Wednesday, November 03, 2010

What Is Grace-Driven Ministry?

Just about everyone in student ministry has the same aim: to see lives transformed for the sake of Christ and His Kingdom. We want to see students walking in new life, loving God and their neighbor, and bearing the fruit of the Spirit. However, different ministries have different ideas on how we arrive at the end of changed lives.
The opposite of grace-driven ministry is law-driven ministry. By this we mean ministry that focuses on the following:
1.) Providing students with moral education about how to act in a godly manner
2.) Motivating students to live for God and act in accordance with God’s laws
3.) Measuring the effectiveness of the ministry by the apparent moral and spiritual behavior of its students
Grace-driven ministry concentrates on these tenets:
1.) Maintaining a view of long-term spiritual formation that comes about by cultivating a worldview in students, rooted in biblical theology and the message of God’s grace
2.) Proclaiming repeatedly the Gospel: Christ deeply loves desperate sinners
3.) Believing that students embracing the love of Jesus will lead ultimately to them submitting their life more and more to God
4.) Believing that the fruit of a changed life will come as a product of surrendering to God and allowing Him to do His work on, to, and through students
In sum, law-driven ministry points students towards performance for Jesus, while grace-driven ministry points students towards rest in Jesus.
The backbone of grace-driven ministry is the belief that the message of the grace of Jesus and the unconditional love of the Father is the most powerful message in the Universe. Jesus Himself and His amazing grace is The Thing that will redeem the world. Believing that, in the message of grace, we have the ultimate medicine for broken people and this fallen world, we at Rooted seek to consider how all of us in student ministry can root our ministries more deeply in the proclamation and practice of grace.


  1. I am very much behind the understanding that what is needed in the American Church, and those around the world, are grace-driven youth ministries. But may I add this caution;

    1. It takes longer, but last longer
    2. Parents don't always like it
    3. Satan attacks more
    4. Church leaders don't always like it

    I say those things in full agreement that it is what is needed in our ministries, but know that when you move from a law-drive (traditional youth ministry) to a grace-driven it is not smooth, nor comfortable. Cover your ministry and team in prayer. People have become consumers and they want it now, even when it comes to their students. Fighting idols, and replacing them with Jesus is a slow arduous task.


  2. Cameron! Really excited to see that you guys have started this blog! I've sent out links to it to several of my peers that are now in youth ministry. Thanks. :)

  3. Wow, Josh, those are great true comments. (I'm embarrassed to say I'm just now reading them.) In some churches (not so much ours), parents just want their kids to exhibit moral behavior- right now. There's little understanding of what is at the root of immorality and how it's a process for a person's like to be transformed.