Rawlings School of Divinity


Doctor of Ministry (DMin)


Juan Dugan


Dissidents in New Church Plants


Christianity | Religion


In today’s western Christianity, many small churches are closing their doors; hundreds of pastors are quitting the ministry. Churches are planted quickly, and just as quickly close and disappear. What can be done to bring a halt to this downhill slide? The great message of Jesus Christ is as important and powerful as it always has been. However, in many churches today, there are dissident elements working to take attention away from the gospel. Dissident non-pastoral leadership (a person or persons who undermine the Pastor’s authority and cause disruption for their own benefit) can destroy the entire vision of a church. In the relatively new church plant called Restoration Church, a church structure needs to be developed that will identify and dissuade the dissident non-pastoral leader from arising to take over leadership on his/her own behalf. The pastor will develop a plan for proper discipleship and training methods based on proven academic and practical research. It is believed that God will have His way to build and strengthen this body of believers for His glory and honor. Ephesians 4:1-16 will be the ever-present beat of the drum: “From whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.” (Eph. 4:16) (ESV). It is the goal of this project to develop a church structure and, as it grows, to involve gifted believers to use their gifts and understand that each individual is valuable in the building of the body of Christ under the direction of the Holy Spirit and the Pastor.

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