1) I commit to meet. I will meet the whole group once a week, as my top priority, to debrief my week, talk about house issues, encourage each other and pray. I will also eat supper daily with the house members as often as I can. The meeting can be moved as needed to accommodate situations that may arise. We also commit to special meetings such as retreats on occasion as the need arises, making these priority over other opportunities.
2) I commit to Love. I will treat my community and those we come across with respect, dignity, gentleness, sincerity, kindness and love because Jesus has done this for me.
3) I commit to stability. This means I will commit to live together, with the people who sign this commitment, in the city of Kingston, for a period of at least 3 years, unless called by God to go elsewhere and this call is confirmed by the people of our community.
4) I commit to submission. This means I will submit all major decisions (relationships, time away) and major purchases (over 10$) to the rest of the group for guidance. All decisions will be made by consensus, everyone agrees, and compared to the standard of scripture where applicable. I will submit to the group’s guidance. I commit to accountability, and invite others to speak truth into my life, being willing to accept truth spoken to me.
5) I commit to making our house a house of true hospitality. I will strive to make our house welcome to all. This means I will do all I can to serve our guests and our members by keeping the house clean, daily dish washing, cooking, providing meals and shelter, as well as creating welcoming conversations and activities, etc.
6) I commit to serve. I will volunteer at least once a week at a downtown social service, with the goal of making friendships that extend beyond those services.
7) I commit to the members of this community. I will connect one-on-one with every member of the household on a weekly basis. This will also require openness to invitations and inviting. ‘Connecting’ means: Separating a portion of time for each member of the household to have a conversation, growing in knowledge of the other person. I will also pray for every member of the household on a daily basis.
8) I commit to reconciliation. I will harbour no resentment against other members of the group, but will confess my frustration with them. I will also deal with conflict as outlined in Matthew 18:15-17. I will have reconciliation before worship as outlined in Matthew 5:21-26. I will not go to bed angry, as outlined in Ephesians 4:26-27.
9) I commit to the local church. Our house is not a church but a witness to the church. I will be at church on most Sundays. If I am unable to make it to a worship service, I will be with the body of Christ. I will also commit to keep the Sabbath holy (a day of rest).
10) I commit to simplicity. I will seek first the kingdom of God and do all I can to not be controlled by money, media, addictions, intoxication and other forces in our broken culture. Simplicity also involves making choices to be more environmentally friendly, to respect the planet God has given us: electricity, air drying, recycling, heat, gardening, etc. (Matthew 6:24-34)
(We need to choose to not complicate our lives. We will encourage creativity and interactive social events instead of defaulting to addictions. If a member has an addiction, we will work together towards breaking that addiction. We will create limits and rules about media to ensure we are sticking to our commitments, and not developing addictions. No T.V. ever.)
11) I commit to chastity. Sex is meant to consummate a commitment of marriage. I will also honour all marriage vows. We commit to confessing moral failures, and having accountability about purity.
Ephesians 5:3-4 and 1 John 1:5-7
12) I commit to devotion. I will consistently read my bible, and practice spiritual disciplines such as prayer, meditation, solitude, fasting, and service. I will also help my community members to do the same. I will also commit to vows for deeper commitment from time to time. (Matthew 6:33)
(PRAYER: need to become more focused, corporately and individually; we need to realize the necessity of relying on God, ask people to pray for us; prayer for spiritual growth, lost friends, worship of God, CREATIVE prayers. We can make specific requests for others to keep us accountable. Bible reading needs to be checked at weekly meeting. Suggestions: House fasting day, once a month. House Prayer Meeting weekly. House bible reading. Spirituality Centre on occasion.)
13) I commit to protect. I will not be a stumbling block to my community, nor to my guests. To avoid encouraging addictions and other stumbles, I will not consume or store alcohol, or any illegal substances, in the house, and make any other adjustments to my life that may help the people I serve. I will also protect house member’s reputations, and honour them outside the house.
14) I commit to share. Rent, groceries, hydro bills, phone bills will be shared equally. Each person will need to contribute 500$ per month to cover these expenses, BUT accountability will still be maintained concerning personal spending. All non-necessary purchases beyond a reasonable personal amount will need to have the permission of another housemate or the household.
15) I commit to Give as a Form of Worship: I commit to give a certain amount of my salary/income to the local church, or other ministries God leads me to give to. Giving is a form of worship; we need to be honest with God about giving financially. We should be generous with what we’ve been given. Accountability (We can ask: “have you worshiped God by giving this week/month?” “Did you give as a form of worship?”). I commit to make financial giving a priority, and believe that there is blessing in giving.
2 Corinthians 9:6-8