Church Changing Context: The Church’s Discipleship Mission and National Transformation

Earlmont Williams, D.Phil., M.A., M.Div.

Academic Dean, Bethel Bible College, Jamaica


The discipleship mission of the church should lead to national transformation.  Authentic discipleship is not merely informational; it is transformational.  This is the contention of this reflection.  Although there are prevailing understandings of discipleship that serve as models of discipleship praxis, there is a need for clarity pertaining to the role of discipleship in national development and transformation.  Some might argue that discipleship is a matter of personal and ecclesiastical importance with no national significance.  This position should not be sustained in the light of biblical and social considerations. 

There needs to be a widening of perspective and a broadening of understanding of discipleship to include national transformation.  Indeed, “The ... church can actually have an impact on the society in which we live in a dramatic way that has not been seen since the First Century.”[1]  The challenges connected to this perspective are related to the church’s self-understanding and its readiness to bring about such an impact on the national scene with special emphasis on discipleship.  The age old questions of what discipleship is all about and what it means to be the church in society will be explored.  The issue of nationhood and national transformation, the social challenges that confront an attempt at applying discipleship on a national level, the dimensions of transformative discipleship and the tension between individualism and nationalism will be examined as a case is made for the church as disciple-maker of the nation.

 Discipleship Revisited: Ecclesiastical Mission and Action

 It is obvious from a scriptural perspective that discipleship is not merely individualistic, it is nationalistic.  This is the dimension of Christian discipleship that many fail to grasp.  The biblical foundation of this view of discipleship is a well known passage of Scripture - Matthew 28:18-20.  Whereas many refer to this passage as the Great Commission given to the Church, some do not comprehend or embrace its nationalistic focus and emphasis.  What is significant about this commission is Jesus’ undeniable and irrefutable reference to nations- “Go into all nations... (emphasis added).”  There is a tendency to zero in on the command to “go” without exploring the context in which the “going” should take place.  It is clear from Matthew 28:19 that the context is the nations of the earth.  This means, therefore, that a nationalistic focus is imperative with respect to the discipleship mission and action of the Church.

We must jettison the notion that discipleship is only an individual to individual experience.  It is much more than that.  The historical individualistic accentuation should not be overlooked, but neither should the outward oriented and nationalistic emphasis be de-emphasized.  Individualism must not be allowed to trump nationalism because of traditional practices that overemphasized the individualistic element of discipleship. 

A Transformed Understanding of the Church

For the church to transform the nation, it is required not just to be a church in the nation but a church for the nation and to the nation with the aim of transforming the nation.  It was H. Richard Niebuhr who articulated the perspective that there are five different points of view on Christ and culture.  Some embrace the notion of Christ of culture.  Others clamour for Christ against culture.  Still others propose the idea of Christ above culture and many push the proposition of Christ and culture in paradox.  A final position presents Christ transforming culture.[2] 

The five perspectives on Christ, the ultimate Disciple Maker, and his attitude towards culture, and by extension nations, must be critically explored in an attempt to bring about a transformed and transformative viewpoint on the Church and discipleship.  Whereas the Christ of human culture category seems interesting, it smacks of a thoroughgoing syncretism that sees no opposition between Christ and culture; it depicts him accepting culture blindly and uncritically.  Indeed, the Christ against culture school of thought sees no inherent goodness or godliness in culture, which is deemed as secular and anti-Christ.[3]           

The Christ above culture notion is interesting because it does not affirm or reject culture for Christ.  Rather, this position posits the view that Christ stands above culture empowering the church to act within culture.  In a real sense he is above culture, but not so far above and removed from it that he is not involved in it.  The proponents of the Christ and culture in paradox perspective advocate for a dialectical tension between Christ and culture that cannot be reconciled.  Those who embrace the Christ transforming culture point of view seem to have gotten it right in that the transcendental Christ is not seen as an aloof and unconcerned deity, but one who is deeply concerned about and involved in human affairs towards transformation.  Although culture is dominated by sin, Christ can improve it through the church.[4]

It seems, therefore, that the Christ transforming culture position is the one that should be embraced with respect to discipleship and national transformation.  It is cogent and balanced vis `a vis the nexus between Christ, church, culture, and national change.  It presents a balanced view of the twin theological towers of divine transcendence and divine immanence.  The Christ who is indeed above culture is paradoxically within culture through the church with the aim of transforming culture.  This is what many in the church have failed to realize and transmit to others. 

The preceding considerations suggest that the Church of Jesus Christ must be like the Christ who transforms culture or nations.  It must not lose sight of the significance of shifting its focus from internal affairs to external national issues through discipleship.  Indeed, as Gary Badcock has noted in clear terms:

The fundamental sphere of Christian community... will always be in ordinary life in the secular world, and not in the life of a small group that withdraws from it.  At best, the latter can be only a sign of and for the wider world....  If the Christian calling is supremely to love, then Christian love must come to be expressed where it matters most: in families, at work, in friendships, and even... in the sphere of the state.[5]

The Church should get back to its roots by emancipating itself from an ecclesiological modus operandi that is dominated by individualism and selfishness to an ecclesiology that is suffused with nationalism and otherness.  The Church needs to reinvent itself as Christ’s transformative agent, not just on an individual level, but on the national scene.  In a real sense, “the church can become what it is intended to be “ ‘salt’ and ‘light,’ a city set on a hill that all around can see.... But it can only ever be so if...the contemporary drain within the church toward the worldly values of individualism is checked by the demands of charity....[6] 

The Church’s discipleship mission must no longer be guilty of self-serving and short-sighted individualism in its discipleship theology and praxis.  Charity demands a movement away from self to other selves within the nation.  As servant of the kingdom of God, the Church cannot embrace the status quo; it should do whatever is required to align the nation with God’s reign.  In a real sense, the Church “ a source of disturbance, an agent of subversion and an impetus for an alternative reality.”[7]

 A Theology of Nationhood and National Transformation

 The discipleship perspective and ethos that is being championed in this reflection embraces a theology of nationhood that is built on a scriptural foundation.  Nationhood is not just viewed through the lens of sociologists and anthropologists; it is viewed through the eyes of biblical practitioners who were possessive of a fierce urgency of ‘now’ with respect to the overwhelming need to reach and transform the nations. 

 It is interesting to note that the Greek concept behind the word “nations” in Matthew 28:19 is ethne, from which the English word “ethnic” is derived.   It is the plural of ethnos, which refers to “a multitude”... ‘a nation’... ‘a people’.[8]   Nigel Rapport claims that ethnos as opposed to anthropos (“humanity”) is relativistic rather than universalistic.  Ethnos has “culturality” at its core with the social context giving rise to cultural practices within a geographical space.[9]  This suggests that the “nations” of which Jesus spoke would necessarily include all the people groups and cultural enclaves of the earth. 

A nation is a community of persons gathered for a common purpose and around common goals and objectives.  It is a well structured system of persons, groups and organizations associated by the accident of geography or by the perplexities of genetics.  The discipleship perspective that is championed here carries the above articulated understanding of nation and nationhood.  This biblical perspective on nationhood points to the significance of community and commonality of geographical space and genetic makeup.  This community focus must be kept before the church as it continues to live out its discipleship driven commission. 

Very few would refute the assertion that, “The categorical message of the Scriptures in their entirety is that God is at work in human history with a mission to heal the nations (emphasis added) through  his people in the light of the imminent consummation of his kingdom.” [10]  There is no doubt that Jesus was concerned about the transformation of nations and not just of individuals.  This nationalistic emphasis should no longer be de-emphasized by the church, which tends to retreat behind its four walls rather than reflect on and engage in externally focused transformation.  The church cannot afford to appear to be disregarding or even rejecting the mandate that it has received concerning national transformation.

Since the Bible treats the nation as an entity that is integral to God’s plan and purpose for humanity, then the Church must focus on national transformation where it is needed.  Indeed, “God created the nations to foster godliness, so clearly the gospel and the new way of life it leads to are critical to national development.”[11]  From Genesis to Revelation, it is patently clear that the nation has been an important human grouping in God’s eyes.  Nations have been destroyed and built after prophetic utterances and warnings.  The nation of Israel has served as an example to the other nations of the world.  Whenever, they veered off the godly course, as it were, and got tangled up in immoral, ungodly, and questionable practices, there were always prophetic calls from within for transformation. 

What constitutes this transformation?  An analysis of the main Greek word for transformation as used in Romans 12:2 sheds some light on the theological meaning and practical significance of transformation on the national level.  The Greek word is actually metamorphoo, which is a compound Greek concept.  It brings together meta, which implies “change” and morphe, which means “form”.  It is used of the metamorphosis that takes place when a caterpillar is totally transformed into a butterfly.  It is change that is internal or change from inside out.  Applied to the national scene, transformation incorporates fundamental internal structural change across all the organs of the state.  This is the change that the church should realize through discipleship.

 Discipleship within a Market Economy and Materialistic Society

  1. Douglas Meeks has indicated that the contemporary Church (as it seeks to bring about national transformation through discipleship) is faced with some seemingly intractable challenges including an emphasis in our modern market economy on wealth accumulation and commodity exchange.[12] Many people’s identity and sense of self-worth are inextricably and worryingly intertwined with their socio-economic standing.  This market driven philosophy and praxis threatens to undermine attempts at concretizing Christian discipleship on the national level.

Market driven notions of nationhood proliferate in our post-modern world.  It seems nations are now defined by their place on the capitalism continuum in terms of economic prosperity and sustainability at one extreme and entrenched poverty and underdevelopment at the other.  Any discipleship theology and practice must grapple with this emerging understanding of nationhood.  If indeed the worth of nations is determined by economic considerations, then the worth of individuals within these nations would be inevitably so determined.  The Church’s discipleship mission must demonstrate clear comprehension and rejection of this new philosophy.

Dimensions of Discipleship that Transforms Nations

 The main contention of this reflection is that national transformation should be a logical outflow of the discipleship mission of the Church.  This assertion is grounded in the Great Commission as outlined in Matthew 28:18-20.  The call for and to national transformation that is espoused here is one that echoes the call that Jesus made to his disciples before his ascension.  This is not a new call.  It is an old call renewed in the twenty-first century.

Discipleship that transforms nations has a fourfold dimension.  These elements include a rejection of partisan ecclesiology, an accentuation of human complexity, a facilitation of I-Thou spirituality with special emphasis on encounter, and a concretization of eschatological dualism- the tension between realized eschatology and futuristic eschatology.  These four aspects of transforming and transformative discipleship should form the core of any move beyond the traditional individualistic emphasis of discipleship to nation changing discipleship.

Discipleship that spawns national transformation repudiates partisan ecclesiological considerations.  In other words, transformative disciple making efforts should be done without reference to any one Church tradition or denominational affiliation.  All Christian traditions have contributed to Christian discipleship as we know it today.  There is no one tradition that has all the answers to the challenges that transformative discipleship faces.  Attempts at shaping lives and nations should be made with due consideration given to the value and significance of all traditions.  When the various traditional elements of discipleship come together in ecumenical dialogue, the power of discipleship will be evident in any nation.

Transformative discipleship also accentuates human complexity.  Indeed, the spiritual dimension is emphasized and glorified in Christian transformative discipleship, but the other dimensions of human existence are not jettisoned or sacrificed on the altar of a one dimensional focus on spirituality.  Christian discipleship that seeks to transform nations responds to the economic, social, physical, emotional, and psychological aspects of human reality.  Provisions are made for all the areas of the human person to be addressed.  This kind of discipleship is multi-dimensional rather than one-dimensional.  It reflects the discipleship of Jesus more than the discipleship of the Church of Jesus.

Nation-transforming discipleship also embraces an I-Thou spirituality of encounter within the context of community.  It is an unmistakable truth that the post-modern era is characterized by a focus on Eastern spiritualities, which accentuate communal engagement with and experience of the deity or deities that are the objects of worship.  Discipleship that brings about lasting change stresses the need for an encounter with the Christian God on the personal level within community.  The focus here is not on “personal,” but on “encounter”.  This presupposes the immanence of God within the world.  It repudiates a spirituality of otherness that places Jesus on the “highest plain” with no relevance and usefulness to nations.

The fourth dimension of transformative discipleship is the concretization of dualistic eschatology.  This implies that whereas discipleship is done with the goal of transforming persons and nations towards the kingdom of God in the “here and now,” there is an aspect of this eschatological nexus that incorporates the “not yet” of the transformational experience.  This means that, whereas discipleship that transforms nations zeroes in on bringing about changes of structures and persons in this age, it is, at the same time, aware of and prepares disciples for the coming age of international or global renewal and transformation.  This tension between realized and futuristic eschatology should be held by anyone who seeks to facilitate the transformation of any nation through discipleship.

 The Personal “I” versus the Nationalistic “We”:  Individualism in opposition to Nationalism

French philosopher Rene’ Descartes articulated a dictum that is still relevant to our times and to the church’s practice of discipleship.  Through this maxim, Descartes claimed that he knew that he existed because he was a thinking being who could not refute that he was thinking.  His Cogito ergo Sum­ (“I think; therefore, I am”)[13]  is well known within and without philosophical circles.   It reflects a philosophical individualism that is still dominant today.  This individualistic focus rejects the notion of the significance of others apart from reference to the self.  The “I” is king of the domain of selves.  Traditional discipleship has been done on the basis of this individualistic theological philosophy.

In contrast to Descartes’ European Cogito, there is an African concept that can be useful in transformative discipleship.  It is the term ubuntu, which, in the theology of Archbishop Desmond Tutu, speaks of “community” or “the connectedness of all human beings”.  African theologian John Mbiti claims that ubuntu espouses the anti-Cartesian idea of “I am because, we are”.[14]  Discipleship that is Christian and nation transforming de-individualizes the disciple and propels him/her away from Cogito towards ubuntu.  In essence, it pushes the person towards community and all that it means and represents. 

Interestingly, the word “church” in the Koiné Greek of the New Testament is ecclesia, which means “called out assembly”.  A significant consideration here is that many persons in the church tend to overlook the meaning and import of the word “assembly,” which suggests community.  The nationalistic drive behind transformative discipleship is grounded in the value of human community and of the human race as a whole.  Discipleship must not be allowed to dwell only on matters of individual import; it must accentuate issues of national significance and incorporate strategies for national transformation.

The Church as “Discipler” of the Nation

If indeed the Church has been called to transform the nation towards the reign of God, then it must play the role of a national disciple making entity.  As Bill Hull has rightly noted, “...God wants disciple making to be the heart of ... church ministry.”[15]  The Church must think philosophically, strategically, and practically about becoming engaged in national affairs from a disciple-making perspective.  There is no room for dilly-dallying or vacillation with respect to involvement in national transformation through discipleship.  Although the Church is not called to play the role of government in terms of becoming an alternative body of governance, it must become more embracing of its role as nurturer of the nation. 

The Body of Christ, as the Church is normally called, must be disciple-making in its outlook and praxis.  Some may ask about the nature of the Church as a national disciple-making entity.  This is a legitimate and welcomed question.  It is clear to this writer that the disciple-making role of the Church should be reflected in its theology and wholistic engagement with society.  This wholistic approach to discipleship ministry involves “the disciples of Jesus bring[ing] the kingdom to their communities.”[16]  Christians need to begin to see themselves as God’s people within a nation who move towards it with a view to its transformation.  The propensity to move away from the nation and retreat within the four walls of local churches must be rejected and abandoned.  This is a call for acceptance of John Calvin’s notion that the Church is God’s transforming agent in the world.  The will of God for the nation is done through the Church.  Calvin acknowledged that “the work of the church is the ceaseless activity of bringing order ...back into the world out of chaos.”[17]

Implications for the Practice of Transformative Discipleship

The Church, as a transformative discipleship force in the nation, should seek to practically outwork its identity.  As Findley Edge argues, “If the purpose of the church is to do the will of God in the world... then one of the central assignments of the church is to find the practical implications of the Christian ethic [of love] in modern society and to take the lead in creating a social order that is increasingly in harmony with the will of God.”[18]   This “Christian ethic” of love incorporates discipleship as a tool of national transformation.

One of the practical components of the transformative discipleship that is proposed in this reflection is the dual function of denouncing and announcing.  The Church is required to institute communication arms through which it denounces social injustice and inhumanity.  This might mean naming and rejecting oppressive organizations and businesses as it sides with the oppressed and exploited.  The announcing function includes legislative coercion through strategic advocacy and “cultural persuasion.”  John Seel, in his book The Evangelical Forfeit, puts it this way: “We must accept the responsibility of winning public arguments through civil discourse.  We must reach beyond our... enclaves... and engage with the national opinion shapers and institutional gatekeepers on their own turf, in their own language.”[19]  Announcing should not just be verbal though; it should also be non-verbal.  In other words, as the liberation theologian Gustavo Gutierrez has well articulated this announcing function “‘ made real and meaningful only by living... the gospel within a commitment to liberation.’”[20]

Another practical component of discipleship that transforms nations is the outworking of the theology of incarnation.  When God was enfleshed in Jesus Christ, he became human so that he could transform humanity from the inside out.  The Church should therefore move into villages, communities and towns incarnationally with the aim of being where people are in their pain and struggles and working to help them to move beyond their situation of struggle.  Webber embraces this practical move as he notes that, “Contemporary thinkers seem to agree that the incarnation is an integral facet of Christological doctrine which reflects helpfully on the role of the Christian and the church in the world.”[21]

Bill Hull has articulated a “churchocentric model” of discipleship that could be useful in discipling the nation.  He asserts that, “In the churchocentric model, the key word is shared.”[22] In this paradigm there is shared power, leadership, and leadership training.  There is also the natural penetration of the world.  Hull calls this “love with feet” that coordinates the gifts of the Spirit to reach and transform the world.  The churchocentric model also calls for the “decentralization” of pastoral care, which should incorporate the laity as care givers in the church and society.  This Church of “sharedness” embraces a five-pronged programme that incorporates all believers as ministers, the discovery and development of believers’ spiritual gifts, experimentation with gifts in interest areas, allowance for creativity, and the recruitment and shaping of “apprentices” for the task of discipleship.[23] Applied to the Caribbean situation, this “churchocentric” model of discipleship requires involvement in national affairs from the centre of the Church.  This means that the Church should take the initiative to offer intellectual and moral leadership in the nations of the Caribbean.   As Mullings accurately asserts:

In short, the church’s leaders should play critical educational and strategic roles in nation-building, as is a direct inference from “disciple the nations.” We should be ashamed to see how often the church in the Caribbean can justly be accused of irrelevance! Our leaders should be in the vanguard of real national and regional development![24]


Many may scoff at the notion that discipleship can be used as a tool of national transformation.  However, this reflection has demonstrated that, based on the Great Commission outlined in Matthew 28:18-20, the Church’s mission has to do with making disciples of nations.  In other words, national transformation through discipleship is the main priority of the Church.  The nation that is viewed as the domain of discipleship is inclusive of all people groups structured around laws, cultural mores, and developmental considerations.  Indeed, “...there are many opportunities for the Church to speak prophetically into the national development process, promoting godly reformation so that ‘the blessing given to Abraham might come to the ethne (nations)’ (Gal. 3:14).”[25] 

The market economy and materialistic society as well as unique post-modern social challenges could be viewed as the bane of nation-transforming discipleship.  Nevertheless, they can serve as the impetus for sustained disciple-making endeavours on the national scene.  The four major dimensions of discipleship that transform nations should not be overlooked as we seek to move beyond individualism to nationalism.  The practical implications of transformative discipleship could serve as a foundational paradigm through which the nation can be transformed. 

The Church’s mandate demands discipleship-driven engagement with the aim of national transformation.  Indeed, “The Church must move beyond her self-created walls and rebuild the waste places.”[26] .  There has never been a better time for such movement away from the centre of Christian activity (the church building) to the centre of human reality (the nation).


Badcock, Gary D.  The Way of Life: A Theology of Christian Vocation.  Eugene, Oregon:  Wipf and Stock Publishers, 1998.

Battle, Michael. 2000. “The Theology of Community: the Ubuntu Theology of Desmond Tutu.” Interpretation 54 (2) (2000): 173+. Database on-line. Available from Questia. Accessed 27 May 2010.

Edge, Findley B.  A Quest for Vitality in Religion.  Nashville: Broadman Press, 1963.

Geisler, Norman L. and Paul D. Feinberg.  Introduction to Philosophy: A Christian Perspective.  Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Book House, 1980.

Hartman, Doug and Doug Sutherland.  A Guidebook to Discipleship.  Irvine, California:  Harvest House Publishers, 1976.

Hull, Bill. The Disciple-Making Church.  Grand Rapids: Fleming H. Revell, 1990.

_______.  The Disciple Making Pastor.  Grand Rapids: Fleming H. Revell, 1988.

Meeks, M. Douglas.  “The Future of Theology in a Commodity Society”.  In The Future of Theology: Essays in honour of Jurgen Moltmann, ed.  Miroslav Volf, Carmen Krieg, and Thomas Kucharz, ed., 253-266.  Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1996.

Menuge, Angus.  “Niebuhr’s Christ and Culture Reexamined”.  In Christ and Culture in Dialogue, ed. Angus Menuge. S. Louis, MO: Concordia Publishing House, 1999.  Available from Issues, Etc.,  Accessed 27 May 2010.

Mitchell, Marva.  It Takes a Church to Raise a Village.  Shippensburg, PA: Destiny Image Publishers, Inc., 2001.  

Mullings, Gordon E.  “Ethics, Reformation and Development in the Caribbean.”  Caribbean Journal of Evangelical Theology 7 (2003): 57-77.

________________.   “Notes on the Mars Hill Strategy:  Paul’s Christocentric Fullness Vision, Discipleship and National Renewal/Transformation,” Article Online.  Available at:

Rapport, Nigel.  “Being Humans: Anthropological Universality and Particularity in Trans-Disciplinary Perspectives.” Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute 8 (2002): 806+. Database on-line. Available from Questia.  Accessed 28 May 2010.

Reid-Salmon, Delroy A.  Home Away from Home: The Caribbean Diasporan Church in the Black Atlantic Tradition.  London: Equinox Publishing Limited, 2008.

Seel, John.  The Evangelical Forfeit: Can We Recover?  Grand Rapids: Hourglass Books, 1993.

Vine, W. E., Merrill F. Unger, and William White, Jr.  Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words.   Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Inc., 1984.

Wambua, Serah.  “Mission Spirituality and Authentic Discipleship: An African Reflection.” In Consultation of Study Commission IX, Edinburgh 2010, in Seoul, March 23-24, 2009, by The Oxford Centre for Mission Studies and the Church Missionary Society, 45-54. Oxford, England: Oxford Centre for Mission Studies, 2009. Available online at:  Accessed June 2010.

Webber, Robert E.  The Church in the World.  Grand Rapids: Zondervan

                Publishing House, 1986.

Williams, Earlmont.  “The Missionary Message of First Thessalonians.”

                Caribbean Journal of Evangelical Theology 7 (2003) : 22-40.



[1] Dough Hartman and Doug Sutherland, A Guidebook to Discipleship (Irvine, California: Harvest House Publishers), 161.

[2] Angus Menuge,  “Niebuhr’s Christ and Culture Reexamined,”  in Christ and Culture in Dialogue, ed. Angus Menuge (St. Louis, MO: Concordia Publishing House).  Available from Issues, Etc.,  Accessed 27 May 2010.

[3] Ibid.

[4] Ibid.

[5] Gary D. Badcock, The Way of Life: A Theology of Christian Vocation, (Eugene, Oregon: Wipf and Stock Publishers, 1998), 120.

[6] Ibid., 120-212.

[7] Delroy A. Reid-Salmon,  Home Away from Home: The Caribbean Diasporan Church in the Black Atlantic Tradition, (London: Equinox Publishing Limited, 2008), 159.

[8] W. E. Vine, Merrill F. Unger, and William White, Jr., Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Inc., 1984), 426.

[9]Nigel Rapport, "Being Humans: Anthropological Universality and Particularity in Trans-Disciplinary Perspectives,” Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute 8 (4) : 806+. Database on-line. Available from Questia,, (accessed 28 May 2010).

[10] Earlmont Williams, “The Missionary Message of First Thessalonians,” Caribbean Journal of Evangelical Theology 7 (2003), 22.

[11] Gordon E. Mullings, “Notes on the Mars Hill Strategy:  Paul’s Christocentric Fullness Vision, Discipleship and National Renewal/Transformation,” Article Online.  Available at:

[12] M. Douglas Meeks, “The Future of Theology in a Commodity Society,” in The Future of Theology: Essays in honour of Jurgen Moltmann, ed.  Miroslav Volf, Carmen Krieg, and Thomas Kucharz (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1996), 254-255.

[13] Norman L. Geisler and Paul D. Feinberg., Introduction to Philosophy: A Christian Perspective, (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Book House, 1980), 92.

[14] Michael Battle, “The Theology of Community: the Ubuntu Theology of Desmond Tutu,” Interpretation 54 (2) :173+. Database on-line. Available from Questia,, (accessed 27 May 2010).

[15] Bill Hull, The Disciple Making Pastor, (Grand Rapids: Fleming H. Revell, 1988), 27.

[16] Serah Wambua, “Mission Spirituality and Authentic Discipleship: An African Reflection,” in Consultation of Study Commission IX, Edinburgh 2010, Seoul, March 23-24, 2009, by The Oxford Centre for Mission Studies and the Church Missionary Society (Oxford, England: Oxford Centre for Mission Studies, 2009), 52.  Available online at:  Accessed June 2010.

[17] Robert Webber, The Church in the World, (Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1986), 130.

[18] Findley B. Edge, A Quest for Vitality in Religion, (Nashville: Broadman Press, 1963), 19.

[19] John Seel, The Evangelical Forfeit: Can We Recover? (Grand Rapids: Hourglass Books, 1993), 108.

[20] Webber, The Church, 202.

[21] Ibid., 274.

[22] Bill Hull, The Disciple-Making Church, (Grand Rapids: Fleming H. Revell, 1990), 45.

[23] Ibid., 45-49.  Hull uses an unfamiliar word (“churchocentric”), which seems forced and unnecessary, to describe his model.  However, it appears quite workable indeed. What I have sought to do is apply Hull’s ideas to the notion of discipling the nation rather than discipling individuals within the context of the church.

[24] Mullings, Notes, 5.

[25] Gordon Mullings, “Ethics, Reformation and Development in the Caribbean,” Caribbean Journal of Evangelical Theology 7 (2003) : 61.

[26] Marva Mitchell, It Takes a Church to Raise a Village, (Shippensburg, PA: Destiny Image Publishers Inc., 2001), 12.