Creating a Culture of Confession and Redemption
February 20, 2020 | Gary Knighton
College is a trying time in the life of a young adult. Their faith is challenged so much in this season. They're far away from their home churches and the stability that provides for their walk with Christ. So there are a lot of challenges, but in the midst of all that, we see growth. One of the things that we see is that students are more willing to open up about pervasive sins that they have been struggling with for quite some time.

I don't know if it's because we're not their official "pastors" or because the college experience brings that sense of newness with it, but for whatever reason, students tend to tell us about their sins. Sometimes it makes us feel as if maybe we're less authoritative or seem weak, but I think it is that we've connected with them on a relational level. We're really serious about sin, but we're just as serious about Jesus' redemptive power in their life. We give opportunities for them to come, confess sins, get prayer, and spiritual guidance. So a lot of them make that appointment and come to our office because we're accessible, available, and will talk about their sins without shaming them.

When they come, we call sin out for what it is, but we pray God's will over their life and teach them how to fight temptation in the long run. And for whatever reason they feel more comfortable with us.

We are grateful for that because this makes our ministry even more critical and impactful. Whatever elements are coming together to make for a more open environment, we celebrate that. Confession is so vital for the believer, and we don't want a culture that hinders that in any way. We're so grateful that we are godly enough to be able to correct them, but also human enough to admit that we've messed up too. We want them to know most importantly that God can redeem, restore, and make them new.

My prayer is that we'd never takedown in calling out sin in ministry, but that we would also never be so holy, unaccessible, and anti-relational that people don't feel like they can come to you in times of trouble or amid pervasive sins. I don't believe that's God's will for the Church. He wanted an environment as James articulated, where people could come to the elders of the Church and receive prayer for sins, and the effectual, fervent prayer of the righteous would avail much in their lives.

So we're grateful that we're able to minister into the lives of these college students into places of their life that few others have earned the relational currency to do, simply because of the inviting atmosphere of redemption that we provide here at our Church and on campus.

We take sin seriously, but we take Jesus, his death, burial, and resurrection seriously, that he provides forgiveness as serious. We believe that if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

I'd love to hear your comments.

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