A Practical Framework for Making Missional and Multiplying Disciples of Jesus Christ

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This study seeks to offer a model for a disciple-making church in the California High Desert to give opportunity for people to become missional and multiplying disciples of Jesus. The study addresses the soteriological implication of discipleship emphasized gospel presentation as well a framework for effective apprenticeship.

The research was a three-prong approach to understand essential elements to develop a biblically inspired, pragmatically designed and focused model for disciple making that incorporates the entire church. Firstly, I researched the biblical meaning of the term disciple and surveyed the gospel narrative on the pattern of Jesus and his Twelve. Then, I evaluated three discipleship programs for determine best practices for effectiveness. And thirdly, I interviewed contemporary missional disciples to review their life history and unearth the factors that influenced their discipleship. The findings from these three areas informed the design of a disciple making model for a local church in Southern California.

The biblical reflection unearthed the pattern of Jesus that involved a clear call to a committed relationship with Christ and his community, the intentional training through instruction and practice and a broad commissioning to the world. Evaluating programs that had high impact in different decades and in three diverse cultures, reveals principles of evangelism, vision casting, mentoring, simplicity, empowerment and focus that transcends location and context for effectiveness.

The key findings of the long interviews and life stories included the understanding of non-program factors that impact the development of disciples and how to integrate those key themes in the design of a process that assimilates the newborn Christian, the nominal believer and the transitioning minister. One training program does not fit all.

The church model is fully implementable within the context of Life Church in Victorville California. The four phases are (1) Call, that includes a discipleship oriented evangelistic presentation and approach (2) Connect, that involves the systems and structures for Christ centered community; (3) Coach, that is the discipling training that facilitates mentoring and (4) Commission, that is intentional releasing into ministry that enhances the mission of God in the world.

Mentor: Elizabeth L. Glanville, PhD

Degree Name

Doctor of Intercultural Studies (DIS)

First Advisor

Glanville, Elizabeth L.

Document Type



Life Church (Victorville, Calif.); Discipling (Christianity); Missional church movement


Missions and World Christianity


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