Tom Gilson

Grace and Freedom

I met a college/career leader from a local church the other night. We got talking about issues in the age group he works with. I was really impressed with two things he mentioned to me, although I’m going to guard the information somewhat for the sake of sensitivity to the people. He didn’t give me a lot of detail himself.

What encouraged me were his stories of two people in the group who weren’t born-and-raised, normal-kid evangelical Christians, who felt the freedom to be there and be themselves. They asked questions. The group encouraged it. They revealed personal weaknesses, and the group supported them in it.

I know I only heard part of the whole story, but it was the right kind of thing. Nothing is more needed in fellowships like this than the freedom to be authentic and to be loved.

Truth

Well, maybe not nothing. For this leader told me he was also making it a point to make sure that at the right time, in the right way, these persons’ questions were consistently being answered with biblical truth.

With that as the information I had about this group, I felt the freedom myself to try something. I told him I had written/edited a book, True Reason, and that I had a few copies from a preliminary print run we had had done. I told him he could have a copy just for answering one question. “How many of the people in your group,” I asked him, “are really confident of their faith in Christ and could articulate the reasons for their confidence?” He told me there were maybe ten out of forty who were that well equipped.

Equipping

I wonder about the other thirty. I’d love to light the ten on fire even more! We talked about my coming in to share with the group. But he had answered the question. I gave him the book.

How about the youth in your church? How would you answer that question?

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