To See a Transformed World - or NOT!
When we go into ministry it is driven by passion, love, vision, and determination to see God work in our lives and see radical transformation through Jesus Christ in our local ministries and throughout the world. Too often it ends in frustration, disappointment, and defeat. The problem is not our heart or desire or even willingness – it’s our paradigm and understanding of our world. If we would see transformation:
1. We need a clear understanding of what the Great Commission is and what it isn’t. In my upcoming book that will be out in a few months I deal with what the Great Commission is – and move it from religious preacher work to disciple society engagement. Our current western understanding of the Great Commission is limiting us in being able to be a part of things where the Gospel is going viral.
2. We need to learn how God is working in the rest of the world and what the church looks like and how we contextualize that to where we are. Right now an Indonesian pastor is mentoring our church. It means that there are some sins in our culture that have infiltrated our church that we have to address in order to be a part of what God is doing.
3. We have to open our circles to others who may not look just like us or think just like us. I’m not talking about compromising the Bible or Jesus. I am talking about living beyond our own personal tribes.
4. We have to understand faith in a globalized context. All religions are all places and how we speak of faith is crucial because whatever we say, we say to everyone because of the internet, etc. That’s the book I’m working on right now!
5. We have to move from an 18th century model of missions of a 21st century model of global engagement (Glocalization). Businessmen and college students get this quicker and closer than most.
6. We have to be filled with the Holy Spirit daily, radically, with abandonment to follow God where he leads and respond in obedience immediately to the doors he opens. That messes up our plans and stifles “our” ministries – but it does get the Great Commission fulfilled. God already has his plan, and we must follow his, not ours.
7. We must not be overwhelmed by the world. I used to think guys didn’t engage the world because they were ignorant. I don’t believe, that they were lazy – I don’t believe that, they were self-centered and thought it was all about their own local ministry (I still believe that!), but I’m convinced, at least with young pastors the reason is two-fold. First, the world is overwhelming. Where do you start? Second, the models are outdated and they know it and they don’t know where to turn so they adopt the attitude that it is better to not get involved in something that is dying and outdated.
Bob is the founder, senior leader, and chief spokesman for Glocal.net . His primary focus is to connect leaders and estabish relationships to explore transformation. Follow Bob on Twitter at @bobrobertsjr.