I finished my last post with, “In the following post, I will share the personal distinctives that impact my ministry as clearly as I can.” Here goes…
I am passionate about and thankful for the God’s Word, the gospel, and the life of community and mission that the gospel calls everyday Christians into. A healthy church begins with the full and consistent proclamation of the good news about Jesus through the teaching and preaching of God’s Word. God blesses the church and it’s members to enter into counter-cultural community and mission, in Christ, and in the resources of the Holy Spirit.
Pastors are called to teach and equip the church toward these ends, and church members are called to grow in living counter-culturally lives of sharing life with one another, and sharing the gospel with the world in word and deed, and honoring Jesus as King. While many of us know we are called to this sort of whole-life discipleship, we need constant reminding; at least I do. So, the church is a to be a place where we are consistently reminded of this calling, and also of the presence and power of the Spirit in us to engage it.
These distinctives impact how I endeavor to pastor and lead in the following four ways. I believe that:
- The church should constantly emphasize the proclamation of the gospel and teaching of God’s Word. A healthy church will make much of Jesus and treasure God’s Word, sound doctrine.
- The church should emphasize gospel community. A healthy church is an outpost, or forward operating base, of God’s kingdom where King Jesus already rules in our hearts, lives, and relationships. We are to live our lives in keeping with the way of Jesus; dependent upon, and in step with, the Holy Spirit.
- The church should emphasize the mission that the gospel calls us to and empowers us for. The blessings God gives to His children in Christ are not self-terminating. Rather, as we are blessed and benefitted by His mercy and grace, that blessing ought to flow through us to bless and benefit others. We are blessed to be a blessing, as God’s people have been going all the way back to Abraham.
- The church should emphasize and pursue the full resources of the Holy Spirit for life, worship, and ministry. The church is empowered, instructed, and helped in all her work by the Spirit. It is through the Spirit that Jesus keeps His promise to be with us always as we embrace the Great Commission. Whenever God uses us to accomplish His work, it is the Spirit operating through us that brings forth fruit.
This series lays out my understanding of the church’s purpose and mission. It is drawn from my philosophy of ministry, available here.