Successful, Faithful, or Fruitful?

Center Church “Doing Balanced, Gospel-Centered Ministry in the City”

Highlights from Introduction of the book “Center Church” Doing Balanced, Gospel-Centered Ministry in the City by Timothy Keller

Center Church Theological Vision

  • Something more than faithfulness is needed to assess whether we are being the ministers we should be (p. 13).
  • What makes gospel ministry faithful and fruitful? (p. 14).
  • An understanding of the biblical marks of a healthy church was absolutely foundational and necessary, but that something more should be said if gospel ministry was going to be productive (p. 14).
  • Preaching is compelling to young secular adults not if preachers use video clips from their favorite movies and dress informally and sound sophisticated, but if the preachers understand their hearts and culture so well that listeners feel the force of the sermon’s reasoning, even if in the end they don’t agree with it (p. 15).
  • If you think of your doctrinal foundation as “hardware” and of ministry programs as “software,” it is important to understand the existence of something called “middleware” (p. 17).
  • Between one’s doctrinal beliefs and ministry practices should be a well-conceived vision for how to bring the gospel to bear on the particular cultural setting and historical moment (p. 17).
  • Once this vision is in place, with its emphases and values, it leads church leaders to make good decisions on how to worship, disciple, evangelize, serve, and engage culture in their field of ministry – whether in a city, suburb, or small town (p. 17).

What does a healthy church look like?

Next week – “Theological Vision”


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