The Proclamation Paradigm vs. The Structural Principle

C. Fully utilizing a Discipleship System is a major change for most churches. These churches utilize a more traditional approach which could be called a proclamation paradigm, sometimes known as an “attraction paradigm” or “come structure.” In this paradigm of church, believers invite the world to come to the church to hear the gospel. The focus of the proclamation oriented church is on the event of worship in the temple rather than on the process of discipleship within a network of people. In churches based on Discipleship Systems, followers of Jesus go into the world and bring the gospel to the people, and then bring new believers into the church for teaching and maturation.

D. Structural Principle: The problem is not to change or replace structure but to utilize existing structures for disciple making. Systems usually prevent changes to structures.

HOMEWORK Discussion Questions:

1.18 The Book of Discipline quote above lists four stages of Christian maturity. Would you use more or fewer stages? What would you name each stage?

1.19 What would you say are the steps toward maturity in the Discipleship System currently in use in your church? What is the highest level of maturity sought and taught?

1.20 What is a realistic description of a person at the highest level of spiritual maturity possible? What would a camera see them doing? What would you imagine a typical day or week be like for such a person? Where could you find written descriptions of such a person?

1.21 Consider the structural principle above; what components of your church would you identify as directly involved in making and/or maturing disciples for Jesus Christ?

1.22 What parts of your church are not directly involved in making or maturing disciples for Jesus Christ?

1.23 How could disciple making be added to these activities?





[1] The quote is a selection from David O. Kueker’s Fuller Seminary Doctor of Ministry project submitted in September, 2007, entitled Diagnosis, Dialogue, and Decision: A Threefold Process of Revitalization For the Illinois Great Rivers Conference.
It is shared here in recognition of its 12th Anniversary along with comments to update and provide perspective on the material. The original project was a Training Manual/Study Guide of three Seminars supported by three chapters of research and an Introduction. The material is available for download at In 2009 it was provided for purchase as a softcover book entitled Designing Discipleship Systems: Christian Disciple Making For Any Size Church, Any Theology through

[2][3] [4][5] [6][7] [8]

All Scripture quotations are from the Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1946, 1952, and 1971 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Please review the page How and Why We Use Quotes.

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