** Reviewed,  Family Ministry,  Orange

The Messy Gospel. Orange Conference 2012

This week is Orange Blogger Week. A week where those of us that blog for Orange finally get the recognition that we deserve. A week where we are celebrated for the geniuses that we are. Ok, none of that is true. Rather it is a week to discuss all things orange. Ok, not ALL things orange, but all things related to the orange strategy that seeks to form partnerships between the church and families. I have written a number of posts about the Orange Strategy, the Orange Tour, and the Orange Conference. Here are some links to some of those posts:
For this post I wanted to do something a little different and highlight the sort of content that one can expect when attending this Orange Conference. This content comes from Reggie Joiner as he spoke at one of the general sessions about the messiness of the gospel.
The gospel is the reason that the church even exists. If we just existed for ourselves, then we could all move to a tropical island and not worry about everyone else. If we are not careful this is exactly what we do. Ok, we don’t move to a tropical island, but we do tend to build holy little islands within our communities. We have build buildings, hold services and have created cultures that, even if not intentionally, keep everyone else out. We build buildings where protecting the drywall, the paint, to the lawn is more important than reaching the lost.
I can understand why this happens. As Reggie Joiner points out it’s because, the gospel is messy. In his talk at OC12:
  • “Sometimes God calls us to step into a community or a place that we are not ready for.”
  • “Sometimes the gospel is messier that we signed up form.”
The truth is the gospel is messy. Sometimes it means doing things and being around and with people that we are not comfortable with, people that are different than us. This can be difficult and is definitely, messy. As Reggie pointed out Jesus couldn’t do what He came to do without getting messy. He talked with people that no one else would talk to. He had dinner with people that other Jews avoided. He touched people that no one else would touch. Ultimately, He went to the cross. It doesn’t get any messier than that.
Jesus was willing to do the messiest thing in history so that we might be saved. In spite of this we often avoid doing what it takes to reach people because we don’t want to get messy. Someone was willing to get messy for us and yet we try to avoid getting messy for others. Paul wrote, “I become all things for all people so that I may by every possible means save some.” (1 Corinthians 9:22) This is the essence of the messy gospel. We must become all things so that some may be saved, even if it means getting messy.
Matt Norman

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I am a Christian, husband, father, pastor, church planter, nurse, and freelance writer.

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