The Making of a Disciple Making Pastor
#1- Lead Toward Mission
I have been pastoring a local church for nearly thirty years, and from the very start I have attempted to lead the church where I serve to be a disciple making church. This journey has taught me a lot about what it takes to become a disciple making pastor. I have not “arrived” by any means, and still have more to learn, but I have discovered a thing or two about what it means to be a disciple making pastor. As the Farmer’s Insurance commercial says, “We know a thing or two because we have seen a thing or two.” Trust me, in all my years of pastoring I have seen a thing or two! My prayer is that what I share may help other pastors that are somewhere on the journey, so please pass this blog on to any pastor you may know.
Here are some of the lessons I have learned along the way.
1- Lead toward mission! Let’s begin with the obvious. Not every pastor is a disciple making pastor because not every pastor is leading toward the mission Christ gave the Church. If a pastor is not leading toward the mission of making disciples, they have not yet become a disciple making pastor. I’ve seen this happen countless times. Many a pastor follows God’s call to feed and lead a congregation without ever really being taught the mission of the Church. These pastors mean well, but they simply haven’t ever had anyone help them see that the Great Commandment and Great Commission give us the mission of the Church. It is impossible to lead toward a mission if you do not know what it is.
Imagine an NFL coach leading his team to the mission of remaining injury free the entire season. If the coach is leading toward an injury free season, there is a great chance they will lose every game. Imagine a military general leading his troops to a mission of everyone having equal input in decision making. That army is not likely to win any wars! Imagine a factory that is being led so that the end result is to win the cleanest plant award. That factory won’t do very well at producing a product.
If a church is being led by a pastor and leaders that do not understand the mission, that church is in trouble. A disciple making pastor understands that his number one job is to lead his church to accomplish the mission of making disciples. The number one job of the pastor is not to preach great sermons. It is not to personally care for every person in the church. It is not to build big buildings and run great programs. The number one job of every pastor is to lead the church toward the mission of Jesus Christ.
Near the end of His ministry, Jesus prayed to His Father in John 17:4, “I glorified You on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do.” Jesus had accomplished the work of starting a movement of multiplying disciples, and now He was about to finish what He was put here to do by dying on the cross. Jesus brought His Father glory by fulfilling His purpose on earth.
Every pastor needs to be able to say they have glorified God by accomplishing the work they have been given. That work is the same work Jesus had- make disciples. Pastors that lead toward this mission can look back at the end of their ministry and know they have finished the right work. If a pastor does not lead toward mission they have not accomplished the right work.
When I get to the end of my ministry, I want to be able to know that I have led the Church to help people be disciples and build disciples in every nation. Preaching, pastoral care, administration and a host of other things are necessary, but only if they lead to the mission of making more disciples.
If you want help or coaching in becoming a Disciple Making Pastor, contact Impact Ministries at impactdisciples.com. We exist to help you lead toward the right mission.