In a recent conversation with a close friend, an interesting revelation came to light. My friend was sharing with me a conversation he had with the new pastor of his church. Fresh out of seminary and in his first church, this pastor was just getting his feet wet when my friend suggested to him a desire to help him with the discipleship ministry of the church. The new pastor responded that he wasn’t focusing on a discipleship program right now. He might focus on it later but it was not his first priority.
Not his “first priority”! Excuse me. Some of the last words Jesus uttered here on earth were to “make disciples”. How is this not the first priority of every pastor in every church in every nation in every generation?
This pastor’s response reveals several insights.
First, we must do a better job of teaching church leaders our mission. When a person straight out of seminary does not know the mission of the church is to make disciples, the church is in trouble.
Second, the enemy is the master of distraction. When the enemy can get us distracted away from the best things for good things, he has won. The enemy does not have to make us bad, he just has to make us focus on the wrong things. I can’t tell you how many pastors I know who have exchanged the good for the best.
Third, disciple making is not a program of the church, it is the mission of the church. Jesus did not come to start a program called disciple making for the church. Jesus came to start a church that was making disciples! When church leaders begin to see disciple making as just another program for the church rather than the purpose of the church, we are in trouble.
Impact Ministries exists to help young pastors and for that matter, old pastors, learn how to make disciple making the priority of the church. To learn more check out impactdisciples.com.