When new members join Forest Park, an Evangelical 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 Testament, 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.
The Evangelical Covenant Church (our denomination) 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 the Covenant affirmations is to make clear the values and principles that have guided the Covenant Church since its founding in 1885. For Covenant people, our essential beliefs are summed up in what we call Covenant Affirmations:
- We affirm the centrality of the word of God.
- We affirm the necessity of the new birth.
- We affirm a commitment to the whole mission of the church.
- We affirm the church as a fellowship of believers.
- We affirm a conscious dependence on the Holy Spirit.
- We affirm the reality of freedom in Christ.
Healthy Missional Markers
Although there is no perfect list that describes a healthy missional church, Forest Park is following the ten healthy missional markers laid out by the Covenant Church. By "healthy" we mean pursuing Christ. By "missional" we mean pursuing Christ's priorities in the world. These markers help us to listen to the Holy Spirit...so that our ears are open to what Jesus is saying to each member of our church.
- Centrality of the Word of God (2 Timothy 3:16)
- Life transforming walk with Jesus (John 3:3, 30; Phil. 1:6)
- Intentional evangelism (Matthew 28:18-20)
- Transforming communities through active compassion, mercy, and justice ministries (Micah 6:8)
- Global perspective and engagement (Acts 1:8)
- Compelling Christian community (Acts 2:42-47)
- Heartfelt worship (Psalm 138:1a; John 4:23)
- Sacrificial and generous living and giving (Romans 12:1-8)
- Culture of Godly leadership (Hebrews 13:7)
- Fruitful Organizational Structures (Acts 6:1-7; Exodus 18:13-26)