Discipleship is the Core Mission of the Church

Helping People Trust and Follow Jesus


Most local churches try to do too many things. They seek to worship God, serve the poor, reach lost people, proclaim justice, support one another and on and on. In this eBook, Founding and Lead Pastor Bob Harrington pursues the assertion that discipleship is the core purpose of the church. True disciples learn how to worship God, serve the poor, reach lost people, proclaim justice, support their members, etc. But if we try to “do all these things” without seeing them through our core focus of discipleship, people will lack direction and clarity.

Every book in the New Testament was written to help people trust and follow Jesus Christ (a.k.a. discipleship.) Every New Testament leader sought to help people become true disciples. And God’s desire is that every human He created would trust and follow Jesus Christ into eternity (the result of discipleship.) It is the underlying purpose of the church.

When a church upholds this core purpose, it pushes everything back to Jesus. Jesus called people to be His disciples. He had a specific method for making disciples, and we are best off following his method. When Jesus gave His last commission, He commanded His disciples to carry on that ministry and make disciples of others. Discipleship offers a biblical and practical basis for the truth that discipleship is the core purpose of the local church.

Bobby Harrington
Dr. Bobby Harrington is the co-founder (with Todd Wilson) of and executive director of Discipleship.org, a national ministry that advocates for Jesus' style of disciple making and hosts a national forum on disciple making. He is the founding and lead pastor of Harpeth Christian Church. He has trained hundreds of church planters and coaches of church planters (with Stadia) and he has authored multiple books on discipleship, including DiscipleShift (with Jim Putman), Dedicated, Discipleship that Fits (with Alex Absalom) and, most recently, The Disciple Maker's Handbook (with Josh Patrick). Bobby and his lovely wife Cindy treasure spending time with their married children and their spouses, a new grandchild, other family, friends, and trips to Israel.
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