When it comes to organization, a local church is an ecosystem of ministry environments. No single environment can adequately address all the needs of the people in a church. They work together.
There’s an important ministry environment that every church needs, but not every church has. Without it, churches and leaders are missing a ripe opportunity for significant spiritual growth.
Every church needs a ministry environment where it’s safe to talk about and apply the gospel to difficult-to-discuss issues of pain, suffering, and sin.
At Redemption Church Gateway, we’re building this environment, called Redemption Exodus Groups. Two trained leaders shepherd a small group of 4-6 people for a twelve week period. The expectation is that it’s a safe place to share your story and be lovingly pushed to apply the gospel more fully to your life.
Last night I attended a celebration that concluded this round of Exodus Groups. It was a powerful night of hearing people share how God had opened their eyes and hearts to his grace in the midst of their suffering and sin.
The good news for church leaders is that this kind of environment could happen in numerous ways. For some it happens in small groups or missional communities. For others it happens in men’s or women’s ministries.
But, sadly, for many churches there is no intentional environment created for this kind of ministry.
I’m thankful for the leaders who are shaping this environment and I am confident that having this environment will make our church more honest about sin, more satisfied in Jesus, and, thus, more healthy.
What environment does your church have where it’s safe to talk about difficult-to-discuss issues and apply the gospel to them?