Gospel-centered. What does that mean? How will that shape a new church in downtown Muncie?
Maybe a starting place to this is: what is the gospel?
Paul puts it like this:
The gospel then is ultimately a story about Jesus. How God has worked and continues to work to save and restore a broken world and people to himself. So what would it mean to be centered on this declaration about who Jesus is and what he has done?
I like to think of it in terms of photography. For a photographer, what is seen in the images they capture is determined by the lens they use. For us, the gospel is the lens by which we will see the world. The world is full of tensions and so are the people who fill the world. The tension between the beauty of being made in God's image and yet being deeply broken and rebellious. The tension of God's holy justice and his steadfast and loving mercy. This tension is only resolved when we focus the lens of the gospel to see clearly. This comes at the height of the gospel story as Paul declared in the passage above as Jesus goes to the Cross. Dying for sinners and offering forgiveness. This must remain central for us to have a proper focus on the world.
IT EFFECTS EVERYTHING.
If Jesus really is who he says he is and has really done what the Scriptures say that he has done, namely made a way for sinners to be reconciled to the one true God of the universe, than it must effect everything we do. A lens effects not only the photographer's view of the world, but also the photos they produce. For us this means that the gospel isn't just the lens by which we make decisions. But it will also be the end goal of all we do. Whatever ministry we commit ourselves to, whatever service we perform for our neighbors, whatever social justice we pursue, whatever message we preach, whatever community we engage, the end goal is the same. Magnify Jesus as the gospel goes forth in word and deed transforming our community and our world.
Check out this great video below for more ways that we hope to pursue Gospel-Centered Ministry: