Gospel Renewal Among the Church
When the gospel comes home – when believers no longer have to maintain their image as competent and righteous – it naturally breaks down barriers that impede relationships and leads to more authentic experiences of community with others. Pretense and evasion become unnecessary. The gospel also creates a humility that makes believers empathetic and patient with others. All of this enables relationships within the church to thicken and deepen. During times of renewal, the distinct countercultural nature of the church becomes attractive to outsiders. Finally, gospel renewal will produce people who are humbled (and thus not disdainful or contemptuous toward those who disagree with them) yet love (and thus less concerned about others’ opinions of them). Therefore every believer becomes a natural evangelist. Times of renewal are always times of remarkable church growth, not through membership transfer and “church shopping,” but through conversion. There is also a renewed emphasis on poverty and justice ministries. When Christians realize they did not save themselves but were rescued from spiritual poverty, it naturally changes their attitudes toward people who are in economic and physical poverty. This kind of humble concern is the message of James 1 – 2 and many other biblical texts. Christians renewed by the gospel render sacrificial service to neighbors, the poor, and the community and city around them. All of these changes, both within the church and the surrounding community, will eventually have a broad effect on the culture. Gospel-shaped believers who belong t churches that are experiencing gospel renewal often have a deep, vital, and healthy impact on the arts, business, government, media, and academy of any society.
Center Church: Doing Balance, Gospel-Centered Ministry in Your City by Tim Keller (pg. 81)