Are YOU a Disciple-Making Pastor?
I have seen and used the phrase, "Disciple-Making," more in the past year than in my entire life. It is certainly the new "HOT" word/phrase in churchianity and Christendom. I believe the worst thing that can happen to this phrase is that it will be hot for a while and various committees and groups will be organized, not to mention conferences will pop up and books will be written from all angles of Disciple-Making only to become a lost phrase in about a year to a year and a half. If the church takes Disciple-Making and turns it into merely another wave for the American Church to ride, it will therefore be the potentially "Last Ride" on the surfboard for American Christian faith.
Pastor Ken Adams, lead pastor of Crossroads Church in Newnan, Georgia, states in his book, Conversations about Disciple-Making, "Yes, Jesus came to redeem mankind back to God, but His chosen method to do so was by multiplying disciples!" If that is true, which I believe it is, then Disciple-Making has to become the new normal in our churches today. The church needs to be more about authentic Disciple-Making than another trendy program, relaxing coffee shop, or cool lighting for the worship service.
Jesus said for us to basically do three things: Love God, Love People, and Make Disciples. Obviously, He said many things, but they can be categorized in these three areas. What better way to show that we Love God and Love People than for you and I to be actively engaged in Disciple-Making? It will mean that we will be applying Matthew 28:19-20 to our life and ministry.
So, . . . Are YOU a Disciple-Making Pastor? Do you intentionally invite people into a relationship in which you teach and train in the ways of Christ? I am not talking about preaching from the stage or having an article in your church newsletter (Both of which I do.), but I am asking if you meet with a very small group of people on a regular basis to disciple them with the understanding that after a period of time (6 to 18 months) you multiply and those disciples begin making disciples and you all get a new group. This idea hit home for me when I was at a roundtable discussion at Fellowship Church in Roswell, Georgia in October of 2015. One of the pastors, Dr. Christopher Moody, Lead Pastor of Beaumont's First Baptist Church, was there and it was the first time I met him. At 8:15ish in the morning, Chris walked right up to me and asked me two questions that rocked my world, especially for a first-time meeting. He asked, "What did you study in your quiet time this morning and who are you discipling?" Thank goodness I had both answers to give him! But I certainly had to gather myself because of the boldness of the questions. As I have had time to think about it, I can't think of two better questions to ask one another if we are going to be the shepherds that The Lord desires. Many pastors can't answer “Yes” because they have not been discipled themselves. Do not let this stop you. Learn more - pray more - and go and make disciples! There are some great resources about Disciple-Making. Join me as we obey the mandate of Christ and be disciples that make disciples!