A Lasting Legacy Can Be an Act of Faith

A Lasting Legacy Can Be an Act of Faith

A Lasting Legacy Can Be an Act of Faith

 As Christians, we are called to be stewards — stewards of our faith, of our loved ones, and of the things in our lives that God has blessed us with. Estate planning is a meaningful way to care for yourself, your family, and the communities and ministries close to your heart. 

For many Christians, this critical life task can be an important way to put their faith into action and create a lasting legacy that upholds their values and beliefs for generations to come.

Why Estate Planning?

When you make a will, you have the opportunity to contribute to the people and causes you love on your own terms. Just as God’s love sustains us and unites our communities around a shared purpose, estate planning can sustain your personal faith today, tomorrow, and for years to come. You have the power to communicate your wishes and steward your resources with care, purpose, and compassion. 

In the New Testament, we read that the early Christians were known for their radical generosity, using their resources to care for their community and some selling property and giving the proceeds to be used for those in need (Acts 2:44-45; 4:32-37). 

This trajectory is rooted in the history of the Israelites setting aside the edges of their fields for gleaning by widows, orphans, the poor, and the needy (Leviticus 19:9-10, Deuteronomy 24:19-22).

Today, the seeds of generosity have been planted for you, and you can pull from these deep-rooted traditions to create an estate plan that sustains a legacy of selflessness. 


Your Faith, Your Family, Your Legacy

Estate planning is also a powerful way to communicate with your loved ones and your family. When we think of what it means to be a steward of everything God has entrusted to our care — our families, careers, and finances — it is easy to forget about the final act of stewardship we have after we leave this earth. 

How will our lifetime of stewardship impact those we love after we are gone? Creating a will empowers you to pass your faith forward and steward your resources in ways that continue to support what matters to you. You can communicate important financial, healthcare, and end-of-life wishes in your estate plan and through your last will and testament to support your family and those who may be charged with your estate. 

Getting Started with Christ Community

 As a member of the Evangelical Free Church of America, our purpose is to serve you and your loved ones in your faith, influencing our community and world for Jesus Christ. That’s why we have partnered with FreeWill, a secure online estate planning resource that allows you to begin building one element of your legacy of faith – at no cost to you. 

This simple, self-guided platform offers step-by-step guidance on how to direct the use of  what God has given you in ways that honor the word and work of the Lord. 

No single generation builds a church. The beauty of Christ Community is in all of us who take up the cross, build lives around the Bible, and love the church. 


Generosity Paper

Visit FreeWill.com/cckc to get started today

Living a Generous Life: Planning a Lasting Legacy

Integrating Faith at Work | Mitch Holthus | POD 004

Integrating Faith at Work | Mitch Holthus | POD 004




Hosts & Guests

Mitch Holthus, Voice of the Kansas City Chiefs

Paul Brandes – Host

Bill Gorman – Co-Host

Show Notes

We hope to challenge you to think deeply about what it means to follow Jesus in all of life.

In this episode of theFormed.life podcast, we talk with the Voice of the Chiefs, our very own Mitch Holthus. Mitch tells us about his work with the Chiefs and what it looks like to integrate faith into all of life, sharing the truth of the gospel, the importance of scripture memorization, and making time for others even when life is hard and even when it gets busy.


“The time that the Lord gives us in this life [is not infinite], and he wants to use us. And he needs us…it’s a very strange strategy, really, that he’s relying on us because…I’ve goofed this up many times down through the years.

“It’s a dream for a lot of people to work in the realm of sports and professional sports. But many times that dream is not what they thought it was going to be, and it can be a very difficult profession to be in… it can get pretty intense. There’s a lot of frank discussions about shattered dreams.” “What God has taught me is to have that heart to be open. And even though you’re [feeling like] oh man, I got ten things to do, and I got a deadline tomorrow… I’ve got to stop, freeze, and just be available. And sometimes that leads to some very powerful situations.”

“I keep a prayer journal and sermon notes…what I keep is 17 years prior…because when I do that I see how God has been faithful in the things that I’ve forgotten about.”
Gender Dysphoria Issues | Dr. Julia Sadusky | POD 003

Gender Dysphoria Issues | Dr. Julia Sadusky | POD 003




Hosts & Guests

Dr. Julia Sadusky

Paul Brandes – Host

Bill Gorman – Co-Host

Show Notes

We hope to challenge you to think deeply about what it means to follow Jesus in all of life. In this episode, we sit down with Dr. Julia Sadusky to talk about gender identity and gender dysphoria and how the local church can be a place of hope. As followers of Jesus, it is our desire to respond with grace and love to the many cultural shifts relating to gender identity while remaining tethered to a biblical foundation. Our special guest is Dr. Julia Sadusky joining hosts Paul Brandes and Bill Gorman.
This is Episode 3 of theFormed.life Podcast, where we hope to challenge you in thinking deeply about what it means to follow Jesus in all of life.



At Christ Community, we affirm with our Lord Jesus and believers throughout history that “from the beginning of creation, ‘God made them male and female’” (Mark 10:6; Genesis 1:27). There is a good design to our bodies being sexed, and a beautiful diversity of women and men contributing in genuinely complementary ways in the church, the family, and broader society.

And yet, how do we respond both to a culture that is increasingly opposed to biblical truth and to individuals who are image-bearers of God navigating difficult situations related to their gender identity?

Facing these complex questions can be daunting, but humble listening and learning is always a good next step. This is why, with the encouragement of our Elder Leadership Team, we invited Dr. Sadusky to join us. She is deeply rooted in an orthodox view of the authority of Scripture and holds to a biblical understanding of gender and sexuality. And she models beautifully how to think clearly and love compassionately.

How to Rediscover Lost Values with MLK

How to Rediscover Lost Values with MLK

One of my personal traditions is to listen to my favorite Martin Luther King, Jr speech each year on MLK weekend. While not as popular as “I Have a Dream” or “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop,” my favorite speech, entitled “Rediscovering Lost Values,” embodies the compelling moral vision of King and the broader African-American church that we celebrate each year on MLK day. This speech was actually a sermon delivered at Detroit’s Second Baptist Church before the Montgomery bus boycott that elevated him to a national stage. It reminds us that before King became the renowned activist and public persona, he was a preacher of the gospel of Jesus Christ. It was his deep faith commitments of the latter that propelled him to become the former. The sermon’s correct diagnosis and searing critique of modern western culture’s moral relativism, in both theory and practice, is as relevant today in 2023 as it was in 1954.

King begins by asserting that, as modern people, “the means by which we live, have outdistanced the spiritual ends for which we live.” The profound problems we face in our world today cannot be solved by more information or more economic resources, both of which we have more of today than any society in human history. No, the problem lies within the hearts and souls of human beings and results from leaving behind the value of there being a God-given moral fabric to our universe. King likens this to the story of Joseph and Mary accidentally leaving behind Jesus as a boy in Jerusalem while returning to Nazareth (Luke 2:41-52). If we are to move forward as a society, we must go back to rediscover these foundational spiritual and moral values.

The problem is that we have forgotten that God created our universe with moral laws every bit as true as physical laws. Even if you don’t understand Newtonian physics, you know that if you jump off a tall building the law of gravity means that you will fall to the ground and die. Certain things are right and certain things are wrong, in every time, place, and culture, precisely because God made it so… 

It’s wrong to hate. It always has been wrong and it always will be wrong! It’s wrong in America, it’s wrong in Germany, it’s wrong in Russia, it’s wrong in China! It was wrong in two thousand BC, and it’s wrong in nineteen fifty-four AD! It always has been wrong, and it always will be wrong! It’s wrong to throw our lives away in riotous living. No matter if everybody in Detroit is doing it. It’s wrong! It always will be wrong! And it always has been wrong. It’s wrong in every age, and it’s wrong in every nation. Some things are right and some things are wrong, no matter if everybody is doing the contrary. 

Yet, King points out, we think we can disobey God’s moral laws and not face the consequences. He says that we live by an 11th commandment that supersedes the other 10… “Thou shalt not get caught.” You can break any command you want, so long as you don’t get caught and face negative consequences for it. We have deceived ourselves and forgotten the biblical truth that “You shall reap what you sow” (Galatians 6:7). This is the result of forgetting the moral foundation of the universe, and the God who upholds it.

At this point you may be amening just like the congregation at Detroit Second Baptist back in 1954. This is when King shifts the focus from our broader culture to the church. He observes that even believers can unintentionally forget God and leave him behind, just like Jesus’ parents accidentally forgot him back in Jerusalem on their way back to Nazareth. It is easy for Christians to “pay lip service to God and not life service.” We create false gods out of materialism or political ideologies that affirm us and how we want to live, and we use those idols to distract ourselves from the real God of Scripture who places moral demands on us and holds us accountable. 

All too often, Christians are passionate about either personal holiness or communal justice, while neglecting the other. King and others in the African-American Christian tradition show us there is a strong moral foundation that should lead to both. There is much the broader church can learn from them. We should seek to know the God who created this moral universe, and follow him by his grace.

This MLK weekend, I encourage you to take some time to read or listen to one of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s sermons. Let’s remind ourselves of the moral foundation of God’s created order, and how we follow the God who upholds it.


More Resources:

Rediscovering Lost Values

POD 002 |  Implausibility of faith in our culture. Complementary alliance.

POD 002 | Implausibility of faith in our culture. Complementary alliance.




Hosts & Guests

Melody McSparran

Tom Nelson – Senior Pastor

Paul Brandes – Host


Show Notes

We hope to challenge you in thinking deeply about what it means to follow Jesus in all of life. For today’s challenge we are talking about the increased cultural implausibility of our faith, particularly around male, female, gender, and marriage. When it comes to biblical teaching on male, female, and gender is our faith plausible? Special guests are Melody McSparran and Tom Nelson joining host Bill Gorman.
 This is Episode 2 of theFormed.life Podcast, where we hope to challenge you in thinking deeply about what it means to follow Jesus in all of life.

Overall gender confusion in our culture and exposure of unhealthy patterns in the church At the same time, increased tension between egalitarians and complementarians (Define terms). Complementarians tend to see men as leading in the church, while egalitarians see women and men as both leading in the church without distinction.
When you are stuck in a debate, perhaps a different question needs to be asked: Rather than starting with “Who’s in charge?”, we decided to ask “How are men and women designed to relate to one another?”
From there our team decided to embark on a biblical theology of male in female in the Scripture and here is what we found: Rather than an emphasis on human authority in Scripture, God’s creational design in Genesis emphasizes the relationship or synergy between male and female.
Now it is important to keep in mind that there are faithful, Bible-loving Jesus followers who disagree on this. So a humble and gracious posture is vital in this conversation.
As we did this biblical theology, we saw that men and women are designed to be in complementary alliance as members of God’s family.
“Complementary alliance” is a two-fold idea. God says in Genesis 2:18, “It is not good for man to be alone. I will make a helper corresponding to him.” The Hebrew word translated “helper” here is a word most often used for God himself in Scripture.
The woman is the essential ally that is to come alongside the man so together they may rule and reign over creation. Secondly, she is corresponding to him, or complementary to him. They are both image bearers of God, but bear that image distinctly according to their gender. Therefore our team thought the term “complementary alliance” captures this fundamental ideal in the Creation account.
However, the consequences of the Fall fractured this design, and God clearly describes the consequences for the humans relationship; but male domination and female frustration were a result of the fall, not God’s original design.
With the starting point of understanding God’s design of Complementary Alliance, we are then in a position to ask how this looks in the church.
First of all, we need to grasp that the overriding metaphor to describe the interactions in the church in the New Testament is a family, where God is the Father. He is in charge and has given all authority to His Son.
In a family, all are needed and necessary members, but not all function the same. Fathers are not mothers and brothers are not sisters. Each is unique, and each brings a unique contribution.
Therefore as the church establishes leadership structures, it must always hold this family dynamic in mind. While leadership structures could look a lot of different ways (and do!) in churches, the importance of functioning as a loving family must always be foremost.
We have brief sketches in the New Testament but not a laid-out formula of leadership structures. That is why we need grace when we differ.
So, why do we have male-only elders at Christ Community? Elders serve as guardians or watchmen, bearing an extra weight of responsibility on behalf of the family. They are rather like the fathers of the church, protecting it and guarding it. That is not to say that all do not have a responsibility of protecting and guarding the gospel and the church. We do. It’s just that the elders bear the ultimate responsibility in our polity.
And like a healthy family, there are places of leadership for women in our church as well. Women should be seen exercising their gifts in all capacities, including pastoral ministry and preaching and teaching when applicable. Indeed, Christ Community has women pastors, women leading in areas of financial responsibility, in worship and many other areas.
Reconstructing Faith In Ephesians

Reconstructing Faith In Ephesians

I am in a season of deconstruction.”

It is likely that you have either read, heard, or said these words in recent months. The deconstructing of faith is a popular practice these days. But what is it exactly? For some it is an opportunity to live their authentic life free of all moral and religious authority. For others it is a sincere attempt to determine if their faith has been formed by the words of Christ or by cultural ideologies. Regardless of the motivation, it is clear that we are in serious need of reconstructing faith. 


Deconstructing Faith

With that said, it is important to ask ourselves what it is precisely that we are deconstructing. And perhaps even more importantly, why we want to deconstruct these beliefs and ideas in the first place. It is absolutely healthy and even wise to deconstruct a belief or set of beliefs, especially if those beliefs are toxic, heretical, harmful, and downright false. As long as the motivation and desire is to pursue, understand, and embrace truth, then there is a goodness to the work of reevaluating, revisiting, and even reconsidering what we believe and why we believe it. But if our aim is to deconstruct for the purposes of liberating ourselves to live free of any and all authorities, then we are clearly not interested in remaining yoked to Jesus.

Thabiti Anyabwile makes the distinction between deconstruction and demolition. It is absolutely possible and often necessary for someone to pursue the work of deconstructing their faith with the aim of reconstructing a true, unadulterated, and biblical faith. When the goal of deconstructing faith is to properly and purely pursue Jesus for who he truly is, then it can be a beautiful and sanctifying process. Deconstruction for the sake of demolition is an entirely different story. In order to discern the difference we need to be clear on the intended direction that our deconstruction is taking us. Listen to how Anyabwile puts it.

As I watch the conversation, it seems to me a crisis of confidence often travels with deconstruction. Some boast about this; they see their deconstruction as a commitment to ambiguity, not knowing, taking a journey being guided mainly by questions or doubts. I don’t think such boasting is healthy. As G. K. Chesterton once observed, “The purpose of having an open mind, like an open mouth, is to close it onto something solid.” But others who are deconstructing have a more specific destination in mind. They can identify the particular issue(s) that need re-examination in light of scripture, history, practice, etc. I’d suggest specificity actually helps with knowing whether you’re making spiritual progress toward anything healthy or toward anything at all. 


A Better and More Faithful Approach

During a time when many people are deconstructing their faith with the goal of deconverting from their faith, we need to implement a better and more faithful approach. We do not need to throw out the deconstruction baby with the deconversion bathwater. So what do we need in order to properly deconstruct and reconstruct our faith? We need a solid foundation to build from. And that foundation is the cornerstone of the Lord Jesus.

The apostle Paul penned these words to the church at Ephesus who were themselves being compelled and coerced to compromise their faith by capitulating to the pervasive pagan culture around them.

So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone,  Ephesians 2:19–20


Reconstructing Faith

It is this foundation that we need to return to and reconstruct our faith upon. This is precisely what we plan to do together in our sermon series Reconstructing Faith as we explore the foundations of the Christian faith through Paul’s letter to the Ephesians. Whether you have been following Jesus for years or you’re ready to call it quits, we want to begin reconstructing our faith together.