Why am I grateful for Sovereign Grace, the family of churches I have enjoyed for the last two decades?
1. Sovereign Grace loves to proclaim and apply the gospel of Jesus Christ. Other values are important, but none eclipses Christ and him crucified. We want to know it, proclaim it, treasure it, share it, advance it.
2. Sovereign Grace loves exegetical preaching. Exulting in the whole counsel of God for our doctrine and our standard of life is our privilege.
2. Sovereign Grace loves Biblical community. Genuine friendships, Biblical fellowship, encouragement, practical care, and love is what we are seeking with one another.
3. Sovereign Grace loves the Holy Spirit. For over thirty years we have rejoiced in the new covenant blessing of the indwelling Spirit, empowering us for worship, service, and witness.
4. Sovereign Grace loves humility. We’re not humble–anyone who has met us can easily find that out–but we are seeking to grow in humility, to understand where we can humble ourselves before the mighty hand of God. Our leaders have dared to make humility a value–knowing that none of us will ever live up to the standard.
5. Sovereign Grace loves the doctrines of grace. Sovereign Grace is more than a name, it is a celebration of our dependance on God’s grace for all things, from existence to salvation to eternity.
6. Sovereign Grace loves church planting. I have grown up into a movement that was planting churches before planting churches was cool–I am so grateful for the heritage, for the church planters who built that heritage, and for the model that we now enjoy for raising up new lampstands for God’s glory.
7. Sovereign Grace loves the reforming grace of God. Anyone who has traced our history over the last thirty years knows that we have reformed–sometimes in small areas, sometimes in major areas, sometimes smoothly, sometimes not. Yet the historic and current leadership of Sovereign Grace has been willing to hold up our practice and theology to God’s Word and change what we need to change. This gives me so much gratefulness for the past and hope for the future.
8. Sovereign Grace loves Biblical pastoral ministry. We want pastors of courage and gentleness, of conviction and grace, and we want those pastors to be encouraged, envisioned, challenged, and equipped for the faithful care of God’s people. Anyone who has met a Sovereign Grace pastor knows we are not perfect! But as a family of churches we love raising up men who will faithfully shepherd God’s people.
9. Sovereign Grace loves the glory of God. We want to know Him, love Him, and worship Him with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength. This has led to a history of passionate singing and dedication to growth in godliness in our personal lives, our families, our community.
10. Sovereign Grace loves to believe in God’s good purposes for His people into the future. Whatever difficult moment we are in, whether individually, or as church, or as a family of churches, we love to talk about the perfect, sovereign plan of God. We know that His plan for us cannot be thwarted by the power of hell or the schemes of man, that God will build His church, and that His people will be transformed into His image until He returns.
I am so grateful for the many churches and church movements that are also celebrating these values in our day. But, for me, God has used this family of churches–the men and women and pastors and leaders of Sovereign Grace. Of course God could have used someone else to transmit all of the values above, but for me He used Sovereign Grace. I am so grateful that He did.