Worship Leaders Following the Example of Jesus in Disciple-Making
A primary role of a worship pastor is to make disciples. We often get so focussed on the production aspect of the worship service that we lose sight of this foundational calling on the life of every Christian. As a worship pastor, you have many ways to disciple those under your care. I have adapted material developed by my friend, Brian Upshaw, team leader for Church Health & Revitalization at the Baptist State Convention of NC, to help us understand the methodology of Jesus for making disciples.
How did Jesus make disciples?
- Jesus made disciples intentionally and relationally!
- Jesus made disciples a few at a time.
- “He appointed twelve – designating them apostles – that they might be with Him and that He might send them out to preach and to have authority to drive out demons.” Mark 3:14-15
In the passages below from Mark 9-13, note that Jesus had three distinct discipleship platforms:
- The Masses: When Jesus was with the crowds, they saw Him perform miracles and teach in parables.
- The 12: When Jesus was alone with the 12 Apostles, they had discussions on what they had observed in the crowds with lots of questions and answers.
- The 3 (Peter, James, & John): When Jesus was with Peter, James, and John (the 3), they were able to see the full disclosure of Jesus’ identity as God. These were the most intimate relationships!
Take a look at these passages from Mark: 9:2-12, 14-29, 30-32, 33-37; 10:1-12, 17-31, 32-34, 35-44; 11:12-26; 12:1-40. 41-44; 13:1-37
Jesus had different relationships with different audiences. The smaller the audience, the more intimate the revelation of Jesus’ true self. (see Mark 9-13)
How do our disciple-making platforms reflect the methods of Jesus?
- The Masses – Platform and large musical groups: Worship leadership for corporate worship, choirs, orchestra, and other large musical groups.
Large group teaching and ministries can be related to the mass or crowd ministries of Jesus. We should seek ways to steadily communicate God’s truths through the music the group is encountering. Help them apply the theological truth of the songs they sing to how they live out their faith.
- The 12 – Smaller ensembles: The environments of small ensembles, bands, etc. can be applied here. (It should be noted, however, that these environments in the local church can be focused more on information than transformation. This illustration speaks more to size of environment than quality of content.) It is here that more concentrated discipleship can take place relationally. Much of discipleship must be intentional–merely spending time together rehearsing music does not cut it.
- The 3 – Personal: Unfortunately, many churches do not reflect Jesus’ method in the place where relationships are most intimate. As we observe the ministry of the apostles in the Book of Acts, we can note that these three apostles formed the “inner circle” for Jesus and were the key leaders of the movement: Peter and John were the leaders and spokesmen for the apostles and the church, and James was the first apostle to be martyred. (see Acts 2:14-41, 3:1-4:22, 5:1-11, 10:1-31, 11:1-18, 12:1-5, 12:6-18). It is obvious that this platform is essential to disciple-making. It involves life-on-life interactions with a few key people. This is a great opportunity to speak into the lives of young people.
How are you doing in this area of your ministry? Ask God to help you become a better disciple maker, and look for ways to intentionally disciple in these three platforms.
Check out these other posts on discipleship with some practical guidance.
Share some ways that you find are working in making disciples in your context.
Bravo Kenny!! Great post. We must get intentional about making disciples through our worship ministries. My book “GOING FULL CIRCLE: Worship That Moves Us to Discieship and Missions” might be a help in this quest, too. We are starting monthly support groups in SC to help our Worship Ldrs become disciple makers.
A very good post, Kenny. Thank you.