By Kevin Jones
The glorious gospel must begin with God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. If we neglect any component of the godhead in the conversation of gospel centered ministry we will come short of believing and proclaiming the gospel. The attributes of God are central in gospel ministry. Again, Gospel centered ministry starts with God. It is also multifaceted and involves personal reflection, corporate celebration, and Evangelism.
Ephesians 1:3-8 is a sweet reminder of the grace, love and benevolence of God. The good news is, before the foundation of a perfect earth was created God had a plan to redeem sinners and call us to himself. God is a proactive, promise keeping God. His power and preeminence assure that this truth is unshakable. Life will shake us in many ways, life is also shaking people around us, yet God is able to stabilize and keep us. This truth motivates the believer to remember God’s goodness, worship with a local church body, and work and serve relentlessly for the worthy king of kings.
Gospel centered ministry must take place in the heart of each believer every day. Do you believe the words of Lamentation 3:22-23? “Because of the Lord’s faithful love, we do not perish, for his mercies never end. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness!” The truth of this passage must be proclaimed to one’s own heart. Every. Single. Day. Our hearts are prone to waiver, wander, and be weary. Therefore, we should meditate on scripture and take every thought captive that would provoke us to think less of God. Remember, the gospel is for you.
Gospel centered ministry must take place within our local churches. As we sit in leadership meetings, small groups, Sunday school classes, and all forms of formal and informal meetings at church, we should keep the gospel at the center of every discussion. Are you asking yourself and others, “How does this decision and conversation reflect the gospel?” Within our churches every ministry and event should focus on serving others and making God known. Self-seeking and hedonistic ideas and heart postures can bring gospel centered ministry to self-focus ministry. As a result, ministry efforts come to a crawl. Remember, the gospel is for the believers in your church. With that in mind, corporate worship should give rise to us going outside the walls of church.
Absolom Jones proclaimed, “the pomp of public worship, and the ceremonies of a festive day, will find no acceptance with him, unless they are accompanied with actions that correspond with them.” Therefore, brothers and sisters, once we have ministered the gospels to ourselves and ministered the gospel through songs, hymns, prayer, and the preached word, we must minister the gospel to others.As we live out gospel centered ministry, we remember God is with us, and our gospel centered actions are a way to show to him and the watching world, our hope is in Him and we completely depend on Him. – Kevin Jones Click To Tweet
We must do ministry outside of the church. One of the best ways to do this is to meet the physical, emotional, social, and spiritual needs of image bearers in our community. Some of the ministries in our church should have an outward focus. We should ask ourselves, “how is this ministry effort going to serve the image bearers in our community?” As we live out gospel centered ministry, we remember God is with us, and our gospel centered actions are a way to show to him and the watching world, our hope is in Him and we completely depend on Him.
As you read this, I hope you reflect on your heart, your local church body, and people you see in your daily or weekly rhythm of life that need the gospel. Go and share the gospel. People in your community need Gospel centered ministry.
Kevin M. Jones, serves as the Dean of the School of Education at Cedarville University. He also serves as the Managing Editor for The Gospel Project with Lifeway. He is a lay pastor at St John’s Missionary Baptist Church in Springfield, Ohio. He began his career as a first-grade teacher and has taught in various K–12 and post-secondary settings. Some of his recent publications are, “Jesse Owens: A Life in American History”, Perspectives on Family Ministry, Second Edition, and Removing the Stain of Racism from the Southern Baptist Convention: Diverse African American and White Perspective. He and his high school sweetheart, Demica, have three children: Kennedi, Kevin Jr, and Karsynn.