Many denominations trace their roots to the Pietist movement; a tradition that stresses warm piety, deep commitment to Christ and generous openness to others. Those who come from the rigidities of fundamentalism have discovered in such denominations, with a sigh of relief, that they could live their questions, voice their confusions and navigate theological disagreement without fear of condemnation. They have found a Biblically rooted theology that acknowledges that even the most thoughtful interpreter is still an imperfect and fallible one. They have found themselves worshipping alongside those that hold vastly different views on baptism, atonement, and who is fit to be a pastor. It has not always been comfortable, but when it works it is glorious—the people of God in all their variety and peculiarity gathered to worship their living Lord. This open stance is rooted in historical Pietism that rejected the hair-splitting and condemnatory theology of the post-Reformation era in favor of missional unity in Christ.
We fear that more than one denomination born in revival and generous openness has loosed itself from those precious Pietist roots and cast their lots with American Evangelicalism. There are plenty of voices pushing the divisiveness of the modern American Evangelicalism. There are not enough voices advocating for the kind of piety, freedom, and biblical commitment represented by Pietism at its best. The Covenant Collective is not starting a new denomination but rather aims to preserve that original Pietist vision through worship, encouragement, resources and advocacy. The Covenant Collective will help maintain the original vision of Pietism for pastors, churches, and anyone from any denomination or group that is drawn to that vision.
What we will do
Pietist Theology and History
Creation of safe spaces for dialogue
Legal advice, counsel and coaching for churches and pastors navigating problems with denominational hierarchy
Assist Churches aiming to become inclusive
Share advice on amending constitution and bylaws to protect pastor and local church
Connecting pastors and lay leaders committed to forming pietist communities
Support for churches experiencing denominational hostility
Care for pastors experiencing isolation
Care for lay people and leadership struggling to navigate complex congregational and denominational conflict
Regular regional gatherings for support and worship
Special events for worship and education