Dave Gibbons’ on who Peter and Paul reached

June 3, 2009

Joseph Yoo, Associate Minister at Mesa Verde United Methodist Church, had an opportunity to meet with Dave Gibbons to learn more about his approach to ministry. Joseph described his key takeaway as follows:

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.

Applying the analogy to an Asian American context, “Peter” would be called to minister to the traditionalists who prefer Asian culture and/or those who are part of an ethic Asian church. In contrast, “Paul” would be called to minister to those without tradition, those outside of the church, by starting new works and plant new churches.

What has God called you to be? Are you more of a “Peter” or a “Paul”?

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