When a church is faithful to preach the gospel and demonstrate the gospel’s implications, it will usually find that it attracts and is attracted to the kind of people Jesus attracted and was attracted to. People who are, shall we say, rough around the edges.
The gospel well preached and applied will make ministry messy. Things will change. I often think of it like the beating of a rug — you’re gonna get a lot of dust in the air. There will be a thick cloud. The gospel stirs stuff up.
But our God is not an author of confusion. So as things get messy, while the gospel is creating a safe space for sins, hurts, and struggles to rise to the surface, it is outlining that space really well. The same gospel that exposes mess creates order.
How? In a gospel-centered church, one will find that:
There are leaders who are humble and confident and grace-ready.
There are church members grace-ready.
There are opportunities for counsel
There are opportunities for discipleship.
There is biblical church governance, church membership, and church discipline.
A safe space is not an amorphous, undefined space. The gospel brings junk up and then sorts junk out.