T he God we serve is a God of creativity. This creativity is infused with love and with purpose.
This issue of Grace & Peace inspires us with snapshots of how God’s creative, redemptive love expresses itself in the everyday life of His people, the Church.
Just as the teachings and ministry of Jesus displayed a keen eye for particular contexts, so the work of the Church reflects an awareness of particular needs and contexts that magnify the impact of the gospel in the lives of those whom God is calling and redeeming. We make a costly mistake when we seek to impose formulas or “one size fits all” methodologies on this creative God and His Church. This is a key reason why any reflection of creative outreach—the key theme of this issue—offers a variety of contexts and stories. For some who share their ministries, insights, and stories in this edition, the success of God’s creativework can be easily measured in numbers.
For others, steady and consistent impact over time in ways that change the face of their communities is a better measurement than raw data. For all who have written for us in this edition—and, in fact, for all of us who join God on His mission of mercy and love—success begins and ends with our willingness to surrender to the leadership of God’s Spirit to unleash the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.
It is no coincidence that this issue also anticipates the key themes of our upcoming M19 Conference, which will take place February 11–13, 2019, in Kansas City, Missouri. Two of our plenary speakers—Dr. Douglas Powe and Dr. Ed Stetzer—are featured in this issue of Grace & Peace, and you will find more details about the event and how you can participate. To register now, go to m19conference.org. This site will provide a way to register, information about housing, and more details about all of the plenary speakers and workshops associated with M19, the theme of which is, “Unleash the Gospel.”
God’s creativity is evident in the beauty of the earth He has made and in the uniqueness of each individual. This creativity is further demonstrated in how the people of God—God’s Church—join together to grow and to make disciples in a variety of contexts throughout history and throughout the world. May God continue to guide us as we unashamedly and courageously follow His Spirit even to “the ends of the earth,” in order to share God’s love.
For many years, a picture hung in my study of an empty table beautifully set and decorated with a caption: “Behold, all things are now ready.” God is seeking as many as possible to be guests at His table. May we follow His Spirit and allow His redemptive love to be creatively unleashed, so that His table may be filled.