The Gospel-Centered Church

We use the phrase a lot in church circles – so what does it actually mean to be a gospel-centered church? I think the biggest hurdle in achieving an environment of gospel-centeredness is the collective realization that the truth of the gospel (Christ’s work on the cross and his resurrection) is profitable and vital to more than salvation alone. “But we are preaching to Christians” is a common rebuttal to clear gospel presentation and I think it reveals how we have lost our astonishment in the reality of the gospel and its effectiveness for life after salvation!

A church plant in San Francisco, Redeemer City Church, has stated their view of the gospel-centered church and it is worth a look. Some of the key distinctives they aspire to are:

  • Reading and teaching the entire Bible in light of the gospel message
  • Preaching the gospel to believers, not just unbelievers
  • Leaders applying the gospel to themselves first; church leaders are a model of repentance
  • Developing a leadership culture marked by ever increasing “gospel-astonishment”
  • Being known for an atmosphere of grace (gospel-centered churches are a safe place for seekers, skeptics and those outside the faith)
  • Producing people who not only know the doctrine of the gospel but who also love the person of Jesus Christ

The church must be gospel-centered. It is our defining characteristic and without it we are whitewashed tombs.

HT: Jared Wilson

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