Become a Gospel Shaped Church

| March 5, 2015

You can probably name a church in your community with a reputation for courageous defense of biblical truth. The preaching is strong, and discipleship involves a lot of good books from dead theologians. Another church you know is beloved for its compassion. Its food pantry is always stocked, and no one walks away empty-handed. Yet another church is all about fulfilling the Great Commission. They have the latest technology, the most energetic worship services, the most creative outreach strategies.

But where are the churches that are courageous, compassionate, and commissioned, all at the same time and among the same people? Where are the gospel-shaped churches that teach the Bible, love the poor, and reach the lost? If God’s Word is our timeless guide, then churches seeking after Jesus ought to share this core DNA even if they don’t agree on every theological detail, even if they’re located on opposite sides of the world.

The Gospel Coalition Theological Vision of Ministry was drafted, edited, and adopted by our Council of pastors, who began meeting 10 years ago. This document says that gospel-shaped churches will be characterized by five dynamics:

  1. Empowered corporate worship
  2. Evangelistic effectiveness
  3. Counter-cultural community
  4. The integration of faith and…

To read the rest of this article, visit