Wednesday, January 19, 2011

What is the Gospel?

By Dan Willis and Tim Thompson

The Gospel is lost in America. This is a bold way to being our first Newsletter, but it is the simplest conviction we share as missionaries in America. The once powerful and life changing good news, that proclaimed Jesus as the Christ, spoke of the resurrection, released us from sin and gave new breath to our life, has been manipulated, devalued and misused to a point that those who hear the gospel are confused or disinterested in the significance.

The Church Works began as a missions group looking to rediscover the message of the gospel. Inspired by Lesslie Newbigin and other great writers, we want to do the work to contextualize the gospel in our culture. And then share the burden with others who have like understanding and concern about the message of Christ.

America associates the Gospel to actions, causes and political ideals. But by defining the Gospel through worldly things we confine it to worldly things. Is the Gospel truly something so weak? Is it merely a catch phrase? Is this the good news that so many die for?

Mark 16:15-17 has this to say about the Gospel:

He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.”

As we are out in the world preaching the Gospel, we are searching for the words to grasp this immense idea. We need words that have the power, love, and wisdom to display it. The challenge to us all to find the words that the world will understand.

So we began with some simple questions:

· What is the Gospel?

· What is it about the life we live in America that removes us from the conviction and effectiveness of the Gospel?

· How to we share with others a message of Christ that sounds like “Good News”?

If you are interested in being part of the conversation, join us. As an exercise we take passages of the New Testament and discern the words and ideas that accompany the Gospel message. In our NEXT program, we begin with Colossians Chapter 3 and make a list of the words and we’ve began the same conversation in Facebook.

Then, this month go to through the NT and find the Gospel, every book contains it somewhere. Seek it out. Find that power and grasp it. Then Live it, love it and most importantly share it! Find the words that share the power of the Gospel but can be understood by the world around you.

Don't stop there become an M.I.A. and share the good news you find with everyone you know. Be open to the spirit and live as a free people.