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Promoting Authentic, Grace-based Community…

Many of you know that I’m the official “administrator” of The Village Conference 2017: Encouraging Discipling Communities. In that role, I have begun in earnest some of the promotion efforts for our conference. Many of the key things we teach at the Village are somewhat contrary, if not all out contradictory, to the standard concept of promotional efforts.

I’m going to be speaking on “Leading in Weakness.” Now in a promotion one would usually stand up and say, “I know what I’m talking about; now let me teach you.” In a grace-based promotion, I find myself saying, “I don’t always get it right, but this way of being seems to bring me and my friends to the foot of the cross in humility and Jesus seems to be doing cool things in our community because of it…” We emphasize Authenticity as we relate to Jesus and one another. This however brings us back to an awareness that we minister to others, not because we’ve got it together, but because by Jesus’ grace covers us and we want to share that covering with others. We value the art and music and writing and teaching and cooking and cleaning and ministering that emerge from our communal experience of Jesus, not because it’s of the best in objective quality that one can find, but because we are “unhindered by quality control” in the process of discipling one another and these things bring us into relationship and worship together.

I’m working out how to “promote” these things. It helps that there is such a longing in the church and in the world for authentic connection. I think best in conversation, so if anyone wants to engage here on the website or at Vespers in some of these things and your experience of the Village, please do.

1 Comment

  1. Thanks, Julie. God also gives us ‘competence’ when we need it. One statement that used to hang above my boss’s desk at Teen Challenge was, “God doesn’t call the equipped, he equips those he calls.” That rings true in my experience. And I see that played out in what you offer now. I appreciate your willingness to offer yourself and please know you are a gift from God to us. Thank you for what you do.

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