“They live in our homes:” Dhati Lewis and Life-on-Life Discipleship in the Urban Context

ATLANTA – Apparently, eight is not enough for Dhati Lewis. With a wife and six kids already in his home, Lewis, the Lead Pastor of Blueprint Church in Atlanta, is leading disciples to a whole new place – inside his home.
In an eyebrow-raising breakout session at the SEND North America 2012 Conference in Woodstock, GA, last month, Lewis outlined his church’s blueprint for disciple-making and church planting in inner-city Atlanta where 80 percent of the kids grow up without a father in the home.
“In our church,” said Lewis, “it’s all about family. We say healthy Christianity is people understanding the gospel -> in the context of the family -> while being on mission. The gospel changes people and people change the world. If you come to our church you will hear that all the time.”
And now, you will hear it with 400-plus attendees ever Sunday. But it did not begin that way for Lewis, a Dallas Theological Seminary graduate who led a team of 40 to plant Blueprint in 2009. It began he says, with bringing people into their houses. It began with disciple-making and church planting as the purpose for the church.
“Every member of our church is a church planter,” Lewis said. “And now, 70 percent of our couples have someone living with them in their homes.”
It is disciple-making DNA for the church. Family, Gospel, and Mission are the three-legged stool, as new disciples are formally taken through stages Lewis has dubbed: Life-on-Life, Missional Commuities, SIMs, Imprint, Interns, Apprentices, Elders, and Church Planters.
He demonstrated the overall philosophy in the triangle diagram pictured above. It is a system that has worked so well, Lewis recently formed an organization called the Rebuild Initiative as a church planting network geared to teach other urban leaders to do what Blueprint is doing.
It is a fresh perspective on urban ministry, and certainly relevant for planters in the Northeast U.S. and the GTA. We encourage you to listen to the audio below and be encouraged in your own disciple-making journey.
UncategorizedZach Nelson