Sometimes when I talk about redemptive community, people look at me . . . like I am from outer space.
What does a “redemptive community” look like?
Well, when I see an example of this type of community, I have to share it.
Van Yperen of
, along with several tireless volunteers located throughout the nation, work hard at recovering and growing redemptive community in the church. (No, that is not a picture of Jim and Sharon - see the links.) In a recent prayer-email, Jim shared the following report after assessing and making a final report to one church that is going through a very difficult time of conflict. Jim writes:
Thank you for your prayers for us these past three days and especially for our reconciliation meetings this morning. God was truly present in these meetings. Each person came prepared with written notes to make heartfelt confession to one another. One man told us he was up most of the night and knew that God's Spirit was convicting him of sin. He actually wrote and read four pages of carefully worded confession where he took unconditional and complete responsibility for the sin of pride, judging motives and gossip -- acknowledging the pain his words and actions had caused, expressing genuine remorse and asking for forgiveness. As he read his confession the tears flowed from the two he had sinned against washing away the fear, distrust and bitterness that had been present before walking into the room. At the end of the meeting they embraced one another, reconfirmed their love for one another and their commitment to rebuild lost trust in their relationship. It was amazing. Each of the three meetings was truly remarkable as people carefully and humbly spoke to each other.
Of course, this is only the start of a process and there is much more that these and others need to do, but it was a good day for the Kingdom of God and a great start toward healing in this church. Thank you for your prayers.
Thank you, Jim, for the wonderful story of redeeming what was lost.
Truly, without forgiveness, there is no hope for being a redemptive community.