Every church member, a minister in disciple-making
    January 12 2015 by Michael McEwen, BR Content Editor

    “We’ve been using the wrong metric,” said Brandon Ware, senior pastor at Green Street Baptist Church in High Point. “Traditionally we have defined success as bigger buildings, bigger budgets and more bodies. That’s been our primary focus, and we circumvent the whole discipleship process.”
    A focus on discipleship, he said, doesn’t mean the church shuns evangelism.
    “I’m for evangelism, but I’m for evangelism in the way that Jesus told us to do it. He told us to ‘make disciples.’ And when you make disciples, you always have the church. But when you focus on ‘doing church,’ very seldom do you make disciples,” he emphasized.
    Ware said that when churches unhealthily focus on the personality and work of the pastor, it impedes the spiritual growth of the church.
    He said, “We have to get away from the consumer mindset that so many have when it comes to the church in our day: ‘The people who are the paid professionals, they are the ones doing the work of ministry, and my job as an average church member is to critique them and how they are performing.’”
    In response, “we have to get back to ‘every member, a minister.’”
    Senior pastor of Brainerd Baptist Church in Chattanooga and one of the speakers at the One Story Disciple-Making Conference, Robby Gallaty, helped Ware shape his ministry into the “every member, a minister” mindset.
    Gallaty’s book, Growing Up: How to Be a Disciple Who Makes Disciples, was given to Ware by one of his staff members. “[The book] really resonated with everything I had been wrestling with in ministry the last few years,” he said.
    Gallaty’s book convinced Ware to take a different approach. He said ministry “has been a growing process for me in many ways to understand that this is about making disciples, not simply making converts. … It really resonated with my heart.”
    Ware took some of his staff to Discipleship Blueprint in Chattanooga, a weekend event that equips participants to actively engage in discipleship. While there, he and Gallaty struck up a friendship. Since last fall, Gallaty has visited Green Street Baptist a few times to teach and challenge the staff.
    Once it comes to the pastor’s ministry and discipleship, Ware asked, “Who are [pastors] investing in?” He noted that Jesus preached to many crowds and spent time with all 12 disciples, yet He poured His life into Peter, James and John. “I think intentionally seeking out and pouring your life into others [is] the nature of discipleship.”
    Information is key in the disciple-making process, he said. “But discipleship isn’t just about information. It’s about transformation, and the goal is to make disciples, … [which] always results in evangelism.”
    Speaking about the importance of preaching, Ware said discipleship doesn’t necessarily happen during the Sunday morning sermon; rather it is primarily about a daily investment in people’s lives.
    He said, “Discipleship doesn’t necessarily happen in rows, it happens in circles. For example, how is the job of discipleship going to get done if out of the 168 hours in a week, [a pastor] only has 30 minutes … to keep people’s attention and challenge them with the things of God? So, preaching is vital, it’s important and it’s key. … But we have to intentionally invest in the lives of people, and that’s discipleship.”
    For more information about the One Story Disciple-Making Conference, Feb. 23 at Center Grove Baptist Church in Clemmons, visit www.ncbaptist.org/index.php?id=1715.

    1/12/2015 2:13:19 PM by Michael McEwen, BR Content Editor | with 1 comments
    Filed under: church health, discipleship, One Story

Tim LaFleur
Great word from Pastor Ware! Very insightful and true to the Word of God. Every believer is to be a minister and be involved in the ministry of making disciples!
1/12/2015 5:52:04 PM

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