Thursday, February 7, 2013

Grace and Accountability

One of the hardest parts of directing a faithventure to employ individuals rebuilding lives from addiction, homelessness and prison is balancing grace and accountability.

Often faithventure practitioners find themselves riding a pendulum across these two extremes, struggling with questions of when to give someone another chance and when to be strict with the resulting consequences.

Indeed, in my experience, this very issue is one of the top reasons some leaders give up on faith ventures, a close second to having a business model that is not making money.

The way out of this conundrum is realizing that it is not a conundrum. Grace is not mutually exclusive of consequences. As any parent can attest, grace and consequences are often the same thing.

As I tell aspiring faithventure leaders, the best way they can think of their roles is as one of a father but as a father who points them to the ultimate Father. 

You want program participants to experience love in real and tangible ways. But sometimes the most loving action is saying no to a particular activity in the person's best interest. And that decision doesn't need to be difficult if you are prayerfully seeking the best for participants in your program. God faithfully guides leaders to make right decisions in such matters. 

And even better, as you point program participants towards Jesus, the love of God draws people to become more like him in all aspects of their lives. In one fell swoop, grace and consequences become wrapped up in the perfect love of Jesus. Under those conditions, it's beautiful to watch a life grow and thrive into that originally intended by God. 

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