As much as our culture screams, "I want it now!" we can't escape the reality that growth takes time.
Chris (right) was a people-pleaser. He cared more about the approval of people than the approval of God. Growing up periodically homeless, he clung to his image. Today he lives for Christ and serves others. He helps youth express themselves through music, mentorship, and leads a weekly Bible study.
Jessamae (left) was shy, intimidated, and insecure in her relationships. She did not feel loved or valued and was unsure of her place. Today she knows she belongs in God's family and she serves homeless families through a local shelter a few evenings each week.
Aalijah was angry, entitled, and unconcerned about the needs of others. He was often asked to leave due to outbursts of anger. "I was either going to die, or end up in prison," he says. Today he is kind, motivated, helpful and quick to come to the aid of others.
Dante was apathetic, checked-out, aloof, and unengaged. Even when he was present, he didn't fully participate. Today he eagerly engages others, joyfully serves people, and steps out of his comfort zone to participate in new opportunities.
Grace + Truth + Time = Growth. In Cru®, we call this "The Growth Model." It's an attempt to define the basic elements people need to grow spiritually. It also helps us think through the various initiatives and strategies we employ to see people connected to Christ, empowered in their faith, and developed to serve others well.
Grace is our posture toward others. We all need grace. Everyone is a complicated mix of emotions, needs, and desires. Patience and dignity must be shown to all as we strive to humbly and winsomely meet needs and point people to Christ.
Truth refers to the content we desire to share. The greatest truth is that Jesus is the source of all healing and reconciliation needed in the world. With a posture of grace and humility, it's this truth, along with its myriad of implications, we invite others to consider.
Then finally, time. Time is the ingredient we have the least influence over. Grace and truth need to be applied continually over a period of time. As much as our culture screams, "I want it now!" we can't escape the reality that growth takes time. And more importantly, spiritual growth takes place in His time.
Chris Millheisler serves as the city director for Cru Inner City Seattle/Tacoma.
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