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The following doctoral project develops a process for members of Peace Lutheran Church to experience grace-centered discipleship in a way that allows individuals to see God’s work in their lives and share grace with others. With this goal in mind, this project seeks to equip members to examine their own lives through a personal timeline exercise, discover the biblical concept of grace, cultivate grace through spiritual practices, and learn to share grace with others.
The first section of this paper examines the social, cultural, and theological factors that have shaped Peace Lutheran Church in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. The Reveal survey serves as an inflection point in this chapter. Reveal shows that attenders were not progressing in their understanding of Christ as savior. This section concludes by examining early efforts at Peace to foster greater personal discipleship.
Part Two of this paper offers a theological articulation of grace-centered discipleship and its role in Christian formation. The reader will begin to see discipleship as a gracious act of reconnection with the triune God. Next, this chapter explores how God uses grace, law (God’s commands), and gospel (God’s forgiveness) to disciple Christians. Finally, this section examines specific spiritual practices that cultivate one’s ability to live in grace and share grace with others.
In light of the discipleship challenge at Peace Lutheran Church and the theological understanding of formation set forth in the second part of the paper, the third part of this paper offers a strategy for grace-centered discipleship at Peace. It explains the development and use of a personal timeline exercise, discusses leader training, and addresses the launch of a pilot program. Finally, this section explains how this project will be assessed.
Doctor of Ministry
Discipleship, Lutheran Church, Spiritual Practices, Grace
Material is subject to copyright.
Whatley, James, "A Gospel-Centered Process for Christian Discipleship" (2018). Doctor of Ministry Projects. 347.