Covenant Membership (Part 1): Biblically Oriented

What Does It Mean to Be Biblically Oriented?

Understanding Our Church Covenant Agreement

Many of you know of our Church Membership Covenant. However, you may not know what is in it or what it means to be a member of Mount Carmel. I've gone to church on a very regular basis for nearly my entire adult life, but until a few years ago, I truly had no idea what it meant to be a member of a church. Sure, I knew there was such a thing... I even was one, but I had never given it much more thought other than hearing the preacher say that you should join the church.

If you know my story, you know that until 2017ish, I was a career Publix guy. Not a pastor. Which unfortunately meant that I had never given much thought to things like church membership. I just did what I was told and became one. However, one of the first Wednesday night studies we did at Mount Carmel after I became the pastor there was based on the book by Dean Inserra, The Unsaved Christian. In that book, Dean told of a new members class he gave at the church he planted in Tallahassee, FL. A lady asked him a question that I am assuming sent him barreling down the same path I have now gone down. She asked him, "What changes on Monday if I join the church and become a member on Sunday?"

"What changes on Monday if I join the church and become a member on Sunday?"

So, what does change, or does anything change? Out of this question came our Covenant Agreement. The Mount Carmel Covenant Agreement outlines what it looks like to BE a member of the body of Christ at our church. In the first part of this series, I hope to further explain the very first tenant of our covenant, being "Biblically Oriented".

Let me first say that you can be biblically oriented outside of membership at Mount Carmel. However, you are expected to be biblically oriented when you are a member at Mount Carmel. It is quite possibly the most foundational of all the tenants contained in our covenant. Here's why, when you view everything through the lens of the Scriptures, you will be rightly oriented towards God and His people.

Here is what we say about being biblically oriented in our covenant:
This is an action statement. It isn't enough to just read God's Word or know God's Word, you must be surrendered to following it and committed to consuming it, allowing every area of your life to be conformed to the Word. In God's Word, we find truth. Jesus said in John 17, "I have given them your word. The world hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. I am not praying that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth." We are sanctified by the Word of God. Our lives cannot remain the same when we surrender and commit to God's Word. Our lives are changed, we are transformed, the old is gone and the new has come. The Bible is the greatest way God has given us to see who He is and what He expects from us in our lives. Jesus has sent us into the world to show who He is and we find out who He is by consuming His Word. Why wouldn't we want to start there when it comes to gathering together as brothers and sisters in the church?

"That all sounds great," you may be saying, "but how exactly do I become biblically oriented?" I'm glad you asked. Read God's Word! Listen to God's Word be read! Study God's Word! Join together with other like-minded individuals and discuss God's Word! Go to a church that preaches the gospel, preferably in an expositional manner, and consume God's Word! Find songs that are rich in Scripture and listen to them! Find the Scriptures from the song lyrics in the Bible and read them! Then, do what you read, hear, study, discuss, and consume... and do that together with other people who have committed themselves as part of the local church you are a part of.

Here is what happens when you gather together with other followers of Jesus and you know that they too have committed and promised themselves to following Jesus the same way you do. It will give you confidence that those brothers and sisters will be there standing beside you through thick and thin. You can have confidence that they will truly intercede on your behalf to God when things aren't going so well. You can have confidence that they will be right beside you to celebrate your victories and triumphs. They can know, with confidence, that you will do the same for them. That's what changes when you become a member at Mount Carmel.

I would love to hear your feedback or answer your questions. Feel free to leave a comment here or send me a message.

Grace and Peace,
Pastor Bo


Yvonne Billups - March 1st, 2024 at 11:57am

A good reminder that this should be the daily goal.

randy - March 2nd, 2024 at 10:10pm

A wonderful explanation of Biblically Oriented. This covenant puts into words how we can devote our lives to our walk with Jesus. See especially, the last 2 paragraphs, before the call for feedback. Thank you, Pastor Bo