Somewhere along the line, I've heard it said that words have the power to change the world. Words themselves do not change the world. It is their power constructed together as sentences, paragraphs, essays, and even books. John Piper puts it this way, "One sentence or paragraph may lodge itself so powerfully in our mind that its effect is enormous when all else is forgotten." We've somehow forgotten that the pen is mightier than the sword. This reality stands all the taller when we realize that Christianity is a Word-based faith. The substance of our faith isn't banked on emotion, imagery, icon, or even religious ritual and tradition. The content of our faith is anchored on words; God-breathed, inspired words that tell us of the Word incarnate. The Christian faith is one that is utterly dependent on words.
The reality is this, if we don't have the Word of God, we don't have any clue of how to know or approach God. Furthermore, we know nothing real of our poor condition (except a twinge of guilt here or there), and we know nothing actual of our means of redemption through Christ Jesus. Without the Word, we are utterly doomed.
Even the concept of "gospel" requires words. Gospel means "good news." It is a proclamation of something exceptional, something transformative, beautiful and true. Good news is a declaration of love, hope, and joy!
To say we have a gospel means to say we have good words that will change everything. For that reason, gospel-centered discipleship requires formation through engagement with words. Making, maturing, and multiplying disciples of Jesus requires language; sentences and paragraphs that embrace the inspired and incarnate Word and by God's Spirit transform us into the image of Christ.
For six years now GCD has been about the work of publishing this sort of content. Our mission is to publish resources to make, mature, and multiply disciples of Jesus. More than just creating content, however, we've embraced the mission of cultivating the gifting and talent of developing writers and editors who can harness the power of words to change the world.
By God’s grace, we will not only continue in that mission but expand our means to accomplish that mission. In my opinion, the future of GCD is bright. Specifically, our vision reveals itself in three things:
1. New Releases
We are looking forward to releasing more books this year than we have ever released before. Our staff writers, as well as various other contributors, have written excellent resources for discipleship that we are excited to release in 2017.
Through our website, we will continue to publish free content on a regular basis that will be useful not just for individuals, but for leaders, churches, small groups, and overseas missionaries in the work of discipleship. Here are a few of the forthcoming titles to be released this year:
- ReNew: How the Gospel Makes us New by Jim Hudson
- Gospel Creativity by the GCD Staff Writers
- Pattern: Walking in the Ways of Jesus by Jeremy Writebol
2. Writer and Editor Development
Beyond just publishing books and articles we want to be on the leading edge of cultivating the gifting and voice of these writers. The publishing industry can be an impenetrable fortress in which only those with the key of prestige can unlock.
We believe that gifted writers exist outside of this fortress and want to see their voice and leadership cultivated to make more disciples of Jesus. Through our staff writer community, a developing writers forum, and other opportunities for cultivation we want to raise up thoughtful disciples who can use the gifts of writing and communication for the glory of God and the making of more disciples.
3. Gospel Impact
At the end of the day we do not merely want to publish books and essays that produce more information on the internet. My prayer is that beautiful gospel-impact would happen in the lives of our readers, writers, staff, and leadership. My prayer is that everything we publish this year would resonate through eternity with the depth and warmth of the gospel. I pray that God would use every article and book to transform lives powerfully.
If these ambitions inspire and excite you in making disciples, I would love to connect with you and walk together in the making, maturing and multiplying disciples of Jesus through the written word. Check our Contact Page where you can learn more about submitting an article and our guidelines or pitching a book proposal our way.
We’re adamant that the written word can change the world, and we’re eager to grow and flourish in seeing the word of King Jesus — the gospel — be the centerpiece of that transformation. Will you join us in praying for GCD and partnering with us to make, mature, and multiply disciples of Jesus?
Jeremy Writebol is the Executive Director of GCD. He is the husband of Stephanie and father of Allison and Ethan. He serves as the lead campus pastor of Woodside Bible Church in Plymouth, MI. He is also an author and contributor to several GCD Books including everPresent and Make, Mature, Multiply. He writes personally at jwritebol.net.
You can read all of Jeremy’s articles here.