Most churches do a pretty good job of meeting the needs of their congregations. We have Lead Pastors who provide the teaching of the Word. We have Children’s Pastors who have the same responsibility for our kids. Many churches also have Pastors, or at least dedicated staff members, to provide leadership to several other people in the body: Community Care, Worship, Discipleship, Jr. High, Sr. High, Adults, Small Groups, Executive…the list could go on and on.
We have Pastors for the things that we believe to be important to the Kingdom and Pastors play a very important role in our Christian development. They do so much more than teach on Sunday mornings. They often meet the emotional needs of our families. They help us walk through crisis and celebrate victories. The pray, counsel and even weep for their flock. If you attend a church, there will more than likely be someone who is responsible for helping you become an engaged, healthy member of the body…because everybody needs a pastor.
The key phrase in that last sentence was “if you attend a church.” What about those who don’t attend our churches? They might get a committee that decides who or what the church will support, but don’t they need a Pastor too? The truth is we have all these people to work with those inside the walls, but do we have a dedicated Pastor whose entire responsibility is loving our neighbors outside the church?It is impossible to have a Biblical model of discipleship without “making disciples” as a key component Click To Tweet
Sadly, the person responsible for outreach or missions usually has another title that is internally focused. Many churches add outreach to the job description of the discipleship or small groups pastor. And while I agree that it is impossible to have a Biblical model of discipleship without “making disciples” as a key component, they are often fighting an uphill battle just trying to work with the hundreds of people inside the four walls of our buildings.
But what about the thousands of people who live within 5 miles of our churches…how well do churches reach the lost in their own communities?
We send missionaries all over the world, but most churches don’t do much to reach those in their own neighborhoods. What about the family across the street? What about the people who work at the company down the road? What about the single mother who lives in public housing or the kid who plays in the park until mom gets home from work? Do we care enough about these people to invest time and money into their lives?
The Great Commission begins with the word “GO.” We focus so much of our time and energy making disciples inside our churches, but maybe it’s time to start investing in those who drive by our buildings and need to know our Jesus. Maybe a “GO Pastor” should be a higher priority, because everybody needs a pastor.