Nearly a year ago some of the leaders at our newly planted church sat down to assess what we were, for lack of a better word, “creating.” We examined what our culture, systems, and structures were producing. We measured it against what we were aiming for, to make and train disciples who make and train disciples. During this healthy period of self-examination we determined that we were not hitting the mark in a satisfactory manner. As a result we started with the end in mind, reverse engineering our overall approach and execution of discipleship with the goal of producing a certain type of guy. This guy was aptly named, “The Gospel Man.”
Before telling you what The Gospel Man is like, let me tell you why I think it is absolutely important for leaders to do this.
First, it synthesizes leadership. All pastors and leaders are working towards producing this guy.
Second, it clarifies vision. When people visit and join the church they know that this is the type of guy we are trying to make.
Third, it is measurable. We can evaluate how we are doing in this area by simply evaluating our guys. If the game plan is right then mission will advance as the ministry expressions are synced up with a biblical vision of ministry.
OK, so what is The Gospel Man? The Gospel Man is growing, leading, and disciple-making.
1) The Gospel Man is GROWING. When I say growing I don’t simply mean that he is learning new stuff. It is not less than this but it is more. The growing is particularly concerned with his affections. This guy is growing in his delight in the work and worth of Christ. That is, he is becoming more aware of the bigness of God and the smallness of self. As he is growing, the stuff he is learning is translating into love for, obedience to, and loyalty to Christ.
2) The Gospel Man is LEADING. Whether in society, the home or the church, men are called to be leaders. One symptom of the social problems facing us today is the obfuscation of male leadership. This lack of understanding leads to passive, disengaged men. The Bible calls Christian men to be leaders in life, ministry, and the home. Therefore, as a church we are aiming to introduce men to the privilege and the priority of leadership. Single guys need to be equipped to see that a wedding ring doesn’t magically make them a leader. Instead they are leaders already, marriage is another context. Ministry needs to be led by competent guys with strong character. This takes intentional training. It is far more than giving people jobs to do or barking at them to straighten up. It is a grass-roots effort to equip every man to be a faithful leader who is growing in his affections for Christ.
3) The Gospel Man is DISCIPLE-MAKING. All Christians are called to make disciples (MT. 28:18-21). At Emmaus we combine evangelism and training under the banner of discipling (Make and Train Disciples who Make and Train Disciples). The Gospel Man will be active in Evangelism and the ministry of training others in following Christ. He thinks like a Shepherd-Missionary (not one to the exclusion of the other but both and). This may include their wife, children, siblings, friends, neighbors, or coworkers. The net is broad here.
We determined that if the men at Emmaus were all-in for pursuing the multiplication of Gospel Men then we would watch the mission expand to catch up with the vision. Disciples would be multiplied and churches would be planted. We determined that before we could build the leaders we needed to build the culture that would shape the leaders. I really think this is a key point that too often gets overlooked.
In my next post I want to talk about how we went about this and how we are doing with it. If this post brings up any questions, feel free comment or message me and I’ll aim to tackle it.