The Gospel in the Centre
MacDonald, Mark, Anglican Journal
ONE OF THE key elements of the spiritual movement that is growing among indigenous peoples across North America is the practice of gospel-based discipleship. On a practical level, it involves reading a gospel appointed for the day three times at the beginning of a gathering. After the first reading, the question is asked, "What stands out for you in the gospel?" After the second reading, those gathered are asked, "What do you hear God saying to you in the gospel?" And following the third and final reading, they are asked, "What is God calling us to do?" This practice of placing the gospel in the centre of our deliberations and action has enlivened our fellowship and ministry.
Some outside our circles have complained, saying the practice is insufficient as Bible study. They are right. What their observation overlooks, however, are the principles that animate the practice. The act of making the gospel central is essential, though the form it takes is less important to us.
For centuries, indigenous peoples were told what the gospel meant (the meaning proposed often put them at a disadvantage). Today, the practice of placing the gospel in the centre, as a critical moment of gathering, empowers, authenticates and authorizes the gathering as the people of God. …