Over the last few weeks, we’ve been examining some of the reasons that churches and believers today aren’t making disciples. Though there are more than just the reasons we’ve explored, each of them can be present in any ministry not actively making disciples. In some ways, the fifth reason is the most important of all.
As we’ve mentioned before, when a good leader takes a look at their organization, one of the first things they need to do is define reality: see exactly what is going on so that they can assess what needs to happen next.
Fortunately for believers, this assessment is extremely easy when it comes to making disciples. Either you’re making disciples—or leading an organization that is making disciples—or you’re not. One of the main things that contributes to not making disciples is having unorganized priorities. The truth is simple: if you aim at nothing, you’ll hit it every time. If you don’t prioritize making disciples, it probably isn’t going to happen.
Three Steps to Change Your Direction
As you evaluate your ministry’s disciplemaking, begin by taking an accurate picture of the current state of affairs. What are you currently doing? How well are you doing it? How can you tell? These are all questions you can ask to get a lay of the land as you move forward.
Next, you want to determine your destination. Where would you like to see your ministry in ten years? What hallmarks will it have? What will its defining features be?
Finally, you need to develop a plan of action.
Let’s say that you want to reach the lost at all costs for the glory of God. This is a noble goal. But the question becomes how do you do that?
Maybe you want to share the gospel with every person you see. That is wonderful. But what are you going to do to make this happen?
Perhaps you want to make disciples who make disciples. Excellent. But what are the steps that will get you to that destination?
Without a plan of action, you might simply be dreaming, not charting a course to a destination.
When I was a new pastor at Brainerd Baptist Church, Erwin Luter and I were eating breakfast. He sat me down and said, “Robby, what is the one thing you can do that no one can do at your church?” It was a good question. I thought for a second and said, “I am here to make disciples and preach the Word.”
He said, “exactly.” Then he told me that if I get sidetracked with other things other people can do better than I could, I wouldn’t be doing what God had placed me there to do, and my effectiveness at those things would be diluted. I needed to take some old advice: perfection is getting rid of everything that gets in the way of doing something well.
Perhaps that’s what we need to do if we want to see a disciplemaking movement happen in our own local contexts. We need to sit down and ask, “What is the one thing I need to be doing most?” From there, we can look at our schedules, look at the litany of programs and classes we’re involved in, and look at the events we have planned for the future. Are they helping you make disciples? Are they helping you make Jesus’ final words your first work?
Jesus never commanded us to make converts. He never commanded us to plant churches. He never asked us to revitalize dead congregations. He never commanded us to become pastors, to make decisions, or even to make Christians.
He commanded us to make disciples.Jesus never commanded us to make converts. He commanded us to make disciples. Click To Tweet
I believe Jesus will hold us to account for how well we did that, and there’s no better time than now to begin taking your first step down a journey that will last you a lifetime.I believe Jesus will hold us to account for how well we did that, and there’s no better time than now to begin taking your first step down a journey that will last you a lifetime. Click To Tweet