A structure is needed for the ongoing equipping and supervision of disciple making leaders.

G. A structure is needed for the ongoing equipping and supervision of disciple making leaders. For small churches, this need is best met through district programming which rebuilds connectionalism.[1] District based equipping tracks for disciple making can fulfill this need.  Remember the Structural Principle: The problem is not to change or replace structure but to utilize existing structures for disciple making.

H. Districts already have in place a clear structure for developing pastoral leaders; these structures, however, are not utilized to teach generational disciple making. A district superintendent can easily adapt existing training tracks to equip laity for disciplemaking. District level training for lay speakers can become a powerful tool for disciple making.[2] District equipping of lay ministers[3] and lay missioners[4] offer a significantly higher potential. District recruitment and supervision of part-time and full-time local pastors in disciple making offer a third significant opportunity.[5]These experiences can be utilized as a powerful equipping track. Leadership is influence; influence created by personal involvement of the superintendent in the spiritual development of these lay leaders will extend into every parish. Leadership development is a historic role for presiding elders.





[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 www.disciplewalk.com/Resources.html. 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 CreateSpace.com.

[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.

[1]Many church growth innovations arose in congregational churches; when adopted by local churches or clusters of local churches, they reinforce independence and encourage congregationalism. This is a major problem provoking systemic resistance to church growth at the 2008 General Conference. When church growth innovation is done connectionally at a district level, the resulting benefit and good will accrues to the district and these activities rebuild denominational social capital.

[2]Paragraph 267-272, Book of Discipline 2004, 189-193.

[3]Paragraph 272,

Book of Discipline 2004, 192.

[4]Paragraph 271, Book of Discipline 2004, 192.

[5]Paragraph 315-319, Book of Discipline 2004, 205-209.

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