I. Districts can be key resources to developing discipleship systems in congregations, and especially in smaller congregations. The primary need is a connectional district equipping track for disciple making leadership development which will allow lay leaders to fully mature and spiritually differentiate while remaining within their local church.
Small churches need the connection in order to provide an equipping track. Only the mature fruit can reproduce; individuals who do not progress through a missional adolescence are unable to make disciples, resulting in small churches filled with spiritual children and large churches filled with spiritual teenagers. Disciple making requires a rite of passage to spiritual parenting.
 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.
   
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