What kind of church is TCC? (Part 2: Gospel-centred)

8 October 2012

What does it mean to be a ‘gospel-centred church’?

In our TCC booklet, ‘Our mission, vision, and ministry philosophy,’ we say this:

[Being gospel-centred] is our theological distinctive. Simply put, we love Jesus and we want other people to love him too. We believe that the news about what God has done for us in Jesus Christ – the gospel – has been written down and recorded accurately in the Bible, and has the power to rescue and transform us. We believe that we continue to grow as we continue to learn and love the gospel. So at Tyneside Church Central, the gospel of Jesus Christ is at the centre of everything. We believe the Bible is all one story; that story is the gospel, and the hero is Jesus. We preach the gospel from the Bible.

The gospel is our ‘DNA’ – it defines and characterises everything. We intentionally keep the gospel at the centre of everything – our teaching, our relationships, our leadership, and so on – because we continue to need to learn the gospel; it’s how we grow.

We don’t need ‘more gospel’ in churches, we ‘need the gospel more’.

Why?

Many years ago, the great reformer Martin Luther wrote this:

To doubt the good will of God is an inborn suspicion of God with all of us. In all these difficulties we have only one support, the gospel of Christ. To hold on to it, that is the trick … All these things cry out against us, death thunders at us, the devil roars at us. In the midst of the clamour the Spirit of Christ cries in our hearts, “Abba, Father” … The Spirit cries because of our weakness … [and] is sent forth into our hearts to assure us of the grace of God.[1]

The truth is that, all of our lives we will struggle with doubting God. And so, we need to keep hearing, and keep applying the good news about Jesus – the gospel – to our thinking, emotions, and lives. I need to keep hearing that I’m accepted, redeemed, adopted, because of God’s love for me in Christ. I need to be gospel-centred, and so do you. We need to be a gospel-centred church.


[1] Martin Luther, Commentary on Galatians, trans. Theodore Graebner (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1949), Gal 4:6.

This blog post was written by Dan Martin.