I have argued for several years now that the greatest need for our churches today is the recovery of the gospel. Some people have concluded that what I mean by that is everyone embracing the doctrines of grace; however, a casual observer of my blog could able to discern that is not the case. What I mean is understanding the functional centrality of the gospel and its sufficiency in every aspect of the church.
I have become more and more aware of this need when I talk to, for instance, seminary-trained Christian counselors who have never heard or been trained in how to apply the gospel to situations in life involving believers and conflict of any sort or a leadership style that reflects more of corporate one-upmanship rather than the gospel style of decreasing to serve others. I have grown up in the county-seat First Baptist Church and heard how the gospel of Matthew was a how-to manual to overcome stress, worry, fear, and so on and also been in the seeker-sensitive megachurch where the stories are gripping but the gospel missing. I have been in the smaller, more rural church where the preacher is excited and earnest as in the tradition of revivalism but the gospel is reduced to a few points and a prayer. Reflecting and experiencing these realities have served to increase the burden in my heart for the gospel to be preached, lived, and result in truly transformed lives.