One definition for the word legacy is, “A thing handed down by a predecessor.” In my opinion, this is a great description of one of the priorities of a Disciple Making Pastor. A Disciple Making Pastor is a pastor who hands down the character and conduct of Christ to multiple generations of disciples.
If you want to leave behind a legacy of multiplying disciples, you need to lead well. Leading well is not just finishing well. “Finishing well” in my mind is getting to the finish line without blowing it. Leading well means getting to the finish line knowing that you have left behind a life that will continue to impact and influence others long after you are gone.
Without question, Jesus led well. By the way, He also finished well. In fact, Jesus prayed to His Father John 17:4, “I have glorified you on earth. I have finished the work which you have given me to do.” Since Jesus had not yet gone to the cross, I believe the work He is referring to is the work of making disciples who would make more disciples. I believe Jesus could say He brought God glory on earth by leaving a legacy of disciples who would make more disciples.
Jesus led well by passing on three important priorities. All of His disciples shared these same three priorities and they have created a legacy of disciples that has lasted for thousands of years.
First, a shared mission! Jesus led well by giving His disciples a very clear mission that was and still is shared by all disciple makers. Not only did Jesus tell His disciples to “make disciples of all nations,” (Matthew 28:19) He also told them to make “fully trained” disciples (Luke 6:40.)
As a pastor that desires to live well and leave behind a legacy of disciple makers, I plan to share the mission of Jesus as clearly as I can for as long as I can. If I keep pointing people to the mission of making fully trained disciples, I believe I will have accomplished the work God has given me to do.
Second, a shared strategy! Jesus led well by giving His disciples a shared strategy. All of His disciples and their disciples worked the exact same strategy that Jesus worked to make fully trained disciples. Legacies are made when people reproduce the same process of making disciples for generations to come.
If Christ’s disciples all worked a different strategy, it would not have resulted in a legacy of disciple making. Disciples were multiplied because people not only bought into a mission, but also into that strategy and process of making that mission a reality.
Third, a shared passion! One of the evidences that Jesus led well was the fact that His disciples were passionate about His same mission and strategy. In fact, the disciples became martyrs for Jesus. Their passion was demonstrated in their willingness to give up their lives for Him and His cause.
Our passion for making disciples ought to come from Christ’s presence and power in our lives. The more you understand and experience what it means to be and build disciples, the more passionate you will be to help others experience and understand the same thing.
Every pastor ought to be leading in a way that they leave behind a legacy of disciples and disciple makers.
At Impact Discipleship Ministries we are committed to inspiring people and churches to be and build disciples of Jesus Christ. One of the ways we do that is by helping pastors and churches learn how to develop and multiply disciple making leaders. Please contact us at impactdisciples.com if you’d like to learn more about how we can help you!