At Verve we talk about being grace wholesalers.
Grace means to get the opposite of what you deserve. It’s unmerited love. A wholesaler (like B.J.’s , Sam’s Club or Costco) is someone who only gives in bulk. The idea is that at Verve we give grace, love, hope, healing, acceptance, friendship in bulk. In huge quantities – you can’t just get a little.
Why do we want to be grace wholesalers? Well, first of all, because God is a grace wholesaler. The Bible says that that’s how God treats us, with amazing grace. The reason we have Christ, the reason we’re saved, the reason we grow, the reason we live, the reason we’ll spend eternity in Heaven is because of God’s grace.
Second, Jesus came and exactly represented God the Father while He was on earth, and Jesus was a grace wholesaler. This is why when you read the gospels you find that the people who were drawn to Jesus were the worst of sinners. Why? Because they knew they needed grace. And He’s the one who gave it in bulk. We see Jesus condemn no one (except religious people who felt no need for grace). Jesus was the ultimate grace wholesaler.
So why are we grace wholesalers? Because we have no choice! The church is called to be the body of Christ. As Jesus exactly represented God the Father, we are to exactly represent Jesus. And so Christians, Churches must be grace wholesalers.
In fact, this should be the distinctive of Christians and of Churches. I love how Gordon MacDonald put it, “The world can do almost anything as well as or better than the church. You need not be a Christian to build houses, feed the hungry, or heal the sick. There is only one thing the world cannot do. It cannot offer grace.” Grace is what separates Christianity from the world. Grace is also what separates Christianity from other world religions. There are a lot of similarities amongst the world religions, but only Christianity offers grace. Only Christianity says you get the opposite of what you deserve from God. Only Christianity says God wants to offer you unmerited love.
And what we need to need, if we want to be distinctive, and if we want to represent God well, is offer everyone unmerited love. We’re grace wholesalers.