
Secondly, it allows the group to evaluate and determine growth. Key evaluation questions can be answered honestly and openly when there is a covenant to support it.
A Life Group covenant allows newcomers to get a good, quick picture of the LIFE Group. This is key if new people are going to open up and be vulnerable in a short amount of time.
Finally, it places everyone on equal footing. No one is above being held accountable. If for some reason, a confidence is broken within the LIFE Group, the covenant acts as a protector of the group. It will be easier to confront when everyone has signed off on the same expectations – no matter the age or ‘status’ of the group member.
The Life Group leader is responsible for walking the Life Group through establishing their covenant. Basically, the group itself determines what standards they want to be held accountable for. There is no set formula for a group’s covenant but there should be at least five areas covered in the covenant.
First, it needs to be clear how conflict and wrongdoing are going to be handled.
Second, there needs to be an understanding of confidentiality. Nothing damages community like broken confidences. Cases of abuse, suicide, or someone else getting hurt will require us to involve other parties.
Third, a commitment to show up regularly.
Fourth, an understanding of the purpose of Life Groups.
Finally, the whole group must promise to uphold these guidelines.
Next Session: Handling Conflict