Posted by: everynation | March 25, 2011

Rx: Discipleship

by Mike Watkins

Traditional pastoral ministry is often like being an ambulance driver. Medics know little about the private lives of those who call 911 until there is an accident or crisis. After a call, they often arrive to find the aftermath of an unhealthy lifestyle or driving laws not being heeded. The same can be said for the police who respond to domestic violence calls.

Even though most calls might be legitimate emergencies, there are some people who just want the immediate problem fixed and afterwards they will resume the same unhealthy or abusive practices that lead to the problem in the first place.

In contrast, in the church the true role of a pastor is not that of an overworked ambulance driver but of an overseer, equipper and helper. His initial response to a problem might be to save someone if there is a crisis no matter what the cause may be. However, he must then help that person develop the right spiritual foundations which will remedy a cycle of dysfunction and even help mature them to the point where they impart the same foundations to others.

A traditional pastor is often overworked just putting out fires and can unknowingly develop a codependency with dysfunctional Christians. Sooner or later, such a pastor will have to make his own 911 call due to burnout.

There will always be those who are so damaged by sin that they will need special care. But the majority needs discipleship, and leaders have to be brave enough to make it the main remedy for the main problem.

What is the main problem? A lack of the lordship of Christ.

What if people will not submit to Christ’s lordship? Just do what Jesus did. Continue to love them and minister truth.

Jesus looked at him and loved him. “One thing you lack,” he said. “Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” At this the man’s face fell. He went away sad, because he had great wealth. Mark 10:21,22

 

Mike Watkins is the lead pastor of our Every Nation church in Kiev, Ukraine.

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