Rawlings School of Divinity


Doctor of Philosophy in Theology and Apologetics (PhD)


David Hirschman


Microchurch, Kingdom, Missiology, Ecclesiology, Missional


Missions and World Christianity | Religious Thought, Theology and Philosophy of Religion


Using a bibliographic methodology, this thesis is a theological and missiological defense for the microchurch model as a solution to the limitations of the prevalent Western attractional model to effectively live out Jesus command to be a community of disciples making disciples. The declining western model is proving insufficient in a post-Christian, post-Christendom world to fulfill the intended role of the church. And as more churches are continually planted, if the erroneous presuppositions responsible for the decline of the church’s efficacy are not amended, there will be no lasting change regardless of how much effort and money is invested. New paradigmatic models are needed to address the faulty presuppositions. The microchurch is one such model. Effectively defining and evaluating the microchurch requires a standard by which it is assessed. This begins with the identification of how mission and Kingdom were interpreted in the early church and how this interpretation changed when it was institutionalized in Christendom. This context then makes possible a theology of mission by which the attractional model and the microchurch model can be contrasted and evaluated. The research reveals that the diminishing attractional church is inadequate in its ability to fulfill the three ecclesial minimums of worship, community, and mission in a culture becoming less familiar with Christianity. In contrast, the relatively young western microchurch model is increasingly more effective in multiplying communities of worshiping disciples within their surrounding communities. As denominations and parachurch organizations invest countless dollars in new church planting models, the microchurch is a model worthy of consideration.