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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.
About the Authors
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 founding and lead pastor of Harpeth Christian Church (19 years). He is the chairman of the board for the Relational Discipleship Network and the co-author of DiscipleShift, Dedicated: Training Your Children to Trust and Follow Jesus, and Discipleship that Fits. He has been married to Cindy for over 35 years and they have two adult children who are disciples of Jesus.