Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Looking For Grace

Over the last month, and for the next two weeks, we've been considering the way people look at the church. We've tried to be honest about some of the fails, while pointing to some solutions.

We've discussed Church and Politics, Church and Religion, Church and Isolationism. This Sunday we'll consider Church and Disingenuous Faith. And we're going to stretch the series one more week into November to take a look at Church and Corporate Culture.

I consider this series to be a stamp on us at Grace. I'm praying we come away from this month with a clear awareness of attitudes and positions we want to avoid. I also pray that we can establish a clear picture of what we want to pursue.

We want to pursue God, love Jesus, and surrender to the Holy Spirit. We can all agree with that, and use that as a starting place.

How that works out in us is a matter of grace. More than ever, and with a renewed sense of purpose, calling, and destiny, I believe God desires that we live out the nature of outrageous, amazing, shocking grace. Grace in action, not just grace on a sign or in a song. Grace with feet on. Grace that works. Graceability.

We've been encouraging that individually. How can we do it as a church? Is it possible that people would know us for our reputation as a people of grace - a people who live it out? What are some ideas you have about how GCF could power-up the Graceability factor? What are some specific, legitimate areas where GCF could do some Graceabiltiy strength-training, toning and growing our grace muscles?

Give us your ideas!


Kaila said...

I love this question. I love this series.
From the younger stand point, we jut simply need to be out there. We need to be "living out loud" of the joy of our king. I am not sure if that means doing things as a group together and pulling people in or sending just a couple people to go out and an outright example of what it means to have Grace.
So many times I have found that when I witness to my generation they are turned off by christians themselves because like we have disscued, our starting point.... Current or Eternal. We should be much more concern about their eternal self, then the self they live right now. Sinning is wrong and we should be honest about it.. but in the long run, whether they know Jesus or not is going to effect them.
We just need to be out there. I find my example with Mother Tersea. Mother Tersea was known for her service. Why? because she was there, she went where love and help was needed.

Diane said...

You asked for comments from another church -- Desert Vineyard in Lancaster is a church that strives to show grace. Some churches around us say with disdain "let them go to the Vineyard, they accept anybody!" as if that's a negative. Didn't Christ come to seek and save the lost? And if they're seeking God by going to a church, shouldn't they find Jesus there? It's been a stretch for someone who grew up in a "pretty" church, but I'm so glad to be there!

Anonymous said...

Grace, giving someone something and not expecting anything in return. No strings attached.

The obvious are handing sandwiches to the poor, visiting the elderly forgotten, and weary sick children. Holding babies at crisis nurseries. There are great and good things. But there are outrageous thing, some of which I’ve done with my church.

It's giving a ride home or paying for a taxi for a girl leaving the "exotic dancer" club after a night of work. Shocking yes. Get over the fact that you’re standing in “that” parking lot. Dare to do this a couple times and just see what happens. Those girls, the bouncer, the customers ARE going to ask, "Why are you doing this?" And how awesome would be it to say, “I'm from an organization called Grace over on (street name) and I'm just trying to show some grace.”

Too far, too scary? Okay, the hang outside a bar and those leaving (in need) if you can get them a ride home. Almost always there will always be a girl whose boyfriend is being rough and could use a free ride or taxi. And there are always a many who shouldn’t drive. Just stand and chat with them about life (with no heavy preaching) while you wait for the taxi to arrive. And again tell them your from “Grace…trying to show grace.”

When I was young I was very influenced by a book series by John Benton… He knew about outrageous grace.

Grace: it’s easy to love someone and show them grace when they come to you on your terms. BUT going to someone, who seems unlovable, on their terms... that's when grace is in full action and when Light and Salt are most effective.

"It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick...I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” Mt 9:11ish-13ish

...okay that's my rambly 2¢ - thanks for the soapbox :)

Ron Benson said...

Thanks for your reactions and responses, Kaila, Diane, and Sherry. Hope others will chime in.