As we look toward the principles of the GProCongress and training pastoral leaders, we must move from the internal to the external. My last two posts highlighted the more important internal dimensions of being a Christ-like leader before we can pass anything along to others. In this post, I will be focusing on reproducing disciple-making leaders.
Our relationship with Christ is primary and nothing you can do should supersede that objectives. It comes first and foremost and I find that most pastors fail in this area. Often they get caught up in the externals: I must have a bigger church, more outreach, reach more people for Christ, preach better sermons, etc., etc. But without this internal mechanism in place, Jesus reminds us we can do nothing!
The second priority we looked at was that of Christ-like leadership: walking in the Spirit and displaying the fruit of the Spirit. The biggest problem with Christian leadership today in the world is an issue of character! Therefore, as we walk deeply with Christ, we must allow his Spirit to help us grow as Christ-like leaders.
However, once these two areas are better established, we can move toward the missional aspects of our faith. Therefore, once we follow the Lord’s commands: Love Him and Love Others. Then we can move to the Great Commission: Make Disciples! Nevertheless, sometimes we misinterpret that passage saying the command in Matt 28 is to “Go” but as most of you should know, the Greek shows us that the real command is “To Make Disciples.” Thus, for the movement I’m part of, Asian Access, our third outcome is that a pastor for a lifetime would be reproducing Disciple-Making Leaders.
Church isn’t about me or my abilities as a Lone Ranger pastor. It’s not about how many people attend my church or how much money comes into the offering plate. Rather, the body of Christ is a collection of His disciples. Therefore, our first job after growing in Him and as a Christ-like leader is to make disciples. To build into others so that they look like Jesus! Our job as pastors is to “Equip the Saints for Works of Service” Ephesians 4:12!
For some practical steps on how to do that, here are two posts with several links on our website that might help you along the way: Reproducing Other Leaders and Reproducing Disciple-Making Leaders on the following link. In addition, you can read an internal post on the GProCommission website on how to develop curriculum that changes the world.
I pray these resources might help you as you seek to Make Disciples. This is crucial if you are truly going to be a pastoral trainer!
God bless you as you allow Him to mold you and reproduce Him in others!
Joseph W. Handley, Jr. (@jwhandley) is the president of Asian Access. Previously, he was the founding director of Azusa Pacific University’s Office of World Mission and lead mission pastor at Rolling Hills Covenant Church. He co-led one of the first multi-national high school mission congresses in Mexico City in 1996 and is a contributing blogger for the Billy Graham Center’s EvangelVision Blog. Joe serves on the International Orality Network leadership team and the board of PacifcLink. He serves on the advisory teams for ELEVATE, BiblicalTraining.org, and DualReach. He is pursuing a Ph.D. in Intercultural Studies at Fuller Theological Seminary. Joe strives to develop leaders for missional movements across Asia. Learn more about Joe’s family: www.asianaccess.org/ha
Asian Access is a vibrant community. We are an interdenominational movement working throughout Asia to identify, develop and release leaders of growing and reproducing churches. We’re focused on training key leaders who will lead the church with vision, character and competence. We are becoming a vibrant community of leaders in twenty countries of Asia. We will unite the church, extend the Kingdom, and transform the cultures of Asia for the glory of God. Learn more: http://www.asianaccess.o