The “sweet, sweet song of salvation” is the Gospel, the message of “Jesus Christ and him crucified.” It’s the message Christian nonprofit organizations — their staff, board, and constituents — affirm. In many organizations propagating the Gospel is the whole mission. In others, whether the focus is relief, development, health, or public policy, bringing people to faith in Christ is nonetheless a priority.

St. Paul says that the Gospel is “the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes.” Through the Gospel, God saves us. It’s the difference between spiritual death and eternal life. It’s the difference between standing before God guilty as sin, and standing before God clothed in the righteousness of Jesus. It’s the difference between life as an orphan having to fend for yourself, and life as an adopted daughter or son under the Father’s care, protection, and discipline.

Through the Gospel, God saved us when we first believed and began walking with Christ. Through the Gospel, God saves us today. It’s not through great works of personal spiritual discipline that we turn from our sin and disordered love to grow in holiness; the Gospel is the power of God for change. And finally on the last day when all things are made new, our salvation from this world of sin, death, and decay will be the Gospel.

For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him [Jesus], and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross (Colossians 1:19-20).

It’s no wonder that Paul went to Corinth with nothing else to talk about but “Jesus Christ and him crucified” (1 Corinthians 2:2). The Gospel is central.

In light of that, as a newly minted president of a Christian nonprofit, I’ve been asking: What does it mean for a Christian organization to be driven by the Gospel?

By that question, I don’t intend an adjunct to our strategic plan. I mean something prior to plans, projects, and programs. Nor do I mean a naïve approach that says that all our problems in the world will be solved if only everyone comes to Jesus. After all, it hasn’t solved all the problems in our churches. Rather it’s a question of where our hearts are; a question of how we do business, not of what business we do.

The Gospel should pervade Christian organizations in at least three ways.

1. Truth and Truth Telling

First, Gospel-driven organizations affirm that the Christian message is true — eternally and absolutely true. No other gospel can save us though there are plenty of ideas and ideologies lined up and claiming that they possess power to save us:

·        Radical Islam
·        Radical Feminism
·        Radical Environmentalism
·        Rewarmed, One-World Marxism
·        Sexual “freedom”
·        Materialism
·        Politics
·        Entertainment
·        Moralism
·        Any religious message that places an exclusive emphasis on the love of God while excluding or concealing any reference to the holiness of God and his judgment.

But rather than being truth that sets men and women free, these false salvations enslave minds and hearts with false ideas and false hopes. They confirm people in error. Gospel-driven organizations hold out an alternative: the truth.