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Is Your Organization Gospel-Driven?

An article from the Christian Leadership Alliance asks the question many pastors wrestle with: What does it look like when a Christian organization is driven by the Gospel? Author James Tonkowich, Ph.D. clarifies, “It is a question of how we do business, not of what business we do.” Tonkowich says Gospel-driven organizations affirm the absolute and eternal truth of the Gospel message. He reminds us that the disciples did not use private intuition or personal insight to determine truth; instead, they used God’s written history, which was therefore fully objective, public and authoritative. To prevent a Gospel-orientation that appears heartless and brutal, Tonkowich urges organizations to maintain a spirit of brokenness, with particular note of our mission to minister to a broken world filled with broken people—and even broken Christians. In addition, “The hope we cling to is not our ability to achieve great things,” says Tonkowich. “Our only hope is the sure fact that Jesus has already accomplished the Great Thing.” He says Gospel-driven organizations realize their primary mission is to join Christ in His work, not just to engage Christ in their work. Tonkowich concluded his article with the comment that without this Gospel-orientation, a Christian organization may be indistinguishable from its secular counterparts. “Anyone can plan, raise money and develop programs…but driven by the Gospel, we can expect truth to prevail, brokenness to be healed, and the sufficiency of Christ to be made known in and through us.”  

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Toni Ridgaway is a content editor for the Outreach Web Network, including churchleaders.com and SermonCentral.com.