Last Friday, I got to meet with Dave Gibbons, pastor of Newsong Church, and author of The Monkey and the Fish.
I attended their worship gathering in March and was moved by what they were doing. It was great to see a multi-cultural gathering of people. I also really wanted to ask how they started from a predominantly Korean congregation to a mutli-cultural one, just because in my past experiences, it has been difficult to do that. We Koreans like to stay with other Koreans it seems.
So I sent Pastor Dave an email, simply asking if I could meet with him and pick his brains.
I thought that Pastor Dave would hook me up with one of his other pastors (which was totally fine with me) but he actually emailed me back and said that he has a bunch of speaking engagements at the moment, but after that, he’d love to meet me.
I definitely took him up on that offer.
So there I was on Friday afternoon sitting in Dave’s office and allowing me to ask any questions that I had.
I shared with him my struggles and frustrations as well as my hopes and joys.
And asked him about his goals and his frustrations and joys.
We talked about being a third culture. I joked that he beat me in naming that, since I am living in a third culture. In ministry terms for me, the first culture is the Immigrant Korean churches. I’ve been trying to escape that and run away from that, and that led me to the second culture, the culture of the Anglo church. And now I am trying to find a balance between the Immigrant Korean church and the Anglo church. Trying to incorporate the positives of both styles of ministry, and therefore creating a third culture.
The thing that stuck with me the most, the thing I’ve been thinking about the whole weekend was about Peter and Paul.
I told him that I don’t see myself as a church planter, but would rather be a church revitalizer, but see so much frustration in doing that.
And going off of that, he asked me if I saw myself as Paul or as Peter.
I never really thought of it in that way.
Peter was more of the keeper of tradition, his mission was to the already existing Jews.
Paul was the missionary, his mission bringing the gospel to the Gentile.
Both did wonders in God’s name.
Both remembered to care for the poor.
The way I interpreted was that Peter is the pastor that pastors to the already existing Christian community and the church members.
While Paul is the more emergent type, and going out to places and meeting people where they are when it comes to faith.
And there is a strong need for both. Not everyone can be Peters because then we end becoming all inwardly focused. We can’t all be Pauls because traditions would get lost.
This whole weekend, I’ve been asking myself, am I a Peter or a Paul.
And it’s been an insightful journey as I try to figure out what God really wants to do with me at this setting in Mesa Verde.
I was thankful for Dave to take time to meet with me.
His thoughts about Peter and Paul have been challenging me and the way I view ministry.
He also reminded me that as a pastor and preacher, we need to live out the Gospel. Not only that, just to love the people I work with and the people I encounter.
He said, especially with all the frustrations we feel, we can’t ever forget to love.
I’m still unpacking and digesting the things talked about within that hour.
And God’s hands were all over this, because that conversation came at a really good time in my life. The challenges Dave placed in my heart was something I needed and believe that it was God speaking to me through Dave.