Yes, I am a pastor, and I am endeavoring to “lead people to a healthy relationship with Christ” NOT create bigoted, right-winged, narrow-minded, hateful, self-righteous, gossipy, grumbling, fake bumper sticker type Christians.
Unfortunately I run into too many of those types of Christians… and to be real honest … I do not hang out with those kinds of Christians. And to be fair, for every one of those I meet, I meet some really great genuine Christ followers. For example, our church (thank God) is full of the later … people, who are not perfect, but have a genuine heart for God, love people, are humble, real, honest, and seeking God’s best for their lives without judging everyone else.
When I look at the life and ministry of Jesus … even He preferred the company and companionship of the “sinner”. I totally understand why!
Years ago (maybe 10 years ago now) I was the type of Christian I now struggle to like. I only had Republican voting Christian friends who listened to Christian radio 24/7. I had no real relationships with anyone other than people who believed like me. I never invited anyone to church … unless it was someone who was already a "christian" and they were looking for a church. I lived in a Christian bubble, surrounded by others just like me. All the activities in my life revolved around everything church, church friends, church sports, church groups, church books, church everything … basically I had no life outside of church... I lived in a safe Christian bubble.
Now, incase someone is hearing something I am not saying here, let me clarify; I think it’s important and fine to surround ourselves with good people (often people from our church) and to be a part of a church community … hello, I encourage this in my church and I believe and teach that everyone on planet earth should attend church every Sunday morning and if you don't go to church something is amiss … BUT if that is ALL that there is to your life and you shut everyone else not like you out you limit your impact on the world around you, you are just POW WOWING with those who are already found (in your little bubble). Sometimes you’ve got to LEAVE THE 99!