It's my great privilege to serve as the managing editor of For The Church, which is the result of months and months of prayer and planning. The opportunity to serve the Church through the gospel-centered resources you find here was a huge part of the draw to me to relocate to Kansas City and join the team of Midwestern Seminary. We certainly hope what we provide through this venture will benefit the institution, but more than that, we honestly and humbly hope to simply nourish those of you who will visit these pages -- whether on the site or through RSS readers or social media -- with the incomparable encouragement of the finished work of Christ.
You will find here fresh content daily from some very talented writers from all over the world, all aimed at helping pastors and lay leaders press the gospel into every corner of the room, so to speak. While we hope to explore how the good news of Jesus applies to all of life -- because it does! -- we are more primarily aiming at ministry leaders and influencers, whether you're a senior pastor or a youth pastor, a Sunday School teacher or a stay-at-home mom. For The Church is for you.
There are lots of Christian websites out there vying for your valuable attention, including a growing number of gospel-centered resource sites (thank God!). You will notice that there is a lot about our site that is similar to others you already enjoy, and we look forward to joining them in your daily work of edification online. But we hope you will also notice a few things that make For The Church unique. We have put a lot of thought into how we might complement what is already valuable in the evangelical blogosphere. And while the following four aims are not exclusive to our site, we nevertheless make these commitments to you. Please know that, for us, being For The Church means being:
1. For the truth.
We affirm the sufficiency and the authority of the Bible. We certainly do affirm the oft-repeated dictum that "all truth is God's truth," but we more strongly affirm Paul's word that "All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work" (2 Tim. 3:16-17). Since you cannot improve upon "complete," we will stick with the only truth that is power to change and sustain hearts in Christ Jesus -- the inerrant, infallible word of God.
In these days of increasingly murky cultural waters, we know there can be a greater temptation for the Church to argue on the world's terms, to debate according to the logic of the spirit of the age, and to fall into so-called culture wars and the like. We believe the gospel has implications and applications for every calling and vocation, so of course Christ the King is king over things like politics and culture. But when For The Church speaks into those arenas, it will do so with the unchanging Scriptures. By holding firmly to the biblical truth, we maintain the great strength and advantage of clarity in dark days.
And ultimately, to be for the truth is to be for the glory of Christ, who is the Truth.
2. For the sheep.
You may notice that we spend quite a bit of time on the devotional side of things. This is an intentional effort on our part to speak as much to the hearts of our readers as to their minds and hands. We are making a significant commitment to exulting in the grace of God in our daily offerings. We believe that by focusing on devotional pieces, we can daily nourish our readers with the truths of God’s word and help them exult in Christ. But we also want to feature practical articles, as well. Even these, however, will not be purely "How To" exercises, but "Why To" pieces -- meaning, we will do our best to root our exhortations and instructions in the finished work of Christ and the good news of his perfect obedience imputed to us by faith. For this reason, we work to be practical, not pragmatic. To be practical is to help you flesh the faith out. To be pragmatic is to make the faith formulaic. We do not believe the latter serves Christ's sheep well. We want them to be well-fed with the grace of God.
3. For the shepherds.
We make no apology about emphasizing resources aimed at those in ministry or aspiring to ministry. You will see that most of the posts appearing here are written with pastors, pastors-in-training, and mature lay leaders in mind. We do this because we believe that whatever a church’s leaders are, the church becomes. So we will help shape churches by shaping their leaders. To be for shepherds is to be for the sheep, actually. And by speaking to pastoral hearts with the gospel and strengthening their minds and hands with helpful content aimed at fulfilling their calling to equip the saints for ministry, we will honor the Good Shepherd by honoring his undershepherds.
4. For the gospel.
In all that we do, we seek the magnification of Christ in the Church and in the world through the Church. This means we must lash ourselves to the mast of the ship of the gospel. Where it goes, we will go. We will not depart from Christ's good news, because the Spirit working in and through the gospel is what has made the Church in the first place. To be For The Church means being intently, persistently, stubbornly, and eternally for the gospel, because the Spirit working in and through the gospel is what sustains and sanctifies the Church.
The gospel is the only power stewarded to the Church and it is the only hope for a lost and dying world. So that's For The Church. We're unapologetically for the gospel, because we will be celebrating the gospel well into eternity’s endless days, for the expansion of the glory of the Lamb who was slain.