Transition from a Charter church to a Covenant church

Interested in transitioning your existing Foursquare Charter church to a Covenant Foursquare church? Let’s get started!

The Birth of The Covenant Church

The idea of a Covenant church has been in the heart of Foursquare leadership for many years as one option for churches to be part of the Foursquare family through something called the Foursquare Association. The concept of Covenant church was totally recast in 2016 to fulfill a longtime goal of creating new options for local Foursquare churches to own and manage real property, which is a contrast to our historical model for property ownership where title to real property has been jointly owned by all Foursquare churches via our corporate structure.

The transition to a Covenant church is a complex process because state, federal and IRS regulations govern the closure of one church and the beginning of another. The Foursquare Church has provided documents and charts to simplify, outline and coach a church through these processes, and consultation is available as needed.

The Covenant Agreement Adopted

In June 2016, the Foursquare convention body adopted a bylaw revision to provide for a Covenant church to be a local Foursquare church, but with its own corporate existence. The unique feature is the existence of a written covenant agreement, voluntarily entered into by the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel (ICFG) and the local Covenant church. In the covenant agreement, the local Covenant church pledges itself to adhere to the bylaws of ICFG and to operate fully as a local Foursquare church. In turn, ICFG pledges itself to provide the same covering and care to a local Covenant church that would be given to a Foursquare Charter church.

This new provision is an important step intended to remove barriers for existing churches that want to be part of the Foursquare family and yet maintain direct responsibility for decisions to buy, sell, improve, encumber or lease property. The setup, differences, process and other details are outlined herein.

Interested in transitioning from a Charter to a Covenant Church? Here’s how.

The steps below outline a clear pathway from Charter to Covenant status. It is worth noting that there are significant demands on the administrative and leadership functions of a local congregation. Please be sure to fully review the FAQ document and guide for details on costs—in dollars, personnel and time—that the legal process requires.

1

Orientation

Church reviews
orientation video
and materials
explaining what
it means to be a
Foursquare
Covenant church.

2

Consultation

District
consultation &
pre-approval
from ICFG Board.

3

Vote

Local congregation
votes to transition
to a Covenant
church.

4

Incorporation

Church retains
StartChurch to
establish
a nonprofit
corporation
within their state.

5

Documentation

Church completes form AR-8c and gathers
copies of important documents.

6

Submit to District

Church submits
AR-8c application form, supporting
documents & signed Covenant agreement
documenting ¾ supermajority
congregational vote and church board
signatures.

7

Review Application

Central office
departments
review application
and copies
of important
documents.

8

Board Approves

ICFG Board of
Directors
issues resolution
to approve
application and
transition church
to Covenant status.

9

Sign Agreement

ICFG signs Covenant agreement with local church corporation.

10

Open New Accounts

Church establishes new accounts with banks, vendors, payroll services,
tax authorities, etc. and re-hires staff under new corporation.

11

Close Old Accounts

Church satisfies all
outstanding financial
obligations (employee benefits, contracts, loans, etc.) or assigns liabilities to new corporation.

12

Transfer Assets

ICFG transfers operations and assigns leases to local church corporation – entity changes are updated in The Foursquare Hub.

13

Covenant Church

The local church board assumes responsibility for
property decisions, but operates as a Foursquare church per the Covenant agreement.

14

Ongoing Support

Foursquare districts and One Team provide ongoing support, resources, consultation and care.

Is transitioning your church from Charter to Covenant the path for you? Let’s get going!

Get all the details!

Have Questions?

Ready to Apply?

Are you an existing church interested in becoming a Foursquare Covenant church?

When your existing church joins the Foursquare community as a covenant church, you will receive the spiritual care, leadership and resources that a worldwide movement can provide.

Are you a new church plant?

This page outlines the process for existing Foursquare churches. If you are a new church plant trying to determine if becoming a Covenant church is the right fit for you, visit our page for new church plants.

Ready to get started? Have questions?