In Desperate Need of Grace

Leading More To Jesus

In this special 25th Anniversary article, Arrow leader Sam Kim, Class 30, shares his passion for the Church to be an expression of God’s grace to the world. As you read and share this with others, keep in mind the phrase Jesus often used with his listeners: “for those who have ears to hear.”

The Bible clearly teaches us that God’s power is made perfect in our weakness and not our strength. Paul asserts in 2 Corinthians 12:9:

My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.

Broken Glass

Ironically, this seems to go against not only our natural inclination, but that of our churches as well. What is typically honored in Christian spirituality is the appearance of strength and neatness, an obsessive form of meticulousness that leaves little room for ambiguity. In reality, life is full of ambiguity and messiness. In reality, we all need God’s grace.

The good news of the Gospel is that Jesus came for the sick, sinful and broken, not those with the appearance of being healthy, moral or whole. The latter creates a culture of isolation, deception, and manipulation. Acknowledging our need for Jesus and God’s grace emancipates us from the Christian game of perception and liberates us to live in authentic community, truth and sincere love.

As we think about leading more people to Jesus, we’ve got to remember that the Church is meant to be an ER for the sick, not a fashion show for the moral elite. I deeply believe we can all contribute in some way to make this a reality for a world desperately in need of grace.

  • First, let’s work to confess our struggles to one another rather than trying to hide them.

This is not only biblical, but also foundational in creating a culture of grace. Yes, it will hurt our pride, but that is exactly why we should do it. It will bring light into the darkness and, with it, healing and restoration into our lives and others. Some call this revival or transformation, others call it something else; but whatever it is, it’s a God thing and that is always good!

  • Second, let’s work to make Jesus the one and only hero of the Church.

Selfie

There is a subtle, yet pervasive narrative influencing the Church today and it is directly responsible for grace continually falling by the wayside. This narrative is perpetuated by most of us photo-shopping our brokenness “so we don’t look too bad.” As the selfie-generation, we’ve become experts at editing our photos and manipulating our “sins.” We don’t realize that when we euphemize our sins in an attempt to make ourselves look or feel better, we greatly diminish the glory of the cross and the one who once hung there. Too many of us are pretending to be rich when we’re clearly broke. We have pride in our lives and a lust for control. We have set ourselves us as “strong” when, in fact, we are weak and broken.

Jesus is the hero of the Church. He is the One Who rescues and saves. As we lay down our pride and get honest with God and each other, people with be drawn into an authentic community of truth and sincere love. People will experience God’s grace.

Perhaps this is a tough pill to swallow, but revival at the cost of our pride seems like a spectacular win/win for the Church, the kingdom of God and the world.

Reflection Questions:

  1. How difficult is it for you to sincerely communicate (confess) your humanity (struggles) to others?
  2. How do you think the degree of your vulnerability impacts your gospel communication and representation in leading more to Jesus?

Sam Kim

 

Sam Kim, Arrow Class 30, is the founder of 180 Church NYC, a community joining God to restore the beauty in all things. He also writes for Gospel Life, a ministry of the Billy Graham Center at Wheaton College.

Rose Thompson

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