Ephesians 4:11-13 "And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of 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 a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ."
To be a disciple means to follow Jesus in attitude, in mind and in heart for the goal of becoming like Him. As a pastor, I am convinced that the hindrances to our Christian growth stems from us doing what Michelangelo in the quote above tried to avoid: namely casting our own shadows on God's continuing work of making us more and more like Jesus.
We often will cite Ephesians 2:8-9 as one of the clearest Biblical definitions of salvation - and rightly so. In that text we see defined salvation by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone. However very few people go onto Ephesians 2:10, which deals with why the Lord calls and saves sinners: "For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them."
Passages such as 2 Peter 3:18 explicitly command us to grow up in our walk with Christ: "but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. Amen." Peter also writes in 1 Peter 2:2 "like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation." Like the Apostle Peter, the Apostle Paul also explains the need of healthy Christian growth. Romans 12:2 is but one example - "And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect." All of these passages urges Christians to pursue healthy Christian discipleship.
As we think about proclaiming God's Word, the pulpit is what we typically think about - and rightly so. However, other ways of proclaiming God's Word and practicing some of the above principles can include conferences, encouraging and training more people to teach in Sunday School, small-groups and church events.
Linking arms with other churches to increase efforts for proclaiming the Word can generate even more volumes of newness of hope across the Christian community. Such efforts could result in such things as community prayer times/revivals to reaching the secular and unchurched community.