Written by: Josh Mathews
The five Core Values of Gresham Bible church are:
Knowing God deeply in his word
Praying fervently for God’s purposes in the world
Making God known by spreading the gospel locally and globally
Fostering unity and building up the body through genuine community
Expressing a growing love for Jesus in a life of worship
In the first two posts in this series (you can read them HERE
) we introduced these core values and looked more closely at the first two values, Knowing God deeply in his word
, and Praying fervently for God’s purposes in the world
. In today’s post we’ll consider Core Value number 3, Making God known by spreading the gospel locally and globally
Core Value #3: Making God known by spreading the gospel locally and globally
When we talk about knowing God we are talking about relational knowledge. As we grow in our intimate understanding of and relationship with the God of the universe, we can’t help but be struck with awe and praise for what he’s done for us in his Son Jesus. The climax of Scripture and the heart of what it means to know God is the gospel, the profoundly good news that Jesus died for our sins and rose again from the dead, conquering sin and death.
And as we grow in our knowledge of this gospel truth, we can’t help but pass along that good news to others around us and throughout the world. Core Value #3 is intentionally linked to Core Value #1.
The wording—that we value “spreading the gospel”—is also intentionally broad, in order to communicate a value for gospel ministry that includes both proclamation and action. Spreading the good news of Jesus means we tell people, using words, about him. And it also means we love people with Christ’s love, seeking to live in a way that displays mercy, kindness, and justice in a manner worthy of the gospel. We strive to speak and act, in our local community and throughout the world, with explicit reference to the broad story of redemption that spans Scripture and culminates in the death and resurrection of Jesus.
This core value is based on some of Jesus’ final words to his disciples before he ascended to heaven. In Matthew 28:18–20, the final verses of Matthew’s Gospel, Jesus says this to his disciples:
“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
This charge to the disciples extends to the Church around the world, and to us at Gresham Bible Church in particular. We are commissioned with the task of multiplying God’s kingdom and making disciples of Jesus. At GBC there are many ways we try to implement this value. Here are a few of them.
Local Outreach—Serving Dexter McCarty and its students, teachers, and administrators; Engaging in various work projects in the community; Supporting the YoungLives ministry.
Global Outreach—Supporting missionaries in Slovenia, Basque country, and Mexico.
Church Planting—Membership in the Waterhouse church planting network; Regularly supporting Hub City Church plant in Albany, Oregon.
This task of making disciples and spreading the gospel is not only done through these “official” ministries, and it’s not only up to pastors, staff members, elders, deacons, and ministry leaders to fulfill the great commission. We are all called to make disciples, and there are many ways that each of you can get involved in the work of making God known by spreading the gospel locally and globally.
Here are some ideas:
Give to support missions and local outreach endeavors, like YoungLives.
For some of you, go overseas. This could be either a short-term trip like the Bolts, or it might mean going to another country long-term.
Be a part of Local Outreach efforts. Giving of our time to serve those in our community can provide significant opportunities to demonstrate and speak of Christ’s love.
Reach out to your own neighbors. Develop relationships with them so you can point them to Jesus.
Make God known in the workplace, by working hard at your job as unto the Lord, and by looking for opportunities to tell people about him.