There are two kinds of people in the world… (you know how this goes).

We in the U.S. live in an either/or culture. We sort everything into categories like black or white, right or wrong, productive or wasteful, professional or amateur.

Or clergy/laity.

That last one, in particular, is a huge hindrance to missionary care – to shepherding global workers.

The average person in the average American church (is there such a thing as either of these?) tends to believe one or both of these misconceptions:

  1. They don’t have anything to offer in the way of shepherding care.
  2. They are not qualified to offer whatever they may have.

Together, I believe these are the two most debilitating assumptions to the work of shepherding.

Our culture has professionalized nearly everything. Training and credentials are expected, if not required, for most any endeavor. Within the church, we have created the role of “pastor” and typically only allowed a small portion of the body of Christ to exercise that role.

For the sake of the sheep – particularly those who serve on mission fields where there is no “pastor,” that thinking must change. More on that tomorrow…