The Vital Role of a Disciple-Making Pastor
One of the most powerful ways to start a disciple-making movement in a church is for the pastor to begin preaching the discipleship gospel from the pulpit, calling people to be disciples who make disciples as a natural part of responding to the gospel. When you combine this with a pastor who is also personally making disciples of church members and others in the community, it’s exponentially more effective in our experience. In fact, we’d go so far as to say that this is a recipe for catalytic change toward disciple making in a church. A pastor can preach all they want about discipleship, but until they actually start making disciples, their words will “fall to the ground” (1 Sam. 3:19). In other words, pastors need to practice what they preach.
This is an excerpt from The Discipleship Gospel (available in eBook and paperback). Get a discount by using code ‘TBP’ at checkout when you order here.
Some pastors have convinced themselves that making disciples is preaching sermons, shepherding people through births, weddings, and funerals, and keeping all the programs of the church running. This is different, though, than what we see Jesus doing in the Gospels. Jesus preached and ministered to the crowds, but he also intentionally discipled a few by spending significant time with them. In fact, the longer Jesus ministered, the less time he spent with the crowds, and the more time he spent discipling a few.
As men who have firsthand experience leading a church, we know how busy and distracted a pastor can be. But we’re convinced that there’s no excuse to not make disciples, especially if you’re the pastor. If any one person is to obey the Great Commission in the church, it must be the pastor. If you as the pastor aren’t making time to make disciples, you can’t expect anyone else in the church to do it.