Hey churches and church leaders!
The gospel message (the life, death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, for the forgiveness of sins and transformation of life) is powerful – and vital! It is the very cornerstone of every Christian church and the Christian message.
But it can be easily lost.
There are lots of things that can…
- push it out of the primary place
- take its place
- make it seem tame & boring
- cause it to be seen as “good” but not “the main thing”
What sort of things?
- social ministries (feeding people, medical missions, community service, etc.)
- corporate worship style
- “life” ministries (parenting classes, financial seminars, etc.)
- organizational structures (are we Elder-ruled, Elder-led, congregationally ruled, episcopal, or what?)
- non-main things that become the main-thing (how many “7th day” churches are there now?)
Few of these things are unimportant… but none of them are VITALLY important.
NONE OF THEM IS THE GOSPEL!
Dr. D.A. Carson has said,
The first generation has the gospel, the second generation assumes the gospel, and the third generation loses the gospel.
He’s referring to the many, many examples of once-on-fire-for-the-gospel churches or denominations that today are virtually dead (when it comes to gospel proclamation). They have lost the gospel message. It is no longer central, no longer primary, no longer the heartbeat of why they do what they do. Just look around… you see it everywhere.
So what do you have to do if you want to lose the gospel?
If you are not deliberately protecting and championing it, the gospel-focus of your church will fade into obscurity in time.
Let’s not be guilty of startinging that ball rolling… we can never, ever, ever ASSUME the gospel. We must be intentional about it!