Reviewed by Phil Smith
Available through book stores, The Navigators and www.TrueFaced.com
“God hath given you one face, and you make yourselves another.”
Shakespeare got a grip on a very significant issue in the 21st Century church a long time before Bill Thrall, Bruce McNicol and John Lynch found their way onto the world stage.
The team from TrueFaced spoke in Melbourne in mid 2009 and since then have developed a connection with Australian Christians wondering what church might be like if we didn’t hide behind masks.
The TrueFaced book and small group experience guide dwells on the enormity of God’s grace, encouraging us to “live out of who God says we are”, and then to “trust God and others with who we really are”.
The book and eight week study guide can be both refreshing and very confronting for anyone caught in the rut of ‘doing church’.
The authors touch very sensitive areas, including the fine line between working for the church, and working for our salvation. When we define one another by roles such as elder, minister, youth pastor, Sunday school teacher or worship leader it gets harder each year to peel off the masks and trust one another with all our faults and foibles.
In the opening DVD episode of the series, John Lynch paints a powerful analogy of a Christian at a fork in the road. The road of pleasing God leads to a room of good intentions, where seemingly ‘together’ Christians impress one another and try to manage their sin. Any broken or troubled people who do come in quickly cover up their struggles and work hard at pleasing God.
The room of good intentions is a church where the weekly question; “Hi, how are you?” is always answered, “Fine, I’m doing fine.” Most outsiders think they’re not welcome because they’re not good enough.
The TrueFaced experience contrasts the road of trusting the God who loves us, that leads to the Room of Grace. In this room are saints (who sin) who trust the other troubled, weird, uncertain disciples as we mature together. TrueFaced explores serious matters of identity, healing, repentance and forgiveness in a robust and risky environment of Grace. Many will find it very challenging.