#35: On ministry and messy grace with Alex Early.
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This past February, I was fortunate enough to attend the second consecutive Grace Encounter Conference, admirably hosted by my dear friend Kevin Labby and the folks of Willow Creek Presbyterian Church. This event was a unique gathering of preachers and people from differing theological and denominational stripes coming together under one roof for one purpose: the exaltation of the gospel of God’s grace. It was certainly a joyous occasion with passionate worship and plenary talks that lifted up the Friend and Savior of sinners. I am thankful for conferences such as this, connecting and uniting, perhaps, otherwise divided individuals under the bonds of the grace and peace of Jesus Christ. (Eph 4:3)
One of the sessions that stood out to me was that given by pastor and church planter, Alex Early. Alex was profoundly moved by the message of grace, and he demonstrated that tenderness during his talk, in which he endeavored to show how Jesus’s daily planner was filled with appointments with sinners. Through his own life experiences, Alex has firsthand knowledge of befriending sinners in the most unlikely of places. He is evidence that Christ, indeed, continually leads us into the mess to showcase his mercy. And such is what Alex and I attempt to speak to today.
In this edition of the Ministry Minded Podcast, Alex and I seek to discuss the messiness of Jesus’s mercy in rescuing and redeeming sinners and leading them to repentance. We also seek to shine a bright light on the fact that the gospel was never meant to dead-end on you — it was meant to be shared. Jesus didn’t walk out of the grave to give you something to do on Sunday mornings, but to bring dead people back to life.
As I was moved by his original talk and further conversations, so was I moved by this discussion with Alex, one that I think you will, likewise, benefit from. This was an enriching, encouraging, Jesus-exalting conversation with a dear brother in Christ. Enjoy!
“The Grace We Share,” Alex Early
The Reckless Love of God: Experiencing the Personal, Passionate Heart of the Gospel, Alex Early
The New Believer’s Guide to the Christian Life: What Will Change, What Won’t, and Why It Matters, Alex Early
The Ragamuffin Gospel: Good News for the Bedraggled, Beat-Up, and Burnt Out, Brennan Manning
Kingdom, Grace, Judgment: Paradox, Outrage, and Vindication in the Parables of Jesus, Robert Capon
The Man Who Met God in a Bar: The Gospel According to Marvin, Robert Capon
The Pastor: A Memoir, Eugene Peterson
Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life, Tish Harrison Warren
Grace: So Much More Than You Know and So Much Better Than You Think, Brad J. Gray
This episode is brought to you by the Christian Standard Bible. Find out more by going to CSBible.com.
Alex and his wife, Jana, reside in Seattle, Washington, where Alex serves at Redemption Church as the Pastor of Preaching and Theology. Alex is a passionate preacher and ferocious evangelist, aspiring to be a friend of sinners and show them the one-way love of Jesus Christ. You can find out more about Alex and connect with him visiting his website, paearly.com.
Intro music: “West Coast” by Ryan Little, licensed under CC BY 4.0.