Disciple-Making Pastor, Part 9

Making it Work in the Local Church:

  1. Reminder 1 – Make sure to have a plan, know where you are going.
  2. Reminder 2 – Explain your plan.
    1. Declare the priorities.
    2. Publish it in church literature.
    3. Model it at the leadership level.
  3. Reminder 3 – Present a model of how you plan to work.

Phases Through Which Believers are Guided:

  1. Phase 1 – Come and see (John 1:39-4:46) – gather, consider, expose, interest and inspire. 
    1. The Sunday morning meeting: where we interest you.
    2. The mini-congregation: where we care for you.
    3. Velcro ministries:
      Choirs, sports, men’s groups, retreats, Bible studies, children’s activities, social action.
  2. Phase 2 – Come and follow Me (Matthew 4:18-22, Mark 1:16-20): training, establishing and maturing.
  3. Phase 3 – Come and be with Me (Mark 3:13-14, Luke 6:13): this phase is for only a few serious disciples.

Making the transition:

  1. They had already been with Him, when He challenged them they were ready.
  2. He extended an invitation, not a responsibility: “I will make you into something useful…”
  3. He called them to a vision, not a job: the driving force behind commitment is vision.

The Discipleship Group:

  1. Only those who make the commitment are approved.
  2. The group must be small enough to avoid spectators, but large enough to provide variety.
  3. The group must meet often enough and long enough for the training process to work.
  4. The group must teach basic skills that act as tools to reach the objective (Bible study, prayer, relationships, outreach)
  5. The group must last long enough and be demanding enough to surface new leaders.

Disciple-Making Pastor, Part 8

The Disciple Making Pastor as Coach:

Tell Them What: (John 1:35-4:46, Mark 1:16-17, Luke 5:10-11, Matthew 9:36-38) Going indicates action. Baptizing establishes Christ’s presence. Teaching underscores the core of discipleship.

The Great Commissions:

  1. Matthew 28:18-20 – Go, make disciples, baptizing, teaching.
  2. John 20:21 – As the Father has sent Me, so I am sending you
  3. Mark 16:15-18 – And preach the gospel to all creation.
  4. Luke 24:44-49 – Repentance and forgiveness of sin will be preached…beginning at Jerusalem.
  5. Acts 1:8 – You shall receive power…you shall be my witnesses…

Tell Them Why: (Luke 19:10, Mark 10:45, John 3:17) if a person knows why, he can bear almost any how.

Show Them How and Do It With Them: Jesus command was to come and follow Me.

  1. Come and See – Tell them what, Tell them why.
  2. Come and follow Me – Show them how and Do it with them.
  3. Come and be with Me – Let them do it and Deploy them.

Let Them Do It: here is where multiplication often falls down (Matthew 10:1).

Deployment: Maybe only 10 percent reach this level. Why? About 50% never leave their comfort zones called “come and see” (just attenders). 90% of the remaining 50% move into the “come and follow Me” phase.

The Foundation for Ministry Skills:

  1. Character: the content of the heart. This goes nowhere without character.
  2. Faithfulness: a nonnegotiable prerequisite for leadership (1 Corinthians 4:2, Luke 16:10, 2 Timothy 2:2).
  3. Spiritual Gifts and Suitability: those who excel in this “come and follow Me” phase are the pool from which the disciple-making pastor fishes for leaders.

Ministry Skills: feed those chosen for leadership back into the system, giving them hands-on experience.

  1. Can effectively communicate Scripture (2 Timothy 2:2).
  2. Can effectively manage – the ability to get work done through others.
  3. Can motivate and inspire – challenging energy toward solutions.
  4. Can counsel others (Romans 15:14, Colossians 1:28) – instructing and admonishing.
  5. Can correct others (2 Timothy 2:23-26).

Disciple-Making Pastor, Part 7

The Practices of a Disciple Making Pastor:

The Principle of Selectivity: (2 Timothy 2:2, 1 Timothy 3:1-10, Titus 1:5-9) the intentional selection and training of people for leadership.

  1. Selectivity can be controversial since it upsets the balance of power, who has it and how they get it. The rules get changed, charges of playing favorites. Jesus selected 12 out of 120, or 70, he even selected three out of the 12.
  2. Selectivity protects the product – “a camel is a horse made by committee.” Why? Unqualified people are influencing policy.
  3. Selectivity produces a good product – the highest quality will be passed on if the highest quality is selected.
  4. Selectivity protects the church from trouble – by choosing high quality servants to lead, and also weeding out the unqualified.
  5. Selectivity models the objective – proper modeling changes people.
  6. Selectivity gives people something to which they can aspire – when a disciple is fully taught, he will be like his teacher (Luke 6:40).

Philosophical Purity at the Leadership Level: this is basically what is called alignment, all are on board with the philosophical objectives. All leadership united in the goals of discipleship.

  1. Has a heart for disciple making.
  2. Is a proven disciple maker.
  3. Has strong Bible knowledge.
  4. Agrees with methods and priorities of the church.

Accountability is Necessary:

  1. It is a means of quality control (Titus 3:10, 1 Timothy 5:15-19, Isaiah 53:6).
  2. It facilitates leadership (1 Corinthians 3:10-15) – Many people will accept accountability from an all-powerful God but will resist it from the church.
  3. It protects the congregation – helping people to not only keep from wrong but to keep them doing what is right.
  4. It makes ministry a joy (Hebrews 13:17).
  5. It helps people keep their commitments to God (1 Thessalonians 5:14) – Warn the idle and disorderly (Romans 15:14, Colossians 1:28, Acts 20:31); Warn the rebellious (Hebrews 13:17, Titus 3:10, Philippians 2:19-24); Warn the neglectful (2 Timothy 4:2); Encourage the timid; Help the weak.

The Small Group and Disciple Making: (Large, Small, One on one).

  1. Small group is Jesus’ example (5000, 500, 120, 70, 12, 3). The small group was chosen to be with Him (Mark 3:14).
  2. The small group provides the proper ministry flow – large group for information and inspiration, while the small group takes the next step with the whats and whys.
  3. The small group provides a controlled environment – measuring the disciple’s progress in skills development, peer relationships, outreach projects, training disciple makers.

Decentralization of Pastoral Care:

  1. A ministry given to the entire body (Ephesians 4:11-12, 16).
  2. Why it is important – it is God’s plan. Staff does it because it is expected by the people. A decentralized caring force will transform a community. Proper use of the pastor (to declare, train and manage). Proper use of the body (each smaller group a mini-congregation charged with caring for each other).

Summary in three word: Conviction (Luke 6:40, he can inspire because of his convictions), Skill (motivated from conviction) and Intentional (measured, calculated and precise).

Disciple-Making Pastor, Part 6

The Understanding of a Disciple Making Pastor:

He commits time and resources to this effort. He understands the big picture – ideology, revolution for structural change. Theology of the church must be secure.

  1. The kingdom is the model: (Matthew 12:28, Luke 17:20-21, Matthew 4:17, Mark 1:14, Mark 6:12).
  2. The cross is the means: with respect for resource and character, not methodology – (Mark 10:45, Mark 8:31-34).
  3. The commission is the method: clearly understood objectives produce sustained conviction. The church exists for mission – salt, light, leaven, a family, kingdom of priests, building, body, temple.
  4. The coming is the motive: to strengthen convictions and bring personal rewards (1 Corinthians 3:12-15) and accountability (what would we do without exams?).

The Commitment of a Disciple-Making Pastor:

Placing Disciple Making at the Heart of the Church (Isaiah 29:13). Why so often disciple-making gets only lip service? First, a belief that discipleship is a program that fits into a department of the church. Second, the pastor does not always make disciple-making his personal responsibility, Third, disciple-making may be believed to be too narrow for the local church (for only a small group of ultra-committed soldiers of the church).

  1. Proclaim is from the pulpit.
  2. Write it down and make it church dogma.
  3. Model disciple-making at the staff level.

Providing Clear Identification and Communication: avoid fuzzy thinking and call people toward obedient action of making disciples. The pastor is in charge of the cardiovascular concept, care for the heart of the church.

Proclaiming Priesthood of All Believers: (1 Peter 2:5, 9, Revelation 5:10) – Christians have the authority and responsibility to minister for Christ as the priesthood traditionally did. The word “called” (kletos) means vocation (1 Corinthians 1:26, Ephesians 4:1, Romans 1:6-7, Ephesians 4:11-12, 2 Corinthians 5:18-19).

  1. Pastor gives permission.
  2. Pastor gives direction – Reconciliation (2 Cor 5:18-21), Edification (Ephesians 4:11-16, 1 Peter 4:10-11), Physical need (Luke 4:18-19)
  3. Pastor give training.

Planning on a Process of Multiplication: You did not choose Me but I chose you, to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last (John 15:8). Would you rather have $1 million today or 1 penny today doubled each day for 30 days? ($10,737,418.24). The world will not be reached through addition!

Prioritizing Disciple-Making: (Matthew 28:18-20). Fruit is expected (John 15:8, 16).

Proper Selection of Personnel: (2 Timothy 2:2). Multiplication requires several passes of the baton. Multiplication requires that those who have it pass it on. Multiplication means passing the baton to the right people (reliability) – Luke 16:10, 1 Corinthians 4:2). Multiplication means passing it on to qualified people (proven they can be trusted) – giftedness and suitability, not spirituality.

Disciple-Making Pastor, Part 5

The Role of the Disciple Making Pastor:

The pastor is to shepherd. (elder, bishop, and pastor are generally used synonymously).

Presbuteros, are people to whom the care of the church is committed (Acts 14:23, 1 Timothy 3:1-7, Titus 1:5-9, 1 Thessalonians 5:12, 1 Timothy 5:17, Hebrews 13:17, 1 Peter 5:1-3).

Episkopos, is a function of elders to give oversight and leadership to the church (1 Timothy 3:1).

Poimen, are elders who pastor the church, feeding the flock, teaching the Word and protecting the church from within and without (1 Peter 5:1, Acts 20:28, Ephesians 4:11).

Two major functions:

  1. Oversight: to rule – proistemi, to stand before the church (1 Timothy 5:17) or have charge over (1 Thessalonians 5:12); to labor – to work hard (1 Thessalonians 5:12); to lead – hegeomai, the description of leadership responsibility of watching over souls (Hebrews 13:7, 17, 24).
  2. Pastoring: to care (Acts 20:28, 1 Peter 5:1-3); to protect (Acts 20:28, 2 Timothy 2:24, 1 Thessalonians 5:14); to teach (2 Timothy 2:22, 1 Thessalonians 5:12-13, 1Timothy 5:17).

The Disciple-Making Pastor’s Functional Role:
The trigger mechanism that sets the whole process in motion (Ephesians 4:11-16). The pastor as coach.

  1. Preparation as top priority: preparing God’s people.
  2. Proper identification of God’s people: for the works of service.
  3. Pastor/Teacher, not Pastor/Teller: bringing people in to the ministry, not just sending them out. Effective preaching leads to effective ministry is a myth.
  4. Goal-oriented leadership: until the body is built up, and in unity, which is measurable.
  5. Creation of a growing environment: pointing out progress and where thing may have gone wrong, having a passion for excellence.

Disciple-Making Pastor, Part 4

The Product We Hope to Develop: a re-commitment to Christ’s clear commands to make disciples.

Biblical Foundations of Disciple Making:
Matthew 28:18-20, John 20:21, Acts 1:8. As you are going, baptizing and teaching, making disciples. The charge is not to make converts. This is a process of multiplication, not addition.

The Obedient Church:
This is an intention effort that requires a commitment to reproduction, and multiplication.

Are Disciples More Than Converts?
We are called to make disciples and to bear fruit, Luke 14:25-35.

Are Disciples Born or Made?
The Bible talks a lot about transformation and a willful decision to become a follower of Christ. Paul writes about immature believers that ought to be farther along, 1 Corinthians 3:1-3, and the writer of Hebrews 5:11-13 addresses the same issue.

Jesus’ Definition of Disciple:
Luke 9:23, Luke 14:25-35, John 8:31, Matthew 9:36-38, John 13:34-35, John 15:7-17 (the disciple’s profile: he remains in Christ, relates to Christ’s words, is committed to prayer, is obedient, bears fruit, glorifies God, has joy, loves as Jesus did).

  1. True believers are more than just converts, but followers of Jesus, obeying what He has commanded.
  2. Jesus meant more than just go and do evangelism. Disciples count the cost, make sacrifices, and follow Him, which requires a long and intentional process for people to become disciples.
  3. Making disciples of all nations is stated as a goal, to win as many as possible, develop many as possible and multiply through many as possible. Converts are born but disciples are made.
  4. Jesus charges the church with building reproducing disciples. Disciple making triggers multiplication.

Disciple-Making Pastor, Part 3

The Conflict Regarding Disciple Making and Churches:

The characteristics of disciple making are intentional, measurable, clearly communicated ministry.

Liberal Church:
This generally came out of the breakdown of absolute truth rooted in Scripture. It wanted to change the world through social action without much of a call toward salvation of the people in society.

Misconceptions About Discipleship:
It’s more than a trendy evangelical term, or getting serious about Christ, or mastering certain basics in Christianity, or skills training, program participation.

Weak Non-Professional Leadership:
Leadership from the marketplace is needed to make an impact in that marketplace, making changes in their circles of influence.

Churches Have Not Taken Seriously the Great Commission:
Perhaps the average church member has not been taught that the Great Commission is for all people, not just the church in general.

Accommodation to Culture:
This is the belief system of society, through media and the mind, morality, secular methodologies, superficial Christianity.

Disciple-Making Pastor, Part 2

The Need for Disciple Making Pastors:

Elton Trueblood stated that perhaps the single weakness of the contemporary Christian church is that millions of supposed members are not really involved at all and, what is worse, do not think it strange that they are not. Christ’s intention is to form a militant company to carry out the Great Commission. There is no real victory in a campaign if ninety percent of the soldiers are untrained and uninvolved, but that is exactly what we have now.

Most churches are growing by transfer, sort of a rotation of the saints. Relationships between clergy and laity have become professional performers and audience. Trueblood also stated that cheap Christianity can pull together a pretty good audience.

George Barna has stated that there is not too much difference between the beliefs of Christians and non-Christians. The fact is that the proportion of Christians who affirm these values is equivalent to the proportion of non-Christians who hold similar views indicates how meaningless Christianity has been in the lives of millions of professed believers.

Disciple-Making Pastor, Part 1

This is insight from Bill Hull’s book, The Disciple-Making Pastor: The Keys to Building Healthy Christians in Today’s Church.

Today’s church has become “weak and flabby,” says Hull. We have proliferated self-indulgent consumer religion, the “what can the church do for me syndrome.” What can you do to help restore its power and vigor? Become a discipling pastor! Offering solid, practical insight, Hull challenges you to re-evaluate your priorities as pastor; presents Christ’s step-by-step model for biblical discipleship; guides you in teaching others to make disciples; and more.

Bigger is not always better. Mega-churches have a tendency toward anonymity and are also consumer-oriented. There are two fatal flaws in measuring greatness by numbers.

  1. Numbers do not indicate greatness…just think of a riot or a mob or Tupperware parties.
  2. We often ask the wrong question. Rather than “How many people are present?” we should ask, “What are the people like?”

What obvious truth caused church members to squirm? The church exists for a mission, it does not exist for itself. We are to penetrate the world. The crisis is of the heart. Jesus’ command to the church is to make disciples (Matthew 28:18-20). The author challenges pastors to be unleashed from evangelical busy work and get on with the task.

The Disciple-Making Pastor:

This is insight from Bill Hull’s book, The Disciple-Making Pastor: The Keys to Building Healthy Christians in Today’s Church.

  1. Introduction to the Disciple Making Pastor
  2. The Need for Disciple Making Pastors
  3. The Conflict Regarding Disciple Making and Churches
  4. The Product We Hope to Develop
  5. The Role of a Disciple Making Pastor
  6. The Understanding and Commitment Required
  7. The Practices of a Disciple Making Pastor
  8. The Disciple Making Pastor as Coach
  9. Making it Work in the Local Church