The State of Discipleship in America

December 27, 2012



Dear Friends,

Recently I received a “white paper” on The State of Discipleship in America. Honestly I do not know who sent me the “white paper.” However, I am going to give the credit to Bobby Harrington, Lead Pastor at Harpeth Community Church in Franklin, TN.

Here is a quick summary and key findings of the paper to encourage you to read the entire article (The link to the entire document is provided at the bottom of this post):

Executive Summary: In an attempt to paint a picture of the current discipleship landscape in the U.S. Church, we researched the topic and conducted interviews with experts. The following report is divided into two sections: 1. 10 Realities and Opportunities – Facing the Today’s Church and 2. Discipleship-Focused Resources.

Key findings:
• The majority of churches in America have a discipleship deficiency though they may not recognize or acknowledge it.
• Inaccurate perceptions of what discipleship is and isn’t among individuals and church leaders can be detrimental to the church’s disciple-making mission.
• We cannot prescribe a discipleship model or process for a church. It looks different in every church and must be contextualized.
• Though objectively measuring congregational spiritual maturity has made a proven difference in churches’ spiritual growth, most churches do not measure their spiritual effectiveness.
• Biblical engagement is a proven key to raising the level of discipleship.
• The majority of churches have compartmentalized discipleship into classes and have not cultivated an environment conducive to making biblical disciples.
• The church is missing a segment of Christ-centered disciples ready to sacrifice and become movement makers.
• Intentionality is essential to disciple making. Church leaders that embrace the reality of their church’s discipleship deficiency are looking for a plan or next step to move their people forward.

Continue reading the article by downloading the article by clicking on the following link:  State of Discipleship

Let me know what you think about the article.


  1. Bill Hull says: December 27, 2012

    I think it is about the gospel we preach. Discipleship is not a natural part of salvation in our churches. Discipleship is optional and has been separated from what it means to be Christian. There is a lot to this- a gospel that naturally leads to the making of disciples is needed.

    • Virgil says: December 27, 2012

      Bill, I agree 100%. Thanks for leaving a comment. I hope all is well with you. It has been a long time since we have crossed paths. Last time was Dmin Class at Columbia Bible Seminary in Columbia, SC. Happy New Year.

Add a Comment

Protected by WP Anti Spam