Tom Wood and Scott Thomas explain the essence and importance of being truly gospel-centered:
We are persuaded that the gospel must be the central foundation for effective, God-honoring biblical [leadership]. It is imperative, therefore, that we know what the gospel is and how it informs our practices. Terms like justification, adoption, sanctification, and sin are often clearly defined in several historical church documents, creeds, and confessions of the church. But there are surprisingly few classical definitions of the gospel.
There is a reason for this. Some have attempted to distill the deep truths of the gospel in terms of laws (the “Four Spiritual Laws, for example) or have tried to visually illustrate the message by means of a bridge. Others summarize the main points with headings like: God, Sin, Christ, and Faith, or by giving the high points of the story arc of the Bible. This approach communicates the gospel through movements in redemptive history and is often summarized by creation, sin, and redemption, or by creation, fall, redemption, and restoration.
In truth, the gospel is more of a story than a simple definition. In order to really grasp the gospel message, you have to immerse yourself in the narratives of the Bible, because transforming faith is more than just a statement that we accept; it is something that connects with both our minds and our hearts. It is a true story, rich with drama, action, and eternal significance.
This passage is excerpted from their excellent book, Gospel Coach.