Let me begin by saying, yes, I am aware of Matt. 28:19-20. Having reassured some of you…
I was talking to a Pastor who wanted to discuss “making disciples.” This is not an unusual topic, in fact, this is one of the most frequent areas of focus pastors bring to a our coaching call. It goes something like this:
Me: So, what do you want to focus on today?
Pastor: How can I make disciples? I mean real, dedicated, all-in-for-Jesus, committed, fully devoted followers of Jesus…you know, disciples.
Me: Never gonna happen.
No…I don’t say that. I might think that, but I don’t say it.
One of my favorite questions to ask pastors is, “What is your plan to make disciples?” Nothing of any importance is achieved without having a plan.
The first step in developing a discipleship strategy is to ask, or determine, what is our (the pastor, the leaders, the church) responsibility? Where does our job begin and where does it stop? How much of this is on us, and how much of this is on them? These are very important questions.
It seems to me that many pastors feel an unnecessary degree of obligation to make discipleship happen. Notice that I said, “unnecessary degree?” We do have a part to play in this but it is my conviction that more of the responsibility is on the shoulders of the Christian. In other words, if the day comes that I stand before God (I’m counting on that happening) and he chastises me for my lack of commitment (I’m counting on that not happening…time will tell. Yikes!) that I will not be able to blame my church or my pastor.
Our people need to hear us say, “You are responsible for your own spiritual growth. We will provide tracks for you to run on if you want. We will try to give you encouragement and good teaching on Sundays. But…you have a bigger part to play in this than the church does, or I do. You will be as close to God as you want to be.”
Do you know where your job begins and where it ends?
Do you have a discipleship plan?
Do you have in place tracks for people to run on that will help them become disciples?
Do you take on more of the responsibility for discipleship than you should?
Do you regularly remind your people that a vibrant and growing relationship with Jesus is their responsibility?
These are things to think about. Oh…by the way, I can help you develop a discipleship strategy. 😉