Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Church planter, missionary, pastor...What am I?

I have been asked this question by more than a few people. I have to admit, I get a bit lost in the semantics my self sometimes. Lately, though, I have been thinking more like a missionary than a pastor (in the traditional sense that is). There are plenty of shepherd/pastors, living within close proximity to where I live. They are serving the Lord, tending their flocks, etc. However, they are all doing primarily the same thing, which is managing what they have instead of searching for the ones they don't have; the ones who might never step foot inside of their church buildings. Don't get me wrong, I love these pastors, most of whom are bi-vocational. They are dedicated men of God who would do anything for the members of their congregations. For most of my ministry I have thought like them, and still do to a large extent. However, I am learning, with the help of men like Ed Stetzer and Alan Hirsch, to think like a missionary.

I want to be in the places where unchurched people gather. I want to bring Christ into those places. Living in post-modern, mostly unchurched America means shifting my thoughts so that they line up with Jesus' thoughts. Did Jesus have a strategy for reaching the lost? If simply going to where lost people are (which is anywhere and everywhere) then I guess He had a strategy. For me it simply means living, loving and serving the way Christ did and will do through me.