We first opened our doors in 1978 with just 17 members. Back then, we were known as Emmanuel Christian Fellowship (ECF), the smallest of the Evangelical Free Church (EFC) churches. Without a building to call our own, we worshipped in theatres, restaurants and even members' homes.
Still God was good. Despite our nomadic lifestyle, our numbers grew, and in 1992, we were renamed Covenant Evangelical Free Church as a reflection of God's promise of salvation.
Today, we are the largest EFC church in Singapore. Every week, we welcome 4,000 members and visitors at our two church buildings, Bukit Panjang Centre and Woodlands Centre. A testament to God's faithfulness, both Centres were realised without bank loans; instead, 400 members raised $15 million for Bukit Panjang Centre in 2000, and eight years later, 3,000 members raised yet another $28 million for Woodlands Centre.
Our calling is to be an intentional disciple-making church (IDMC). We began our IDMC Conferences in 2001 which continues to attract delegates from over 20 countries worldwide. And in 2008, Rev Edmund Chan launched the global alliance of Intentional Disciple-making Churches, comprising like-minded churches committed to making disciples of all nations.
United as one church, we will continue to seek God as we grow from strength to strength in both grace and godliness.
Why do we do what we do? And what is it that we do anyway?
At Covenant EFC, we believe that disciple-making is the core mission of the Church. Our mission statement is thus: Returning the Church to its disciple-making roots through authentic discipleship and intentional disciple-making so as to reproduce disciples of a certain kind and to multiply them to win the world for Christ!
Where do we want to be?
We are thankful for the compelling vision that God has given us, not merely to make disciples but to disciple the nations; a local church with a global impact. Thus, our vision statement reads: To build an IDMC model so as to launch an IDMC movement so as to catalyse a multiplication of Intentional Disciple-making Churches to fulfill the Great Commission Mandate. Covenant is called to build for a larger vision. It is just not about building an IDMC church in Covenant. It is about spearheading and catalysing a movement of IDMC churches across the world.
The greatest need of the world is hope. This hope is found in the Gospel of Christ. The appointed carrier of the Gospel is the Church. The greatest need of the Church is leadership; and the most strategic way to develop leaders is through intentional mentoring! This mentoring legacy is Covenant's distinctive as captured by our church slogan:
Our visible (or expressed) values are Grace, Growth and Godliness.
Grace is the very basis of our being. We are here because of the grace of God. Two things can be said: Grace must first be received before we can give it. Only when we have received grace, are we able to give grace. When we recognise our own brokenness and how the Lord still graciously pours His love upon our lives – we grow to be gracious people.
Growth is an outcome of grace. True grace does not lead us to lethargy nor indulgence, rather to diligent growth. God’s grace in our lives allows us to be ourselves and even more than ourselves. It is stewarding our lives in such a way that we mature towards all that our Lord intends us to be.
Godliness is what we hope to be. To be godly means to live our lives with reference to God and with deference to God. Living our lives with reference to God means God becomes the centre of all we are and what we do. Indeed, in Him, we live and move and have our being! Living our lives with deference to God means we choose His will and His direction over our preference.
The 3Gs are the expression of the kind of disciple-making church we hope to be.
They flow out from our 5 underlying (or core) values that form the cornerstones of our beliefs and actions:
TRUTH centred upon the Word of God (Psalm 119:160)
We believe that the most important world that we live in is the unseen world – and the most precious commodity in the unseen world is truth. This truth is revealed in the Word of God. Thus, we are committed to the Bible as the inspired, inerrant and infallible Word of God, and as the sole authority governing our lives.
COMMUNITY centred upon the Worship of God (Acts 2:43-47)
We believe that true biblical community begins when we relate rightly with God and with each other. We also believe that while reality does not depend on human constructs, our perception of reality is often influenced by our surroundings. Hence, life change best happens within the context of small groups. (Covenant Groups - CGs)
STEWARDSHIP centred upon the Will of God (1 Corinthians 4:1-2)
Stewardship centered upon the will of God means that the exercising of Covenant’s resources has to be done in the context of God’s calling for us. We believe that we are primarily not owners but stewards. This stewardship is two-fold – the stewardship of the Gospel and the stewardship of our resources.
BALANCE centred upon the Wisdom of God ( Ecclesiastes 7:18)
We believe that we must ride the tensions of life’s complexities with compassion and discerning wisdom. This wisdom comes from above. Thus, in a world prone to extremism, we seek a biblical balance
BROKENNESS centred upon the Way of God (Psalm 51:17)
We value brokenness as a church. Brokenness is absolutely necessary for surrender. Without dying to ourselves, without denying our rights, we cannot even begin to surrender to God. Jesus’ call is a discipleship of humility and brokenness.
ARTICLES OF FAITH
|Our Faith||Bible Verse|
|We believe the Bible to be the inspired Word of God that reveals His will for the salvation of men, and the final authority for all Christian faith and life.||2 Timothy 3:14-17; 1 Thessalonians 2:13|
|We believe in one God existing in three Persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.||Matthew 28:19; John 15:26|
|We believe that Jesus Christ was conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. He died on the cross as a sacrifice for our sins then arose from the dead and ascended into heaven, where He now is our High Priest and Advocate.||Matthew 1:18-25; Luke 1:35; Isaiah 53; 1 Corinthians 15:20-23; Acts 1:9-11; 1 Peter 3:22; 1 John 2:1|
|We believe the ministry of the Holy Spirit is to glorify Jesus Christ, convict men, and guide, instruct and empower the believer.||John 7:38-39; 14:16-17; 15:26; 16:13-14|
|We believe that man was created in the Image of God, but fell into sin. Only through renewal in the Holy Spirit can we gain salvation.||Genesis 1:24-27; 3:1-24|
|We believe that the blood of Jesus Christ and His resurrection provide the only way to salvation for all who believe. Those who receive Jesus Christ are born of the Holy Spirit and become children of God.||Isaiah 53; 1 Corinthians 15:3-4; Romans 8:1-9|
|We believe that water baptism and the Lord's Supper should be observed by the church. However, they are not a means to salvation.||Matthew 3:15-16; 28-19; 1 Corinthians 11:23-26|
|We believe that the true church is made up of people, who by believing in Jesus Christ and having been renewed by the Holy Spirit, are united in the Body of Christ.||Matthew 14:14-18; Acts 2:32-49; 2 Corinthians 5:8; Philippians 1:23|
|We believe that only those who are members of the true church can become members in the local church.||Acts 2:47; 1 John 2:19|
|We believe that Jesus Christ is the Lord and Head of the Church and that every local church has the right, under Christ, to conduct its own affairs.||Colossians 1:18; Acts 6:1-4; 15:3-4,22|
|We believe in the second coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and that this "Blessed Hope" impacts the personal life and actions of each believer.||Revelations 20:4-6; 1 Thessalonians 4:14-18|
|We believe in the physical resurrection of the dead, where the believer will gain eternal life with the Lord and the unbeliever everlasting punishment.||Matthew 25:46; Revelations 20:11-15|