Read an interview with Todd Murphy, a pastor who has incorporated the gospel into his own life and the life of his church. Learn how people who have been in the church all their life have been dramatically changed. In addition, discover how outreach is radically different when people in the church believe and live out the gospel in their own lives.
How has Gospel Centered Life materials shaped your ministry?
Gospel Centered Life is important because it helps people understand their need for a savior and their need for repentance. Many people believe Jesus walked on the earth, died, and came back to life. But knowing this alone doesn’t get to the heart of the matter. The Gospel Centered Life helps even those who have been Christians all their lives, learn to die to self. A key aspect of this is that through Gospel Centered Life people understand their sin and the need for repentance as a lifestyle.
In what way does this affect your preaching?
It is a sad fact of reality, but a great deal of the Church is confused about the Gospel today and what it is exactly calling us to. The “good” is the enemy of the “best.” We get sidetracked by many good things that take our focus from the central and best. You can see this in how the Church today gets preoccupied with things such as worship styles, social activism, political issues, race relations, women’s issues, and the like. But the central call of the Gospel is to repent because the kingdom of God is at hand. A lot of preaching fails to call individuals to repentance. Preaching can become entertainment. While the GCL is only a nine week course, it can have the benefit of refocusing a preacher on what is most important. It helps the preacher and the congregation sense and grow in their need for a Savior. This helps us see the critical truth that the Gospel that saves us is also the same Gospel that sanctifies us.
You are the pastor of a growing church plant, how is the outreach of your congregation different because of the Gospel Centered Life?
Simply put, people who understand the gospel are able to share it more clearly. People cannot clearly communicate a message they personally do not understand. As I pointed out, there is a great deal of confusion about the Gospel. In our Church we have seen many people come to us who have been “Christian” in some sense for most of their lives but lack real comprehension and repentance. One young mother who grew up in Church and youth group went through GCL and it changed her life. Within the months that followed she began to reconcile with her father whom she had not spoken to in over thirteen years. The Gospel is about reconciliation. That only comes through repentance and forgiveness. For the message of the Gospel to be credible to those who hear us, they need to see that we ourselves have been changed by it.
Your small group ministry reaches a lot of people in your church. What difference does the Gospel Centered Life make in your small groups?
The GCL has made a big difference because it helps lay a foundation for good Gospel DNA. Those who go through it better understand the discipleship process. Thus it makes the small group more effective because people know what they are there for. They are not there merely to socialize, but to Gospelize, to learn and grow together by coming to grips with their need for a savior.