Orange: The Messy Gospel

Last night the Orange Conference was kicked off with a great message from Reggie Joiner about the messiness of living the Gospel in today’s world.  I know that many blog posts related to what a speaker says at a conference are just a synopsis, and that’s allright; but the message last night was something my family and I have been living through for over a year.

When we chose to live out the gospel through fostering kids in our community, we couldn’t have known then just how messy and painful it would be.  Here are thoughts and things heard last night as it relates to the Gospel and it’s messiness.

The gospel is messy and painful. What we are compelled to do, is something that is messy. Collide with humanity.

  1. I can’t do what I do, without getting messy.
  2. It’s gonna be messy, because Jesus couldn’t have done what He did without getting messy.
  3. Jesus always challenged. It made things messy.

The gospel connects us all to those who believe. (This is what makes environments like Orange such a fun place to be.)
Jesus didn’t live a sinless life to set a good example. He lived sinless, so he could die for us. // Boom!  This is really great.

  • There is no way to live the gospel without getting messy.
  • Disciples were willing to do the difficult, because they had watched Jesus get messy.
  • There is no way to make disciples without them getting messy.
  • If my kids don’t get messy, I’m not equipping them to live the gospel.
  • I’ve got to help kids see the church as much bigger and expansive than the single one we attend.

We have a Gospel that is paradoxical and mysterious. Grace and Truth. Faith and Works.
Its time to acknowledge the tension of the Gospel and Theology.

Humans are the Living Sacrifice… Because we keep crawling off the altar.

  • Trust a God bigger than our Theology. Tension is necessary. Tension creates balance.
  • Engage In a Gospel that invites us into a bigger story.
  • Gospel is messy, because the cross was messier.

If you’ve never been to the Orange Conference, than take some time and see if it’s a place you could be next year in 2013!

Jonathan Cliff is married to his wife Starr and they've adventurously grown their family with two sons and a daughter.

Jonathan is currently the Connection Pastorr at Grace Community Church in Clarksville, TN, where he works with leaders throughout the city to help develop community that leads to deep and meaningful spiritual friendships. Having served in the local church for 12 years in family ministry developing leaders, building environments for kids and students to belong, and encouraging parents to take big leadership steps with their families.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.