4-15-2018 Missionaries and Pastors

FROM THE PASTOR

APRIL 15, 2018

 

Even in the midst of all the “stuff” that is going on in this word today God is still calling, the Holy Spirit is still evangelizing and Christ’s sacrifice is still sufficient. On Monday of this week we received word that our Grandson, Caleb, accepted Christ into his life. Here is the text we received from Ashley moments after his decision…

 

So, I'm going to mark it in my bible but today April 9th, Caleb Barringer Allen said a prayer asking God to be in his heart. He began saying he is sorry for all the bad things he has done that makes God unhappy and that he wants to be on Gods team and live with him forever.

 

We were talking about the armor of God and what it means to be able to fight with God on his team and he thought for a few moments, asked a few questions and said he wanted to tell God that he wants to fight with him and live with him in heaven. I know he may not fully understand what this means but it made me have a moment in my room with happy tears in my eyes.

 

So simple… so innocent… so true… so profound! Connie and I are thrilled with his decision.

 

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I came across this article this week in the Baptist Press from the SBC and found it both interesting and true…

 

The Difference Between Pastors and Missionaries – April 10, 2018

 

Acts 1:8 “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come on you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”

 

Missions. Just the word alone put images in our minds. For many people it means that someone leaves their home in the United States and goes to live in a grass hut in a Third World undeveloped country and eats monkey brains for breakfast every day. For other people it means a person must learn a foreign language so they can communicate with some exotic people group.

 

But when I think about the word “missions,” I think more about the focus of one’s ministry, not the location of that ministry. To me missions means that we are focused on reaching non-believers with the gospel of Jesus Christ regardless of where they live, what language they speak, or what they eat for breakfast. We need far more missionaries than we currently have if we are to impact both our local community and the farthest corners of the earth for Christ.

 

I think being a missionary is different than being a pastor. Pastors primarily serve believers in the local church by equipping them to do ministry effectively. It is important work. We need more healthy effective pastors doing the work that pastors are supposed to do. Good pastors strengthen their local church and then that church is able to send out missionaries. They might send them across the street, to the next town, the next state, or to other countries.

 

Missionaries focus on reaching lost people for Christ. That does not mean they do not disciple people or strengthen churches, that is just not their focus. Pastors focus on discipling believers. That does not mean they do not engage in missions, of course they do, that is just not their focus. For example, while a pastor is thinking of how he will lead another small group Bible study, a missionary is thinking about how he will reach another community with the gospel. One is not better than the other, it is just different. And both are needed.

 

Sometimes missionaries become pastors. And sometimes pastors become missionaries. But most often, they discover a calling from God and remain in that primary calling for most of their ministry. We need both pastors and missionaries working in partnership to fulfill the Great Commission. We need lay people to support their pastors and to support the missionary programs that their church has set up. Both are needed and both need prayers, volunteers and funding. They should not be in competition, but in partnership together so that they whole world might hear the glorious gospel of Christ.

 

Lord, raise up pastors and missionaries to help lead the church to be all that You want it to be. Amen.

 

Posted by: Dr. Terry W. Dorsett serves at the Executive Director of the Baptist Convention of New England.

Thank you for your faithfulness. Pastor Larry

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