|dc.description.abstract||The purpose of this descriptive-quantitative study was to analyze the magnitude of change produced by MasterLife on the twenty-three functional characteristics of a disciple.
Based on a review of significant texts from the Scriptures and from authorities on discipleship, the researcher concluded that the original disciples went through a four phase process of discipleship. The "Come and See" phase emphasized the salvation experience and building a necessary doctrinal foundation. The "Come and Follow Me" phase stressed the development of attitudinal characteristics such as self-denial, accountability, living a life of integrity, humility, a willingness to learn, repentance, and living according to biblical principles. The third phase, "Come and Be With Me" demanded that the disciples had to develop convictions that changed their behavior. Behavioral characteristics of a disciple include, utilizing time and talents for God's purposes, adapts attitudes and action to conform to biblical standards and acts appropriately toward the opposite sex. The final phase is identified as the "Remain in Me." Relational characteristics of a disciple include, accepting oneself as being made in the image of God, experiences the presence of God through the Holy Spirit, trust God in times of adversity and prosperity, seeking to commune with God through the word and through regular prayer, fellowship within the context of the church, relationships with believers beyond the local church, maintains a forgiving spirit and asks forgiveness when guilt of an offense. It was also in this stage of discipleship development that ministry characteristics mature. These characteristics include, publicly identifying with Christ and the church, seeking and taking advantage of opportunities to share the gospel with others, minister to other believers, and seeks the good of all people through a willingness to meet practical needs.
The researcher used the Discipleship Inventory created by Brad Waggoner to assess discipleship development in MasterLife participants. The alpha reliability coefficient for the Discipleship Inventory was 0.9745.
Quantitative analysis suggested that ministry characteristics experienced the greatest magnitude of change due to MasterLife , followed by behavioral characteristics, attitudinal characteristics, and relational characteristics. Doctrinal characteristics experienced the smallest magnitude of change.
The researcher concluded that MasterLife created a positive magnitude of change on all twenty-three functional characteristics of a disciple. The International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention (IMB) sponsored this research project. The IMB has conducted this same research project with missionary appointees, and MasterLife participants overseas. The final stage of this research project will be to use these results to accurately identify reasons and issues surrounding inactive church members.||en_US