As a local church YCK Chapel is a covenantal faith community that exists for a mission. You may have heard that in our journey back to our roots as a disciple-making church, three main thrust of spiritual formation have been identified: authenticity, intentionality and mission. The desire of our hearts is to see every member mature in Christ, walking our talk, living purposeful lives, and eagerly doing God’s will in the world.
‘’Authenticity’’ in this context is more than a buzzword. In particular, those of us with little experience in a covenantal faith community may misunderstand it. For one, we might fear that the exhortation to ‘’remove our masks’’ and “be real with one another” leads to harsh judgment of somebody as being “this” or “that” kind of sinner or ‘’not truly born again’’. Conversely, we might also misunderstand authenticity to mean that every member vulnerable enough to reveal his/her particular brokenness must be affirmed with comments like ‘’you are doing just fine’’ and ‘’you should just carry on’’.
The Fall has left no area of human existence unaffected — not our character, desires and affections, imagination, relationships, ambitions, even our knowledge of ourselves. Each and every one of us is broken in different ways, and each of us is a bundle of inner conflict and contradictions. And as a result it is common for us all (even avowed Christians) to go about our daily lives wearing masks of different kinds and keeping up appearances. This is a fact of life; and more than that, it is a Biblical reality.
What is also true is that the Author of life knows everything about us – even more than we know ourselves (1 John 3:19-20). Further, He is making us new, along with all things (Revelation 21:5). For every one who is born again, the Spirit of God does a daily work of grace in us so that we become sanctified and more like Christ each day. God loved us so much to reach out to save us while we were in our sins, and He loves us too much to leave us where we are (not yet fully healed and not yet like Jesus).
It is because of these realities that every church community needs an environment of authenticity – so that we know that God sees us for who we really are; and just as importantly, so that we can minister to one another’s deepest needs. Authenticity in community is meant to positively impact our entire life together: from our talk, to our worship, to our relationships and ministry.
In Galatian 4:9 the apostle Paul tells the church: ‘’But now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how can you turn back again to the weak and worthless elementary principles of the world, whose slaves you want to be once more?’’
It is both a wonderful and awe-inspiring thing to be known by our almighty and holy God. Let us receive Paul’s exhortation with gratitude, hope and resolve. Let us humbly pray that we may be agents of His grace to one another, so that the good work He has begun in each of our lives will be brought to completion. He will surely do it!
By Aaron Lee, Elder (YCKC Bulletin 20&21 August 2016)