What happens when desperate love for the gospel truth itself and for the people for whom accepting that truth is a matter of life and death grips a church?
The church begins to love the Word of God.
The church begins to engage its culture.
The church begins to be changed by the gospel it loves.
The church begins to lift up Christ, not the church, not the church’s programs, not the successes of the church. Christ is at the center of the gospel of God. Without Christ there is no gospel of God. When desperate love for the gospel of God and for people grips a church, Christ increases. When it sings, it lifts up Christ. When it preaches, it lifts up Christ. When it prays, it lifts up Christ. When it budgets, it lifts up Christ.
The communicators, teachers, bloggers, and preachers of the church give great time and thought to presenting the truth of the gospel accurately and bringing it home to the hearts and lives of those who hear and read the communication.
The communicators, teachers, bloggers, and preachers of the church are themselves increasingly changed and re-formed and transformed and molded by the gospel truth. This changing, re-forming, transforming and molding is not done for the sake of a good sermonic or blog site story, but for the sake of being changed a little more everyday by the power of the truth of the gospel.
The church prays. It prays on its knees for the salvation of friends. It goes on prayer walks for the salvation of a city. It spends long hours in secret, in the closet where no one sees, in the dark of night, for the power of the gospel to break out and change lives and renew culture.
The church engages culture, not for the sake of relevancy, but to show how the aspirations of a culture is fulfilled in Christ. The church hears the groans and yearnings of a culture, evaluates then in light of the gospel truth, and then retells the story of a culture so that the good it seeks is discovered in Christ. The church engages culture without succumbing to political correctness in order lay bare the foundations of a culture and point to another, eternal foundation revealed in the gospel of God.
When desperate love for the gospel truth and for people for whom accepting the gospel is life and death grips a church, all bets are off about what will happen in the church and in the world.