Why We're Here and What We're About
The gospel is the good news that God meets each of us on our turf and on his terms. "On our turf" means that wherever you find yourself at the moment is where God is able and willing to meet you with his illumining, reconciling, renewing grace--regardless of whether you're at a place where you're burned out or bored, convinced or unconvinced, passionate or stagnant, cynical or spiritual. "On his terms" means that God insists we deal with him through his mercy--not posturing, pretending, denying our obvious need for his mercy, impressing him with our comparative goodness, or jumping through endless religious hoops. The Gospel is the beginning, the middle, and the end of everything we do at RUF. It's not just how we're made right with God, it's how we grow, change, and endure in the Christian life!
The gospel alone holds the power to truly change our lives. When we rely on Jesus’ work and record (rather than our own) for our relationship with God, God not only forgives us, but lavishes his love and acceptance upon us and gives us a radical new identity. It's like we went from being caterpillars to butterflies--same creature, radically different nature and radically different potential. Because we're people who are renewed by GRACE (as opposed to renewed by our own moral improvement, superior intelligence or devotion, superior background or pedigree), we're people who have nothing praiseworthy in ourselves to point to--only a praiseworthy God. As the Gospel takes root in our lives, instead of becoming self-righteous or arrogant people we become more grateful, humble, others-centered people.
God not only renews us individually, but also gathers us into a new kind of community – a new family, which is the church - so that we might learn how to live out the implications of the gospel together. The gospel breaks down economic, social, and racial barriers and enables us to use influence, wealth, and status in non-destructive, life-giving, neighbor-serving ways. As the gospel transforms our relationships we trust that it will provide a partial - but real - glimpse of God’s kingdom and the future redemption of all of creation. When you step into the community at RUF, you'll never step into a group of people who have "arrived" and have it all together. But we hope and pray you will get a true taste of how God's kingdom unites us together no matter our differences, humbles us, and changes us.
As a UGA student organization, we love the university and we appreciate the intrinsic value of our calling as students. We wholeheartedly affirm the many ways in which the university reflects God’s good purposes and seeks to better understand the brilliant world God's made. But we also recognize that there are aspects of university life and our wider culture in need of God’s transforming love. Our hope is that as the gospel changes us individually and corporately, UGA would be transformed into the very best center of living and learning. In short, RUF is not here for the sake of growing and bettering RUF. RUF is here at UGA for the sake of UGA.
The gospel provides us with resources for living out our full humanity within the church, culture and our unique vocations. We are committed to helping one another identify, develop, and exercise the unique set of gifts that God has given us with gospel excellence and distinctiveness so that we might be servant leaders in RUF, our families and churches, the academy, business, medicine, government, media, and the arts. RUF works diligently to connect students to the local church who have been well equipped, pastored, and developed for a lifetime of service.
Jesus’ goal is nothing less than the renewal of all things, and he calls us to play an active role in his mission to re-weave the fabric of our world. To that end, we are committed to tangibly expressing God’s loving care for the world by sacrificially serving our friends, classmates, faculty and administration and by seeking wholeness for the poor and justice for the oppressed. As we share the gospel through the words we speak, the deeds we perform, and the community we embody, we enable people to discover the truth about themselves and the larger story of which their lives are a part.