There is no question that discipleship must be a key component of a pastor’s ministry, and this cannot be fully accomplished behind the pulpit.
Biblical truth is fundamental for a discipleship ministry. Jesus clearly called people to follow His teaching.
So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, “If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.”
But Jesus also called people to follow Him. His life was a demonstration of how Christian disciples should live.
And He was saying to them all, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me.
Paul emphasizes the need for both teaching and the demonstration of a pattern of life that must benefit our disciples.
Now you followed my teaching, conduct, purpose, faith, patience, love, perseverance, persecutions, and sufferings, such as happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium and at Lystra; what persecutions I endured, and out of them all the Lord rescued me!
2 Timothy 3:10–11
Paul was passionate about Christian leaders discipling future Christian leaders. This is fundamental to the growth and perseverance of the church.
The things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, entrust these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.
2 Timothy 2:2
Pastors can easily fall into the habit of maintaining a public ministry behind a lectern and not engaging in life-on-life discipleship. A discipleship ministry requires volumes of time and vulnerability. Discipling men to be Christian leaders necessitates allowing them to be in your life, participate with your family, join you in Christian service. This is seldom convenient and yet is a critical responsibility of Christian leaders. The long-term benefits are also wonderful!