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Our Blog

Four Reasons to SHINE

Posted by Ed Gravely on

What is SHINE and why do we do it? To put it simply, SHINE is our annual church-wide community ministry project. It is that time, once a year, when we push everyone in our church out in groups into our community to serve people in need and proclaim the good news about Jesus to them.

The New Testament is abundantly clear about two things: people who are really following Jesus share the gospel with people who don’t know him, and churches that are really following Jesus do good works as signs of the gospel in their communities and all around the world. This is an indispensable part of what it means to be a disciple, and we at Crossroads want to follow Jesus well.

At our church we focus on the gospel of Jesus. It is the message that changes lives, the lives of the lost and the lives of the saved. It is the only message that changes our hearts to love God more and to love people more. So we proclaim the gospel from the stage in the sermon, in our music, in our ministries, classes, and groups, and on our mission trips. We are sinners who were in open rebellion against the God of the universe, but Jesus, who was God in the flesh, stood in our place, died for our sins, and rose from the dead as a fact of history, so that we might be reconciled to God and brought into God’s family. That’s good news.

We must be clear that good works are not the gospel, and we must be careful to make sure we never make it sound like they are. Good works and community ministry are signs of the gospel, very important signs. Specifically, community ministries like SHINE do four things:

1.  SHINE pictures the gospel. - When we sacrifice our time, our money, and our convenience so that other people, people who don’t know Jesus, are helped, served, and made whole, we picture the gospel to them. When we make ourselves poor so that other people might have money, we put the gospel on display. When we give up comfort so that other people might prosper, we embody the gospel. Though Jesus was rich, yet for our sakes he became poor so that by his poverty we might become right.

2.  SHINE validates our message. – If we as a church preach the gospel without doing good works in our community, the message of our church becomes "God loves you, and so do we . . . just not enough to help you." If that becomes our message, people won't believe that God loves them. SHINE validates the gospel we preach on Sunday morning. It tells the world we really believe that God loves them.

3.  SHINE makes God famous. - By doing good in a neighborhood in God's name, we make God known where he is not known and we make his name famous throughout our city. We want our whole city to brag about what God does in the lives of people. We want our whole city to long to know that God even more.

4.  SHINE makes us more missional. - SHINE puts Christian people in front of people who don’t know Christ. This is why we do SHINE the way we do it. Community ministry happens as a result of vision. We want to use SHINE to cast a vision of our city in which God's people take care of everyone in need, because that is exactly what God, in Christ, did for us and because that best shows what the kingdom of God is like.

We look forward to hearing how God uses your SHINE project to share the love of Christ with people and to make God’s name famous throughout our city.


More about Shine 2018
Written by Ed Gravely, Discipleship Pastor