3 Problems with our Discipleship and 3 Remedies to Transform it


I don’t surf, but if l did, the last three years at Transformation Church would be like surfing on a tsunami wave of grace. We’ve grown from 178 people into a multi-ethnic, multi-generational congregation of 2,400. More than 1,800 people have to come to faith, and we’ve launched two multi-site campuses: one in a school and one in a prison. This year we will plant a church in Spain.

There’s no doubt God’s hand of grace is upon us. I also believe that what I call the “3 Deep Shifts of Discipleship” have played a significant role in what God is doing among us.


We must disciple people, from an “I invited Jesus into my heart” mentality to a “Jesus has invited us into His-story which is about His Father’s glory.” This makes Jesus and His redemptive purposes the center, not humanity.

Before time began, the tri-personal God desired to colonize plant earth with a multi-ethnic people who are His very dwelling place on earth (Eph. 221-22). The Apostle Paul calls this desire God’s”Eternal Purpose” (Eph. 3:10-11). God’s Eternal Purpose—the Church-earth (Eph. 2:15; 1 Cor. 12:27). The members of the Body of Christ would envision lives exist to magnify God’s glory as His-story.


We must disciple people, Christian and non-Christians, away from a western, self-help mentality to a Kingdom—of God-mentality. Jesus, the King, summons us by grace into one life to humanity and gives us everything we need to extend His kingdom on earth. This is where joy and purpose are found.


All of life is Jesus’ gymnasium of discipleship. We may learn theology in a classroom, but we learn to live theology in our suffering, vocations, finances. sexuality, dating, marriage, parenting, and even our failure. All of our teaching/preaching, small group ministry, leadership development classes and systems are aimed at moving people to worship Jesus in all of life as they live by faith (Rom. 12:1-2).

Marinate on that.

To purchase Pastor Derwin’s book, Limitless Life, visit amazon.com.

This article by Derwin L. Gray is from Volume 11 Issue 5 of Pastor Resources.

Derwin L. Gray is the founding and lead pastor of Transformation Church (TC), one of the fastest growing churches in America. TC is a multi-ethnic, multi-generational, mission-shaped community with three campuses near Charlotte, NC. Pastor Derwin and his wife, Vicki, have been married for 22 years and have two children: daughter, Presley, and son, Jeremiah.


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