Communicating Spiritual Growth in a Multicultural Global City Context with Darryl Dash
Welcome to the unSeminary podcast. We’re honored to have Darryl Dash with us today from Liberty Grace Church in Toronto.
Liberty Grace Church is unusual in that it’s a fairly small church with a storefront that meets at four o’clock in the afternoon in the middle of a wealthy section of Toronto. Technically they are Baptist, but Liberty Grace doesn’t make a big deal of the denomination and instead focuses on being authentic and honest about faith in Christ.
Darryl is with us today to talk about engaging the culture in Toronto and how to help people wrestle through what it means to grow in their relationship with Christ.
- What do you think it means to be fully alive? // Liberty Village, the place where Liberty Grace is located, is a well-off community where everyone has good jobs and nice houses, and yet there is a restlessness inside people in which many of them still aren’t happy. Darryl uses this as a conversation opener as he reaches out to people and discusses what it means to be a Christ follower. He finds wisdom from the book of Ecclesiastes helpful. It tells us if we have a good job enjoy it. If you like good food and wine, enjoy them. Enjoy nice clothes. But in the end, they won’t satisfy you. The road to happiness is not found by pursuing happiness, but by pursuing God. And by pursuing God, not only do you get to enjoy His gifts, but you get to enjoy Him. That doesn’t make you into a “serious” person as Christians are often perceived, but rather fully alive.
- Take the pressure off. // We live in a tired society that’s sick of proving themselves so at Liberty Grace they try to ease people into encountering Jesus and his claims. The last thing people need is more pressure so the church works to create a space where people can come in messy, honest, full of questions, struggles and doubts. We need to make a place that they feel safe and connected to Jesus. There are habits that lead to growth, but it begins with Gospel + safety + time.
- A culture of shame vs a culture of guilt. // We’ve moved away from a sense of guilt in our culture to a culture of shame. No one would say there’s a set of objective standards or moral laws that we’re violating, but that’s been replaced with a sense that there’s something deeply flawed within me. It’s often this feeling that opens people up to the Gospel message.
- Help people develop habits to make them grow. // Because people exploring the Christian faith can feel overwhelmed by taking next steps, Darryl has tried to break down developing spiritual disciplines into practical, bit-sized habits. LifeWay did a study about what behaviors Christ followers want to cultivate and what leads to those results. Liberty Grace took these learnings and asks people to commit to three things in a very manageable way. First: encounter the Word of God. The truth is that even within churches, most people don’t read the bible. Most people sitting in a church haven’t heard scripture since the last time they were in church. Help them break it down into something they can ease into—a three day plan of reading some verses, then moving into a five day plan, a seven day plan.
- Speak with God. // The second habit is prayer. Don’t come to God thinking you need to be pious or put together, just come with your mess. Share everything with Him. Make it much more relational and conversational. View it as a way to manage your life with God’s help rather than another thing to add to your life.
- Open up to each other. // And third, get involved with community and worship within a church. Begin to open your life to people. We tend to hide what is really going on in our lives instead of letting others in and finding that support we need. Be real with each other.
You can contact Darryl or find more information about his book How to Grow: Applying the Gospel to All of Your Life at www.dashhouse.com. You can find out more about Liberty Grace Church at www.libertygrace.ca.
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Helpful Tech Tools // Appsumo
Ministries Following // Capitol Hill Baptist Church
Influential Book // High Performance Habits: How Extraordinary People Become That Way by Brendon Burchard
Leader to meet // Warren Buffet
What you do for fun // Explore Toronto