Grace Changes Everything
This is a Letter from our Chairman, Cameron Cole that was originally featured in last week’s e-newsletter. This year, in addition to our Top 10, our e-newsletters also feature parenting articles and resources and a monthly Letter from the Editor/Chairman. To sign up for our e-newsletters, scroll to the bottom of any page on our website and enter your name and email address.
This week I had a refreshing conversation with members of our youth staff. We have been reading Tim Keller’s book, Center Church, and thinking about how we can more effectively take the gospel to our community. What began as a dreaming session for a larger plan became the consideration of how grace changes the individual person’s life. We talked about the difference in our inner lives, our views of others, and our views of ourselves. This big picture “change the world” conversation became individual reflections on the gospel of grace changing our own hearts, lives, and relationships.
What we concluded is that changing the world with the gospel begins with the individual bathing in the message of Christ’s unconditional love and then evolves into a drip, drip, drip of grace that can change families, churches, communities, and the world.
We talked about how a person truly believing the gospel – truly knowing that they are fully and completely accepted by God in their sin through Christ – will inherently change everything for that person. The grace dominoes tend to fall like this:
(1) Humility – The person who really understands the gospel knows that everything they have has come as a product of God’s grace. They also know that they deserve none of these good things. We have only earned judgment from God through our sin and rebellion. A sense of humility starts to grow as we see ourselves as no better than anyone else.
(2) Vulnerability – The person who knows that God has forgiven and redeemed the darkest parts of his or her heart then feels no fear in being open about their weaknesses. They boast in their weaknesses because God’s approval is with them regardless of their performance.
(3) Intimacy – People want to be around humble people who are honest about their flaws. They feel safe around these types of people. They feel connected because they feel understood as a fellow struggler. They feel free to share about their lives in a sincere, honest way. Out of genuine, grace-induced vulnerability comes connection and friendship.
(4) Evangelism – As people are drawn to the grace-drenched weakness-proclaimer, they in truth are drawn to Christ in him or her. The sharing of the gospel does not become an angle or something to slide in but the authentic telling of their story. The sharing of the good news of God’s grace becomes an organic part of our daily lives. God changes the lives of people as his gospel word goes out and his Spirit does his work.
We at Rooted are people of big dreams, and we know that you are too. We want to see the culture of youth ministry changed such that kids hear the good news at home, at church, and among their friends, such that grace becomes a constant feed in their consciousness. We know that you have dreams for your family, your youth ministry, your church, your community, and your country. Maybe the best thing we can all do is return to the same old song – the song of God’s love for sinners and the melody of his love for you. As God continues to transform us – watch out! What God may do in our dreams and in the world.