Let these quotes from Matt Chandler, Eric Geiger and Josh Patterson in Creature of the word provoke you and challenge the way you think about church.
It’s one thing to see the gospel as an important facet of one’s ministry. It’s quite another to hold firmly to it as the centerpiece for all a church is and does, to completely orbit around it.
just as an individual must continually return to the grace of Jesus for satisfaction and sanctification, a local church must continually return to the gospel as well. Our churches must be fully centered on Jesus and His work, or else death and emptiness is certain, regardless of the worship style or sermon series. Without the gospel, everything in a church is meaningless. And dead.
a big gap exists between understanding the gospel and understanding what the gospel means for the Church. Perhaps this is largely because we tend to think of the gospel as an individual message
Man can approve and accept you without any knowledge of your motives. He may never spot the shady, sinful, selfish motives that lead you to perform your “good deeds.” But God knows your wicked heart. And still, He died on the cross for you.
Worship gatherings are not always spectacular, but they are always supernatural. And if a church looks for or works for the spectacular, she may miss the supernatural. If a person enters a gathering to be wowed with something impressive, with a style that fits him just right, with an order of service and song selection designed just the right way, that person may miss the supernatural presence of God. Worship is supernatural whenever people come hungry to respond, react, and receive from God for who He is and what He has done
The essence of Christian faith is not that we serve Christ but that He served us. Click to Tweet this
Instead of participating in this one great drama, we’re content just to watch and wish we were involved in something this significant. We keep going to movies, watching television shows, and buying video games that give hints of this grand romance and battle. Yet for some reason we fail to see that we are actually caught up in it. What’s bigger than being part of the biggest story going?
Children and student ministries are often a wasteland for well-intentioned morality training… A church that goes after a child’s behavior and not the child’s heart is shepherding that child in opposition to the gospel.
Children must be impressed with the awesomeness of Christ, with His nature and character. They must see in their leaders a sense of awe for the beauty and attractiveness of Christ. They must see what it means to treasure Christ more than anything else. Children are perceptive, and if they see leaders and parents talk with boredom and apathy about faith yet become overtly passionate about sports teams or shopping malls, they will think the sport or the mall is more attractive than Jesus.
Every single thing the Church does teaches. Culture is continually being reinforced as leaders are always teaching and people are always learning. Much of this teaching and learning comes through implicit messages rather than explicit ones the songs selected, the way Scripture is read, the attitude of the children’s leaders, and the programs that are offered. If the implicit message communicated via the programs contradicts the explicit message communicated in the teaching environments, then people are left confused and frustrated.
The church budget is a doctrinal statement.