It’s all about you!
In the pastor driven church, it’s all about your gifts, your strengths, your abilities.
If something needs to get done, don’t bother asking a member to do it. They’ve said no a dozen times before. Why would they start pitching in now?
After all, that’s how you’ve trained them to act because they know you’ll always pick up the slack.
That’s what they pay you for right?
But that’s okay. It feels nice to be needed. So, you spend most of your time doing what a volunteer could do for free. That means you rarely have time for sermon prep, personal disciple making, and casting vision.
The Pastor Driven Church sacrifices bold preaching and personal disciple making for powerless people pleasing.
Reminder: “feeling nice” and pleasing people isn’t your calling. Sacrifice is.
Not the kind of sacrifice you’re currently modeling. The 24/7 on call schedule that takes you away from your family isn’t the sacrifice you were called to make. Trying to cater to every whim of every church member is a sacrifice you brought on your self.
Not everyone is a super-Christian!
We don’t all have stories of how we glanced at the stranger seated next to us on the plane and led them to Jesus right there on the spot.
Most of us are probably missing like 9 out of every 10 opportunities we have to share the Truth. (Wait! What opportunities?!)
Worse, in the unlikely event that we ever did
accidentally unintentionally luckily lead someone to Jesus, we wouldn’t have the first clue what to do next. Maybe the pastor knows what to do? Sadly, maybe not.
Or, maybe you know how to “lead people to Christ” but you have never considered how to lead them toward Christ-likeness.
We may not all be super-Christians, but every-Christian has been tasked with making disciples of all nations.
A Collaborative Writing Project
I’m writing an eBook to help the every-Christian make and multiply followers of Jesus.
But I’m not writing from a super-Christian’s perspective. I’m writing from an every-Christian perspective.
I actually believe that if Jesus has given us a mission to make disciples of all nations he can empower every-Christian to fulfill that mission. And if we’re not intentionally making disciples who make disciples then we are pursuing the wrong mission.
I was having a conversation yesterday with someone about the lack of disciple making in new churches and in established churches. It seems that many church leaders know how to implement small groups and preach sermons but few know how to make and model disciple making on a personal level.
The reason I was talking about this is because I am beginning work on an eBook about the path to making disciples. I want to encourage Christians that they can make a disciple in the next 12 months who will make a new disciple in the next 24 months. I’ll share more details soon on the blog (I’ve already share the details to my newsletter contacts).
But in the meantime, my friend J.D. Payne has written an eBook on discipleship and church planting that is a great resource.
J. D. is a National Missionary with the North American Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention and an Associate Professor of Church Planting and Evangelism in the Billy Graham School of Missions and Evangelism at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, U.S.A. where he directs the Center for North American Missions and Church Planting.
I love J. D.’s definition of church planting: “Biblical church planting is evangelism that results in new churches”. (For my particular focus, I might modify the definition to “Biblical church planting is intentional disciple making that results in new churches”.)
downline or disciples?
Is disciple making some sort of glorified multi-level pyramid scheme?
The argument I’ve heard recently is that those of us who emphasize making disciples as the mission of our lives more closely resemble sellers of Amway than ambassadors for Jesus.
The “product” (soap, meds, or Jesus) isn’t the point. It’s all about the process of recruiting more and more people into your pyramid (the people in your “downline” or the people you are “discipling”).
The critics actually make it sound like multiplication (and obedience?) are bad things.
To the critic, it seems that if we are sharing the Gospel, pleading with people to follow Jesus, baptizing and teaching them to obey everything Jesus commanded, and mobilizing them to do the same, we can’t possibly have time left over to actually enjoy God. Right?
I personally don’t know anyone who fits the caricature. Sure, there are always those who come across as fake or “salesy” when they present the Gospel and in some instances, the criticism might be valid.
For my part, however, I couldn’t disagree more with this critique of disciple making.
In fact, I would suggest that we will never fully enjoy God if we aren’t actively engaged in making and multiplying disciples.
Book Review: Embodying Our Faith: Becoming a Living, Sharing, Practicing Church by Tim Morey (InterVarsity Press)
Tim Morey (D.Min., Fuller Theological Seminary) is a church planter and pastor. His church, Life Covenant Church is located in Torrance, California. He is also on the national church planting team for the Evangelical Covenant Church and is an adjunct professor teaching practical theology at Talbot School of Theology.
Tim Morey asks, “How do we bring the message of Jesus to a culture that is deeply skeptical about truth claims, rejects metanarratives (such as the gospel), considers the church a suspect institution, takes offense at moral judgments and believes any religion will lead them to God?”
When put that way, our task seems a bit overwhelming. However, Morey does a great job of developing a philosophy of church planting while simultaneously making evangelism in a postmodern context a simpler concept to understand.
You know the story of the blind men and the elephant right?
A king asks six blind men to determine what they are touching by feeling different parts of an elephant’s body. One blind man feels a leg and says the elephant is like a pillar; the one who feels the tail says the elephant is like a rope; the one who feels the trunk says the elephant is like a tree branch; the one who feels the ear says the elephant is like a fan; the one who feels the belly says the elephant is like a wall; and the one who feels the tusk says the elephant is like a pipe.
Then the king explains to them, “All of you are right. The reason every one of you is telling it differently is because each one of you touched the different part of the elephant. So, actually the elephant has all the features you mentioned.”
What’s wrong with this story?
This story is told to indicate the truth that can be found in all religions. Any religion that makes exclusive truth claims (such as, “Jesus is the only way to God”) should learn from this parable and be more tolerant of other religions.
I can think of at least three problems with this parable (If this comes across as being intolerant of foolishness, so be it.):