The pastor as lead discipler

April 23, 2018

Every week, the gospel is preached in pulpits all over the world. The preaching of the Word is transformative. Done rightly, the sermon conveys the life-changing message of Jesus Christ to sinful hearts. This is the starting point for many as they understand what it means to be a follower or disciples of Jesus.

Paul asks in Romans 10:14-18, how can people call on the One whom they have not heard and believe unless someone delivers to them the good news? Faith starts with hearing the message. The weekly preaching of the Word is central for many to know Christ and become disciple-makers.

Making disciples should not just be another trend but must be the focus of the church. It needs to be an intentional process that begins at the heart of every believer who wants to grow in their relationship with God and others.

The number one priority and responsibility of a pastor is to see that every member of their church is growing in their relationship with Christ and making disciples. The motivation and method of doing this is by following the example set by Jesus himself.

Making disciples should not just be another trend but must be the focus of the church.

Jesus preached the gospel message to everyone, including commoners, religious elitists, politicians and more. This is how the early disciples made followers of Jesus as well.

Acts 14:21-22 says, “They preached the gospel in that city and won a large number of disciples. They then returned to Lystra, Iconium and Antioch, strengthening the disciples and encouraging to remain true to the faith.” The disciples preached the gospel and then invested their time in discipling and nurturing the early believers to become followers and disciple-makers.

A pastor has an opportunity to ignite the disciple-making process in a church by modeling it through his preaching and what he does after it. Starting with the pulpit and the sufficiency of the Word, the whole church is empowered as a gospel-centered force, impacting every sphere and arena of influence in which they live.

Though Christ engaged the masses, He equipped the twelve disciples for the work of the ministry. He taught them how to preach, teach, serve and make disciples. He then sent them out two-by-two as apprentices to experience what Christ was doing himself. Similarly, pastors should preach and then invest in the lives of a few with the expectation that they too will multiply as disciples of Christ.

For preaching to be an effective process for disciple-making, the following must take place:

  1. The preaching must be intentional
    Every message should include a presentation of a gospel and listeners should have an opportunity to respond. It is the tilling of the soil for the gospel seed to be planted, harvested and re-planted.
  2. The preaching must be relational
    The sharing of the gospel hopefully leads to a person coming to know Jesus, and then to be invited into a disciple-making relationship for accountability, nurture and equipping for the ministry.
  3. It must be incarnational
    The gospel message must lead to a changed and transformed life. This is the basis for a beautiful testimony — one that can be used in sharing the gospel powerfully with others so that they may come to know Christ as Lord.

The way to view success for a pastor in the ministry is not attendance numbers, annual budgets, or building size, but by how many disciples are being made that are making other disciples. This is the model of multiplication that will reach this world for Christ. That was God’s plan when He gave us the Great Commission and it’s how we bring glory to God in our preaching.

by KenTan  Leadership Development   /  Baptist State Convention of North Carolina

‘Reimagine’ resource addresses today’s realities, tomorrow’s possibilities

How does your church see this COVID moment? On a recent webcast by the Barna Group titled “Caring for Souls in a New Reality,” panelists posed the question, “Is this an interruption or a disruption?” An interruption means that this is only a temporary interference in our lives,...

5 tips for engaging your online community with the gospel

It’s been important for pastors to support others who’ve been struggling during the coronavirus pandemic, possibly in ways they never have before.   But as a pastor, how do you reach your community if they’re no longer walking through your church doors?    The digital space has...

So you’re a follower of Jesus: ‘Now What?’

I vividly remember the season when I decided to give up running and join a gym. Up until then I had been an avid runner and enjoyed it. It was a great stress reliever for me, but I didn’t have much physical strength — I was weak and I wanted to change that.    I remember going to...

Finding God’s ‘shells of grace’ in our western culture

The 2016 Disney Pixar film “Finding Dory” details the life of a blue tang fish named Dory who deals with short-term memory loss. The animated movie explores complex issues such as mental health, the power of community, and the interplay between humans and wildlife.    One theme...

Considering a strategic vision for digital engagement

There is a difference between using something and leveraging something. You can use money to buy things you may or may not need. But that does not equate to leveraging it. Leveraging money as an investment could double or triple the initial investment. Using takes something at...

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Get the latest news and information by signing up for our N.C. Baptist newsletter.

Select Language ^

Share This

Share this with your friends!