There are numerous different aspects to ministry that have consumed the minds of pastors and ministers for centuries. In our attempt to effectively reach the loss we have created a circus of activities that keep our people spinning in circles. We struggle to retain and recruit new volunteers, because we fail to properly train, equip, and empower them to lead. I have been doing a lot of research on how and why we do certain things in ministry, and I have discovered that at the core of our activites we have become focused on results and procedures, and we have forsaken the Gospel.
As a result of my studies the idea of being Gospel centered has really been on my mind, and to know surprise when I came across Jonathan Dodson’s book “Gospel Centered Discipleship” I had to read it. The Holy Spirit gave me a lot of clarity to my studies, and challenged me to approach ministry with a new perspective. It was amazing how many principles in Dodson’s book ran parallel to exactly what I was studying in God’s Word. I also found that a lot of the things he mentioned were things that I had recently read in other blogs. This whole experience in seeking out truth, has been a real God thing. I love when timeless truths become a reality in my life.
**Here are a few of the highlights that I have discovered reading God’s Word and reading Dodson’s book…
- Real Gospel Centered ministry/discipleship is messy, imperfect, and honest. Too often we expect ministry to be clean, perfect, orderly, and modestly honest. When are focus is on results and not Christ, the moment ministry gets messy, and too bruttally honest we tend to check out, but when it is Gospel centered we remain faithful.
- Real Gospel Centered ministry/discipleship is not about how we perform but who we are -imperfect people, clinging to a perfect Christ, being perfected by the Spirit.
- Real Gospel Centered ministry/discipleship integrates more than evangelism and discipleship; it also integrates a faith in Jesus Christ as Lord. Jesus is telling us to give up on our deeds and ourselves, and to give in to his deeds and him-as our Christ and our Lord.
- Real Gospel Centered ministry/discipleship is not about religious performance. We serve God not to receive his love but because we have already received his love, and love will compel a man to do remarkable things.
Gospel Centered ministry/discipleship is simple, missional, relational, rational, Biblical, and personal.
I want to leave you with a few thought provoking question that will help you become Gospel centered.
Are you overcomplicating something God created to be simple?
Are you stuck in your ways unwilling to change in order to be all things to all people (missional)?
Are you going out of your way to meet new people, and establish relationships with those around you?
Does what you are doing have purpose or make sense, or are you doing something just to do it? Are you being rational? Realize that there will be times that God might lead us to do something irrational, but be sure it is a true calling from God and it is Gospel centered.
Is it Biblical? If the Bible isn’t central, you will end up relying on yourself.
Is the Gospel reflected in your life? Do you have a personal life-changing relationship with Christ, and are you sharing how the Gospel has impacted your life?
Hopefully in your pursuit of being Gospel Centered you will find this article helpfull. I also highly recommend Dodson’s book “Gospel Centered Discipleship.” This book will help you understand and experience the fullness of discipleship as God intended. It combines the mess and the weight, the imperfection and transformation, the honesty and wonder of being a disciple who revolves around Jesus. This book is a practical guide to discipleship that is Spirit-filled, Christ-centered, field-tested, and easily implemented. Get your copy here today.
** Some content taken from J. Dodson’s book “Gospel Centered Discipleship”