Over the last thirty years, many influential church leaders and church planters in America have adopted various models for reaching unchurched people. An ‘attractional’ model will seek to attract people to a local church. Younger leaders may advocate a more ‘missional’ approach, in which believers live and work among unchurched people and intentionally seek to serve like Christ. While each of these approaches have merit, something is still missing, something even more fundamental to the mission of the church: discipleship. Making disciples—helping people to trust and follow Jesus—is the church’s God-given mandate. Devoted disciples attract people outside the church because of the change others see in their Christ-like lives. And discipleship empowers Christians to be more like Christ as they intentionally develop relationship with non-believers. DiscipleShift walks you through five key ‘shifts’ that churches must make to refocus on the biblical mission of discipleship. These intentional changes will attract the world and empower your church members to be salt and light in their communities.
Jim Putman is the founder and senior pastor of Real Life Ministries in Post Falls, Idaho. Real Life was launched with a commitment to discipleship and the model of discipleship Jesus practiced, which is called, ‘Relational Discipleship.’ Outreach Magazine continually lists Real Life Ministries among the top one hundred most influential churches in America. Jim is also the founding leader of the Relational Discipleship Network. Jim holds degrees from Boise State University and Boise Bible College. He is the author of three books: Church is a Team Sport, Real Life Discipleship, and Real Life Discipleship Workbook (with Avery Willis and others). Jim’s passion is discipleship through small groups. He lives with his wife and three sons in scenic northern Idaho.
Bobby Harrington is the co-founder of discipleship.org and the lead pastor of Harpeth Community Church. He is the chairman of the board for the Relational Discipleship Network and the co-author of DiscipleShift and author of To Trust and Follow Jesus: Relational Discipleship as the Core Mission of the Church. He has been married to Cindy for over 34 years and they have discipled Ashley and Chad who are adults who trust and follow Jesus.
Dr. Robert Coleman is the Distinguished Senior Professor of Discipleship and Evangelism at Gordon-Conwell seminary and a prolific author, having written hundreds of articles and twenty-one books, including The Master Plan of Evangelism, which has sold multiple million copies and is the book for which he is best known. He directed the School of World Mission and Evangelism at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School for eighteen years and currently serves on the Mission America Facilitation Committee and several international mission boards and is the president of Christian Outreach. From 1989-2001, he led the Institute of Evangelism in the Billy Graham Center at Wheaton College and served as Dean of the Billy Graham International Schools of Evangelism. He is also a founding member of the Lausanne Committee for World Evangelism and a past president of the Academy for Evangelism in Theological Education. His personal interests include spending time with his family, including his children and grandchildren, and keeping in touch with those he has discipled.
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