Church of God congregations seek three outcomes for people involved in their discipleship ministries: to acquire biblical knowledge, to build healthy relationships, and to act on their faith. That is the finding of a recent survey conducted by LifeWay Research of Nashville, Tennessee.
More than twenty-three hundred congregations in thirteen church groups participated in the survey, which was conducted last spring. “A total of 317 Church of God congregations responded. That’s more than 14 percent of our churches in North America,” says Joe Allison, coordinator of Publishing and Creative Services at Church of God Ministries.
“The responses came from a wide spectrum of congregation sizes, geographic locations, and ministry contexts,” Allison added, “so we have a high degree of confidence that they reflect what’s happening in the movement overall.”
While most Church of God congregations still rely on the Sunday-school program to disciple adults, the survey revealed that they are shifting toward more informal small groups and one-on-one relationships. That shift has already occurred in discipleship ministries for youth and children.
Church of God Ministries is using the LifeWay survey results to develop a series of discipleship resources called New Life Together, which will be released next winter. Details of the study are available at the website www.newlifetogether.org.