And when I came to you, brethren, I did not come with superiority of speech or of wisdom, proclaiming to you the testimony of God. For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified. I was with you in weakness and in fear and in much trembling, and my message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith would not rest on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God. (1 Corinthians 2:1-5)
It seems that everywhere you go today you hear of something being gospel-centered. I cannot even begin to count the amount of books that have been released this year that claim to be gospel-centered and we are strongly encouraged as followers of Jesus to make sure that everything about our life is gospel-centered. Being gospel-centered is a good thing as it reminds us to keep the gospel as central in all that we do; but we must be mindful not to just slap the title gospel-centered on anything and everything that we want.
Recently a former Greek Orthodox Priest friend of mine said that he was staying at home on Sunday to watch a political news program because there were not any Greek Orthodox Church parishes in the area where he was staying. I challenged him on this and encouraged him to check out one of the many gospel-centered churches that I know exist in this city.
Another friend of his challenged my claim due to many claiming to be gospel-centered, but falling very short of the gospel and the early church. I understand his point that many can claim something and not in actuality be it, but it caused me to think, "What is a gospel-centered church?" How would one really define a gospel-centered church.
I agree with Joe Thorn when he says, "A gospel-centered church is a church that is about Jesus above everything else. That sounds a little obvious, but when we talk about striving to be and maintain gospel-centrality as a church we are recognizing our tendency to focus on many other things (often good and important things) instead of Jesus. There are really only two options for local churches; they will be gospel-centered, or issue driven."