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The purpose of this ministry focus paper was to help Heathmont Baptist Church become a missional, disciple–making congregation, through the formation of a missional understanding and through transforming small groups from being inwardly- oriented to being outwardly- focused as disciples in mission. Heathmont and its surrounding suburbs are typical of metropolitan Melbourne, with a family orientation and homes on a quarter-of -an-acre block. The potential for a renewed effort to engage missionally in the community is real, however rising agnosticism and atheism along with consumerism and individualism provides an ever increasing challenge. To address this, this paper created a strategy for cultivating a refocus on mission and discipleship with the purpose of seeing people from the wider community becoming Christ-followers. Central to the strategy was the formation of missional understanding amongst members of the congregation and the redevelopment of small groups.

Part One told the history and current description of Heathmont Baptist Church. It described the development of the vision of a church towards mission. Cultural challenges were also outlined.

Part Two established the theological foundations for this project, including ecclesiological influences and patterns from the Baptist framework. This section focused on the theological examination of discipleship and the implications of this for Christian community and mission. The relevance of these conclusions to the project strategy were outlined.

Part Three described the strategy, goals, plan and implementation of the project. This section outlined the specifics of the project - a teaching program to shape missional understanding, and small group participation with a model that would enable members to express Christian community as disciples in mission. Part three covered the project’s timeline, structure and leadership resourcing. This section also provided careful assessment of the project, including reflection on lessons learned and consideration of future steps.

Content Reader: Dr. Graham Buxton

Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry (DMin)

First Advisor

Buxton, Graham

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Heathmont Baptist Church (Melbourne, Vic.); Missional church movement; Discipling (Christianity); Small groups; Church group work; Christian leadership


Missions and World Christianity


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April 2018

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