Downtown Cornerstone Blog
Jul 26
2018

A Culture of Care

Discipleship, Scripture, Teaching | by Pastor Craig Sturm

This month we’ve been exploring the transforming power of God in our lives through a sermon series called “Transformed: How Jesus Changes Lives.” My goal has been to help us see how the gospel of Jesus is active in pursuing real change in our Christian lives. I’ll land the plane of the series this coming Sunday – thinking through how we develop a culture of care within DCC.

EVERY CHURCH HAS A CULTURE

This is important for us to think about, because whether we realize it or not, some type of care culture is always active within our church. My prayer is that it would be a Jesus-centered, gracious culture in which people are receiving and extending gospel-saturated care to one another because that’s part of what it means to be the family of God.

Consider for a moment the various ways people in our church family would describe the struggles and hardships in their lives. You will hear terms like confusion, fear, anxiety, hopelessness, numbness, shame, guilt, anger, bitterness, injustice, betrayal, unforgiveness, loneliness, discontentment, and feeling overwhelmed. If the worship songs, liturgy, sermons, and conversations during a Sunday gathering or in community never address these struggles then people may wrongly conclude that the gospel is irrelevant, not offering hope for their reality.

We need to strive to make sure that the gospel that we read, sing, and preach Sunday after Sunday reorients and reshapes us as God’s people. Only God and His realities offer real hope in the difficulties of life.

A CULTURE OF CARE ROOTED IN THE GOSPEL

It’s good news to know that the gospel that changes hearts of stone to hearts of flesh is the same gospel necessary for caring for God’s people. It’s good news that we, as a church family, can develop a culture of gospel care regardless of the number of elders, staff, members, attendees, and budget. It’s good news that we have access to the wisdom, love, and power needed to develop a culture of gospel care within the church.

“When any person’s struggles are rightly understood, the mercies of Jesus Christ directly connect. The Savior of the world is specifically relevant to personal, interpersonal, psychological, emotional, and behavioral problems. God meets people in the very places they are weak, confused, wandering, and self-absorbed. The Holy Spirit causes faith, love, and wisdom to flourish in the very places where anxiety, anger, anguish, and addiction consume us.” (David Powlison)

A CULTURE OF CARE ROOTED IN THEOLOGY

Our vision for a culture of gospel care stands on firm theological grounding. The following is a snapshot of some of the central theological commitments undergirding our vision and practice of gospel care.…

  1. It aims to be Centered on Jesus. (Rom. 5:6-11).

  2. It aims to be Rooted in Scripture. (2 Tim. 3:16-17)

  3. It aims to be Grounded in Theology. (Rom. 11:36)

  4. It aims to be Dependent Upon the Holy Spirit. (Eph. 5:17-18)

  5. It aims to be Focused on Change. (Rom. 12:1-2)

  6. It aims to be Embedded in the Local Church. (Gal. 5:6)

  7. It aims to be Founded in Love. (1 Jn. 4:19-21).

  8. It aims to be Attentive to the Issues of the Heart. (Eph. 4:17-24)

  9. It aims to be Comprehensive in Understanding. (Prov. 20:5)

  10. It aims to be Thorough in Care. (2 Tim. 3:16-17)

  11. It aims to be Relevant in Methodology.

  12. It aims to be Missional in Orientation. (John 3:1-15)

A VISION FOR A CULTURE OF GOSPEL CARE

We believe God builds His church as we love Him and others, specifically as we bear one another’s burdens and encourage one another to follow Jesus by faith. Therefore…DCC Care exists to help people know and experience joy in God so that they can live by faith and obedience in the midst of life’s struggles and help others do the same.

I pray that God will make us a people who are actively engaged in helping one another know and experience joy in God so that we can be a people living by faith and obedience in the midst of life’s struggles. By the grace of God, may He give us wisdom as we “consider how to stir up one another to love and good works” (Heb. 10:24), as we “bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” (Gal. 6:2)

That Jesus would be our chief joy,

Pastor Craig