That’s all. That is enough.
When new members join a Covenant church, they are asked two questions about belief: “Do you confess Jesus Christ as your Savior and promise to follow him as Lord?” and “Do you accept the Holy Scriptures, the Old and New Testaments, as the word of God and the only perfect rule for faith, doctrine, and conduct?” They are then asked if they intend to live as faithful followers of Christ and members of the church and denomination.
But on another level, of course, the answer is a good deal more complex. While the Covenant Church does not require adherence to any written creed, we take our theology very seriously, and our history as well. We are a Reformation church, a part of the Church universal, and an evangelical church. In that heritage, we share certain central beliefs, which draw us together in faith and fellowship and make possible a freedom among us on more widely ranging issues.
We describe those central beliefs as “affirmations.” We hope that as you read these affirmations you will find yourself identifying with them in your own faith experience. If they raise questions for you or you would like to read further, we would encourage you to ask your pastor (if you are already in contact with a Covenant church) or any Covenant pastor for more suggestions.
The Evangelical Covenant Church seeks to form and nurture communities that are deeply committed to Jesus Christ and passionately engaged in Christ’s mission in the world. The purpose of Covenant affirmations is to make clear the values and principles that have guided the Evangelical Covenant Church since its founding in 1885.
For Covenant people, our essential beliefs are summed up in what we call Covenant Affirmations:
Affirmation 1 ⇒ We affirm the centrality of the word of God.
We believe the Bible to be the “Word of God, and the only perfect rule for faith, doctrine and conduct.” We desire to be shaped by this living Word of God. We don’t judge the Bible, the Bible judges us. It tells us who God is, who we are, and what we need to do in order to be in right relationship with Him.
Affirmation 2 ⇒ We affirm the necessity of the new birth.
We believe in the “necessity of the new birth.” Our founders understood that the Christian faith isn’t reliably transmitted by family, by baptism, or by any other religious or cultural ritual. We become Christians when we respond personally and gratefully to what God has already done for us in Jesus.
Affirmation 3 ⇒ We affirm a commitment to the whole mission of the church.
Our purpose as a church is twofold: we want to see lost people found and hurting people helped. We are committed to sharing the good news of Jesus while at the same time doing our best to care for those who have physical and emotional needs.
Affirmation 4 ⇒ We affirm the church as a fellowship of believers.
The church is a fellowship of believers. While we welcome into our services and activities all who have an interest in learning more about biblical Christian faith, membership always comes by confession of personal faith in Jesus Christ.
Affirmation 5 ⇒ We affirm a conscious dependence on the Holy Spirit.
This affirmation is a reminder that God’s Spirit is active in all aspects of our relationship to God. We can’t come to faith in the first place unless it is the Spirit who convicts us of our sin and need; and once we accept Christ, the Spirit gives us special gifts that allow us to find our own place of witness and service within the Church.
Affirmation 6 ⇒ We affirm the reality of freedom in Christ.
We focus on what unites followers of Jesus rather than on what divides them. When it comes to those debatable matters that sincere Christians have discussed (and sometimes argued about) for generations, we want to be humble and open to various points of view. When it comes, however, to those central truths that have been common to all Christians everywhere, we want to be clear and unambiguous in our witness.
Extend The Paradise in Naples and beyond
The vision of Paradise Coast Church is to extend the paradise in Naples beyond the weather to relationships that work, a place to belong, a love connection with God, and a purpose that affects generations.
Offer Everyone an apprenticeship with jesus
The vision of Paradise Coast Church is to offer everyone an apprenticeship with Jesus where one can learn his teachings and put them into practice. It is learning and living the teaching of Jesus that extend paradise beyond the weather.
offer nuts and bolts support for living and teaching
The vision of Paradise Coast Church is to offer nuts and bolts support for living the teachings of Jesus. For instance, Jesus taught that we are to use the energy of our anger to resolve issues and reconcile relationships. Nuts and bolts support for the teaching of Jesus on anger would be to have seminars on anger, support groups for anger, counseling for anger, prayer for anger, and anything else that would help us live what Jesus taught on anger. This kind of support would be offered for all the things Jesus taught from anger to making a difference in the world around us.
start churches on a regular basis
The vision of Paradise Coast Church is to start churches on a regular basis that start other churches. Generously, 20% of the population of Collier County is in a worship service on any given weekend. That means 80% are not. One way to reach the 80% that are not is to start more churches. In addition to the current population of Collier County, the commissioners claim that by 2080, 400,000 more full-time residents will live in Collier County. The only way to reach those people is to start more churches. The vision is to start a church planting movement in Collier County that would change the church attendance dynamic from 80% not in worship to 80% in worship.
to pray for collier county
The vision of Paradise Coast Church is to pray for Collier County, involve other churches in praying for Collier County, and pray with other churches for Collier County, and in so doing, discover what God is doing in Collier County, what God wants to do in Collier County, and be a part of it.
To have a global influence
Naples is a global city. People come from all over the country and all over the world to visit here. Paradise Coast Church wants to send people back home with an encounter with Jesus that affects their lives and the lives of the people around them and the communities in which they live.