This week Pastor Priji converses with Pastor Indrajeet about the calling of the church to serve the people within and outside itself, reflecting the love of God, and shining His light in this world.
Pastor Priji: How did you get saved?
Pastor Indrajeet: My earliest memory of Jesus was from Scripture Gift Mission in school. I remember the stories of Jesus. They were the first seeds of what would later become faith.
When I was in the tenth standard, I heard the Gospel properly for the first time from my two friends. It was simply presented, but effective. God saved me then at the age of fifteen.
Coming from a non-Christian background brought challenges.
I was immediately immersed in the Bible study that happened in school. However, I wasn’t part of a local church. One of the friends, Ashish did His best to disciple me, but he left soon for college. There was a lack of mentoring and discipleship and it drew me away into the wilderness.
Later I discovered a church and was mentored. My wife and I were married there. We’ve been serving the Lord since then.
Pastor Priji: When did you decide to actively participate in ministry?
Pastor Indrajeet: The Bible was a fabulous discovery. To possess a Book inspired by God through which He speaks grabbed my heart in attention. I have loved the Bible. I wanted study, teach, preach from the Bible. That’s when I started teaching and preaching the Word.
Pastor Priji: So, it was simply the love for the Word that led you into ministry. You mentioned going to Bible school. When was that?
Pastor Indrajeet: That was much later after my wedding. I, for a long time, cherished a secret desire to attend Bible college. However, coming from a non-Christian background, I did not have the courage to suggest that to my parents.
Pastor Priji: What would your advice be for those coming from non-Christian background who love the Lord, and desire to serve? What would be the ideal course of action?
Pastor Indrajeet: I go back to my own life in this. I had a desire, there was a Bible study in school and I got involved in it. If that wasn’t present, my course would have been different.
Where God has placed you is where God wants you to serve. Where you are placed is your mission field.
The mistake of categorizing ministry should be avoided. There is no full time ministry – like pastoring – that is holier or more valuable than everyday ministering. For many years, I have been a bi-vocational pastor. Engage with what’s put in your heart and the place where you are. Take steps from one person to another.
Pastor Priji: How important is it to be properly discipled?
Pastor Indrajeet: We tend to read the Bible with an individualized perspective. The Bible is a communal Book. It is meant for all of us together.
When Jesus begins His ministry, He starts with first gathering a group of people. He called them to be with Him and then He sent them out. That’s what it means to be a Christian – to be in community with God and others.
What it means to be a Christian is understood properly within the context of community. The scripture exhorts us to love, accept, and encourage one another.
However, there are times when God would take you into a season of quietness in solitude but He immerses you back in community. We learn in a community and grow in it
Pastor Priji: What is your motivation behind starting the Bridge Church in Bangalore?
Pastor Indrajeet: About fifteen to eighteen months before starting the church in June 2015 , God began speaking to us about coming back to this place to start an English speaking church apart from the Tamil one. I was in Nashik then.
Pastor Priji: How do you reach out from this church?
Pastor Indrajeet: We look at how we can serve the community. We have an outreach program for reaching kids in Christmas. In February, this year, we had about three hundred visitors. We’re planting seeds. When it is planted, we water it. God is the One Who give the growth thankfully. This July we started another effort through offering computer literacy classes free of cost. We look to build friendship and then share the love of Jesus.
Pastor Priji: We invite the people to Sunday services in order that they may be saved through it. However, it is an amazing thing to go out and reach out to them and help in their areas of need.
Pastor Indrajeet: It is a constant challenge to manage a balance between the incarnational and the attractional model of outreach. Incarnational being the ones who believe the church must be a small community and must be served by one another- which can be quite exclusive, whereas the attractional one includes those who focus on the presentation of the service to the masses in order to attract them.
One must learn to manage a balance between the two without being sucked into any extremes. We need to be relevant and also encourage one another within our community.
Pastor Priji: What has God been teaching you in this season?
Pastor Indrajeet: We’re coming back to where we started. We see our church as a half time team talk in football. We may have done or not done well in the first half, but that talk in between can cause a shift in the way things are manged in the second.
Sunday is not the most important day, but its speciality lies in the equipping you get then for facing the rest of the days of the week.
There are three words/terms that define the kind of church we desire to be- where “everyone” is welcome and valued, where “everyday” is lived for Jesus, and where the God glorifying life is lived “everywhere”.
We are not spectators in the church, we are all participators even though it may be led by gifted people of God.
The church must recognise that it is not called to be in isolation but in constant service of the community to tell them of the love of Jesus Christ.
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