Bryan Pickering
Date Given: 
July 22, 2008

Relational Commitment FAQ

Why do we need the Relational Commitments?

The biggest reason is that the Relational Commitments clearly spell out in one place many of the benefits and expectations of “body life” for covenant members of BBC. It is our hope that, as a communication tool, these documents adequately convey the weightiness, seriousness, and blessedness of church membership.

Additionally, getting the consent of the members of Bethlehem more adequately allows the governing documents and practices of the church to take precedence over other governing authorities, such as the civil litigation system (i.e., the courts), so that we can live out our convictions of biblical church government and mutual accountability with less government interference.

What are the benefits of adopting the Relational Commitments?

  • They remind us of our mutual commitment to work together to pursue unity, maintain friendships, preserve marriages, and build relationships that reflect the love of Christ.
  • They help to prevent surprises, disappointed expectations, confusion and conflict by describing how we expect to relate to one another within the church.
  • They provide a clear track for us to run on when conflict threatens to divide us, and they remind us how to move quickly toward reconciliation.
  • They establish guidelines for how our leaders will counsel others, guard confidential information, and protect our children from abuse.
  • They define and limit the spiritual authority of church leaders and thereby insure that all members are treated fairly.
  • Finally, they reduce our church's exposure to legal liability by clearly establishing our relational practices and by affirming our mutual commitment to resolve conflict biblically.

What must be done to effectively utilize the Relational Commitments as governing documents for BBC?

Some changes must be made to the Constitution and the By-Laws, and the Relational Commitments themselves must be formally adopted by the congregation. A consent form will be distributed to all current members of Bethlehem.

How would prospective new members learn about the Relational Commitments?

Prospective members will learn about the Relational Commitments during the ASK Class and membership interviews.

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