Friday, February 12, 2010

Grace River Vision

"Grace River Church is a safe place where anyone can come as they are and find hope and healing for their hurts, habits, and hangups."

This is a statement that Tina and I wrote while at "Basic Training for Church Planters" earlier in the week. It expresses the passion of my heart for what Grace River can and should be.

Our name, "Grace River" is rich with meaning. A river begins (at least in Colorado) way up in the mountains when the snow begins to melt forming small streams. These streams find their way together and combine to eventually form a river that when big enough can literally change the landscape and cut through rock forming amazing sights like the Grand Canyon. Grace River is our combined experiences of grace coming together to form a powerful movement of God's activity--a river of grace.

Grace River is a "safe place". It is a refuge--a sanctuary--an escape (2 Samuel 22; Psalm 18; Psalm 31; Psalm 59; Psalm 91; Zechariah 9:9-17). It is the kind of place where people are not judged, found wanting, and then thrown away (John 4:7-29). It is a safe place to confess one's sins (James 5:16; 1 John 1:9). It is a safe place to share one's struggles (Romans 7:14-25). It is a safe place to be real without any need for pretense (Luke 7:36-50).

Grace river is a safe place to "come as you are". There is no need to vainly struggle to clean up your own mess (Romans 7). Our God makes all things new (2 Corinthians 5:17). He will clean us up (1 Corinthians 6:9-11; Titus 2:14; Hebrews 10:19-22; 1 Peter 1:2; 1 John 1:7-9). Come as you are--no pretending necessary.

Grace River is a safe place to find "hope". It is a place where we can allow ourselves to believe in a better future--a better life--a life filled with purpose and fulfillment (Psalm 10:17; Psalm 33:22; Psalm 42:5,11; Jeremiah 29:11-12; Matthew 12:18-21; Romans 5:3-5; Romans 15:13; 1 Corinthians 13:13; Ephesians 4:1-6).

Grace River is a safe place to find healing. We are all recovering from something and Grace River is a place where God heals--regardless of our individual hurts, habits, or hangups (Psalm 30:2; Isaiah 53:3-6; Ezekiel 47:1-12; Hosea 6:1-2; Malachi 4:2; Acts 4:29-30; 1 Corinthians 12:9, 28; James 5:15-16). There is nothing too difficult for God.

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