Gospel clarity, boldness, compassion, and humility


When Mike Shields began to serve in the role of Superintendent, he traveled extensively to nearly all of our 135 churches in EFCA Central and made some observations along the way. What he noticed was that in churches where they were experiencing an amazing work of God in their midst, four distinguishing markers were present. These four markers became what he would later call the markers of a Life-Giving Church:

Gospel Clarity – Each church is responsible to guard and protect the accurate teaching of the Word of God. Attention must be given to correctly understanding and proclaiming the Gospel message – that God’s heart and plan was and still is to redeem sinful man to Himself and to reclaim His glory in this world through His Son, Jesus. “This is the testimony: God has given us eternal life and this life is in His Son. He who has the son has life, he who does not have the son of God does not have life.” (1 John 5:11-12). This message needs to be clear in all that we do and teach. 

Gospel Boldness – Each church is called to proclaim the good news of the gospel with a boldness that causes people to take notice of the deep affection you have for the Lord Jesus Christ. The Great Commission is not a forgotten concept but is still the heartbeat of the LORD. 

“Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely, I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:18-20 

Gospel Compassion – In Matthew 5:13-16, the church is commanded to be both “salt and light” to a world that needs to see both the truth and the grace/compassion of our Savior. If our message is right and we are bold in our proclamation but are not compassionate to the vulnerable we become less than the glory that the Gospel commands. 

Gospel Humility – Philippians 2 tells the church to “adopt the same attitude as that of Christ Jesus, who although he existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God something to be grasped.” Humble churches seek for people to know Jesus, they glory in Jesus, and are not concerned if they, their pastor, or their church gets the credit. Humble churches consider the needs of others and not just the needs of their “church.” They are willing to be uncomfortable while caring for the needs of the hurting and broken in their community. 

Many times, one or two of these aspects are found in a church body, but not all four. But when they are all present, transformation takes place. We strive and pray for our churches to exemplify these qualities. 

If you were to evaluate your church, what areas would you be strong in and in what areas do you need to grow? We would love to walk alongside your church as you evaluate how life-giving your church body is and see where the Lord would have you to grow. 

Please reach out if we can help in any way whether it be pray for your church, or to talk about church planting, leadership training, revitalization, and renewal of ministries, coaching or strategic initiatives to become a more life-giving church.

Stay connected!

Subscribe to EFCA Central's emails for regular updates on what's happening in the district.