The Gospel Life (Part 1)






Church culture is a peculiar thing. In some church cultures it can be easy to melt into a church and never be known. It can be equally hard to “go to church” and try your best, but never be known. So what is the purpose of the church? What are the practices of a church and how do you measure these practices in the 21st century against the birth of this whole deal some 2,000 years ago?


Every church on every corner has a purpose or mission statement. Some churches won’t budge an inch from their mission statement while others easily change with the spiritual winds leaning whichever way will produce the best results.


With all the wishy-washy, confusion – we can agree, that church culture is indeed a peculiar thing. Whether you are brand new to Summit Crossing or have been around since the “house church” days – we hope that our mission is clear. We also hope that not only have you been exposed to our mission but you’ve been able to give yourself fully to it. But – we completely realized that it can be really challenging to walk into a big place, learn the language of the culture, and seamlessly start applying it to your life and family. That’s why this web post is here! Over the course of the next few weeks, leading up to our annual Vision Sermon Series, I’d like to introduce you (or reintroduce you) to Summit Crossing Community Church.


As we begin this journey together, I’d like to give you two important pieces of information:


  1. I am the Community Life pastor here at Summit and part of my job is to help folks get connected. Please put me to work! I have a ton of margin intentionally built into my weekly schedule for breakfast meetings, lunch dates, coffee breaks, and even dinners with Summit-goers that have questions like you. Take advantage!
  2. Our Gospel Life illustration (link below). We will use this illustration to frame our discussions over the next couple of weeks. Here’s a quick outline of what that discussion will look like:




  • Part One – Gospel Life Introduction
  • Part Two – Identity – Who We Are
  • Part Three – Mission – What We Do
  • Part Four – Rhythms – How We Live
  • Part Five – Environments – Where We Live
  • Part Six – Healthy Collectives


It is my hope that this series of posts will not merely be an academic exercise but a clearly designed illustration and explanation of gospel truths. I hope to bring these truths to life with stories of the missional communities at SC3. Through our missional community groups, God’s grace is not only seen but experienced.


It is also my hope that you will read, digest, and question these posts. Please email me with questions. I would love to add a blog or two to this with your questions and answers. This is an open discussion.




Before we talk about all the things that are involved in Gospel Life, we must first address the Gospel. The Gospel is literally the “why” behind all the other questions. It is one of those church concepts that is assumed knowledge for all involved. However, we cannot make the assumption that everyone who walks through our doors knows what we mean when we say “we love the Gospel” or “we are a Gospel-centered church.” Let’s clarify.




The Gospel means “good news.” Tim Keller says this: “In short, the Gospel is the truth that God Himself has come to earth among us to rescue and renew creation in and through the work of Jesus Christ on our behalf.”


It is very easy to see a small, self-centered view of the Gospel. When we limit our view of Christ’s power in the Gospel, we limit Christ. We dwindle down our understanding of the Gospel to this: Christ’s life, death on the cross, and resurrection from the tomb. Now don’t get me wrong, this is an essential part of the Gospel and perhaps the vital core of it…but that is not ALL we are to see. If this is all we see, then we are at risk of putting ourselves in the middle of the Gospel, ultimately seeing it as OUR own story versus the great, all encompassing, work of Jesus Christ.


We believe in a really big view of the Gospel. Massive, monstrous, ginormous. A kingdom-sized view that is so much more than our story. The Gospel is God’s story about Himself, His creation and the redemption of His creation to magnify His glory in the entire universe. When we see the Gospel as bigger than just our story, it changes everything – our identity, our mission, and even the way we live.


Let’s spend the next few weeks unpacking these huge Gospel implications on the church, our lives, and how these work together within community.


Next week, we will talk about how the Gospel gives us identity and purpose.



About Mark Sellers
Mark the Antiblogger lives with his wife Staci in Madison, Alabama. Apart from his crusade to destroy all things blog he and his wife are in over their heads with Summit Crossing Community Church, a cool Christian community of believers. They have two precious adopted children, Andrew (Guatemala) and Ava (USA), that fill their days with excitement and joy. You can also find Mark's blogs on, and follow him on Twitter @dmarksellers.

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