Covenant process for church plants

You will receive the spiritual care, leadership, and resources that a worldwide movement can provide when you plant a Foursquare Covenant church.

What is a Covenant church?

In June of 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
International Church of the Foursquare Gospel and the local Covenant church. In the Covenant
agreement, the local Covenant church pledges itself to adhere to the bylaws of the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel (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.

The Covenant Arrangement Illustrated

Watch this helpful video, which illustrates how a covenant arrangement works.

Interested in the Covenant church process for your church plant? Here’s how.

Before beginning the process of becoming a Covenant church:

  1. The church plant must first receive affirmation from the district office and their oversight team to form a Covenant church corporation. (The oversight team may be Multiply or the EIN registered church of a missional congregation.)
  2. The church planter must have an active Foursquare ministerial credential before the church plant becomes a Foursquare Covenant church. The church planter will be assigned a coach for the ministerial credentialing process, which will cover the history, doctrine, and polity of the Foursquare Church. During this time, the district office can continue to process the Covenant church application and supporting documents.  However, the church planter will need to receive their ministerial credential before the covenant agreement can be signed and fully executed by the ICFG board of directors.

Church reviews orientation video and materials.

This orientation video will help orient you to the Foursquare Covenant church process by outlining the important aspects of the covenant relationship and the steps involved in the application process.    

We also recommend you read the Frequently Asked Questions document, which may answer some of the questions you and your leadership may have about the process.   

The church plant must form a corporation.

Foursquare has pre-negotiated prices with Startchurch, who may be contacted at or 1-844-549-4506. Please mention Foursquare when calling to receive the correct incorporation documents and the special pricing. Startchurch will prepare the articles of incorporation and bylaws and request an EIN from the IRS. (If the church plant prefers to use an attorney, the church plant must first call the Foursquare Legal department before proceeding.)

Prepare AR 1-c forms and supplemental info

To initiate the application process, your district office will provide Foursquare form AR-1c, “Application to Become a Covenant church.” Please complete this form, the Covenant agreement signed by the church board, and the documents below. The covenant agreement is a document detailing the nature and relationship between the local church and The Foursquare Church. The Covenant church agrees to follow the Foursquare bylaws and operate under all Foursquare adopted policies and procedures.

Articles of incorporation
These are documents used to create a corporation legally. It has general information about the corporation, the type of corporation you are forming (a nonprofit), names of your board of directors, etc.

Bylaws govern the operations of the church. In signing the covenant agreement, the local church board voluntarily agrees to apply Foursquare bylaws in place of its own bylaws and operate the church under all Foursquare adopted policies and procedures. As a result, the local church will be recognized as a Foursquare church (as defined in the Foursquare bylaws) concerning all ecclesiastical, polity, and relational issues. The local church will follow the Covenant church property transaction process as outlined in the Foursquare bylaws for real property transaction purposes.

Insurance policies
Every Foursquare church is required to maintain adequate insurance for church activities. This obligation is the joint responsibility of the pastor and church board/council members.

The church may obtain insurance from the Foursquare Insurance department or use an outside company to get insurance.

The insurance policy should include property, liability, worker’s compensation, sexual misconduct, and officer’s/directors insurance and meet Foursquare’s required minimum coverage limits. These minimum coverage limits can be found in the Insurance Service Policy Notebook on the Foursquare Insurance Department Webpage under the section titled, “Information for Securing Insurance with a Carrier other than through Foursquare Insurance Services.”

The following insurance carriers are known to provide coverage that satisfies the listed requirements:
· Brotherhood Mutual Insurance Co.
· Guide One Insurance Co.
· Church Mutual Insurance Co.
· Farmers Insurance Co.

When contacting these companies, church leaders should ask for an agent referral in their area.

List of current officers
Please provide a list of the names and positions of the corporate officers (i.e., president, treasurer, corporate secretary) of your church corporation with the Form AR-1c.

List of directors
Please provide a list of the names of your board of directors (aka church council members) with the submission of the Form AR-1c.

A complete application packet will consist of Foursquare form AR-1c, the church board signed Covenant church agreement, and the supporting documents itemized on form AR-1c. Once finished, this packet should be sent to the district office.

The Foursquare district and other teams will review the Covenant church application package. If there are additional follow-up questions or missing documentation, the district office will follow up directly with the church plant. The application will be submitted for inclusion on the ICFG board agenda when the review is complete.

The completed application and supplemental documents are submitted to the ICFG board for approval. Board approval signifies the church plant is now a Foursquare Covenant church.

Upon approval, the covenant agreement will be sent to the corporate secretary’s office to obtain signatures on behalf of the ICFG’s board of directors. The district office will provide a written copy of the board resolution and a copy of the signed covenant agreement for the permanent records of the local church corporation.

Membership and activity records for every Foursquare church and minister are tracked in a database called “The Foursquare Hub.” The Hub also serves as the portal for reporting missional and financial activity of the church, tracking appointments of Foursquare ministers, applying for ministerial credentials, and many other important functions. The district office will assign the senior pastor and his/her designees with login credentials to The Foursquare Hub database. The senior pastor and those handling the administrative aspects of the church should become familiar with The Hub by watching the tutorial videos available through the Foursquare Administrative Toolkit. Please contact your district office if you have not yet been assigned login credentials for The Foursquare Hub.  

To celebrate and honor the church, the district office will present a covenant plaque. Your district office will contact you to schedule this presentation.  

The district office will ensure that your church receives communications regarding upcoming events such as camps, leadership training, and other regular communications. You will also be receiving communications from our national office, including invitations to participate in national events such as Connection, our convention for Foursquare ministers. 

As stated in the covenant agreement, your church board will retain responsibility for administering the local church corporation serving as the “church council” for all responsibilities referenced in the Foursquare bylaws and policies. The local church board will be responsible for maintaining its corporate status and complying with all state and federal laws.

The Foursquare Church has many resources available through the Foursquare administrative toolkit. This toolkit is a compilation of videos, templates, diagrams, and other helpful resources that may assist the church with administrative questions and provide practical tools on topics such as the legal and financial responsibilities of pastoral leaders, clergy taxation, church compensation practices, and the roles and responsibilities of a church council.  

The district office will continue to provide ongoing care and consultation for your church. If your church has a question or concern at any time, the district office will serve as the first point of contact.

Is becoming a Covenant Church the path for your church plant? Let’s get going!

Get all the details!

Have Questions?

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Are you an established church?

This page outlines the process for new church plants. If you are an established church trying to determine if becoming a Covenant church is the right fit for you, visit our pages for becoming a Foursquare church or transitioning from charter to covenant.

Ready to get started? Have questions?