Date of Award
Doctor of Ministry (DMin)
The thesis of this paper is that mentoring twentysomething followers of Christ as part of an organic disciple-development process will mitigate the frustrations caused by the attractional growth model and increase the effectiveness of the church in this postmodern context. This thesis will be supported by introducing practical methodologies, integrating theological reflection, and incorporating biblical precepts.
Chapter one provides an overview and working definition of the attractional church model. It provides a brief, but detailed, history of the attractional model and examines it through the lens of three distinct time periods (pre-modern, modern, and postmodern), tracing the model from the time of Constantine through its most recent development, the megachurch movement.
Chapter two establishes the ineffectiveness of the attractional model in the postmodem culture. USAmerica is post-Christian in its sociology, post-colonial in its politics, and post-congregational in its view of the church, three reasons the attractional model simply does not appeal to the vast majority of twentysomethings in the current cultural climate.
Chapter three proposes organic disciple-development as a solution to the problem of twentysomethings leaving the local church. The chapter identifies and explores the five life-stages of organic disciple-development: birthing, nurturing, training, releasing, and reproduction. Chapter four elaborates further on the organic process and contends that purposeful and practical mentoring is the investment necessary to mitigate the frustrations of twentysomethings and to increase the effectiveness of the local church in the United States.
The final chapter gives a detailed report on the results of a five year mentoring relationship between the writer and five postmodem twentysomethings from a local church in East Texas. It presents an overview of the objectives and results of the organic disciple development process espoused in this project including a brief overview of the mentoring lab experience, a statement of the four major goals of the process, seven limitations encountered in the process, and three distinct ways in which the project's success can be measured.
Payne, Jerry W., "Organic Disciple Development: Purposeful and Practical Mentoring as an Answer to Twentysomethings Leaving the Local Church in the Postmodern Context" (2010). Doctor of Ministry. 351.