The Gospel is Central
What is the COG youth ministries core value?
First, what is a Core Value? Jim Collins, author of "Good to Great" wrote in a Harvard Business journal, this definition of a core value:
"Core values are the essential and enduring tenants of an organization. They are timeless guiding principles that require no external justification. They have intrinsic value and important to those in the organization."
In essence our core value(s) are what we believe in, stand for and the hill we die on so to speak.
Our Core Value:
The Gospel of God in Christ.
What does that mean for our lives?
It means we live in the freedom of grace and sacrificially follow Christ in worship, community and mission. All other values, mission, activities, events and vision flows from the gospel.
Definition: The Gospel is the message of who Jesus is and what he did. It is the good news that God sent his son Jesus Christ to earth to die in our place. Due to our sin we are separated from a relationship with a holy and just God. Yet because of Christ, instead of facing eternal punishment we can enter eternal glory and enjoy a right relationship with God here and now as well. The only way to enjoy the benefits of Jesus' life and death is by faith alone and not by any merits of our own. God adopts us into his family and forgives us of our sins. We are no longer enslaved to the things of this world and rather have freedom to enjoy them properly when worship God above all else.
The Wycliffe Bible Encyclopedia summarizes the gospel message:
"The central truth of the gospel is that God has provided a way of salvation for men through the gift of His son to the world. He suffered as a sacrifice for sin, overcame death, and now offers a share in His triumph to all who will accept it. The gospel is good news because it is a gift of God, not something that must be earned by penance or by self-improvement." (Jn 3:16; Rom 5:8–11; II Cor 5:14–19; Tit 2:11–14).
The videos to the right do an excellent job explaining the gospel in different ways.
Impact on Ministry: Just as the Old Testament points to the cross and the New Testament points back to the cross, so too each ministry and its functions should point to the cross in its endeavor to be gospel centered. We need to preach and teach the gospel at all turns because we are sinners very prone to wander. A good sermon, lesson, study, discipleship meeting, youth retreat, mentor & counseling session need to all point to the cross and the gospel. It is the lifeblood of who we are as followers of Christ. Through Gods grace and the work of the Holy Spirit it encourages, motivates, inspires, equips and grows us.
Resources: Click to access articles.
"What is the Gospel?" by R.C. Sproul - Ligonier Ministries
"A "Reformed" Presentation of the Gospel" - By Faith Magazine
"Jesus the Only Savior" - RC Sproul Ligonier Ministries
“There is a God shaped vacuum in the heart of every man which cannot be filled by any created thing, but only by God, the Creator, made known through Jesus” - Blaise Pascal
On searching for one's purpose in life...Augustine of Hippo in his Confessions expressed an anguished questioning with vivid intensity: " I carried about me a cut and bleeding soul, that could not bear to be carried by me, and where I could put it, I could not discover. Not in pleasant groves, not in games and singing, nor in the fragrant corners of a garden. Not in the company of a dinner table, not in the delights of the bed: not even in my books and poetry. It floundered in a void and fell back on me. I remained a haunted spot, which gave me no rest, from which I could not escape. For where could my heart flee from my own heart? Where could I escape myself? Where would I not dog my own footsteps?"
"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest....and you will find rest for your souls, for my yoke is easy and my burden light" - Jesus Christ
"We are willing to excuse a child who is afraid of the dark, but the real tragedy of life is when people are afraid of the light."