Because the gospel is endlessly rich, it can handle the burden of being the one “main thing” of a church. -Tim Keller

As a church planter, one of my distinct roles is to lead the formation and development of our church’s culture.

In other words, I have the responsibility of deciding the behaviors that our church will value and the behaviors that our church won’t value. It is up to me to determine the things that our church will be known for and it is up to me to make sure we avoid the things that our church won’t be known for.

And the options and labels are plenty.

Missional. Attractional. Organic. Biblical. Acts 2. Purpose-Driven. Seeker-sensitive. Spirit-filled. Discipleship-focused. Relevant. Modern. Creative. Hipster. Contemporary. Traditional. Affirming. Accepting. Open. Inviting. Multi-Cultural. Multi-Generational. Family-friendly. Cutting-edge. Etc.

But as great as many of the above labels are. I’ve settled on a different one.


I am convicted and compelled to lead our church in such a way that everyprogram we run, every initiative we back and every service we provide must be a result of and a response to our faith in the glorious Good News thatJesus Christ came into the world to save sinners. (1 Timothy 1:15)

Why? Because I am convinced…

A true Gospel root bears quality Gospel fruit.

It is only by recognizing what Jesus has already done, that we can faithfully do what He wants us to do. It is only by realizing who we already are in Christ, that we can freely become more like Christ. It is only by receiving what God already achieved for us, that we can fully achieve for God.

Our motivation for loving is because, through Christ, God loved. Our motivation for giving is because, through Christ, God gave. Our motivation for sacrificing is because, through Christ, God sacrificed. Our motivation for forgiving is because, through Christ, God forgave.

It is for this reason that, as it relates to the “main thing” or foundation thattheMOVEMENT is going to be built upon, I am “betting the farm” on the depth, width and breadth of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

When it comes to the gospel, I am “all-in.” And I sure hope it pays off because this gospel is not only the motivation of this church…it is the motivation of my life.

What is the “main thing” in your line of work?