Thanks to my friend and fellow church planter, Chris Fogelsong, for this great “gospel equation” that he discovered in Ray Ortlund’s book, The Gospel.
“The family of God is where people behave in a new way. I think of it with a simple equation: gospel + safety + time. The family of God is where people should find lots of gospel, lots of safety, and lots of time. In other words, the people in our churches need:
- multiple exposures to the happy news of the gospel from one end of the Bible to the other;
- the safety of non-accusing sympathy so that they can admit their problems honestly;
- and enough time to rethink their lives at a deep level, because people are complex and changing is not easy.
In a gentle church like this, no one is put under pressure or singled out for embarrassment. Everyone is free to open up, and we all grow together as we look to Jesus” (72).
It is my prayer that Creekstone Church will continue to implement this “gospel equation” of church life as we launch into the next era of ministry as an organized, self-governing congregation on April 3.
So, thanks Chris and Ray. We are grateful.