Photo taken during the 2015 retreat of the Men of Purpose of Filinvest Community Christian Fellowship.

There are times we are afraid to admit our brokenness because we thought people would reject us when they know what we are struggling about. Yet, according to Romans 15:7, “Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.” (NIV) 

That’s what Pastor Steven Lee of College Church in Wheaton, Illinois called “redemptive vulnerability.” In his “Give Your Weakness to God” article, Pastor Lee wrote, 
So what is redemptive vulnerability? To be vulnerable is to be susceptible to being wounded or hurt. In the context of community, vulnerability is opening up about one’s humanity. It’s to admit that we are not perfect people. We have not arrived. We are broken, unfinished people who live in a world that itself is broken because of the fall. We experience depression, burn out, cancer, sadness, death, grief, disability, disease, relational strife, loneliness, lust, anxiety, and the list goes on. [1]
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We are to open up only to the level that we trust a person. We should only open up to people we are close with. We don’t just open up to anybody because not everybody could be trusted with the sensitive information about us. 

But we still open up. And we open up to be healed. We share how God mended our broken lives, how He made us whole by His grace.
But our story doesn’t need to end with brokenness. Redemptive vulnerability — a vulnerability that leads to life — is where we share our brokenness in order to display the surpassing power and sufficiency of Christ and the gospel, which transforms us increasingly into the likeness of Christ. Vulnerability is not an end in itself. Rather, our vulnerability should point us, individually and together with other believers, to the sufficiency of Jesus. It looks at and hopes in the redemption we have in Christ Jesus and the work of the cross. [2]
I believe the small group is the best place to experience this redemptive vulnerability. Galatians 6:2 commanded us, “Help carry one another’s burdens, and in this way you will obey the law of Christ.” 

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We simply cannot do it in a big group context. In the small group, we could share our burdens so that together we could carry it. That’s how we fulfill the law of Christ, that is, lovingly accepting people no matter who they are or what they have become.

“Broken” Step

As our church gears towards small groups, pray a prayer of commitment to the Lord that you would either lead or join a group. Pray for wisdom and strength for our church leadership as we take the necessary steps to fulfill that goal. 

[1] Steven Lee (8 October 2015), “Give Your Weakness to God,” Desiring God, retrieved from Emphasis added.

[2] Ibid. Italics his. Emphasis added.


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