Where Are the Safe People? 165
Safe churches, however, have the following qualities:
• Grace is preached from the pulpit and is the foundation for
how people are to be treated.
• Truth is preached without compromise, but also without a
spirit of law and judgment.
• The church leaders are aware of their own weaknesses and
need to grow and are open about their hurt, pain, failings,
and humanity. Instead of "having it all together" and being
insulated from confrontation and change, they are in a
process of healing and opening up to their own safe people
for support and accountability.
• The church uses small groups to touch people's lives, and
sermons focus on community in the body of Christ as well as doctrine.
• The culture is one of forgiven sinners, not self-righteous reli
• The church, instead of being a self-contained unit and think
ing it has all the answers, is networked into the community,
availing itself of input from other sources such as churches,
professionals, and organizations.
• The teaching has a relational emphasis as well as a vertical
one. Relationship between people is seen as part of spiritu
ality as well as relationship to God.
• The teaching sees brokenness, struggle, and inability as nor
mal parts of the sanctification process.
• There are opportunities to serve others through a variety of
Churches have personalities and cultures, and it is possible to find churches that fit the above characteristics.
We value friendship. We believe that friendship is one of the roost powerful tools that God uses to change and heal character. In relationships with others we are healed, our character is changed, and sanctification happens. We know several people who have