I have been amazed at how similar and at the same time different the conversations are between global pastors and U.S. pastors. These “little” differences I’ve come to believe, make all the difference in the world. We long for many of the same things, but our mindset or structures prevent us.
Here are some key differences between conversations with global pastors and U.S. pastors:
1. Our U.S. pastors talk a lot about church planting and church planting movements. The pastors of global churches talk obsessively about the Kingdom of God and nations a lot. They are like Dallas Willard on steroids, but not in a primarily theological sense, but a practical sense. Their kingdom view and passion to see their nation and surrounding nations reached, drives all other activities as in church planting, disciple-making, leadership development etc.
2. U.S pastors talk a lot about our pastors and churches. Global churches talk a lot about their disciples and church members and how they are doing ministry. When you go to training, you’ll see pastors and disciples all mixed in together. There isn’t training for the “pastors” and one for “regular” people. The hero really is the disciple, not the preacher. Much of the church in the West focuses on personal sanctification and morality while ignoring broader church corporate questions of holiness and righteousness. We separated corporate holiness from personal holiness and wound up with a form of religion that didn’t stand well in the 60’s and led to a significant loss of credibility for the church that continues to decline.
3. U.S churches talk about denominations, networks, conferences, and organizations to start churches and do ministries. Global churches talk about family. The organization IS the local church and it’s more like a family than an organization, etc. They love each other, they deal with each other good and bad. This has blown me away.
4. We mostly struggle with small groups and disciple-making. Global churches excel at small groups and disciple-making – it’s what they do best. Even their large churches are built on this. I’m amused often at westerners that want to go disciple global Christians. Often those western Christians haven’t disciple anyone but want to show the rest of the world. In addition, their disciples have to know more than Scripture memory or Bible study – which is important – because some will face persecution and even death. We make disciples to make Christians good and live a good life. They make disciples to love, serve, and even face death.Many churches in the U.S. make disciples to make Christians good & live a good life. Global churches make disciples to love, serve, and even face death. Click To Tweet
5. We have learned to be a force and a voting block in the West to push our will on non-Christians even if we don’t live it as well. Global churches on the other hand, often as minorities have learned to live their faith in the public square as servants. They can’t run from the city, they have to run to the city to be a valuable link for survival.
These differences are a harsh reality and something that all of us can learn from to improve. If you would like a larger story of what God was showing me from churches around the world, you’d enjoy Lessons from the East. It may just change your view of church and the global church community.
If you are a pastor and want to know more about how GlocalNet took these lessons centered around the Kingdom of God & has built a family of churches around mobilizing members to engage society around this Gospel of the Kingdom, you can take this quick overview course online. Check out the Online Turbo here to know more about the DNA of GlocalNet.