Perhaps the most defining characteristic of Gracelife (hopefully) is the fact that we have a Gospel Culture. A Gospel Culture is one where people are gracious to one another - and walk in Joy and Authenticity. John calls this "Walking in the light" (see 1st John 1). Because of the Cross - we have nothing to prove, nothing to lose and nothing to hide. We don't put on airs, we don't judge one another - and we certainly don't bodyslam each other "in Jesus name." A church is a community built upon shared weakness and therefore faith in a perfect substitute is it's greatest shared experience. This all is poitned out very clearly in Ray Ortlunds book "The Gospel" which we recommend to anyone wanting to know more about our Church.
Now I realize that the culture I just described sounds like a "no brainer" for churches - but sadly it's missing from many church (especially conservative churches). Many of them have Gospel Dotrine down to a T - and they haven't departed one iota from the Reformed Tradition or the Baptist Tradition or the Presbyterian tradition or whatever. On paper - they are "doctrinally" correct - but in culture - they are anything but Christian. Those types of churches are cold, aloof and chippy. People go on witchhunts to discover who's kids watch SpongeBob - and why the Smith family allowed their 16 year old daughter to dye her hair purple. Those churches have Gospel Doctrine (kinda...) - but not Gospel Culture. They teach people acurately about Jesus - but nobody walks away from an interaction with them feeling like they have just "experienced Jesus." A sound church will have both Gospel Doctrine and Gospel Culture.
Why do so many churches lack a Gospel Culture?
Unfortunately - a Gospel Culture is rare in churches today - and the reason is they become enculturated and institutionalized the longer they are in existence. As the great puritan Walter Marshall said, "Our hearts are uterrly addicted to a legal method of salvation" and so our souls are like a car with a bad alignment always pulling towards works-righteousness. Because that's the case - the longer a church exists - the more of temptation it is to put the Gospel away and judge, plan, evaluate, etc... everything on the basis of Law. Below is the natural progression of a church.
Pastor Jeff explaining Gospel Culture