Rawlings School of Divinity


Doctor of Ministry (DMin)


Micah S. Meek


Discipleship, Best Practices, Jesus' Model, Pattern


Christianity | Religious Thought, Theology and Philosophy of Religion


The first-century church’s spiritual growth methodology functioned to achieve the goal of Christlikeness through discipleship. God crafted a design for his church to advance followers of Jesus toward Christian maturity. God’s instruction for Israel to “see that you make it according to the pattern” came from God’s perfect mind and is practical guidance for today’s spiritual growth practices. According to the countless number of discipleship methods available, some churches communicate that Christian maturation can be achieved through any discipleship perspective. This project aims to study local churches that offer a discipleship program, process, or pedagogy and compare them with twelve “best practices” found in the models exemplified by Jesus and the apostle Paul. Surveys will be presented to church leadership or their representatives to establish data concerning approaches used for their members’ spiritual growth. This examination’s desired outcome is to measure the local churches’ alignment with twelve “best practices” existing in the original pattern and present a reasonable solution of implementing a more robust process. One possibility to explore is the need to disengage from the modern mindset of creating a new contemporary culture strategy. Instead, return to a process comprising of a significant number of these “best practices” proven effective in the early church.