Most people don’t believe this, but the greatest need in the church today is the gospel.
Not only is it the power of God for salvation, but it is the crux of what forms, sustains and breaths life into the church and its people. Apart from Jesus’ life, death and resurrection power conquering Satan, sin and death, the church has nothing unique to offer. The gospel, literally “good news”, is not good because of the help and services Jesus inspires, but because of Jesus!
I’m increasingly concerned that many churches have substituted the gospel with works and are leading their members to do so as well. They’re engaged in community outreach, providing for the sick and the poor, partnering with city and government organizations to meet needs, and that’s a good thing. A great thing! However, somewhere along the way, many are neglecting to point people toward Jesus. Instead, people are pointing to the church itself as the life-saving institution rather than the person and work of Jesus. We’ve got to train and equip our people to give a gospel explanation for why they’re “nice” or why they would spend a Saturday cleaning up a neighbor’s yard. The church needs to point to Jesus as the answer for “why?”.