Why is culture-shaped (rather than Bible-shaped) Gospel service so dangerous? My answer is going to consider Gospel ministry in particular. However, the same principles apply to Christian service in general. All Christians are in Gospel service and therefore all Christians are at risk of culture-shaped Gospel service.
So, what happens when ministers are shaped by the culture more than by the Word of God:
- They have wrong expectations.
- They have the wrong message.
- They have the wrong aims.
- They have the wrong power source.
That’s an awful picture, isn’t it? It’s awful not just for the ministers, but for the people they minister to. Culture-shaped service does a lot of damage not just to the servant but to those they serve. There is, though, a much better model of ministry. It’s Bible-shaped not culture-shaped, and it’s a blessing both to ministers and the people they minister to, the servants and the served.
Let’s look at Bible-shaped Gospel service so that we can identify the right expectations, the right message, the right aims, and the right power. We can do that by turning to Colossians 1:24-29, and examining the Apostle Paul’s model of Gospel service.
For more, see my sermon notes from my fifth sermon in the Colossians series entitled Complete in Christ (download pdf here). Scroll down a bit further and you’ll find a one-page sermon summary infographic. Index to previous sermons here.