A Sample Covenant


Last post, I shared the overall blue print for a flexibility covenant.  Somebody requested that I create a sample covenant, so that people could see what one might look like.

The point is not to look at the specifics I chose under each value.  The specific ways that a group is going to enact a value ought to be an expression of the group.  The idea is that this provides a snap shot of how a group might go from the blue print to an actual covenant.



1.  Our goal will be to attend 80% of the groups weekly meetings.  When we don’t attend we’ll commit to calling the small group leaders so that they can plan accordingly.

2.  We’ll commit to speaking the truth in love.  Sometimes this will mean encouraging others.  Other times this could mean saying things to people that might be hard to hear.  By signing this covenant we’re inviting each other into our lives.

Value: Transformation

1.  We will commit to praying for each member of our group individually at least once each week.


Value: Outward Reaching

1.  We will each commit to  participating in 2 formal service projects over the next year.  We will share responsibility for selecting, planning, and implementing these projects as evenly as possible within the group.


Value: Multiplication

1.  We will make preperations for this group to send out a small group missionaries to form the basis of a new group in 2 years.  We will be better prepared for losing some of our members to this new group if each of us has experience in lots of different areas.  Therefore:

A. Barney and Betty Rubble will commit to serving as apprentices to our current group leaders.  Barney and Betty will be the leaders of the new group and will work over the next 12 months at learning the ropes of small group leadership from Fred and Wilman.

B.  Joe Shmoe and Jill Jones will each lead at least two discussions over the next twelve months.




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The stories that speak to our soul begin at a home where things are good. Cinderella is happy with her father. The three little pigs have grown up and are ready to move on. Bilbo Baggins knows his shire. Adam and Eve walk with God in the garden. My story isn’t much different. There was a time and a place where it was so good. There was a community for me. And there was joy. We were filled with a sincere desire to do what God wanted us to do. We possessed explanations and understandings that went a certain distance. We offered security and tradition and laughter. For a lot of years, that was enough. I have this sense that it was also necessary. I have this surety, now, that it certainly wasn’t everything. There were some things that became increasingly problematic as time went by. There was a desire to package things up so very neatly. Sunday morning services were efficient and strategic. Responses to differences of opinion were premeditated. Formula began to feel more important than being real. A real desire for everybody to be one of us, but also a real sense that there is an us, and there is a them. They carried a regret that it has to be this way, but deeper than this regret was a surety that this is how it is. I began to recognize that there was a cost of admission to that group. There were people who sat at the door, collecting it. Those people wished they didn’t have to. But I guess they felt like they did have to. They let some people in, and they left others out. There was a provisional membership. My friends did possess a desire to accommodate people that are different… But it would be best for everyone concerned if they were only a little bit different. I did make many steps forward in this place. Before I went there, there were lies that I believed. Some of the things that I learned there, I still hold on to. But that place is not my home anymore. Those people are not my community anymore. There were times it was hard. I am engaged in a different community now. And I am working hard at finding a place in many different places now, embracing many different kind of families. I don’t always get it right. I am trying and I am learning and I am moving foreward. I have this sense that I am not alone in these experiences. I believe that we are tribe and we are growing. We are pilgrims, looking for a new holy land. Perhaps we won’t settle on the same spot of land. But if you’ve read this far, I am thinking that we are probably headed in the same general direction. I have begun this blog to talk about where my journey is taking me. In every space, we find people who help us along. And maybe we can get to know each other, here. We embrace ideas that provide a structure for the things we believe, and perhaps we can share these too. Maybe we can form a group, a tribe, a community, if we can figure out a way to work through the shadow of these kinds of groups, if we can bigger than the us-and-them ideas that have caused so much trouble in the past. As important as they are, I think the very nature of online interactions will lend itself to something equally powerful. I am stumbling onto these practices that my grandfathers and great grandfathers in the faith engaged in. I am learning about these attitudes and intuitions are so different than the kinds of things we call doctrine today. I don’t know about you, but I am running out of patience, and even interest, in conversations about doctrine. I hope that maybe you’ll share a little something about where your journey is taking you, and maybe our common joys and challenges might help each other along, and we might lift each other up. Thanks for doing this journey with me.

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