Rawlings School of Divinity


Doctor of Ministry (DMin)


Daryl F. Rodriguez


Discipleship, Small Group, Ministry, Disciple, Church Growth, Making Disciples


Christianity | Religion


There is a consistent debate regarding the best structure for ministry within the context of the church. Churches established with a traditional mentality utilize the lecture method in small groups, while contemporary-driven churches utilize an open-ended discussion method in small groups. The following research seeks to determine which small-group model most effectively grows the believer spiritually and relationally. The participants have lived in a traditional small-group model all their lives. The belief is that introducing a small-group model that goes beyond the traditional lecture approach will deepen relationships and lead to maturity. The research methods include open-ended discussion questions, an anonymous questionnaire, and the observational notes gathered during the instructional and fellowship meetings. Allowing the participants an opportunity to ask and respond to questions deepens the conversation, allowing for succinct growth. The questionnaire has been designed to gain insight into the participant’s opinion of the small-group model utilized in this research. The observational notes should reveal a steady change throughout the research. This thesis project will influence others in the field of ministry to pursue a different small-group model based on the success seen with the change. Pastors, lay leaders, and leaders of the church should strive for the best atmosphere in which believers will grow. This thesis project reveals that change is necessary at times.

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