Rawlings School of Divinity


Doctor of Education in Christian Leadership (EdD)


Gary Bredfeldt

Primary Subject Area

Religion, General


Discipleship, Discipling, Christian Community, Intentional Leadership


Christianity | Religion


The purpose of this phenomenological study was to discover the perceived impact of local church leadership’s implementation of three Christ-practiced discipling communities for the equipping of local-church congregants within six local bodies in the state of Indiana. Communities are generally defined as intentional groups of different purposes within the local church. The study sought to better understand the impact of congregants being involved in weekly, corporate worship, small groups, and mentorship groups in their discipleship journey. The rationale behind the study was to explore the phenomenon of the discipleship process as certain congregants were engaged in only a weekly worship service, while some were engaged in a weekly worship service and a small group, and still, some were involved in both previous communities as well as an intentional mentorship group. How would these congregants perceive their discipleship journey including their own abilities to disciple someone else based upon their engagement in the communities of the church? Would those who were engaged in all three communities feel better equipped to serve in ministry and disciple someone else or would there be little difference between the three groups of congregants engaging in the three different communities? A sample size of 10 congregants, purposefully selected and qualified from each engagement group, were surveyed from each of the six churches involved in the study. This allowed for 7-32 participants from each church and 27-48 participants in each category for a total of 106 participants. This allowed for convincing congruencies between congregants involved in each of the communities and their perceived abilities to serve and lead in ministry.

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