We believe that belonging to a local church is meaningful and vital. The language we use to talk about this sense of an official expression of being “all in” with our purpose and core values and this desire to belong is “Covenant Partnership” (we recognize that this kind of language might be new to you). You may be more familiar with the terminology of membership - we believe that covenant partnership aligns a bit closer with the overall Scriptural sentiment. Being a Covenant Partner at Riverside essentially increases your responsibilities, including electing our Lead Pastor and Board of Deacons and setting significant church policies. Therefore, our partners must be in agreement with, believe, and adhere to our doctrines and practices set forth as follows:
Salvation & Water Baptism
Each candidate for partnership shall give evidence of having been “born again” of the Spirit of God. The inward evidence is the witness of the Holy Spirit. The outward evidence is living in humble obedience to the teachings of Jesus Christ. We find and follow Him. The first thing He calls us to do is to be baptized in water as an outward expression of our inward transformation. You can learn more about baptism here.
In the inspiration of the Holy Scriptures
In the Trinity: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit
In the deity of our Lord Jesus Christ and His virgin birth
In the forgiveness of sin through the cross of Christ
In the healing of body, mind, and soul
In salvation by grace through faith
In the indwelling guidance of the Holy Spirit
In the return of Jesus Christ
Since the strength of our church is dependent upon the commitment of each partner, a sense of responsibility to the participation in weekly services of the church is expected. This is expressed in our Revere core value. Each candidate for partnership shall be expected to have faithfully attended (in person) Riverside for at least six months.
Our Contribute core value calls us to identify and explore our spiritual gifts and use them to add value to our church family by serving. This is expressed in the commitment that each partner will become involved in at least one ministry of the church through our Contribute Groups.
The church’s operation requires faithful financial support from its partners and adherents. We believe the Biblical method for support is the tithe (giving one-tenth of one’s income). Offerings are given above and beyond the tithe. Consistency in returning our tithes and giving our offerings is a commitment of covenant partners at Riverside.
One of the requirements of church partnership is “evidence of a consistent Christian life.”
Romans 6:4-8; Romans 8:1-14; Ephesians 4:17-32; and 1 John 1:5-7 deal with the general principles of Christian living – as followers of Jesus, we are to be separated from this ungodly world in our thoughts, words, and general conduct. We embrace these principles in our Connect core value and put them into practice in our Connect Groups. As a partner, we highly encourage you to participate for your health and growth!
To become a partner, you will be expected to attend the New To Know, Ready To Grow, and Let’s Go! Sessions as a part of the process. After you have gone through the Next Steps process and have given prayerful attention to being a Covenant Partner, please fill out and submit the online application. The Board of Deacons will review the application, and upon their approval, you will be received as a Covenant Partner at our annual meeting. If you are not ready to apply, please be assured that it will not affect your welcome as a part of the Riverside family. Don’t hesitate to contact our church office for more information regarding Covenant Partnership.