Pastors and members of Christian churches must be aware of our temporary residency in this world. Believers are members of a greater kingdom and are only temporary residents of whatever city, state, country, or region they may be born, live, or spend their lifetime in.
This means Christians have to understand their position in their community, they have to recognize their calling as ambassadors for Jesus, and to notice the attitude and behavior of themselves and others.
What happens is Christians and especially pastors fall into one of three categories. We are either invaders, crusaders, or missionaries.
- Invaders exist to get what they want. For an invading pastor he is looking to build his resume so he can leave and go somewhere else. Building the local church is only important to this invader as it assists him in building his resume so he can leave. Instead of having a heart for his people, he has a plan in place to leave them and is very destructive because the invader just wants to get what he wants and leave, without considering God’s call.
- Crusaders come or join a church because they know what everyone else needs. The crusader has God on his side and everyone else is either going to get on board or get out of the way. The crusader model of church for centuries destroyed entire communities willingness to listen to the Good News of Jesus. The crusader is a destroyer instead of a healer and he is cloaked in self-righteousness.
- Missionaries enter their community as men and women of Christ. Yes, they know the people they meet are lost, but they also know the most effective evangelist is the local. Missionaries seek men and women of peace that can build inroads within the community so some will hear, believe, and be saved.
As pastor of Catalyst, I have been a crusader at times and am becoming a better missionary every day. To reach our community, we must build bridges on the truth of the Bible and the love of Jesus.