A covenant is a promise or agreement between two or more people. Covenants have been made throughout history. The first covenant we know of was made by God with humankind after the Flood. The rainbow was used as the physical sign to us of God’s covenant to never again destroy the earth with a flood (Genesis 9). Another important covenant to review is the 10 Commandments (Exodus 20).
This group covenant is a commitment to each other for how we will act, interact, and react at the Gathering. We write it out and sign it as a physical sign of what we have promised to each other.
Questions to consider when forming a covenant:
- Who is involved (youth, adult leaders, parents, congregation, etc.)?
- What do you expect from each other?
- What do you expect from yourselves?
- How can you support each other?
- What is your role?
Possible Topics to Include:
- Buddy System
- Use of personal electronic equipment (i.e. cell phones, iPods, iPads, tablets, etc.)
- Activities you are participating in
- What to do if someone gets separated from the group
- Appropriate behavior in hotel rooms
- Courtesy and respect for each other and others around
- Dealing with put downs, harassment, and disagreements
- Dealing with offensive language
- Dress code
- Illegal substances
- Sexual activity (and define what this means)
- Any pre-Gathering or post-Gathering commitments
Other tips in covenant creation:
- Review the issues and define them. Discuss how to enforce and what you’re going to do when someone breaks the covenant. When youth decide punishment, it can get pretty strict. Guide them through this process.
- Once the covenant is written, type it up. Have a separate meeting at which all sign the covenant.
- Keep everything in positive language. (Example: “We will respect each other and the property they bring to the Gathering” rather than “We will not damage each others’ things”).
- Give everyone a copy of the signed covenant as a reminder.
Covenant Creation Guide
This covenant creation guide is provided to help groups in their planning. Covenants will vary from group to group. What is important is that group members each participate in creating the covenant and in living out the expectations each day.
As we prepare to experience the 2019 LCMS Youth Gathering together, we covenant with one another as a family in Christ. A covenant is a promise or agreement between two or more people. This Group Covenant contains our promises and commitments to each other for how we will act, interact, and react during the 2019 LCMS Youth Gathering in Minneapolis, MN.
1. We agree to honor one another as members of God’s family during this experience by…
2. We agree to care for each other in our group by…
3. We expect our Adult Leaders to…
4. We agree that we are called to be responsible to one another and to the families and congregation we represent and that we will deal with the following behavior issues in the following ways…
5. We willingly agree to abide by these rules and expectations…
6. When someone fails to follow the covenant, we will handle the problem in the following ways…
7. If someone gets separated from the group…
8. Before the 2019 LCMS Youth Gathering, we will…
9. After the 2019 LCMS Youth Gathering, we will…
Youth Participant Signature: _______________________________________
Adult Leader Signature: __________________________________________
Parent Signature: ______________________________________________
Pastor/DCE/Youth Worker/Elder Signature: ____________________________