One sad reality of humanity is that we tend to congregate among people we think we belong to. There is always the desire for exclusivity.
- The rich live in subdivisions and put a gate and guards to limit entry.
- Businessmen form a group, which is also known as a cartel. They protect the business sector from anyone who wishes to join.
- On the plane and in the airport, economy passengers cannot go to the business class section.
- There are parties and gatherings that are by invitation only.
- People speak a certain language purposefully, so the rest cannot join or mingle.
Suddenly even in the Matters of faith, there is also exclusivity.
In the Old Testament, Naaman was in need of healing but he felt initially that he should be treated separately from the rest because he was rich. As for the time of Jesus, his townmates felt that God was only for the Jews and that Jesus had no credibility to preach.
That is why when pastoring to people, we do what is the opposite of exclusive, which is none other than being inclusive. What is the mindset of a pastor who is inclusive?
- While the world would give priority to the rich, famous, powerful, and beautiful, inclusive pastors administer to those who are in the peripheries of society. We remember the words of Jesus, “Whatever you do to the least of your brethren, you do unto me.”
- While the world listens to the rich, famous, and powerful, with humility and openness, Inclusive Pastors listen to everyone including the voiceless. This is very important to minimize our blind spots and improve decision-making.
- While the world allows the powerful to dominate others, especially the poor, Inclusive Pastors would serve their needs.
May we always remember that God is a God for all. In fact, we all have a variety of gifts, ministries, talents, and vocations, but all under one God. Yes, one body, different parts.