Pastors are leading their churches somewhere. The question is, are they leading toward the mission of Jesus? The goal is for pastors to lead their churches toward the mission of Jesus rather than away from it. To be sure that is happening, consider a few questions.
1. Do you know your mission? You’ll never hit the target if you don’t know where you’re aiming. In the same way, a church will never accomplish a mission that is not clear. I know way too many pastors that are in a fog regarding the mission of the Church. If that is you, go back and read Matthew 28:19-20. The mission Jesus gave His Church is to “make disciples of all nations.” If pastors are leading toward mission, they will lead their churches to be making more disciples of all nations. It really is that simple.
2. Is the mission clear and measurable? There are lots of pastors who know the mission is to make disciples – they just don’t know if they’re making disciples or not. If that is you, go back and read Luke 6:40. Jesus made it clear that He was making disciples who were “fully trained” and looked like their teacher (Jesus.)
In the church where I pastor, we define a disciple as someone who has the character and conduct of Christ. When we see people who have that character and conduct, we know we’ve made fully trained disciples. If a disciple in our church grows in demonstrating the fruit of the Spirit and displaying the marks of a Christ-like lifestyle, then we are moving in the right direction.
3. Do you have a plan for making fully trained disciples? Pastors leading their churches toward mission know what the mission is, understand how to measure if it is being accomplished, and have a plan to make that mission a reality. The good news is that a pastor leading toward mission does not have to create the plan. All we need to do is work the same plan Jesus used two thousand years ago. Yes, Christ’s plan works if we work Christ’s plan. If Jesus had a plan to make fully trained disciples, then there is no need to “reinvent the wheel.” Doing what Jesus did is the only plan needed for making fully trained disciples.
4. Is your plan working? If you are working the plan Jesus used to make fully trained disciples, it will work. If you find that your plan is not working, consider: is your plan in line with Christ’s? How well are you executing your plan? It is good to identify if the problem is in the plan or the execution of the plan.
Jesus led a handful of people from untrained to fully trained over a period of three years. He turned those people loose and they turned the world upside down. The question pastors must ask is whether or not they are creating the same results that Jesus created in their churches. Jesus said, “…“Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in Me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father.” (John 14:12)
At the end of the day, a pastor who is leading toward mission is either leading the church to make fully trained disciples or it is not. If you do a thousand other things well but are not making disciples of Jesus Christ, you are not leading toward the mission of making disciples of Christ. We have to keep our focus leading toward the mission.
Impact Discipleship Ministries exists to help you learn how to be and build disciples of Jesus Christ. Connect with us at impactdisciples.com for more information and resources of disciple making.