5 Key Components of a Disciple Making Church

Is the church of today winning? In order to determine if the Church is winning, we must define what a winning church looks like. It is not enough to say that Jesus’ church wins, we need to determine what makes a church His church.

After all – Jesus didn’t say “my church wins” or “your church wins”. He said that His Church wins. Jesus gave us a mission to make disciples.

[tweetthis twitter_handles=”@JimPutmanRLM”]After all – Jesus didn’t say “my church wins” or “your church wins”. He said that His Church wins [/tweetthis]

“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
– Matthew 28:19-20

And during his time on earth, Jesus also gave us a model of disciple making to follow. When we look at Jesus’ model, we see 5 key components that he used to make disciples. At Real Life Ministries, we have used those components as we disciple and train others to disciple.

As we talk about these components, it needs to be understood that all of them are coming from a Biblical Foundation.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                5 Key Components of a Disciple Making Church


Biblical Foundation for Relationship:

We believe we are designed to be in relationship with God first and foremost, and secondly we are designed to be in relationship with others. The purpose of the Church is to make disciples of Jesus, who can make disciples of Jesus. We do this with the understanding that relationship is the key vehicle.

Intentional Leader:

This leader understands that part of their role is to reach the lost, make disciples of Jesus and create Christ centered environments where disciple making can happen. They understand where a person is spiritually and what is needed to help them grow.

Relational Environment:

This is a group of 3-18 people, facilitated by a leader who is intentionally modeling spiritual fruit. (love, joy, etc) The people involved are doing life together with a kingdom mindset. The relationships go beyond the small group time, they move from strangers to friendship. These relationships press into areas of privacy, transparency and vulnerability.

Reproducible Disciple Making Process:

This is the process for developing people towards Christ likeness. This includes three parts. “My Part” (the disciple) “Their Part” (the disciplee’), and “God’s Part”. This leader understands the 5 stages of spiritual growth. They can identify where a person is spiritually, and help them mature and grow at each stage of the spiritual growth process.

Church Alignment:

There are 4 key areas of alignment to equip the church in it’s purpose of making disciples of Jesus.

  1. Relational Alignment
  2. Philosophical Alignment
  3. Theological Alignment
  4. Organizational Alignment

The Church today needs to make a shift, and foster a culture of personalized discipleship. That means a change from program-based, informational environments, to hands-on training in relational environments.

[tweetthis twitter_handles=”@JimPutmanRLM”]The Church today needs to foster a culture of personalized discipleship #RelationalDiscipleship [/tweetthis]

It means a shift from program to purpose.This shift must take place before a church can fully develop into a disciple making church.

If you are interested in hearing more on this, consider bringing your church team and leaders to a DiscipleShift1.

Find out more here.


Jim is the co-planter and Senior Pastor of Real Life Ministries in Post Falls, Idaho. Prior to his role as senior pastor, he served as a youth minister in two small churches. In college, Jim won three All American titles in wrestling and went on to become a successful wrestling coach. Jim holds degrees from Boise State University and Boise Bible College. His voice reaches hundreds of thousands across the nation through speaking conferences, the web, radio, and weekend services. He is the author of two books; Church is a Team Sport and Real Life Discipleship. Jim’s passion is discipleship through small groups. With his background in sports and coaching, he believes in the value of strong coaching as a means to disciple others. He lives with his wife and three sons in scenic northern Idaho.