Making the gospel an imperative in the church’s mission has several significant impacts on the church’s actions and goals.
Here are some of the key effects:
- Spiritual Foundation: Prioritising the gospel as an imperative reinforces the church’s spiritual foundation. It reminds members that the core mission is to proclaim the message of salvation through Jesus Christ to all nations and fulfil the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20).
- Evangelism Focus: An imperative to spread the gospel strongly emphasises evangelism and outreach. It motivates church members to actively share their faith and engage in efforts to bring new believers into the fold.
- Commitment to Discipleship: When the gospel is central, discipleship becomes a priority. The church recognises the importance of bringing people to faith and nurturing their spiritual growth and maturity.
- Unity in Purpose: An imperative centred on the gospel can foster unity within the church. It provides a common mission transcending differences in theological, cultural, and personal preferences.
- Missionary Zeal: The church may develop a strong missionary zeal, with members and leaders willing to support and engage in mission work locally, nationally, and internationally.
- Social Engagement: While the primary mission is spiritual, an imperative to share the gospel can also lead the church to engage in social justice and humanitarian efforts as an expression of Christ’s love and compassion for all people.
- Doctrinal Clarity: Emphasising the gospel as an imperative can lead to a clear articulation of the church’s beliefs and doctrinal positions, helping members understand the core teachings of Christianity.
- Accountability: A gospel imperative encourages accountability in fulfilling the mission. The church may set specific goals, measure progress, and hold members and leaders responsible for their roles in evangelism and discipleship.
- Outward Focus: The church becomes more outward-focused, seeking to engage with the broader community and culture rather than remaining insular or self-centred.
- Impact on Worship and Liturgy: The gospel imperative may influence the content and style of worship services and liturgy, focusing on scripture, worship, and teaching that align with evangelistic and discipleship goals.
- Sense of Urgency: An imperative to share the gospel often creates a sense of urgency among church members, motivating them to act promptly and passionately in fulfilling the mission.
- Missionary Support: The church may establish or strengthen partnerships with missionary organisations and provide financial and prayer support for mission work.
- Cross-Cultural Engagement: A gospel imperative can lead to cross-cultural engagement as the church seeks to reach people from different backgrounds, languages, and cultures.
It’s important to note that while making the gospel an imperative can have many positive impacts, it should be pursued with sensitivity, respect, and love for those the church seeks to reach. It’s essential to avoid coercive or judgmental approaches and instead focus on sharing the gospel message with humility and a genuine desire for others to experience the love and grace of Jesus Christ.