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Books for those in ministry organizations who desire to take their leadership, teams, governance, and ministry effectiveness to the next level.

13 May '11

Seven Marks of Gospel Centered Churches

For those of us who are committed to being a gospel centered church there are seven markers that we can pay attention too and intentionally encourage. Progress in these seven areas indicate that we are on the right track.

One: Gospel centered churches see regular conversions because they are focused on sharing the Gospel as a lifestyle. They celebrate new life in Christ, and help their congregation understand that sharing their faith is central to who they are and what they do. And, they keep track of their progress in this area.

Two: Gospel centered churches regularly challenge individuals to consider full time Christian service and see people answer that call. They encourage, support and celebrate those who choose to use their gifts in service of the Great Commission.

Three: Gospel centered churches focus more on life change toward the Image of Christ than on the imparting of theological information. They focus on the transformation of hearts, minds, life priorities and relationships and see regular transformation take place.

Four: Gospel centered churches, like Jesus have a high commitment to biblical compassion and loving the marginalized, neglected, hurting, poor and needy. In fact, they go out of their way to show the love of Jesus to those who others neglect and forget. Like, Jesus they have a love for "all people" not just "their people."

Five: Gospel centered churches are characterized by generosity. Their people are generous with one another when there are needs, generous in giving so that the Gospel is advanced and generous with their time and gifts. Their lives could be called "generous," lived for Jesus and others.

Six: Gospel centered churches have people who are "in the game" in terms of using their spiritual gifts and God given wiring to serve the church and be the hands, feet, and voice of Jesus in their circle of influence. They are intentional in making space in their lives for ministry.

Seven: Gospel centered churches replicate themselves by planting other churches, whether off site venues or independent churches. They intentionally "give themselves away" to see the Gospel penetrate new communities and neighborhoods. It is part of their regular strategy.

No individual or church gets this perfectly but progress in these areas should encourage you that you are on the right track. Celebrate and encourage your people in these directions and your spiritual influence as a congregation will increase.