Gospel Fueled Relationships

Liberate Conference 2014

Scotty Smith founded Christ Community Church in Tennessee in 1986. As a pastor, he has learned that church leaders need deep relationships and brotherhood just as much as the lay people in the church. At the 2014 Liberate Conference, he spoke to a room full of young pastors about these deep, grace-giving relationships, and he described the wonderful injection of the gospel that each type of these relationships brings.

2 Corinthians 1:1-11 (ESV)


1Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother,

To the church of God that is at Corinth, with all the saints who are in the whole of Achaia:

2Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

God of All Comfort

3Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort,4who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.5For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too.6If we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; and if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which you experience when you patiently endure the same sufferings that we suffer.7Our hope for you is unshaken, for we know that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in our comfort.

8For we do not want you to be unaware, brothers, of the affliction we experienced in Asia. For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself.9Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead.10He delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will deliver us again.11You also must help us by prayer, so that many will give thanks on our behalf for the blessing granted us through the prayers of many.

Scripture quotations marked (ESV) are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

7 Categories of Relationships that Feed and Fuel Our Gospel Reality
  1. The Gospel Posse
  2. Live Models of Grace
  3. Dead Mentors of Grace
  4. A Few Praying Friends with Big Hearts and Calloused Knees
  5. A Couple Gospel Fanny Kickers
  6. Gospel Crazed Proteges
  7. Dance Instructors

Who is (or should be) in your gospel posse? Name the other men or women who will walk with you and encourage you to grow in Christ and more deeply embrace the gospel.
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Who are your live models of grace? Who can you look to and easily say, "That's what the gospel looks like"?
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Who are your favorite dead mentors? Who do you read that gives you the most encouragement in your Christian walk?
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Who will you ask to pray for you? For what will you ask them to talk to God on your behalf?
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Who do you have in your life that can "kick your fanny"? Who will call you out when you misstep and challenge you when you fall?
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What proteges are around you that you can both mentor and find inspiration in their walk with Jesus?
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Who will you look to as a dance instructor? Who in your life do you look to as a great example of living a life of worship and joy?
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Now look back through all the names that you have written down. You should have many different people representing many kinds of relationships. What is the next thing that you will do to contact and elevate one of these relationships, and for what purpose will you deepen that friendship?
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Don't take your relationships lightly. Every Christian friendship you have is an opportunity to feed and fuel your experience of the gospel. Pray to the Lord that He will use all kinds of relationships in your life so that you grow in your likeness of Christ.

Check out more great conference sessions in the RightNow Media Conference Library.