All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything they had. With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And God’s grace was so powerfully at work in them all that there were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned land or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales and put it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to anyone who had need.
For I am the least of the apostles and do not even deserve to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them—yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me.
1 Corinthians 15:9-10
Philip Yancey refers to grace as the ‘last good word.’ His point is that this is still a word filled with the very best of what God offers to us as humans. In the early church, it was a grace filled community that was so compelling. It was a grace filled apostle that was humble, yet powerful.
One of the most crucial elements of a Healthy Missional church is for it to be full of grace. In an environment of grace:
Trust building produces truth telling
Truth telling produces confession
Confession produces Repentance
Repentance produces change
Change produces freedom
Freedom produces maturity.*
As you prepare for EPIC, think about how God’s grace impacts your life? Does grace describe your church? Can you think of an example of grace in your community?
*Adapted from the Evangelical Covenant EPIC workbook