Gospel Highlight: Shannon Smith
The impact of the gospel can meet each one of us in different places, in different seasons, with different people. The power of the gospel we believe in is real. It can impact you when you least expect it or after a desperate search for your life’s truth. As a church, the impact we can make on this city, this community, this congregation starts small. It can start with one person.
Shannon Smith is an example of a believer who has been affected by the gospel in many chapters of her life. Her story includes a moment in a young adult season where she became involved with a church family again after losing herself during her college years in other priorities – making those priorities much higher than leaning on the Lord for her strength and purpose. She describes the realization during a church service as a significant moment saying, “for the first time my spirit was truly awakened to the beauty and gracious acceptance of the news of the gospel.” Shannon’s background may be like yours, where she was raised in the church and surrounded by family and friends who were believers. She speaks about her childhood experiences to make it known that is where her gospel-centered journey began. At her childhood home church, she was guided in making “good” decisions, and she states, “it’s not like I had done a bunch of bad things, but I did know that I was imperfect and fell short of God’s standards.” At the young age of eight, she was baptized and celebrated the gift of salvation. “But,” she states, “I thought growing in Christ required my trying hard not to ever sin.” She found herself “checking a box” to make herself feel better about her faith journey without truly understanding the meaning behind the gospel.
Fast forward to her life today, Shannon is a mother, wife, and spiritual mentor to young women. She experienced another spiritual awakening as a member of our own Christ Covenant family. She was seated in the Sutton Middle School theatre when she was deeply affected by Jason’s message on baptism. During this particular sermon, she saw baptism in an entirely new way. She recalls, “It is a symbol of Christ’s death and resurrection; our entrance into the water identifies us with His death and resurrection, and it expresses our union with Him. He talked about how before trusting in Christ, we are spiritually dead, and in need of a rescuer, or Savior.” After leaving the service on that particular day, she knew she wanted to be baptized again. This time the act of baptism was different to her – she now understood “the beautiful symbolism of the gospel.”
In the most humble manner, Shannon still describes her faith as, “immature and awakened.” She will be the first to tell you she is grateful for opportunities to continue learning about her own walk to help lead others to our Savior. But the best part? She’s a believer that is saved by God’s amazing grace and isn’t afraid to share it. She boldly shares, “Our messed-up world needs good news, but not just any good news. It needs news with power, which is the gospel as Paul describes in Romans 1:16. The gospel is the only way for heart-change, life-change, and social change.”
It’s only when we encounter the radical grace of God, through the message of the gospel, that we can change and experience the kind of peace and assurance that comes from being fully known, yet being fully accepted and loved.