By Bob Roberts
Our glocal.net team was in Johannesburg, South Africa working with Godfirst Church and PJ Smyth. It was an awesome time and God was very present. You can follow my tweets at @bobrobertsjr or @glocal_dot_net to see pictures and follow the trip. As we talked about what it meant to be a pastor or staff member at a church that’s releasing its people into the city and the world the question was asked, how does that change our role as pastors and ministers? I’ve thought a lot about that because it really does change your role. Releasing people isn’t just an add-on, it’s a way of ministry and life that is far beyond a Sunday experience. When this happens, the ministry is extended far beyond the church walls into a glocal kingdom context and that is a radically different way of seeing disciples, people, and the world. Here are some things I shared with them, I’m sure there are many more.
From being general controller to being primary releaser. A lot of pastors, myself included, have dreams and visions of what the church God has called them to is to look like. I think we have too big a vision that God wants to do through us, and too small a vision of what he wants to do through everyday disciples. “I want to lead a church where thousands come to faith and Christ and lives are transformed and we’re growing and starting other churches.” Good vision. “I want to lead a church where thousands who come to faith in Christ are released all over the city establishing God called ministries to serve the city and the world and multiply disciples like crazy in every domain to see my city transformed.” Better vision. As pastors, we can see salvation and church growth as the primary end of our vision – God sees so much more. In order for the Great Commission to be fulfilled, for Jesus to be magnified, and for our world to be changed much, much more than that will be required. Even if they don’t believe our gospel, our world is in need of the disciples of Jesus living like disciples, loving and serving others. The problem is, in our context we really haven’t seen it that much so it has limited what we dream of. Our response will be not to just measure it all by what we see on Sunday but as PJ Smyth says, “What we see the other 6 days of the week!”