Glocal Church Ministry

Bob Roberts has an idea that may change American congregations, if not the world.

Forgive the cliché, but Bob Roberts is a revolutionary. Really. Roberts's simple but powerful idea may get the church to revolve, turn around, and carry out its ministry in a fundamentally different way.

This idea (that a local church must be a global church—thus "glocal") may indeed transform American church life, because it is timely: We live in the age of the flat earth, when we can not only communicate around the world, but more Americans than ever have enough disposable income to travel the world. His idea is also simple: It assumes that the main players in overseas kingdom work are not trained cross-cultural missionaries or NGO professionals, but laypeople who take their current expertise (whether it be teaching, plumbing, electronics, or so forth) and use it to serve people in other nations.

This revolutionary idea is something Roberts's church, and a number of others, have started to live out. I traveled with him to Vietnam last year and saw a water project, a clinic, and ...

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