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Luke Merritt

Instructor: Malcolm Campbell

English 1101

October 22, 2014

Christ Covenant Church, Matthews, NC

The group I choose to observe was Christ Covenant Church in Matthews, North Carolina.
According to Christ Covenant Church’s website the Church was established in 1983 as a mission

Commented [MM1]: Chose
Commented [MM2]: Insert a comma after website

of the Central Carolina Presbytery and a daughter church of Briarwood Presbyterian Church in
Birmingham, Alabama. Christ Covenant Church is a member of the Presbyterian Church in
America. The Church’s first building was a small modular unit on a small piece of land in
southeast Charlotte. It was not until the first full time organizing pastor Harry Reeder that the
Church would begin to grow. The church grew quickly with Pastor Reeder’s arrival and the
Church moved its services to Charlotte Christian School. When the Church moved to Charlotte
Christian School it began to search for a tract of land and developed its building plans. The
congregation purchased land in Matthews that formed a 69-acre campus. The 69-acre campus
also included a 28-acre athletic field complex. Today the campus has built eight buildings with a
total of 120,000 square feet which includes the Sanctuary. The new sanctuary currently seats
2,000 people for services.

The congregation is assisted in its ministry with a staff of nearly 100 people. This staff
includes pastors, directors, and supports Church planting efforts in the Charlotte region and in

Commented [MM3]: Planting or planning?

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several countries, including France, Romania and Uganda. One way that Christ Covenant
Church is connected to UNC Charlotte is through its ministry called Campus Outreach. Campus
Outreach is now on five college and university campuses in the Charlotte region and in South
Africa where they serve on three campuses. Other activities like SOAR youth sports reach out to
almost 1,000 children each season. The Covenant Day School has been successful with an
enrollment of more than 800 students in grades K through twelve.

The Church has been recognizing the strength and value of relationships with the
surrounding neighbors. The Church congregation has been strengthening its ministry in the
communities with neighborhood gatherings and small groups designed for outreach and care as
needed. The Church began with just four families. Now, Christ Covenant Church has grown to a
current membership status of more than 2,350 communing members and children.

The vision of Christ Covenant Church is committed to making disciples who worship
God, grow in community, love others and serve the world. The Church’s mission is to develop
disciples of Jesus Christ by helping them move toward spiritual maturity. The Church seeks to
allow others to be able to come worship God and to hear the proclamation of the Gospel in its
full counsel. The Church is focused on four main points which include: Gospel Driven, Disciple
Making, Faith Integrating, and Culture Engaging. The Church’s mission is based off this verse:
“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of
the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.
Matthew 28:19”

Christ Covenant Church is a Church I have not been in contact with for long. It began
when my friend Parker James invited me to go one Sunday over a month ago. I have been to two

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Sunday services and four Campus Outreach meetings to date. The Campus Outreach meetings
are ran by pastors from Christ Covenant Church. The Campus Outreach meetings take place
every Tuesday night at nine a clock. My connection with this Church comes from my friend
Parker and now I plan to become a regular attending member both on Sundays and Tuesday
nights.

My observations started about five weeks ago when I first visit Christ Covenant Church
in Matthews. Since that time, I have been to the Church twice on Sundays and have been to the
local ministry called Outreach four times. The Outreach program is a campus ministry that is like
an arm of Christ Covenant Church. Campus Outreach is funded and directed by Christ Covenant
Church. Campus Outreach meets on Tuesday evenings at nine a clock every week at the RDH
cafeteria building near Moore and Sanford Hall. The location of Campus Outreach makes it
easier to attract more students to come visit since its right at the doorsteps of thousands of

Commented [MM4]: You mentioned this in the paragraph
before. Maybe take out this one and mention where the Tuesday
night meeting are in the last paragraph.

students.

The director I interviewed was Stuart Lockhart. Mr. Lockhart is an intelligent, young,
athletic, reserved, and energetic guy. He answered my question about the Church and Campus
Outreach with a lot of detail and interest. He is employed by the Church and enjoys helping to
spread the Gospel to college students, kids, and all other ages. I have become connected to the
Church since my friend Parker James first took me five weeks ago. Several other Army Cadets
attend Campus Outreach with me and I am beginning to learn more about those involved with
this program. Therefore, my connection with the Church and Campus Outreach is a growing
process.

Commented [MM5]: Mentioned earlier. Don’t need this
sentence

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Christ Covenant Church like all other Churches speaks through a certain language. The
Church emphasizes respect when a person is speaking. One person is supposed to speak at a time
so their voice can be heard. The phrases “Jesus Christ is our Savior”, “Testimony”, and “Be
saved” are all heard numerous times both at the Church and at Campus Outreach. Some
Churches are based more on culture and traditional verses the Gospel. Others are more Gospel

Commented [MM6]: I’m not understanding this part. Maybe
you left out a word?

driven compared to the more traditional and culture Churches. “Christ Covenant Church is a
Gospel centered Church,” is what Mr. Lockhart said which means that our whole language and

Commented [MM7]: It would probably sound better if you just
put Mr. Lockhart said. Then put a comma after “said”.

speech is based primarily off the Bible. The focus of the Church’s language is to promote
discipleship. To do this the Church speaks about examples from the Gospel like Abraham,

Commented [MM8]: Comma after this

David, Joshua, and Paul who went off faith to fulfill what God requested of them. The language
of the Church and Campus Outreach is about welcoming others. This method of welcoming
others gives people comfort to come learn how to gain spiritual fulfill in their lives which only
comes from Jesus Christ.

The use of communication is achieved in many ways by Christ Covenant Church. The
Church and Campus Outreach use different forms of communication to a certain degree. The
Church has a main website on the internet which includes Campus Outreach under their
ministries tab. The Church uses bullet-ins every Sunday to explain the upcoming events and
message of the week where Campus Outreach does not use this form of communication.
However, others methods of communication are used by both the Church and Campus Outreach.
They include: flyers, power points, stories, videos, posters, facebook, twitter, texts, emailing,
word of mouth, and other social media. The Church is more effective at using word of mouth
since more people attend the Church compared to Campus Outreach. However, Campus
Outreach is more effective at using texting, facebook, and twitter to communicate with our

Commented [MM9]: Fulfillment

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members because most college students are addicted to these forms of social media. During my
interview with Mr. Lockhart he mentioned that the Church was really stepping up its
communication efforts to reach out to more people. The Church uses a form of communication
called Our Heritage which is displayed every Sunday on a video. The point of this video every
Sunday is to help new members, children, youth, and all other members remember the Church’s
purpose and it’s past. For example, the first Sunday I attended, the video Our Heritage discussed

Commented [MM10]: Should be in quotation or italicized

how the Church had grown from it’s foundation to the present. The second time I visited, the Our
Heritage video discussed how The Church has a community garden which serves to help feed

Commented [MM11]: Same as before

people in need throughout the community.

The Church definitely compares to Campus Outreach in the forms of dressing styles and
clothing worn by attendees. On Sundays at Church people wear formal clothing. Middle aged
and elderly men usually wear suits and a tie. The majority of younger men, teenagers, and young
boys wear polo shirts and dress pants. The polo shirts and dress pants are the least formal dress
wear for males on Sundays. Anything like a regular T-shirt, sport shorts, sweat pants, and other
forms of clothing like that would be breaking norms. Middle ages and elderly women tend to
wear skirts with a nice top or a beautiful dress to Church. The majority of the young women,
teenager girls, and young girls wear nice skirts, dresses, or nice jeans with a formal top. The
interesting thing about the young girls is that they wear bows in their hair and tend to design their
hair styles in many different ways. Compared to older women who tend to wear their hair down
or tied back in a formal up position. The teenage and young women tend to have their hair
brushed down or curled.

Commented [MM12]: teenage

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The Campus Outreach attendees dress less formal and more casual than The Church
attendees do on Sundays. Camp Outreach male students tend to wear polos and dress pants as the
most formal clothing when we have services. A lot of males usually wear casual shirts but most
have nicer jeans or khaki pants or shorts on. Female students tend to wear nice jeans and a top to
Campus Outreach. Some females still wear yoga pants and sporty clothing to these services too.
The difference in clothing between The Church and Campus Outreach can be seen from several
factors. One factor is that The Church is traditional and formal wear is a norm which makes
formal appearance expected of attendees. The Campus Outreach cannot really enforce this
traditional way of clothing like The Church because of several reasons. One reason is because
the age group is mostly all students. A second factor is clothing style. The Church is headed by
elderly and middle aged adults who expect formal dressing. The preacher and The Church’s staff
are required to follow a dress code to look formal and be an example. Members do not have a
dress code but instead follow the example of the traditional ways of dressing. Campus Outreach
is headed by younger men and women who are more likely to allow less formal dressing. A third
factor is time. On Sundays people attend Church in the early morning till noon. This makes
formal dressing more understandable and accepted by people compared to Campus Outreach
where services are at nine a clock in the evening. The factors are numerous but the main reason
for the differences in formal dressing between The Church and Campus Outreach is the timing
and location of the services.

Commented [MM13]: Very descriptive about the type of
clothing in this paragraph. Like it!

The Church has over a thousand members every Sunday which makes individual
greetings between every person almost impossible. Instead, there are greeters at the entrances of
The Church who welcome all new and old members to The Church. Men tend to move around
before the service shaking hands and talking briefly amongst different men or small groups.

Commented [MM14]: I go to a church like this where nobody
knows each other, but the services and the pastor are awesome!

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Females tend to stay seated where they sit every Sunday and talk to the women around them. I
observed that most people usually sit in the same area every Sunday. Therefore, both men and
women tend to greet and have conversations with the same people every Sunday. This reveals to
me that not everyone in The Church gets greeted by different people other than the different
entrance greeters every week. Members tend to form small groups but they still communicate
with each other but probably more during Sunday school rather than out in the sanctuary. At the
ending of services some people stay in the sanctuary where they stand and talk amongst their
little groups for about twenty or thirty minutes before they leave to go to lunch.

Campus Outreach has smaller numbers attending than The Church. Therefore, the main
director named Gavin usually stands at the entrance and greets people as they come into RDH
cafeteria. At Campus Outreach people still form small groups but most people know each other
and this forms into everyone greeting each other and forms more large group conversations. The
ending is usually where most people stand and talk amongst each other either between
individuals or groups. A lot of attendees usually stay ten to twenty minutes after the service to
have conversations with their peers.

The Church and Campus Outreach both use body language and gestures. The use of
hands for greeting, talking, and displaying an idea through motion is the main form of body
language from both organizations. The use of hands helps people talk and greet each other. An
example would be if a person is at one side of the room they might throw their hand up to wave
at a friend at the other side of the room. The preacher and Campus Outreach speakers use their
hands when discussing a message from the bible. The nodding of the head and facial expressions

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by the preacher and speakers at Campus Outreach can indicate approve for what they are saying
or disapproval.

The physical environment of The Church and Campus Outreach different greatly. The
Church has a traditional appearance. The sanctuary has an auditorium style design with pews
lined up in three columns flowing downward towards the stage where the Preacher and the choir
stand. There is a large cross on the background wall behind the stage and it is stained with glass.
The words on the back wall read, “We Preach Christ and Christ Crucified”. The purpose of these
words in the physical environment points to The Church’s idea of striving to be a Gospel
Church. In front of the stage in the sanctuary there is a table for communion and the words of the
table read, “Do in remembrance of me”. The Church has many fancy decorations like flowers
and colors. The Church is has a appealing tidiness and cleanness to it’s physical environment.

Commented [MM16]: has an
Commented [MM17]: cleanliness to its

Campus Outreach has a different location and setting. Since it is located of campus the
best place to put Campus Outreach is near where most students live which is at the high rises.
Therefore, the RDH cafeteria is the building where these services take place. The physical
appearance is not that bad. Chairs are lined up inside all facing a projector where videos and
verses are displayed on a white projector sheet. RDH is obviously not as fancy or decorated like
The Church’s physical appearance. The physical environment still is warm, clean, and
comfortable for college students because it is right at their doorstep.

The social environment on how The Church interacts and fits into the community is quite
interesting. The Church first off interacts with many college campuses like Charlotte. They do
this by funding Campus Outreach which is not just at UNC Charlotte but others colleges in this
area also. A program called Seek the City is operated by the Church. Mr. Lockhart explained

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that the purpose of this program is to do missions in Charlotte. This program reaches out to
young kids and teenagers to come play sports for a whole week at The Church and sleep in the
gym. The Church gets to meet parents and tries to get them involved with the Church and with
their children more. The Church School teaches kindergarten through twelfth grade and reaches
out to other kids in the community who need help with tutoring.

A program called SOAR is operated by The Church which allows kids the opportunity to
play sports like soccer, flag football, and basketball for free. The program is designed to help
families who cannot afford to pay for their children to play sports in the sport leagues in the
community. The program Mercy Ministry is designed to help people financially that prove they
need help and will not abuse this program. Mercy Ministry is also used to help college students
from Campus Outreach. The Church supports world mission trips financially and sends members
to help. The Church is active in helping to build other Churches in the community like in
downtown Charlotte and in Monroe where Christ Covenant Church has already built one Church
in both areas. Globally Christ Covenant Church helped to build a Church in Germany too.

Campus Outreach is basically just involved in the college community. This program is
basically just a way The Church reaches out to the college community even encouraging
members to attend Church on Sundays. The Church even provides free transportation to Sunday
services if any college students want to attend.

The spoken and written language of The Church is centered on the Gospel. This leads
The Church to a more conservative way of thinking. The interpretation on beliefs and values
come straight from the words in the Gospel. The traditional way of The Church helps to develop
this type of language because The Church is not focused on changing like the Worlds societies

Commented [MM18]: worlds

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are changing. The Church stands firm with is visions and beliefs. The issues of homosexuals and
adultery are not tolerated because in the bible scripture can be shown to prove these acts are

Commented [MM19]: put a comma after bible. This sentence is
kind of running together

sinful. The Church does not condemn people to hell for any sin but they do expect people to
recognize their mistakes, ask for forgiveness, and learn to do better from their past sins.

The Church believes straight from the context of the bible. Their messages come from the
Gospel and their purpose is to recognize Jesus Christ as our savior and to bring glory to him. The
comfort and interaction with other believers helps to bring so many members back together every
week. The Church wants to grow in faith, learn about the Gospel and their experiences from each
other, and be a part of something that helps not only themselves but the community. One thing
members gain is Church support and Church discipline. Members are ready to support one

Commented [MM20]: member’s

another in need and to keep each others’ faith alive even in difficult times. Church discipline is
something that everyone in The Church has to understand. The Gospel sets a standard for how
Christians and everyone should live. The term for this is called morals. The Church does not
condemn anyone and is not here to control what people do. However, to be apart of The Church
you must agree to be faithful to your wife, to care for your children, to strive to be Christ like as
best as possible, and to hold every member to this standard. The Church’s purpose here is to
provide direction and motivation for members to stay away from the worldly culture. The
Church’s purpose comes straight from the bible. The Church wants to form disciples to serve
God in our Churches, community, nation, and world. To become a member you gain not only
family support but a new way of life expected of you to follow Jesus Christ and to serve him
faithfully the best you can.

Commented [MM21]: a part

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The Campus Outreach meets so college students can get away from the modern world
culture to build relationships with other Christians on campus. The purpose is to worship God.
While worshipping God we learn about each other and how to overcome daily struggles we face
in college, relationships, society, and other problems. An attendee at Campus Outreach can find
comfort because everyone is welcome there. Campus Outreach is a place where college students
can find direction and support from other college students and Church directors. Many students
feel home sick and stressed from the pressure of college. Campus Outreach is here to provide
hope that God is with us always and that our attitude on life should be geared towards him. If we
recognize that, then life will not be so difficult because we can find real happiness which lies
with Jesus Christ.
The Church’s beliefs, values, and tastes come from the Gospel. The Church believes that
salvation comes through Jesus Christ. Since The Church is Christ centered The Church believes
in God as the highest authority and that the scripture is God’s word. The Church believes in
respect to everyone, to love others, and to help people in need not only in The Church but anyone
in need. According to Covenant Presbyterian Church, Christ Covenant Church believes through
faith that God is in three parts: The Father, The Holy Spirit, and the Son. Mankind was separated
apart from God when Adam and Eve sinned making man naturally hostile to God. Salvation
comes from a person believing they are sinful and that Jesus Christ (The Son) died for our sins
which was the penalty for us humans to receive eternal life. Our place in heaven does not come
from good works but from our trust in Jesus Christ. Good works instead come by us putting our
trust in Jesus Christ and following him. The Church believes that Jesus Christ has ascended to
heaven at the right hand of God and will return to Earth to rule, save, and finally judge every
dead and living person.

Commented [MM22]: Maybe make this its own sentence

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The tastes of The Church consist of older and modern Christian music. Men tend to like
black dress suits while women wear many colorful dresses or outfits. Different groups in The
Church tend to eat lunch together. The young girls all wear nail polish on their nails and wear
bows in their hair. Most males wear dress shoes either brown or black. Females wear high heels,
slippers, or other dress shoes. These actions are consistent every Sunday which makes these
tastes shared amongst The Church group. The strength of beliefs and values can be seen in many

Commented [MM23]: All of this was mentioned earlier

ways by Church members. Members in the front pews tend to have paper, pens, and their bible
out at all times. They can be seem constantly writing notes during the sermon and concentrated
on the message the preacher is delivering. The fact that I have been to Christ Covenant Church
only two times means I have not been able to view a lot of peoples actions other than their
actions in Church. However, how they act in Church tells me a lot about their devotion to the
Gospel and how focused they are on learning from the message that the preacher is delivering.

The Campus Outreach beliefs and values are the same as The Church since Campus
Outreach is a branch off from The Church. The taste of Campus Outreach is different though
because mostly all members are college students. Students prefer more radical Christian music
and play with their phones some during the service. Campus Outreach usually has competitions
like pancake eating contest to get students more involved with the program. Other games are
played to make the services more fun and entertaining since college students get bored easily. An
example would be for Halloween we had a mummy rolling contest between three guys and three
women. At Campus Outreach a lot of females all like to wear yoga pants. Females usually sit in
groups together while males sit in their groups. The main thing for college students is that we
have been thrown into a world where lust, drugs, and crimes are all around us. It seems to be
more difficult for most people to uphold their beliefs and values of a Christian life because of all

Commented [MM24]: seen

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the college temptations. I personally see the struggle which is why I isolate myself from it the
best I can and try to surround myself with faithful Christians.

The Church and Campus Outreach see everyone as sinners. We all fall short of the glory
of God but the power of forgiveness changes everything. We can be forgiven just like everyone
else if we follow Jesus Christ. The Church and Campus Outreach act as a resource to help people
connect with God and to grow in faith. I believe from my viewpoint that members involved in
The Church and Campus Outreach do hold each other to a higher standard on following the
Gospel because we study, learn, and have made a commitment already to follow it. For example,
if I am an English major I will be expected by my professors to have better written papers and
grammar than someone who is a math major because I have devoted time and money to higher
educating myself in English writing. The same is for Church. If you attend Church regularly you
have been taught and educated more in-depth on how God expects you to live than those who do
not regularly attend or study the bible.

Christ Covenant Church clearly defines itself as part of the Presbyterian Church in
America. According to the Presbyterian Church in America official website Christ Covenant
Church is subjected to and a subordinate to the Gospel of the Old and New Testaments, the Word
of God, its doctrinal standards are set forth in the Westminster Confession of Faith, with the
Larger and Shorter Catechisms, and the Book of Church Order, these rules of discipline and the
directory of worship are all adopted by the Church.

The Church connects with other Churches in our area that are under the domination of
Presbyterian Church in American. Every year they meet at each session to discuss issues about
the churches, how to solve them, how to prepare for mission trips, how to connect in their

Commented [MM25]: I don’t know if I’d really call all of those
things “college temptations” because all those things occur
everywhere in the world, no matter what age you are.

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community better, and how to better prepare for the future Christian generations. In the
community the Church sees itself as a resource for God. The Church is set in the community to
offer assistance spiritually, emotionally, and financially to anyone in need. The Church has
relations with the Mission to the World (MTW) organization to help spread the Gospel to other
countries. A program called Reform Theological Seminary help train and support Christian
pastors across the world. This program has relations with Christ Covenant where we provide
financial support. The Church is connected to many individual and group ministries in the
community just like they are with Campus Outreach. The Church is involved in schools and
prisons to provide spiritual and educational support. Christ Covenant Church is spread out all
over the community and involved with worldly organizations striving to do everything in service
of God so that we can make a difference to others.

Commented [MM26]: Very good paper! I saw a few things that
you repeated and a few grammatical and spelling errors, but you
have a ton of information and observations.

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