Weekly Update: How Do You Define a Church and a Disciple Making Church?

Dear Discipleship·org community,

Defining a church and a disciple making church are big challenges.

We brought a small group of disciple making leaders together last month to help us define these two key terms that are crucial for disciple-making leaders to thrive. I wanted to share the challenge and our working solutions with all our readers, and that’s why I’m writing to you today.

There are three key definitions:

  1. A church
  2. A disciple-making movement
  3. A “Level 5” disciple-making church (viral multiplication of disciple making within a church)

It is hard to define each of these terms because they represent complex, nuanced realities.

We tried to broach these definitions at a gathering of Discipleship·org leaders in 2018, but we got bogged down and had to stop. I knew we would need to come back to this important work early in 2019 and that’s what we did in early January. After praying about it and seeking counsel, we met in Phoenix. This article is a summary of our meeting and the working definitions that we plan to use with Discipleship·org.

Thank you for taking time to read through my brief summary of our definitions and for joining this conversation with your comments and prayers:


For King Jesus,

Executive Director, Discipleship.org

Sign up for the 2019 National Dis

Weekly Update: How Do You Define a Church and a Disciple Making Church?ciple Making Forum in Nashville, November 7-8 by clicking here.

New Blogs

“Disciple Making Movements – a History and a Definition (Part 2)”

by Roy Moran


“6 Habits of an Effective Disciple Maker”

by Jim Putman


“New Book on Fasting and Prayer: Revival Starts Here”

by Bobby Harrington


New Podcast Episodes



S6 Episode 3: How to Let the Holy Spirit Guide Your Discipling Relationships (Kent Chevalier)

S6 Episode 2: Bridging the Intergenerational Gaps—X, Millennials, Z and More (Heather Zempel)

S6 Episode 1: Making Disciples with Mandisa (Dave Buehring and Mandisa)

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