“It’s what everyone needs. Everyone. Gospel + safety + time. A lot of gospel + a lot of safety + a lot of time.
Gospel: good news for bad people through the finished work of Christ on the cross and the present power of the Holy Spirit. Multiple exposures. Constant immersion. Wave upon wave of grace and truth, according to the Bible.
Safety: a non-accusing environment. No finger-pointing. No embarrassing anyone. No manipulation. No oppression. No condescension. But respect and sympathy and understanding, where sinners can confess and unburden their souls.
Time: no pressure. Not even self-imposed pressure. No deadlines on growth. No rush. No hurry. But a lot of space for complicated people to rethink their lives at a deep level. If we relax, trusting in God’s patience, we actually get going.
This is what our churches must be: gentle environments of gospel + safety + time. It’s the only way anyone can ever change.
Who doesn’t need that?”
I’ve been attending Village Church at Vinings for a while now. This past Sunday I had the privilege of becoming a member. The co-lead Pastors are Rev. Jonathan Adams and Rev. Curt Benham — I was connected to them through the ministry of Liberate and some mutual friends. No one convinced me to come… or stay. I wanted to visit. I wanted to join. And I want to honor them and our community. The quote above from Ray Ortlund explains my reasons better than I can. So, I’ll just point to that and say: that’s my Church! Not a perfect Church. But a Church for sinners. And I’m beyond grateful to fall into my seat on Sunday at VCV. When I needed it very badly, they gave me Gospel + safety + time.
~Peace in the Lord~