about the rdn

The Relational Discipleship Network (RDN) is made up of like-minded disciple making churches that relationally support each other through coaching, training and equipping.

WHY WAS THE RDN CREATED?

The RDN was created due to a large-scale demand from church leaders across the world that needed help in becoming a disciple making church. To help churches become disciple making churches and plant disciple making churches. Our network provides solutions to the two biggest struggles churches and church leaders face today: A lack of practical understanding of how to use Jesus’ method for making disciples at all levels of the local church and relational isolation. The RDN network is based upon a set body of beliefs, knowledge, and wisdom, which we call our DNA. We believe the best way to help other leaders live this out is through collaboration and relationships found in a network.

WHAT ARE THE RESULTS?

Disciples of Jesus reproducing disciples of Jesus and churches reproducing churches.

THE FOUNDATION OF THE RDN:

We believe biblical discipleship is the core mission of the church Jesus’ method of discipleship is the best method for the church. The Relational Discipleship Network is committed to discipleship and Jesus’ method of discipleship, which is based upon relationships and intentionality. We call it “Intentional Relational Discipleship.”

WANTING MORE INFO?

Looking for more info about the RDN or would like to be part of it? Contact us today!

Luke Yetter
info@rdn1.com

Our vision of the future, as God continues to open doors and lead and guide us as the RDN is the following:

Vision Statement

“Churches who are committed to train, coach and plant disciple making churches.”

Mission Statement

“We will train and equip churches that make disciples in relational environments.”

We seek to be in collaborative relationship with likeminded churches and church leaders. Our relationships will be grounded in a Christ-centered alignment in four key areas; Theology, Philosophy, Relationally, and Organizationally. When churches and church leaders want to join us, we ask that they covenant to our network that they will support the follow statements.

Theological Alignment – Our Beliefs

The following beliefs provide the theological foundation of our network as statements of faith. They are the non-negotiable foundation of what we teach and believe.

1. The Bible

We believe the 66 books of the Bible, in both Old and New Testaments, were given by God’s inspiration as the authoritative Word of God for the church of all time. We believe the Scriptures originated with God but were written by the instrumentality of people and thus speak with the authority of God while reflecting the backgrounds, formats, and vocabularies of the human authors. They are supreme, reliable, infallible, and the final authority on all matters of Christian faith and practice.

2. God

We believe in one God, creator of all things, infinitely perfect and eternally existing in three persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. God the almighty Father is sovereign. He exercises providential care and superintendence over all His creatures, and governs the world in wisdom and mercy for His purpose and pleasure. He graciously involves Himself in the affairs of human beings, hears and answers prayers, and saves from sin and death all who come to Him through Jesus Christ.

3. Jesus Christ

We believe that God sent Jesus Christ as true God and true man; he was conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. He lived a sinless life and died on the cross as a sacrifice for our sins according to the Scriptures. We believe he was raised from the dead on the third day, ascended into heaven, and now acts as the only mediator between God and people. By Jesus Christ and his name alone can humans be saved. Jesus sits at the Right Hand of the Father, he has inaugurated his Kingdom reign and he shall come back again, personally and visibly, to complete His saving work and to consummate the eternal plan of God.

4. The Holy Spirit

We believe the Holy Spirit applies to people the saving work of Christ. He brings conviction of a person’s need for forgiveness and he leads that person to Christ. Those who truly embrace the Lord Jesus Christ by grace through faith are regenerated by the Holy Spirit. He regenerates the believer’s heart and dwells within. His ongoing work is to guide, lead, and empower the believer for godly living, service, and manifestation of God’s kingdom reign.

5. Relationship

We believe that God created us for relationship – relationship with God and with one another. We emphasize the greatest commandments which are to love God with all of our heart, mind, soul, and strength and to love others as ourselves. It is by our primary relationship with God, with the Holy Spirit working in us and through us, that love and all godly fruit is possible. It is by our love for one another as Christians that people will know we are true disciples of Jesus Christ. We bring glory to God by living our lives in authentic, life changing relationship with Him and with one another.

6. Humanity

We believe that people were created in the image of God for a loving relationship with God in His eternal kingdom. However, people have rebelled against God, actively or passively choosing to go their own independent way. Thus we are alienated from God, we experience the corruption of our nature because of sin, and we face hell if we are not rescued by God. The effects of this fall from our intended relationship with God can only be reversed through faith in Jesus Christ, the power of the Holy Spirit, and life in God’s eternal Kingdom.

7. Salvation

We believe that Jesus Christ came into this world and died on the cross to save us from our separation from God and the eternal penalty of sin. We believe in God’s Kingdom, the future resurrection of the dead and the final judgment. Those saved by Jesus Christ shall enter into full possession of eternal bliss in the presence of God, and the lost shall be condemned to eternal punishment and death. No amount of good works or human effort can restore us from our state of eternal alienation from God. It is only by God’s free grace that we are saved from this state of alienation, and this grace is appropriated by personal faith, through a change of heart toward God’s leadership in our lives, by reliance on Jesus to forgive our sins, and a commitment to follow God through him.

8. Baptism

We believe that every Christian should be baptized in water by immersion as Christ modeled, as the Bible commands, and as the early church demonstrated. In the early church, the normative way for expressing one’s repentance and personal decision to place faith in Jesus Christ (confession of faith) was through baptism. Salvation can only be received through personal faith in Jesus Christ. Faith is the essential human response to Christ and baptism is commanded as the outward expression of our faith.

9. Mission

We believe we are called individually and corporately to reach the world for Jesus one person at a time and to make biblical disciples in relational environments. Individually, this is lived out by sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ with others, baptizing those who respond, and journeying with them along with other believers in authentic relationship to develop disciples who can make disciples. Corporately this is done when we come together in large and small gatherings for discipleship. These gatherings will demonstrate by word and deed the Grace and Truth of Jesus Christ. The love expressed by God’s people for each other and for the communities in which they live point people to the love of Jesus.

10. Church

We believe that Jesus Christ is the Lord and Head of the Church, and that the Bible teaches us to appoint servant leaders called elders to provide oversight for the local church. God has ordained that only scripturally qualified men are to be appointed to serve as elders and lead pastors/teachers. We gather together in both public and smaller relational groups. Our public assemblies are for instruction, worship, communion, and service, using our gifts and abilities to encourage each other and glorify God. Our gatherings in relational groups are for personal discipleship, prayer, study, shepherding, modeling, spiritual practices, accountability, and support.

   jim putman - profile pic website  brandon guindon - profile pic website

LUKE YETTER

Executive Team Leader
RDN Executive Director
Real Life MinistriesPost Falls, ID
Luke Yetter is the Executive Team Leader at Real Life Ministries (RLM) and the Executive Director of the Relational Discipleship Network (RDN). He oversees the RLM Church Planters, and provides training on local, regional, national and international levels. He has been with Real Life Ministries for the past 11 years, initially serving as a coach for the executive team and on staff for the past 7 years. He attended both North Idaho College and Eastern Washington University where he majored in Billiards and Ping Pong. He was the founder and CEO of a national corporation, Critical Power. He sold the company after 11 years to go into full-time ministry. Luke is married to his wife Casey and they have 3 children. He loves spending time with his family, teaching his kids to fish and enjoy the outdoors. He can often be found snowmobiling or biking through the woods of North Idaho.

JIM PUTMAN

Senior Pastor
Real Life MinistriesPost Falls, ID
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.

BRANDON GUINDON

Senior Pastor

Brandon Guindon was formerly the Executive Pastor at Real Life Ministries in Post Falls, ID. After Real Life Ministries, Brandon went to be with The MET in Houston to help with relational discipleship. He and his family are now feeling called to plant Real Life Ministries Texas.

Brandon holds a Bachelor of Science in Health Science from Linfield College and a Master of Arts Church Leadership and New Testament Theology from Hope International University. He was ordained at Real Life Ministries in Post Falls, ID. He is a published author and a member of the Board of Directors for the Relational Discipleship Network.

The Guindons (Brandon and Amber, Emma, Olivia, Grady, and Garrett) moved to Houston in 2012 from their home state of Idaho.

     
 bobby harrington - profile pic website  Bob Reed - profile pic website

BOBBY HARRINGTON

Senior Pastor
Bobby Harrington is the founding and lead pastor of Harpeth Christian Church, just beside the Harpeth River, south of Nashville, Tennessee. Bobby holds many theological degrees, including the doctor of ministry degree from Southern Baptist Theological seminary. Bobby is one of the founders of the new Relational Discipleship Network. Bobby served as the director of Research, Development, and Missional Leadership for Stadia, a national church planting organization. He was Stadia’s lead trainer of church planters, where he trained hundreds of church planters from 2003 through 2011 and helped pioneer their national church planting network system. He was also the president of Church Coaching Solutions from 2005 through 2010. He is the author of Together: Network and Church Planting (with Marcus Bigelow). He is is the co-founder (with Todd Wilson) of discipleship.org and one of the founders of the Relational Discipleship Network (where he serves as chairman of the board). Bobby is married to Cindy, with two children, Ashley and Chad.

BOB REED

Senior Pastor
Riverside ChurchFort Myers, FL
Bob and his family came to Riverside Church in February 2010 from Austin, TX. He has been married to Sue more than 20 years and has four children. Bob’s passion in ministry is to make disciples that love and live like Jesus right where they are Monday through Saturday. His other passions, outside of spending time with his family, are anything sports related especially golf, fishing and working out.
     

RELATIONAL DISCIPLESHIP NETWORK

The Relational Discipleship Network (RDN) came together as church leaders and churches to help others join together in a commitment to relational discipleship. The RDN board is a macro-network made up of the Board of Directors who set the direction of the RDN and decide on key areas of alignment such as our theological, philosophical, relational and organizational beliefs. We believe that biblical discipleship is the core mission of the Church and that Jesus’ method of discipleship is the best method for the Church. The leadership of RDN is committed to following Jesus’ model and method of intentional discipleship in relational environments.  We are committed to having a world-wide impact. We recognized that many Christian churches were stagnant or in a state of decline, and the ones that were experiencing growth were primarily show model churches that weren’t very effective in producing biblical disciples.

The logical conclusion was to plant more churches that followed Christ’s model and method of making disciples.  Rather than try to do this individually, they determined a cooperative effort of aligned churches sharing resources with the common goal of planting disciple-making churches would be the most effective means of reconciling a lost world to God through Jesus Christ. Thus was born the Relational Discipleship Network.

  There are a few different functions of the RDN. Click on any of the headings below to get additional information on membership requirements, cost & benefits for each level of membership. If you have any further questions, please contact Luke Yetter  – info@rdn1.com

1NETWORK MEMBER CHURCH:

A Network Member Church is a church that meets monthly as a part of a cohort that aims to implement relational discipleship. They also have access to collaborate with their micro-network on walking out relational discipleship.

MENTOR COACHING CHURCH (MCC):

A Mentor Coaching Church is a Church that has agreed to the vision and mission of the RDN, has completed DiscipleShift 1 and has been selected to lead a Micro-Network of churches:

MICRO-NETWORK:

A group of 6-8 like-minded churches that meet monthly to discuss how to implement relational disciple making in their churches. All micro-network meetings are lead by a Mentor Coaching Church.

MENTOR COACH:

A Mentor Coach is a person and/or persons from the MCC who represent the micro-network coach. A Mentor Coaching Church may have more than one designated coach for their micro network.

Network Member Church

A Network Member Church is a church that meets monthly as a part of a cohort that aims to implement relational discipleship. They will also have access to collaborate with their micro-network on walking out relational discipleship.

Mentor Coaching Church (MCC):

A Mentor Coaching Church is a Church that has agreed to the vision and mission of the RDN, has completed DiscipleShift 1 and has been selected to lead a Micro-Network of churches:

Micro-Network:

A group of 6-8 like-minded churches that meet monthly to discuss how to implement relational disciple making in their churches. All micro-network meetings are lead by a Mentor Coaching Church.

Mentor Coach:

A Mentor Coach is a person and/or persons from the MCC who represent the micro-network coach. A Mentor Coaching Church may have more than one designated coach for their micro network.


1. Philosophical Alignment – Combination of Vision, Mission and Process

Jesus entered into relationships where he intentionally guided people so they become his disciples. Jesus invited people into relationships with himself, he loved them, and, in the process, showed them how to follow God. His primary method was life-on-life.

We believe in the formula explained below. It is a short, succinct way to describe Jesus’ method. In order for a church to become a part of a disciple making movement we must have all parts of this process working together to make disciples of Jesus who can make disciples of Jesus.

1a: 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.

1b: 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 discipleship can happen. They understand where a person is spiritually, and what is needed to help them grow.

1c: Relational Environment 

An environment that has an intentional leader and a biblical foundation. It is where people can connect, share real life, and get help in following Jesus together.  The focus is typically on the small group which consists of 3–18 people.

1d: Reproducible Disciple Making Process

There is an understandable reproducible disciple making process. All the components listed above are needed for the RDP.  The leader (discipler) has a clear understanding of the disciple making process (His part). Also the leader understands where the person (disciple) is spiritually, and helps provide what is needed from a human perspective for them to grow spiritually through the stages of discipleship (their part) and understand only GOD can do his part.

2. Relational Alignment

As our name indicates, relationships are a high priority in the Relational Discipleship Network. We ask everyone who is involved in our network to focus on the Great Commandment – to love God with all of one’s heart, mind, soul, and strength – and the second greatest commandment – to love our neighbor as ourselves. Each leader in the network agrees to do everything in their power to work out any personal conflict/tensions with one another—Illustrating Relationship with God and others is of the utmost importance. Being in consistent genuine relationships where authenticity and transparency are the norm not the exception.

3. Organizational Alignment

We will focus all of our time, money and energy (effort) to accomplish our VISION and MISSION. We will work through the local Church in two ways.

1. Training the local Church to make disciples of Jesus

2. Helping the local Church to plant disciple making churches of Jesus.

RELATIONAL DISCIPLESHIP NETWORK

The Relational Discipleship Network (RDN) came together as church leaders and churches to help others join together in a commitment to relational discipleship. The RDN board is a macro-network made up of the Board of Directors who set the direction of the RDN and decide on key areas of alignment such as our theological, philosophical, relational and organizational beliefs. We believe that biblical discipleship is the core mission of the Church and that Jesus’ method of discipleship is the best method for the Church. The leadership of RDN is committed to following Jesus’ model and method of intentional discipleship in relational environments.  We are committed to having a world-wide impact. We recognized that many Christian churches were stagnant or in a state of decline, and the ones that were experiencing growth were primarily show model churches that weren’t very effective in producing biblical disciples.

The logical conclusion was to plant more churches that followed Christ’s model and method of making disciples.  Rather than try to do this individually, they determined a cooperative effort of aligned churches sharing resources with the common goal of planting disciple-making churches would be the most effective means of reconciling a lost world to God through Jesus Christ. Thus was born the Relational Discipleship Network.

OUR STORIES

 


REAL LIFE MINISTRIES – Post Falls, ID

rlm logo from websiteReal Life Ministries came to exist through the prayers of two faithful couples.  They asked God to start a non-denominational church in Northern Idaho.  In 1998, after further prayer and many discussions, Jim Putman and Aaron Couch moved to Post Falls, Idaho, to plant Real Life Ministries.  The church began meeting as a small group in a backyard with just four couples. After about two months the church had grown to about thirty people and the backyard was overflowing.  A new place to meet was needed.  God provided a broken-down rental house with a shop.  After a lot of hard work fixing the place up the church had its new meeting place.  It wasn’t long before even more space was needed so they packed up and moved to a movie theater where a real Sunday service could be held.  In October of 1998, Real Life Ministries had its official first service.  It was an amazing day.  Everything that could go wrong did, but God was glorified and 142 people were in attendance – 40 of whom were new visitors. From that first meeting in the backyard, the church never stopped meeting together in small groups.  Through those small groups a few hundred new people committed their lives to the Lord.  About this time the movie theater began to struggle financially and it was unknown how much longer the church would be able to meet there.  The people prayed and God answered.  Jim received a call from Church Development Fund (CDF) who told him they were flying in to help Real Life buy property and build a church. CDF did come, thirty-three acres of land was purchased, and a beautiful 25,000 square-foot building was constructed.  In the new building attendance grew dramatically, increasing from 850 to over 1,600 in just six weeks.  A year later, only three short years from when it all began, the church had grown to over 2,300 people and five services. Due to the tremendous growth, the leadership had to make a decision – to be fully committed to being a church of small groups where people would come to know the Lord, be cared for and discipled or become a just another large church with a good show.  The leadership went before the congregation and laid out a plan to focus the resources (time, money and energy) on relational discipleship.  The response was a standing ovation.  Before making the announcement, it was thought that some people might leave the church, but two weeks later another 500 people had been added to their numbers. Small groups were growing and branching.  Hundreds were coming to know Christ and maturing in their faith.  People were caring for and ministering to one another.  The small group leaders were truly becoming the Pastors of the church, and those who came on staff and the eldership were, for the most part, raised up from within the small group structure.  Just one year after moving into the new building, more space was again needed.  They used the existing building for children’s ministry and moved services over to the high school across the street while a larger building could be constructed.  After moving into the new building the church continued to grow reaching numbers of over 8,000. In the little town of Post Falls, Idaho, with a population of just 10,000 people and only 100,000 within a twenty-five mile radius, God has shown the power of doing church His way.  People are doing life together in authentic, God-centered relationships.  People are loving God and loving others, the result of which has been thousands of people coming to know Jesus and disciples being made in relational environments using a reproducible process.  The church has now reached out beyond its walls planting five more Real Life churches and training hundreds of other church leaders from across the United States and around the world.  Glory be to God!

 


HARPETH COMMUNITY CHURCH – Franklin, TN

harpethcc-logo5Led by Bob Harrington and a team of committed people, Harpeth Community Church was launched with a Christmas service in 1997.  Harpeth Community Church is located near the Harpeth River in Franklin, Tennessee (just south of Nashville). The church was started following the purpose driven model with a succinct mission statement: Our mission is to glorify God by bringing people to Christ and helping one another become more like Him through outreach, worship, fellowship, discipleship and ministry. By 2006 the leaders of the church regularly witnessed over 400 in attendance, but they were increasingly concerned about the purpose driven model of church. Lots of questions were being raised in their minds about discipleship and how people were living out the Lordship of Christ.  Additionally, the model didn’t seem to place the same kind of emphasis on relationships for discipleship that we witness in the gospels. Through a series of providential contacts and travels, Bob Harrington traveled to Post Falls, Idaho and spent time with Jim Putman and the staff at Real Life Ministries. By this time Bob had completed his doctor of ministry degree in evangelism and church growth and he had spent many years training church planters.  His understanding of the various models of church in America gave him concerns.  Bob immediately became convinced that the Relational Discipleship model practiced at Real Life was a much more Christ-centered and biblical approach.  Through the support of Jim Putman and the staff at Real Life Ministries, Harpeth Community Church has made the transition to the Relational Discipleship model. Changing the DNA of an established church has not been easy, but the leaders of Harpeth Community Church strongly believe that it has been the right thing to do.  Now, with an attendance of around 700 people, Harpeth Community Church is an ardent proponent of Relational Discipleship in the southern United States.  Through Bob Harrington’s leadership and roles with Stadia, Church Coaching Solutions, and the Exponential Conference, more and more church planters and church leaders are learning about Relational Discipleship.

 


THE MET – Houston, TX

The Met logoThe MET church is an eclectic collection of people and stories. There is a basic reason that we exist – to go and make disciples of Jesus, who go and make disciples of Jesus. There are many passages of Scripture in the New Testament where Jesus points his disciples to this one primary calling. We believe it is the highest function of any community of faith. Discipleship being our calling, we also believe that making disciples of Jesus happens best in relational environments. From the moment you arrive at the MET, our desire is that you would find and plug into group life, our primary vehicle to help you gain traction in your pursuit of Jesus Christ.

 


RIVERSIDE CHURCH – Fort Myers, FL

Riverside Church logoLocated in beautiful south Florida, Riverside Church has been in existence since 1906. Senior Pastor, Bob Reed and his team, attended a Discipleshift 1 training three years ago and has since has pioneered change towards an intentional disciple-making culture.   The focus on Jesus methods for discipleship has transcended every ministry at Riverside including the eldership, small groups, youth and young adults.

 


NORTHSHORE CHRISTIAN CHURCH – Everett, WA

northshore - logoSituated next to Boeing’s north plant in Everett, WA, Northshore Christian Church has jumped all in on disciples making disciples since 2011. Northshore moved from a Sunday attractional model to an intentional disciple-making culture focused small groups and getting people involved. Northshore Christian Church also has a private Christian that has 1000+ students attend each year.


 

REAL LIFE MINISTRIES TEXAS – Houston, TX

RLM Texas logoReal Life Ministries TEXAS is a new church plant located in Houston, TX Senior Pastor, Brandon Guindon was formerly the Executive Pastor at Real Life Ministries in Post Falls, ID. After Real Life Ministries, Brandon went to be with The MET in Houston to help with relational discipleship. He and his family are now feeling called to plant Real Life Ministries Texas. (With the help of The MET, Real Life Ministries, various churches in the network and his Launch Team.) Brandon and the Launch Team (21 adults) is already meeting as a small group and is united in purpose and passion to plant a new church in Northwest Houston that makes disciple-making disciples.

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