GGF exists to promote, propagate and defend a gospel-centred existence for the church of Jesus Christ.
The church has never been free from the twin dangers of every wind of teaching (Eph 4:14) externally and men who will arise from your own number who will distort the truth (Acts 20:30). In our present age to speak thus seems unnecessarily ‘negative’ when in fact vigilance is seen in the New Testament to be a corollary of the gospel, for instance in the pastorals e.g. 2 Tim 1:12-15.
Thus in every generation, from the New Testament times, through to the Reformation, and even now when Evangelicals seem to have ascended to the heights of various institutions in ‘leading’ Evangelical nations like the United States of America, the call to remain faithful to the gospel is never rendered unnecessary.
Further, it is in this gospel-centeredness that we are kept in Christ-centred, Christ-honouring ministry, a ministry that has true legitimacy founded as it is in the church's supreme Head and Chief Shepherd (see Rom 1:1-6 together with Rom 16:17-27).
Flowing from this raison d’être GGF serves the local church expressed in 4 basic objectives:
- Biblical Literacy
- Building Christians up in a Gospel-centred biblical literacy: faithful to the text, theologically sound and interpreted accurately in Christ.
- Training in Ministry
- Equipping Christians with the skills and thinking necessary for doing Gospel-centred Word ministry.
- Commitment to Ministry
- Encouraging Christians to be committed to Gospel-centred service and leadership of the church.
- Persevering in Ministry
- Fostering mutual support amongst fellow-workers in Christ for perseverance in Gospel-centred ministry.
GGF is not
- A substitute for the local church
- All our partners have to understand in their partnership agreements that Jesus Christ loves His church and sees the growth of the local church as supremely important such that he gifts churches with word ministers through which the church achieves the equipping of members for maturity (Eph 4:11-32). As we see it, in this respect, our task is to help resource the church by providing important services in biblical literacy, ministry training, encouragement and the like.
- An organisation dedicated to the running of Christian events
- We are a fellowship led by Christ’s love for His church to serve the church in a way that is timely, localised and pertinent. As a fellowship we meet in partnership of the gospel in order to pray and plan for the growth of the gospel through the churches ministry.
- An organisation looking for monetary profit or political mileage
- We serve the local churches at a financial loss and seek funds in order to avoid being in debt.
The […] problem with the way evangelicalism now functions is that it has weakened the church. Because it requires the marginalizing of ecclesiastical distinctives such as views on baptism and church government, evangelicalism and its institutions cannot, in theory, replace the church. Furthermore, the whole problem of accountability is a hardy perennial for parachurch organizations, from seminaries to academic fellowships like the Evangelical Theological Society. The problem is that, in practice, evangelical institutions come to supplant the church, even though they are not designed to fulfill that role. For some they become the key theaters of action, the forums in which little fish can be big shots, and the deviant and heretical can flourish without proper accountability. For others they become the primary centers of Christian identity, the reason why they become evangelicals first, and Presbyterian or Baptist or Pentecostal only second.
Carl Trueman, “Confessions of a Bog-Standard Evangelical,” in Reformation 21: The Online Magazine of the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals, issue 28 (January 2008), http://www.reformation21.org/confessions-of-a-bogstandard-evangelical.php.
Why GGF was started
The Greatest Danger Facing the Church
Dr. James Hamilton, Professor of Biblical Theology at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, writes:
The greatest danger facing the church is probably not what most of us expect. We expect some sort of direct challenge from without, but it probably comes from within. In our day, it may well come from well-meaning pastors.
How could well-meaning pastors pose the greatest threat to evangelical churches today? Do they deny the truth?
No, the pastors who pose the greatest threat to the church today will confess belief in the right things. They will confess the authority and inerrancy of the Bible, that Jesus saves, and that he is the only way of salvation.
So how can these guys who mean well and make the good confession pose such a threat to the church?
Read the rest of the article on the 9Marks website.
Dr. John Hannah: 'I don't believe what we need is a revival'
Dr. Hannah is the Research Professor of Theological Studies & Distinguished Professor of Historical Theology at Dallas Theological Seminary. This is what he had to say about the greatest need in the church today:
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