6 Reasons Why Pastors Refuse to Make Disciples

In a recent survey conducted by the Lifeway Christian Resources, one of the greatest need/assistances needed from church leaders is in the area of discipleship.

Even if the pastors understood what discipleship is, so often pastors didn’t know HOW to make disciples effectively in their churches.

The fundamental question we must ask is this; can every pastor be a disciple-making pastor? The answer is a resounding, YES! In fact, I believe they must get it first in order for the congregation to get it as well.

So, the questions perhaps are why don’t pastors want to make disciples?

Here are 6 reasons why the leaders have been bought into it.


1. Distraction

I am convinced the most persistent daily obstacle is a distraction.

In today’s culture, we are either narrow specialist at one thing or become a broad generalist who does little of everything.

Therefore, many pastors agree that disciple-making is a good idea, however many never commit to it any specific way with specific people.

As a result, discipleship is cast aside and is put at the bottom of the “to-do-list” of their everyday task, which means it will never get done.


2. Priorities

We cannot trust the crowd. They are dangerous and fickle, and they lie to our souls.

The only rest these leaders only have is starting a new program or seeing a well-attended service either on Christmas or Easter.

Peterson put it this way,

“Classically, there are three ways in which humans try to find transcendence: through the ecstasy of alcohol and drugs, through hotel ecstasy of recreational sex. Church leaders frequently warn against the drugs and the sex, but, at least in America, almost never against the crowds. Probably because they get so much ego benefit from the crowds.”

Discipleship is not an option for those with special interests. Every person called to salvation is called to discipleship


3. Costliness

As soon as things get difficult and the price becomes too high, the pastor often drops the idea and move on.

Pastors need three things in order to overcome this fear

  1. Vision to disciple every person in the church,

  2. The determination to make discipleship happen,

  3. A system to sustain the disciple-making movement.

Discipleship as Daniel Im the author of, No Silver Bullets, “Disciples are not made when they get to a destination. Disciples are formed while moving toward Christ.”[1]

This is because discipleship is about direction, not destination.


4. Confusion

Over and over again as I converse with other pastors, I found out that many pastors struggle to have difficulty in developing mature, reproducing followers of Jesus.

Part of the reason is churches too often overcomplicate discipleship which confuses the congregants. Many churches have given into the notion of speaking about the subject rather than being engaged in the subject of discipleship.

It is important that we are not conflicted or confused about the mission God has entrusted unto churches as disciples of Christ.

C. S. Lewis put it well as the following; “The church exists for nothing else but to draw men into Christ, to make them little Christs. If they are not doing that, all the cathedrals, clergy, missions, sermons, even the Bible itself, are simply a waste of time. God became man for no other purpose.”

Tricking ourselves of engaging in discipleship by simply talking about it has forsaken the mission and purpose as a church.

As J. D. Greear said it well, “Without the mission, a church is not a church; it’s just a group of disobedient Christians hanging out.”


5. Institutionalization

Church leaders had a false dichotomy of thinking church involvement in activities automatically lead to spiritual transformation.

True biblical discipleship strips all the hypocritical and disabling baggage of institutional church.

The programmatic approach of churches rather than a process driven approach of churches can end the result of over-institutionalized mentality organization.

Discipleship happens in prayer for one another, happens in bible studies, happens in serving alongside each other, happens in sitting down and listening to others with the regularity of commitment to one another and the Lord.

The relational environment is not the end of itself, but a means to the end through the local church.


6. Idealization

Dietrich Bonhoeffer put it this way,

“Should the leader allow himself to succumb to the wishes of those he leads, who will always seek to turn him into an idol, then the image of the leader will gradually become the image of the misleader. This is the leader who makes an idol of himself and his office and who thus mocks God.”

Where should this start? It must begin small with just a few people.


The Over-Complication of Discipleship as an Excuse

Adding layer after layer in the complexity of discipleship has only crippled the effectiveness of churches in the gospel witness in the present time.

The complexity of discipleship is a myth and must be burst in order to move forward. The excuse of not engaging in discipleship has to end.

The corruption of the heart of pastors has greatly hindered the potential for churches to reach the community. However, this hasn’t been entirely lost yet.

Churches are crying out for a discipleship revolution/reformation. What does it look like for our churches to lead them into more living in the likeness of Christ? That is the fundamental question many churches have been crying out.

Jesus has chosen people and gave the commission by saying, “Therefore, go make disciples of all nations.” Not a book, not an article, not a curriculum but people.





[1]Daniel Im, No Silver Bullets: Five Small Shifts that will Transform Your Ministry (Nashville: B&H Publishing, 2018), 33.

15 Amazing Quotes about the Gospel

I have been compiling a list of great quotes about the gospel the last several weeks. Here are top 15 gospel quotes that I have found that I pray will cause you to worship King Jesus more this day.


1. “The heart of the gospel is redemption, and the essence of redemption is the substitutionary sacrifice of Christ.” ― C.H. Spurgeon
2. “The gospel is not a doctrine of the tongue, but of life. It cannot be grasped by reason and memory only, but it is fully understood when it possesses the whole soul and penetrates to the inner recesses of the heart.” ― John Calvin

3. “There is nothing attractive about the gospel to the natural man; the only man who finds the gospel attractive is the man who is convicted of sin.” ― Oswald Chambers

4. “Never be content with your current grasp of the gospel. The gospel is the life-permeating, world-altering, universe-changing truth. It has more facets than a diamond. It’s depths man will never exhaust.” ― C.J. Mahaney
5. “If the gospel is old news to you, it will be dull news to everyone else.” ― Kevin DeYoung
6. “It is not great faith but true faith that saves. And the salvation lies not in the faith but in the Christ in whom faith trusts.” ― C.H. Spurgeon


7. “The gospel of Jesus Christ is an offense to both religion and irreligion. It can’t be co-opted by either moralism or relativism.” ― Timothy J. Keller

8. “The best news of the Christian gospel is that the supremely glorious Creator of the universe has acted in Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection to remove every obstacle between us and himself so that we may find everlasting joy in seeing and savoring his infinite beauty.” ―John Piper
9. “God has made relationships His chosen delivery system for the gospel of hope.” ― Ed Stetzer
10. “The Gospel shows people their wounds and bestows on them love. It shows them their bondage and supplies the hammer to knock away their chains. It shows them their nakedness and provides them the garments of purity. It shows them their poverty and pours into their lives the wealth of heaven. It shows them their sins and points them to the Savior.” ― Billy Graham
11. “If you believe what you like in the gospel, and reject what you don’t like, it is not the gospel you believe, but yourself.” ― Augustine


12. “The man who does not glory in the gospel can surely know little of the plague of sin that is within him. ― J.C. Ryle

13. “We want to be saved from our misery, but not from our sin. We want to sin without misery, just as the prodigal son wanted inheritance without the father. The foremost spiritual law of the physical universe is that this hope can never be realized. Sin always accompanies misery. There is no victimless crime, and all creation is subject to decay because of humanity’s rebellion from God.” ― R.C. Sproul
14. “Outside of the cross of Jesus Christ, there is no hope in this world. That cross and resurrection at the core of the Gospel is the only hope for humanity. Wherever you go, ask God for wisdom on how to get that Gospel in, even in the toughest situations of life.” ― Ravi Zacharias
15. “The gospel is not ‘God loves us,’ but ‘God loves us at the cost of his Son.’” ― Derek Thomas

What would you add to this list?








Four Different Types of Pastoral Leadership Style

Successful leaders come in different shapes and sizes.

Every leader comes with its unique gifting and unique personalities. Because of the uniqueness in each personality types and how each is designed, the way in ways leaders communicate and deal with conflict changes.

How each leadership styles work together in the important areas of ministries is vital to the success of the future set goals. The dynamic in the relational connection in each personalities interplays in various different forms.

Here we will unpack the DNA of each pastoral leadership style.

Here are four different styles of leadership we find from Acts 2:42-47.


1. The Theological Pastor

This style of pastor is heavy on orthodoxy (Orthodoxy is correct doctrine/teaching.  The content is right).

This is the type we find in verse 42, “Apostles” who are driven by teaching.

The theological pastor like to take their time of thinking through systems. They are not as tight on time as the motto is, “slow is smooth” as they dialogue on a theological framework. They don’t rush and move fast on moving meetings.

For this style of leadership, rushing is reckless and careful of increased risk of mistakes. Often underneath this leadership style has a lot of committees and many long meetings as the slow-paced deliberation in execution.


Few words that describe this leader;

  • Unite and concede
  • Perseverance (Patient)
  • Steady and stable
  • “Think before you act”


2. The Relational Pastor

This style of the pastor is driven by orthopathy (Orthopathy is right emotional and/or affections).

This is the type we find in verse 42 says, “fellowship” with the flock and cares for them.

The relational pastor values the emotional well-being of others over productivity. They are good with people and are very friendly. They are rarely forceful or domineering in their leadership style. Often they are marked by, “flexibility” or “adaptability” in situations.

The motto is, “Let’s work altogether” with a harmony as a mindset. In short, they are a “people-person” as they are around people often.


Few words that describe this leader;

  • Compassionate
  • Heartfelt connections
  • Welcome interruptions
  • Procrastinate
  • Make others feel comfortable


3. The Missional Pastor

This style of pastor is motivated by orthopraxy (Orthopraxy is correct living.  The lifestyle is right).

The missional pastor is more of a fast-paced style of leadership as they live with a sense of urgency. This style of leadership likes to get things done not today, but yesterday! They don’t want to waste time and are ready to go for it.

They use time wisely and often measure success according to effectiveness and efficiency. Often their calendar is packed with activities and is impatient with others. They typically schedule things back to back and people are often amazed at his much they can accomplish and get done.


Few words that describe this leader;

  • Bold determination
  • Divide and conquer
  • Charismatic and energetic
  • Dynamic speaker
  • “Don’t just sit there, do something!”

4. The Intentional Pastors

This style of pastor is rejuvenated by orthocompetency.

The intentional pastor love assignments. They probably live on a to-do list. They are driven by solving minor problem and task driven; most likely a competitive person.

“Get the job one” whether big or small is their motto. For this reason, they are objective and like measurement in their progress as they are very productive.


Few words that describe this leader;

  • Driven
  • Measure-able goals
  • Work from a to-do list
  • Concentrated and focused
  • Make others feel nervous


Choosing the Right System for Your Church


Now, it is important to recognize and be clear that one is not better than the other leadership style.

In fact, to have a healthy church having all four leadership doesn’t contradict each other, but compliments each other. Throughout Church History, the church leaders have defended through various creeds and church confessions of orthodoxy (right beliefs), orthopraxy (right living) orthopathy (right affections), orthocompotency (right system) which are all necessary for a correct view a holistic Biblical Christianity.

Also, a leader may have both qualities from a different style of leadership. In fact, many leadership will find themselves in the middle of some of the mixed leadership styles. (Example: Myers Briggs on Extrovert & Introvert).

Some at this point may think, “This isn’t true. It’s just profiling people.” Research has revealed that average score of 94% accuracy rate in leadership personality trait users. That is 94% people out of 100 agree that that report correctly identifies with the leadership style.

Why talk about leadership style in a ministry context? The goal is to help leaders to create a working environment that they are able to converse to implement a system that is sustainable to work along side-by-side.

System Definition = “A set of principles or procedures according to which something is done; an organized scheme or method.”

Choosing the right system for the right type of leadership is crucial.










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