The “thing” that sets gospel rescue missions apart from similar kinds of homeless shelters is the gospel. And though it does not take a rocket scientist to understand that statement, it is easy for those of us who work in Missions to forget that the gospel is what makes us exclusive.
In Phil.1:27, Paul exhorts his brothers at Philippi to stand together “firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel” (ESV). Defending and declaring the gospel takes many forms. One of those forms, according to Paul, is to insure that our “manner of life [is] worthy of the gospel of Christ.” It is not enough to avoid bringing reproach and shame upon our profession – although that certainly is included here. We are also to adorn the profession of our faith. We do not want to shame Christ; we want to beautify Him.
Ministry is more about what we are instead of what we do. In this regard, integrity is vital. More damage has been visited upon Christian organizations by integrity failures from within than by attacks from without.
If the gospel matters and our manner of life is to reflect the gospel then integrity matters. It is non-negotiable.