Discipleship is a direction, not a destination. What I mean by that is that if we are not moving closer to the Lord, then we are moving further from Him. There is no point where we can declare that we are mature or “mature enough.” There’s no concept of retirement in the Bible. Indeed, many of the Bible figures were working in the ministry well past the ages of our members, and Titus 2 specifically speaks to what older men and women should be doing.
To this end, being a disciple of Christ means that we must continue on our journey making other disciples. The mindset we must therefore foster is that it is everyone’s job to minister, everyone’s job to be a missionary, and everyone’s job to grow.
Leadership’s function, then, is to fulfill the mandate of Ephesians 4:11-14:
And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, 12 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, 13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, 14 so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes.
These gifts, these people, that were given to the body of Christ were given by God to the local assembly to equip the saints for the work of the ministry. This ministry and building process will not be completed this side of glory, but we can grow, and get firm in the faith so that we will not be deceived.
Therefore, the most urgent ministry for leadership to be concerned with is taking the time to be training others to do the work of the ministry at each level.