Doctor of Ministry (DMin)
Frank J. Schmitt
Primary Subject Area
Religion, Clergy; Religion, General; Sociology, Organizational
Tarkington, C. P., "Follow-Up: A Model for Bonding Young Believers to Christ and His Church Developed at Liberty Baptist Church" (1991). Doctoral Dissertations and Projects. 214.
Various conflicting concepts of discipleship and follow-up exist in churches and parachurch groups. This paper describes another understanding of follow-up and discipleship which the author has developed over time, while leading both parachurch and local church ministries.
In contrast to the view that discipleship is for only a few selected people, the author sees follow-up as a ministry offered to every convert. Follow-up is the ministry of mature Christians helping new or immature Christians to be bonded to Christ and His church where discipleship continues throughout his lifetime.
The author disagrees with the popular concept that discipleship is a ministry where certain believers are selected and trained over a period of years. The author believes this promotes elitism and weakens the unity of the church. His research has reinforced his conviction that the biblical view of discipleship is a lifelong process whereby the Holy Spirit ministers through the body of Christ, conforming the believer to the image of Christ.
This paper provides a church-based model of follow-up and shows how such a model is working effectively in Liberty Baptist Church, bonding believers to Christ.