On this episode of Group Answers, Chris and Brian talk to Pastor Dhati Lewis about discipleship in an urban context.
Dhati Lewis is the Lead Pastor of Blueprint Church in Atlanta, Georgia and the Executive Director of Community Restoration with the North American Mission Board. He was born and raised in California and later moved to Texas where he completed his undergraduate studies from the University of North Texas. He later earned his master’s degree from Dallas Theological Seminary and his Doctorate of Ministry in Great Commission Mobilization from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.
During his time in Texas, he started a college ministry, served as a chaplain to UNTs football team, coached high-school football, became a college pastor, and eventually planted a church. In all these years of ministry, Dhati became increasingly burdened to see healthy disciple-making churches in the city. This burden grew until the Lord gave Dhati a clear vision to plant a church-planting church in Atlanta, Georgia. In 2009, Dhati, along with twenty-five others, moved to Atlanta with the goal to become the last generation of believers who have to leave the urban context in search of sound discipleship.
Dhati is is most passionate about making disciples, equipping urban leaders, and loving his family. He is the author of both the Bible Study and book, Among Wolves: Disciple Making in the City.
- What have you learned about disciple-making within an urban environment?
- What has been most challenging for Blueprint in developing such a unique group ministry?
- In addition to pastoring Blueprint Church in Atlanta, you are also the VP of the Send Network at NAMB. What is the aim of Send when it comes to equipping churches for discipling their cities?
- Tell us about the four D’s strategy that your church uses in its discipleship strategy.
- How do your missional communities use the Venn Diagram of God’s Story, Your Story, Our Story, and The City’s Story?
- I understand that you have a wall with every church member’s name on it and how they are connected to a missional community. How did that start, and how is it used on a regular basis?
We wanted to be a church that plants churches.
Our part of the city is the cornerstone of gentrification in the south.
A call to membership is a call to discipleship.
Discipleship is not a ministry, it is the ministry.
The misconception is that Christianity has been reduced to conferences, concerts, and church services.
When you create environments where everyone belongs and matters, then they are bringing their giftedness.
We tend to go find the latest book or resource and copy and paste in the church.
God has given us the ministry of reconciliation.
This Episode’s Sponsor: One of the greatest predictors of a disciple’s spiritual growth is regular Bible reading. That’s why LifeWay created the Daily Discipleship Guide. To download four free sessions of the Daily Discipleship Guide, visit BibleStudiesforLife.com/DDG.
The Group Answers Podcast is a weekly show designed to resource, train, and encourage small group leaders. Each episode considers current trends and resources as well as timeless truths and methods of discipleship. It is hosted by Brian Daniel, a Bible study and discipleship expert in LifeWay’s Groups Ministry, and Chris Surratt, the small group and discipleship specialist at LifeWay and author of Leading Small Groups.