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Publication Date

Fall 12-7-2017


The purpose of this study was to explore a strategy of small groups for God’s mission by incorporating elements of spiritual discipline that is essential to discipleship into existing Bible study groups. Spiritual disciplines such as solitude, silence, prayer, and pray-reading the Bible, could help each member draw closer to God, where they may experience divine love while promoting both personal and group transformation for the readiness to participate in God’s mission. The thesis was examined and tested in the ministry setting at Christian Church in the South Bay, California.

This study which was conducted through theological reflection and examination concerning missional community in the Bible requires a small group ministry in the life-together setting. In addition, the focus of spiritual disciplines in this setting leads to personal spiritual growth and group transformation for the preparation of joining God’s actions. Teachings regarding spiritual disciplines and small Christian communities in the early church were conducted through Sunday sermons. A pilot group was selected from the existing Bible study groups to closely explore the thesis by following the book Practicing the Way of Jesus by Mark Scandrette where experiments in identity as God’s beloved children and a life-together Christian community are outlined. Specifically, a survey was used as an assessment tool to measure readiness for joining God’s mission.

This study demonstrates that the development of a life-together small community through the practice of spiritual disciplines did increase the group readiness for joining God’s mission in the neighborhood. As the findings are from this pilot program, further exploration and practice with more test groups is required for a stronger conclusion. Therefore, it is recommended to apply the same approach of this project to more small groups in the church for further study.

Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry (DMin)

First Advisor

Hintzoglou, Peter

Document Type





small groups, spiritual disciplines, discipleship




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November 2018

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