15 Aug Kairos Impact | Behind Every Curtain
I think I came into Kairos misguided—with the expectation that I might have to give Grace Church . . . well, some grace.
In high school, I spent a lot of time working backstage for our drama department. It was my responsibility to make sure that things went off without a hitch. Things could be complete chaos behind the scenes, but what was being presented to the audience needed to be seamless and smooth. To this day, I cannot go enjoy a play or a musical without some part of me panicking for the backstage crew as my mind rushes ahead to thinking through how they are going to pull off certain scenes.
Subconsciously, I thought that while working this summer, I would find that the local church would operate under this same pressure. I thought I would catch them to some extent trying to pull off a production to the community to which they opened their doors. I expected to unearth some behind the scenes business agenda that I had not noticed before. I never doubted that their motivation behind it would be Christ-centered, but I thought some of the authenticity and the heart I had felt when attending church before Kairos would be lost.
“I thought I would catch them to some extent trying to pull off a production to the community to which they opened their doors.”
I could not have been more wrong.
What I found was a community of believers operating under such humility and expressing vulnerability in such a beautiful way that it made Christ all the more compelling. I found pastors and elders who demonstrated true integrity by the character they showed when they thought no one was watching. I found ministry leads who cared for me so much that they were willing to risk their comfort to challenge me. I found a host family that gave up their freedom and convenience to care for my most basic needs. I found community with other interns that reminded me of God’s desire for us not to be alone in struggle or in celebration. Most importantly, at the root of it all, I found behind every curtain, through every closed door, a genuine love that radiates from this body of believers that truly illuminates the heart of our Father.
“What I found was a community of believers operating under such humility and expressing vulnerability in such a beautiful way that it made Christ all the more compelling.”
How can that not change you? As I reflect on this summer, I am filled with gratitude and wonder. Kairos is a unique experience that gives you a rare, close-up look to how Christ passionately pursues the Church as His bride again and again. Kairos has filled me with new life and urgency for personally loving and serving the church. This was something I thought I understood before, but now I have been humbled enough to see how I approached the church solely as a consumer. The question in my mind has changed from “What can the church do for me?” to “What can I do for the church?”. I now understand more deeply how thankfully and reverently we should approach an institution that God has promised to sustain forever. It’s amazing that He allows us be a part of that even in our brokenness—a brokenness He chooses again and again to use for His ultimate glory. It is this beautiful mindset of redemption that fills the halls of Grace Church and has captivated me all summer long.
— Elise Denney, Kairos Intern Summer 2017