Developing a Discipleship System: A Guide for Congregations is a practical guide for congregations who find themselves stuck researching community demographics, pouring over worship attendance metrics, and fixing their aging structures, yet lack a system for creating relationships with those who surround their church. We can’t program our way back to vitality. Rather, it requires a movement toward discipleship-making, and it begins with a process that reaches into your community.
Begin a conversation in your congregation around creating a lifestyle of intentional discipleship. This booklet is your first step!
Also available in Spanish, Portuguese, and Korean.
THE REV. JUNIUS B. DOTSON was the General Secretary of Discipleship Ministries, an international agency of The United Methodist Church.
The Rev. Dotson was a recognized visionary leader in church revitalization. Before becoming general secretary, he was senior pastor at St. Mark in Wichita, Kansas, where he was instrumental in transforming the 3,500-member church into a multi-site congregation. The church also houses the E.C. Health and Dental Clinic Tyree, annually providing affordable healthcare to thousands of patients.
He received his B.A. in political science, with a focus on economics, from the University of Texas at Arlington. While attending UT Arlington, he was president of Alpha Phi Alpha, the oldest African American fraternity in the country.
Dotson began his graduate work at the Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, and earned his Master of Divinity from the Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, California. He was ordained in June 1992. In 1996, Rev. Dotson responded to the challenge of planting Genesis United Methodist Church, an innovative new church in Silicon Valley, California, that has grown into a diverse religious community of nearly 500 people.
As a leader who responded to challenges and opportunities in new and creative ways, Rev. Dotson believed that effective ministry involved training, developing, and empowering leaders to establish ministries that met the needs of the whole person: body, mind, and spirit.
The innovations of Rev. Dotson generated a great deal of interest. His ministerial legacy has been featured in The San Jose Mercury News, The San Francisco Examiner, The Sacramento Bee, The Wichita Eagle, and CBS Radio’s “The Osgood File,” as well as ABC, NBC, and CBS affiliates in San Francisco, San Jose, and Wichita.
A dynamic preacher and public speaker, the Rev. Dotson was highly respected for his ability to establish networks that make things happen by faith and in larger communities. The Rev. Dotson served on the Council of Ordained Ministry and the revitalization task force of the Western Kansas Conference (now part of the Great Plains Conference). He served as a facilitator for the Fitzgerald Program, a Discipleship Ministries program to train pastors to start congregations from the ground up. From 2009 to 2012, Rev. Dotson was a Discipleship Ministries Board of Directors member, where he was president of Path 1 Division/New Congregations Division. He also served on the Executive Board of the Wichita Food Bank, Wichita Children’s Home Board, W.G. Williams Community Foundation Board, and Wichita Ministerial Alliance. The Governor of Kansas appointed him to serve on the Kansas Sentencing Commission for three terms.